Telegraph talks council race: part 11By: 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 11th 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 Scott Bailey.
Scott Bailey, 59, has been a Folsom resident for 32. He is currently an account manager/consultant for a full-service dental dealer. He is a retired Folsom Police Reserve Officer as well as a part-time police officer with local state police agency.
Why are you running for the Folsom City Council?
Having lived, worked and raised a family in Folsom for over 35 years, I have always loved our city! All great things about Folsom happened with intelligent, thoughtful planning and experienced leadership. I am offering my commitment, experience and knowledge to continue my service to Folsom. Let’s keep it going!
Do you believe there is a traffic problem in Folsom? If so, how would you fix it?
Traffic is a good indicator the city is alive and well. Commerce is thriving, business is doing well and people are here because they want to be, but it needs to be addressed. There’s a traffic problem – fortunately only during peak times in certain areas such as in front of schools letting out, during commuting hours of the morning and evening. I’m pleased with the city’s efforts to improve. There’s new technology in the works – upgrading intersections with smarter controls with fiber optic cabling. With south of 50 growth, there’ll be a traffic increase, however, the plans are well laid out.
Water supply has been a huge concern throughout the years. If elected, what will you do to address those concerns?
Water is a huge issue for the entire state. The City of Folsom has pre-1913 water rights establishing our right to 34,000 acre feet of Folsom Lake. The city uses on average 27,000 and has for some time. It’s my understanding the south of 50 developers put in $15 million for retrofitting and upgrading old pipes throughout Folsom. The low estimates of water captured during the upgrade was 5,200. Folsom saved 7,300 from installing water meters. The estimate needed for south of 50 is 5,600 when fully built. There’s more than enough for what’s planned for south of 50. I’m comfortable and pleased there’s a good plan in place.
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?
We have an excellent public safety record in Folsom between police and fire. This is a safe community. It’s a symbiotic relationship to everything that’s good in Folsom because without public safety as the primary, nothing else can thrive. People won’t want to be here if it’s not safe. Having worked for the police department as a reserve officer for 35 years, I feel I know the department well. Through the years, I’ve seen the department go through highs and lows. There’ve been times when we were the most desirable place to work. In recent years, some officers left for better pay/benefits, and it’s been a challenge hiring talented officers from other agencies. It’s due to pay and benefit structures. For a new hire, pay is toward the lower end of the scale and that needs to change. I’ll support efforts to keep pay/benefits toward the higher end of the region’s agencies.
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?
It’s going to be extremely bright. I’m impressed with the 2035 Master Plan. People need to remember there are 3,300 acres out there. There’ll be 10,000 new homes, 8,000 new jobs, five new schools, a good traffic plan and 1,000 acres of open space. It’ll be a lengthy process. We won’t suddenly have 10,000 new residents south of 50. I’d like to remind people that this is going to be a very beautiful addition to our city.
Folsom has seen homelessness increase in recent years. While this topic is very complex, how would you address this issue?
About 25 percent of our nation’s homeless are in California. This issue is much bigger than Folsom. I’ve been studying this issue, not only from a citizen standpoint, but interviewing a lot of people. The recent 9th Circuit Court decision does not help. We need to focus maximum efforts in this issue. We need to do what we can to minimize it. I want Folsom citizens to know what an amazing program HART of Folsom is – they’re doing amazing things.
Social media is a powerful tool. When is the right time to utilize it? When is the wrong time?
Social media is fantastic. I’m a big fan of Facebook for connecting family and friends. I don’t feel it’s a good forum for public debate on complex political issues. In traveling door-to-door in Folsom, I found there’s so much misinformation out there. When I asked where they heard it, they mainly said Folsom Chat. There have recently been polls put out asking questions like “Are you for worsening traffic?” The effectiveness of these polls are downright ridiculous, and it’s not helpful. It’s polarizing the city, and I’m concerned.
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?
I’m against rent control. I’m a free market capitalist and believe business goes where business goes. A free market decides the appropriate level of rent.
I’m for term limits on a state and national level, but at the local level there’s nothing that beats experience. I’m for the term limits proposed because 16 years is a long term.
I’m against contribution limits. I’ve been successfully collecting donations and feel my campaign is running well. It encourages candidates to work harder for it. I’m all for that.
I’m against the sales tax. The city is doing well without it. I’m concerned because the money can be used for anything. I’d like to see a little more specificity.
You were a reserve officer in Folsom for many years as well as being the bailiff during City Council. Did this have any influence on your candidacy? Why?
Absolutely. I’ve always been interested in public service and local politics. I was the bailiff for all, but three meetings the last five years. Many times, I wanted to speak on a subject I had an opinion on, but that wasn’t my role. Somewhere along the line I started thinking about running for Council. When I saw how many seats were going to be open, I realized we were losing a lot of experience. I knew I had a lot of experience to bring, not only from living and working here, but also from witnessing Council proceedings for five years.