Telegraph talks council race: part 5

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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As election and campaign season is underway, the Folsom Telegraph had the opportunity to sit down with each of the 12 candidates running for three open seats on the Folsom City Council.

The Folsom Telegraph will be the community’s trusted source in learning who each candidate is, why they are running, and what their views are on various Folsom topics.

This is the fifth in a 12-part series where two candidates’ question-and-answer interviews will be published per week on various important topics around the Folsom community. Some of the topics asked during each interview include traffic, homelessness, development, social media usage, water, ballot items and more.

In today’s edition, readers can learn the views of Jennifer Lane.


Jennifer Lane, 66, has been a Folsom resident for 38 years. She currently serves as a Folsom Planning Commissioner and is a retired Folsom Cordova Unified School District teacher.

Why are you running for the Folsom City Council?

I’m running for City Council to “Put People Before Politics.” I’ve met many people through my commission experience who want to be heard at council level. I want to be their voice! I want to save the corporation yard from commercialization. I envision a nature center highlighting cultural amenities.

Do you believe there is a traffic problem in Folsom? If so, how would you fix it?

There’s a problem depending on where you are and what time of day. I know the city is working on fixing the issue. Since I’m retired, I have the leisure going when it’s not peak time. I have an outdoor patio at my house on Natoma and Sibley. That intersection is a mess between 7-8:30 a.m. and 4:30-6 p.m., so I live with it. As a planning commissioner, I’ve voted “no” on approving commercial projects that bring large amounts of cars. For example, Quick Quack Car Wash by Costco – 5,000 cars a day. E. Bidwell and Iron Point is the worst intersection right now.

Water supply has been a huge concern throughout the years. If elected, what will you do to address those concerns?

I told developers I voted “no” on their development agreements based on water. I’m comfortable with saying “no” if we have to. I understand they have entitlements, but if there’s no water in the lake, there’s no water. You can’t make water up. We’d have to curve water usage again, and hopefully our new governor will help us with that.

Folsom has some of the best public safety in the region. Do you see any issues going forward? What will you do to alleviate the problem?

I really don’t see much that we’re lacking. Ernie Sheldon is a good friend, and he tells me police and fire have all the toys and gadgets they need. I feel safe. I’ve lived on that busy corner for 34 years, next to a little park, and I’m not at all threatened like I am in Downtown Sacramento.

The City of Folsom annexed the Folsom Plan Area in 2011. What is your view on Folsom’s growth over the next 20-30 years?

When I moved here in 1979-80, we had one stop light. I’m a product of growth. The last 30 years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen exactly what’s going to happen to the other side. Of course, this side was more rock piles and wasn’t quite as beautiful. South of 50 is going to be a beautiful development once it’s done. They have so much open space – one-third of it’ll be saved. There’s nothing we can do to stop it; we have to embrace it. I’ve met with developers about open space on planting pollinators for the bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, opposed to just bushes. They’ve embraced the idea. We can make it as good as we can.

Folsom has seen homelessness increase in recent years. While this topic is very complex, how would you address this issue?

Recently, I went to a HART of Folsom meeting, and I have to say, I didn’t know much about it. I love that they’re attacking the problem and trying to help these people – not just feed them, but get them mental help or a place to stay. There are about 60 homeless people that HART tracks. I asked how many homeless children are there and they said about the same amount. Those children sleep in cars or couch surf. I’m pretty committed. If I don’t win this race, I’m going to help with HART because I like to be involved. I’m so grateful I have what I have.

Social media is a powerful tool. When is the right time to utilize it? When is the wrong time?

I’ve been stung on Folsom Chat, and I got off it for a while, but you have to pay attention to what’s going on. I find that berating or belittling someone is always a negative. My background is in teaching, so bullying is never OK in any forum. I participate now and again when I can answer questions based on my knowledge. People act like they know stuff, but they don’t, so sometimes I set them straight.

What are you opinion on each of the follow ballot items: Prop 10: rent control C: Folsom City Council term limits; D: Folsom campaign contribution limits; E: half-percent sales tax?

I wasn’t for rent control, but I think upping rent at a controlled level is reasonable.
I’m against term limits. I think it should be 12 years. I don’t think 16 years is really a term limit in Folsom.
I don’t know about raising campaign contribution limits. I wouldn’t want to ask my friends for $500. Most of the money I have is from friends, family and the last time I ran. I don’t expect a lot of money, and I don’t want a lot of money. Vote for me for my integrity, not for how many flyers you get.
I’m a signer on the sales tax. If land isn’t made into a park in a certain amount of time, a developer could take the land back. So that’s a no brainer; I believe in finishing the parks. There are 10 parks not started and 10 parks that need tweaks. It’s going to be based on this new council – who’s going to have the integrity to finish the parks. That’s where the money should go first. I understand some will go to the library, some the arts and culture, but Ernie told me no way would it go to raises and pensions.

You are very passionate about what happens with the city’s corporation yard. Could you expand on why this land is important to you?

This is the last piece on Lake Natoma, and we own it. We’re a rich city; we don’t need to sell it. The Councils before had a chance to make it what they wanted. They chose an industrial park. If you work over there, you’re really happy that your job is there. The view shed is the most beautiful. I envision something like Effie Yeaw Nature Center for children and families. If we don’t teach our children the sensitivity of where we live, they’re not going to respect it in the long run. If you teach them, they’ll get it.