Council candidates address Historic District residents

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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The Historic Folsom Residents Association hosted “Candidates Night” on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Landmark Baptist Church where those vying for a seat on the Folsom City Council had the opportunity to speak on Historic District topics and concerns.

Glenn Fait, Folsom resident and former Folsom council member, moderated the evening event, asking four questions formulated by residents of the Historic District.

Candidates were given two minutes to answer each question, and questions were rotated back and forth down the row.

The event began with opening remarks and introductions, and then Fait dove right into the questioning.

The first question was based around the parking issue residents are enduring with shoppers and merchant employees parking throughout the residential streets. Each candidate was asked to specify what they would do to alleviate the issue. Some responses included ride-sharing such as Uber and Lyft, permitted parking for residents, utilizing more of the parking structure by the light rail station, more short-period parking on Sutter Street, as well as providing incentives for people not to park in the district at all.

The second question asked how each candidate will address and fix the issue residents are having with the consequences of the late-night bar scene. Issues include excessive noise, littering, vandalism, trespassing and drunk driving. Responses included educating bartenders on how to cut people off when they have had too much to drink, relying on law enforcement, shutting down some of the bars, allowing fewer events to occur on Sutter Street, blocking neighborhood streets with barricades, as well as having a couple police officers walk Sutter Street during weekend bar hours.

The third question was based on development within the Historic District, in relation to a number of projects granted variances for parking, height, setbacks and architecture. Each candidate answered how they would follow the Historic District Development guidelines. Some responses included enforcing rules through city penal codes, following the guidelines, giving more residents notification of projects to be discussed, as well as asking to see more residents be active in speaking up at meetings.

The fourth question asked candidates what each candidate would do with the corporation yard once it is vacant. Some responses included listening to residents and sharing ideas for something everyone can agree on, more access to the river, leaving the wildlife intact, not adding housing or hotels, adding a learning center, as well as adding more trails to have more access to the water.

Once the questioning was completed, the audience was given the opportunity to ask their own questions to the candidates, but no one came forward.

Lastly, each candidate was given the opportunity for closing statements.

Mike Kozlowski was unable to attend the forum due to a prior scheduling commitment.

The full event was live streamed on Facebook by Folsom TV.