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Editor's View: City salaries are up for all to see

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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It’s refreshing to cover a city so open about its policies and finances. When the Telegraph started delving into the pay for city department heads, the information wasn’t difficult to find. In fact, after what happened in Bell, the city management team decided to be proactive and post the salaries online. After some more questions regarding whether the figures included “total” compensation, they added that information as well. “Our salaries are all in line with other cities of comparable size,” said Sue Ryan, the city’s public information officer. “The salaries are all public information.” But, what about the average worker in the city? “The salary schedules have been up (online) for years,” Ryan said. And here I was prepared to file formal requests, get into scraps with bureaucrats and fight to get the information for our readers. It’s much easier to click a button on a keyboard than to go through all that. The city has also implemented a two-tiered pension system for all new hires. According to city councilman Steve Miklos, the city is only running a 20-percent unfunded pension system, which is much better than most other municipalities. As new hires begin to replace longer-term employees, that figure will drop. Fall is in the air The Folsom Historic District Ice Rink should return. Located near the Railroad Turntable between Sutter and Leidesdorff streets, the ice rink proved popular when it made its chilly debut two years ago. The scheduled opening date is Nov. 5. The Folsom Historical Society turns 50 years old and the Wells Fargo Building, also on Sutter Street, turns 150. To mark the occasion, the Folsom History Museum, 823 Sutter St., is hosting an anniversary party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15. I hear Artie Davies will be on hand and Mayor Jeff Starsky might be in attendance as well. Night of 1,000 Pumpkins hits Sutter Street at 6 p.m. Oct. 29. Expect to see plenty of jack-o-lanterns lining the street. The event will also feature a pumpkin-carving contest, trick-or-treating for the kids and more. Also that evening, zombies may be making an appearance as they shuffle off light rail’s last ride of the evening. The Zombie Train begins in Sacramento at 6:28 p.m. and those in zombie costumes are welcome to join the fun along the route until the train ends in Folsom at 7:23 p.m. Since it’s the last train of the night, zombies will need to find another way to shuffle on home. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, Fall Fest returns. This big bash features entertainment, activities, demonstrations, soup and chili cook-off, scarecrow contest, trick-or-treating, costume contest and plenty more. For more information, visit historicfolsom.org. Telegraph happenings I’ll be speaking at the Folsom Rotary Club Thursday evening. The group meets at Lew Howard Park. My topic will be “The Role of Community Newspapers in the Digital Age.” If you’d like to learn a bit more about this, friend Folsom Telegraph on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. Those are just two good examples of how newspapers have changed over the last few years. We are reaching more readers now than ever before. Cindy Baker, with the Murer House Foundation, recently showed me around the historic home of Joe Murer. Look for a story in next week's paper. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. He can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.