Council Candidate Sheldon talks city plansBy: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
Ernie Sheldon is running to be re-elected for one of two available Folsom City Council seats against four other candidates. He has served on the council for two terms and is looking to continue his work with the city.
The Telegraph sat down with Sheldon for a brief Q&A session.
Why are you running for city council again?
This will be my third term because I don’t feel that my job is done yet. I want to make sure South of 50 is done properly. While it won’t be done in my time, I want to see the development start. It’ll be a year or so before we see ground moving, but I want to make sure the city and the developer stick to the rules. It’ll consume a lot of the council’s time to make sure that gets off well, but nothing in this town changes rapidly. You have to work at it, do your research and put in time. It’s not easy work.
What is the largest issue facing Folsom and what do you plan to do to address it?
The largest issue is South of 50. There are so many rumors going around, but people need to understand that the north side won’t be hurt by the south side because we want to be one Folsom. Geographically, we’ll be divided by a river and a highway, but we can’t be divided, we are one town. While we need to keep thinking about our quality of life, we also need to think about the quality of life for those who are coming. This next term will be a lot of cooperation, oversight and hard work.
The city has been asking residents about possible uses for the Folsom corporation yard. What do you plan to do with the yard?
I want to leave the yard alone so we can develop it for historical purposes. The city owns it, meaning 70,000 people, not five people on the council. We don’t need to develop it because we have plenty of houses, hotels and everything. We don’t have a solid location where we can display Folsom’s history. The yard needs to be preserved for the kids and the people of this town to enjoy, no matter where they live in Folsom.
What are some of the challenges with Folsom’s water supply? And what would you do differently than what is currently being done?
Our water usage compared to the amount of water in the lake is very small. My concern with the drought is our back-up systems. Do we have wells? No. We haven’t invested in wells in case of emergency. We have pre-1914 rights, but if there is no water in the lake, there is no water. It’s a regional problem that needs to be attacked.
What are two attainable goals for the city that you would personally champion for in the next four years?
I want to make sure the start of South of 50 gets off in the right direction. We’re probably going to see 10 to 15 percent of development in the next 4 years. It’s critical that we do it right. My second goal is to maintain our quality of life which means everything – a safe town, education, recreation, government and more. It’s not just one thing and it’s important.