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2014 Election

Council incumbents and challengers look back -- and ahead

By: Dennis Noone of The Telegraph
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The Folsom Telegraph asked the seven candidates for City Council for their reactions to the election results of Nov. 4, in which Mayor Kerri Howell and council members Andy Morin and Steve Miklos won re-election over challengers Roger Gaylord, Jennifer Lane, Sandra Lunceford and Chad Vander Veen. Gaylord, Lane and Vander Veen chose to write guest columns, which appear on Page A4. Here are the questions and answers from Howell, Morin and Lunceford; Miklos did not respond.

What was your reaction when you saw the final results? Were you surprised?

Kerri Howell: I’m just pleased that people bothered to get out and vote – they bothered to become informed before they voted.

Andy Morin: I had two reactions. First, that I appear to be “Mr. Second Place.” I finished second in this and my previous City Council campaigns. My second reaction was that I would once again have the privilege of serving Folsom as a council member, as opposed to having significantly more free time during the next four years.

Sandra Lunceford: I was not really surprised with the results; however, I was extremely honored by those who voted for me. It is very difficult to unseat incumbents, especially when they are handsomely financed by BizPAC. Despite the odds, it was humbling to know that over 3,000 voters believed in what I stood for.  What was a surprise is how well boosting Facebook posts work.

What message do you have for voters (those who voted for you as well as those who didn’t)? 

Howell: I really think the vast majority of people are happy and know the amount of effort and hard work that the council puts in.

Morin: Simply to assure everyone that I will continue to work diligently locally and regionally to preserve and enhance our quality of life.

Lunceford: I hope every one recognizes that Folsom has the best history in the state of California. I encourage everyone to experience the many historic milestones here in Folsom. Once you do, you will realize that we can harness those assets and make them work for us by transforming Folsom into a historic tourist destination. If we go one step further and locate historically themed businesses (similar to Old Sac) that give tourists something more to do while visiting the historic district, we generate revenue for our City. I want to thank everyone who voted for me for seeing the value of turning the historic district into the heart of Folsom and circulating the Folsom Stagelines from Old Folsom to everything that is good in Folsom, i.e., the Palladio, the college, Broadstone, and the neighborhoods. This plan unifies Folsom residents into a family-friendly community.  We need to think ahead to the time when we are built out and cannot depend on property taxes to fill our city’s coffers. We need to start the transformation now, so that the city can build up its shrunken financial reserves rather than depend on building south of Highway 50.

What message do you have for the challengers who were not elected?

Howell: Thank you to the people who supported the incumbents, and thanks to the challengers who were willing to step up (and stand for election).

Morin: I ran unsuccessfully for school board in 2000, so I am familiar with the anxiety and then the sting. Keep up your passion for Folsom. Folsom is better for their efforts. Chad, Roger, Jennifer and Sandra all ran credible, energetic campaigns. I am not sure if they have plans for future council runs, but I am sure they will stay informed, stay involved and stay in
Folsom.

What message do you have for the incumbents?

Lunceford: While knocking on doors I ran into a lot of disgruntled residents who were not happy about City Council decisions or didn’t understand them.  I believe the city charter grants the council a lot of power that is unclear to current residents. I am open to looking into the charter to identify areas that may need improvement. Secondly, I am open to help out in any way I can in improving the Historic District’s appeal to out-of-towners or our own community. Lastly, please be prudent with our water resources
and ensure sustainability for our current residents before extending the limited supply to non-existent residents.