Telegraph talks council race: part 12By: 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 last 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 Ken Brown.
Ken Brown, 48, has been a Folsom resident for three years. He is currently a stay-at-home father and is a United States Marine Corps veteran.
Why are you running for the Folsom City Council?
I’m a Gulf War veteran, father of two, husband of one and friend to all. I'm running for City Council to give a voice to all citizens of Folsom. I'm eager to work for you, and together I believe we can take our community to the next level of prosperity.
Do you believe there is a traffic problem in Folsom? If so, how would you fix it?
I don’t believe there’s a traffic problem. I believe that traffic is traffic. I’ve lived everywhere, and the worst traffic in the world would have to be Manila – bumper to bumper, constantly. By comparison, Folsom has a walk in the park. Although, I do get irritated with some traffic situations. If I would fix the situation, there are two things I’d do. No. 1: Everyone should take a two-hour class on how to drive before renewing their license. Some of these people are 17 car-lengths away and driving 35 mph in a 45 mph zone. No. 2: I’m hearing rumblings and rumors about the city putting new housing south of 50. That is not a good idea for this area. It’s not about the people, it’s about the traffic it’ll bring.
Water supply has been a huge concern throughout the years. If elected, what will you do to address those concerns?
Anything that uses water that we don’t have to have on should be turned off – water foundations should be shut off; grass can be dormant. We’re not hurting so bad for water in Folsom as they are in other parts of the state. If something did happen where the rest of the state was having issues, we would have to cut off everyone else. If we’re selling water to certain areas, we’d need to renegotiate those contacts. I don’t see too much of a problem, but I can see where we could in the future.
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?
The only safety issue is the police in the area need to be on the alert. I drive around, and I don’t see too much crime going on. I read online and don’t really see anything terribly tragic going on in Folsom. This could lead the police into a false sense on security.
I think they should patrol neighborhoods during the middle of the night looking for whatever crime. I don’t think we need more police presence, but the police that are here need to have more of a presence.
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?
We’re at 80,000 people currently. I’d like to see 120,000 total people in the next 10 years. In order for that to happen, we need to have businesses in the area first to support that type of growth. If you move that many people in with the current infrastructure we have, you’re going to have a lot of traffic and unemployment problems. If you move businesses in first, they can start working when they move here. In that area across the freeway, I think it would be great to put a Great Wolf Lodge over there – an indoor water park – rather than building houses.
Folsom has seen homelessness increase in recent years. While this topic is very complex, how would you address this issue?
The increase Folsom has seen is more than likely bled over from Sacramento and surrounding areas. Folsom is a nice, clean environment. When I drive around, I don’t see many homeless. When I go bike riding with my wife, there are tents right in the middle of the trails, so I understand they’re out there. Right now I think we can quickly and easily solve it with HART of Folsom and the daisies. We need to get the church involved in going to these people instead of the homeless going to the church. We need to motivate the churches and HART to go find these people and get them out of the area.
Social media is a powerful tool. When is the right situation to utilize it? When is the wrong situation?
I see that social media is helpful, but don’t deal with it.
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. The housing market and every market should be controlled naturally. The market should dictate what rent should be.
I’m for term limits. If I’m elected, I’ll give my salary to charity because I see it more as serving my community. If you’re going to volunteer for something, then volunteer for it – you don’t have to pay me. If you volunteer for something, you should be out in a reasonable amount of time. I don’t see myself going any longer than four terms. If you can’t get it accomplished in 16 years, you don’t need to be in office.
I think the limit should stay at $150. The more you spend on a campaign doesn’t mean you’re the better candidate.
I don’t like raising anyone’s taxes. We pay taxes already and enough is taken out of people’s salaries. If you want more money, then create more jobs. Raising the tax rate on anything to make more money, I don’t see that as being a good way of doing it. It’s a cheap way of doing it.
You enjoy live music at the local pubs during the evening. Can you expand on what you would like to do about the noise ordinance, if elected?
I’m pretty fired up about this. I didn’t live here when it was put in place, but the city set an ordinance claiming bars can’t play music that can be heard 20 feet from an establishment. I don’t have proof, but I heard they changed it was because the wrong type of traffic/people were coming to Folsom, and they didn’t want those people in area. That’s just wrong. I see everyone as green. There is money to be made everywhere. I don’t care what color you are. I want to get in there and change the ordinance for the bars.