Before I tell you my experience with our Folsom community, I want to publicly thank Ernie Sheldon, Folsom vice mayor, for his public call to residents like me to wake up. I admit I was not really aware of what was happening in our town until my family had a bad experience in Folsom that caused stress and sadness. And, now, after some time has passed, I can finally articulate the events to you, so others like me hopefully will not have to experience what my family endured.
My family has experienced the following: My daughter was kicked off a local year-around swim team that rents out the Folsom Aquatic Center. A particular board member had so much power and lack of concern to hurt an 11-year-old child. The board member, through the use of his power, decided it was his right to use his power this way even though my daughter did nothing wrong. His influence was so powerful that board members went along with his motion, including his directive to me: "You better not tell anyone, and tread lightly." Lucky for my daughter and me, one board member took corrective action after realizing that the explanation as to why my daughter should be kicked off the team was all a lie.
The board member who spoke out against the injustice experienced the same retaliation I experienced, but the board member was able -- despite the meanness – to meet with me an apologize for the injustice my family experienced.
After my family experienced this horrible situation, the culture of the swim club did not improve; in fact, it worsened. There was a plea to the City Council (Folsom subsidizes the public pool used by this swim club), but the Folsom City Council did not seem too concerned (except for Ernie Sheldon). The Folsom City Council assigned a mediator to the situation, although he had no experience.
Fast-forward to today. Since my family's bad experience, more families have experienced unpleasant experiences from this team. You are probably asking why I am speaking up now. I recently attended a Folsom City Council meeting. I was informed that the swim club that inflicted so much stress on my family and other families is better now. My jaw dropped. I quickly responded that the person who caused direct harm to my 11-year-old daughter is still on the board, so I do not believe the situation is better.
After I read Ernie Sheldon's article "Wake up, Folsom; take your town back," I am inspired to speak up now. My daughter is a resident of Folsom and should be able to swim in her community and know that adults will not bring harm to her. So I am asking residents like yourself to take a second look at our town.
Are our social needs being addressed? My family says "no." I am hoping you will make sure that what happened to my daughter and other families does not happen again in our town. When I read that “this is one of the best places to live in California to raise a family,” I say, “Sure, when we deal with our social issues; then yes, this statement is true.”