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City Scene: City leader outlines 'core values'

By: Evert Palmer, Folsom City Manager
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I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to serve as Folsom’s city manager. I assumed this position just six weeks ago, after working at the city for 15 years in various management positions, including five years as assistant city manager. As I begin my career as city manager, I reflect on the principles and values that guide our city team, and I would like to share these reflections with you. The city’s long-standing “core values” of integrity, professionalism, teamwork, trust and respect, innovation and workplace of choice are important to me and provide guidance to all city employees. In addition to those values, and the Golden Rule that my mother taught me many years ago, I also embrace the following principles that guide and motivate me each day. First is performance. I strive to perform at the highest level, through hard work and unyielding commitment. I will continue to dedicate myself to serving our citizens and employees to the best of my ability, and to support city staff in being the best they can be. Second is integrity. I value the importance of adhering to a strict moral and ethical code, to be honest and to work proactively to do the right thing. Third is compassion. I expect the best from myself and from the city’s employees, and while I focus on results, I know that demonstrating compassion as we serve our citizens is also highly important. I believe city government should be results-driven, but people-centered. Fourth is optimism. Maintaining optimism in the face of the current onslaught of negative economic headlines is challenging. However, I believe that if we take an optimistic approach and look at the positives, it helps us find a way to a solution. Positive perspectives create opportunities. Last is service. I lead an organization that is in the business of serving our community. While working efficiently is important, we must also realize that focusing on efficiency is not always the answer. For example, we could have constructed the Historic Sutter Street Revitalization Project faster using more efficient construction techniques. However, the resulting negative impacts may have led to the closure of many Historic District businesses, negating the purpose of the revitalization project. City government is in the business of building community. Citizens often tell me that what they most love about Folsom is our small town feel, that sense of community and belonging. We have outstanding neighborhoods, beautiful parks, excellent schools and so much more. All of these components combine to create a remarkable community, and I take great pride in being one of many community leaders responsible for making positive contributions. Folsom’s unique special events contribute to our sense of community. I hope to see many of you at the Historic District Tree Lighting on Friday night, and at the second Wild Nights and Holiday Lights at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary beginning Dec. 3. I welcome your comments at epalmer@folsom.ca.us. Evert Palmer is the city manager for Folsom. His column publishes the last week of every month.