Roger Gaylord: A year in officeBy: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
In the last election, Folsom voted Roger Gaylord onto the Folsom City Council as the newest councilman in eight years. The Telegraph sat down with Gaylord to reflect on the past year.
When Gaylord was first elected, he said he didn’t know what to expect, but once he was settled, he found the process fun and exciting.
“It’s fun to see the opposite side of what you think you know,” he said, “verses all the other angles on the other side that have never been able to see. One of the reasons I wanted to be elected was to kind of open that up so folks could see all the different things that make up a decision within a councilmember’s role.”
Gaylord said he hopes to continue to get better at this.
Among many highlights throughout the last year, Gaylord said the biggest has been going to events to support locals as a representative of the City of Folsom.
“Just being there to support an event, or a resident, a cub scout, a boy scout, or anything, it’s exciting,” he said. “I also really enjoy talking with folks about their concerns, their life stories, getting to know them. Another thing is seeing people who are still excited when they hear that I won because I still run into people don’t know.”
When Gaylord was campaigning, his three key things he wanted to make sure were done right and controlled were development, homelessness, and traffic.
“At this point there are still a lot of legacy decisions that have already been made, so I’m excited to see what 2018 will turn out,” Gaylord said.
Another topic Gaylord felt strongly about was social media and transparency. He said he wanted to introduce a new way of thinking and show residents everything like an open book. He wants everything to be in one place and be readily accessible for everyone without hunting for it. Gaylord said residents will be able to see a lot of new things coming in 2018.
Being a councilmember is a full time job – on top of the full time job you already have, and Gaylord learn that quickly.
“It’s really easy to do very minimal, and it’s really easy to do too much. I need to find the right amount of everything,” he said. “I am very eager to dip my thinking and my saying into something that I don’t necessarily know everything about, or anything about. I need to rely on my thought process with things that I understand and know, and then on the back end, learn things I still don’t know.”
Gaylord may have campaigned for his seat for multiple years, but he is new to the political game still and said he is always learning everyday.
“It’s a sponge in water-type-thing – a lot of information and you want to soak it all up,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely rewarding. I am doing things I have never done before – an example is budgeting this massive, and speaking to folks who have millions of dollars invested in a project who want to know what your opinion is on it.”
While there have been many ups and downs, Gaylord said he doesn’t regret anything.
“I use the term ‘flawesome.’ Flaws are awesome. Everyone has them and if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you don’t really learn anything,” he said. “There are things I wish I did a little better, but everything happens for a reason, and either I learned or it was a benefit.”
When asked what his favorite thing about being on the council was, he said all of it.
“The whole thing. There are so many things I love about it,” he said. “I don’t think I could pick one certain thing, but the excitement of doing new things because every day there is something new.”