Telegraph talks council race: part 10By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
As election and campaign season is underway, the Folsom Telegraph had the opportunity to sit down with each of the 12 candidates running for three open seats on the Folsom City Council.
The Folsom Telegraph will be the community’s trusted source in learning who each candidate is, why they are running, and what their views are on various Folsom topics.
This is the 10th in a 12-part series where two candidates’ question-and-answer interviews will be published per week on various important topics around the Folsom community. Some of the topics asked during each interview include traffic, homelessness, development, social media usage, water, ballot items and more.
In today’s edition, readers can learn the views of Mark Moore.
Mark Moore, 62, has been a Folsom resident for two years. He is a retired fire captain from a Bay Area fire department and is currently a freelance writer.
Why are you running for the Folsom City Council?
Proudly having served as a captain in the fire department, I desire to continue serving the community in the most impactful way possible. Folsom needs intelligent, courageous leadership, now more than ever, to make the tough decisions that’ll keep our community strong and vibrant, while striving for an exceptional tomorrow.
Do you believe there is a traffic problem in Folsom? If so, how would you fix it?
There’s a traffic problem. It’s not bad compared to what it’ll be with the growth we have planned. When you go from 77,000 people when there’s already a problem, to another 30,000 and not expand your borders, you’re going to have problems. They’re looking at increasing lanes, widening lanes and adding additional overpasses – E. Bidwell. No one has the answers and there are a lot of unanswered questions with this General Plan. For the most part, I’ll do whatever is necessary, which is having public transportation bumped up. We need to upgrade the stage line and the light rail – do whatever it takes to get people out of their cars and into public transportation.
Water supply has been a huge concern throughout the years. If elected, what will you do to address those concerns?
You want to make sure it’s adequate. We’re told we have enough water for south of 50. We’re told by fixing leaks we saved enough money to where we can divert it to cover south of 50. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’m only telling you what I’ve heard. Does that also include fire protection? I’m not sure. To my understanding the water from the fixed pipes is for domestic use for homes. But I’m not use if it’s true. I’m concerned for the fire safety side because you need more water and pressure for that. If there’s not enough, then we probably shouldn’t be doing the project until we figure it out.
Folsom has some of the best public safety in the region. Do you see any issues going forward? What will you do to alleviate the problem?
Do we have enough police and fire resources? We certainly do at this time. The General Plan talks about another two fire stations for south of 50.
The City of Folsom annexed the Folsom Plan Area in 2011. What is your view on Folsom’s growth over the next 20-30 years?
I’m not anti-growth, but I’m opposed to growing for the sake of growing. People don’t want to lose their small town, but I think it’s pretty obvious to most people, we’ve already started to lose it, and there’s no turning back. We need to be smart about it. The way the growth plan is laid out now, there are a lot of holes. They don’t have the infrastructure worked out completely. I go to the Council meetings and have heard “We’ll worry about it later;” “We’ll look into that later;” “We haven’t figured that out yet.” There are a lot of “what ifs” even though it’s a plan. It’s not an all inclusive plan. It’s not a complete plan, but I understand that. As far as the future Council’s concern, they’re responsible for how this plays out, and that’s the most important thing to keep in mind. We’re not going to stop the growth, but we can reduce it a little bit.
Folsom has seen homelessness increase in recent years. While this topic is very complex, how would you address this issue?
Being a firefighter for 30 years, I had a lot of contact with the homeless. I have compassion for them. It’s a social issue. I know a lot of people don’t want to think about it and they don’t want to talk about it. In Folsom, that’s easy to do because there aren’t many. I met with Ed Kelly from HART, and he told me we have 60 homeless. HART does a great job. And Folsom PD is doing a great job as well.
Social media is a powerful tool. When is the right situation to utilize it? When is the wrong situation?
I don’t have a Facebook, personally, and I’m not going to have one. Social media is used to share and gather information. The problem is I’ve seen with Council people is they go back-and-forth. They can get nasty with it and, to me, that’s inappropriate. Whether it’s Facebook or at the Council meetings, there’s no place for that.
What are you opinion on each of the follow ballot items: Prop 10: rent control C: Folsom City Council term limits; D: Folsom campaign contribution limits; E: half-percent sales tax?
It’s expensive to live in California, so there’s a place for rent control. We need to help people who are less fortunate than ourselves. I’m for it in a fairly limited capacity.
I’m for term limits. It’s important and encourages new blood to come in.
I’m for contribution limits.
I was for the sales tax initially, but only in the circumstance that it’d go toward the infrastructure needs coming that we’re not prepared for – not parks, or anything else. I liked hearing it was for Folsom, but the more I looked into it, I changed my position on it. I’m not for it because it doesn’t honestly state what it’s for. It goes to the General fund, so it can be used anywhere. I think it’s a red flag and the Council knows the infrastructure plan is weak and has a lot of holes. They would like to see this tax through because they know we’ll be in trouble trying to play catch up.
You are the candidate with the fewest years of residence experience. Do you see this as an advantage or disadvantage? Why?
I see it as an advantage because it’s not about how long you’ve been in one place. It’s about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing while alive. If you’re a good leader and you care about your community, which of course I do, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been here a few years. I’m a good listener and I learn well. By being new to the community, I’m not bringing in any baggage. I don’t have a long-standing agenda other than to do what’s right for the community.