Editor's View: Council hopefuls talk tough on budget

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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There is a lot to cover this week, so let’s get right to it. We go from politics to entertainment to philanthropy, all in one column. Hang on. Local election hits the road The three candidates for the Folsom City Council race took to the capital city for a televised forum Saturday at the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors chambers. I served as a panelist to pose questions to the two incumbents, Jeff Starsky and Ernie Sheldon, along with challenger Roger Gaylord. The three are vying for two seats in the Nov. 6 election. The forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters, will re-air every Sunday at 1:45 p.m. through Nov. 4 on SacMetro Cable Channel 14. Supposedly, you’re also able to watch it online at during that same time (but it is not available to watch as a file download). Some of the questions included financial oversight and the vision for the South of Highway 50 annexation, how the city plans to tackle revitalizing the Central Business District without state assistance and how the candidates plan to implement the need for affordable housing in the city with the elimination of the affordable housing ordinance. They were also asked what they perceive as the biggest challenge facing Folsom. They all said it was financial, by the way. Sheldon said it was about stability. “If we don’t pay attention, we’ll be another Stockton,” Sheldon said. “Financial stability has to be the Number 1 priority in town.” Gaylord said the city’s finances need to be examined, particularly the pay. “Compensation is a huge factor,” said Gaylord. “The city manager makes $200,000-plus while the governor of California makes $170,000.” Starsky said the biggest issue was the budget. “The budget is the big issue,” he said, going on to explain how the council has managed to balance the budget despite the economic downtown and keep open amenities such as parks, libraries, the pool and zoo. I’m not going to re-hash something here in this space that will be airing many more times before the election. To learn more about the league, visit Philanthropic endeavors Lisa Watts, of Folsom, joined Women in Philanthropy six years ago when another member explained the group’s work with foster youth and the many challenges foster youth face in our community. “Being involved with a group of women that share the same concerns and focus on doing something about it is supremely rewarding,” Watts said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about talk. It really does come down to raising enough money to make a difference. These women understand that, and they demand results.” From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., United Way’s 11th annual Women is Philanthropy luncheon will be held at the Crocker Art Museum. The flower-themed event features a fashion show, gourmet lunch and book signing and presentation by Vaness Diffenbaugh, author of “The Language of Flowers.” Tickets are $100. To purchase tickets, visit “Books, art, fashion and food will come together at this beautiful event to raise funds to support local foster youth,” said Watts, chair of United Way’s Women in Philanthropy. “This is such a great opportunity for women to come together and make a difference in our community.” Jazz comes to Three Stages Lastly, the lovely Lynda Clayton wants to be sure people know about “An Incredible Evening with Euge Groove,” happening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct., 12, at Three Stages, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. Steve Grove, aka Euge Groove, has spent most of his 50 years making music and captivating audiences through the sweet sounds of his beloved saxophone. According to Clayton, he’s arguably one of the top 10 “contemporary jazz” sax players of the past decade. Usually he performs once each year in Sacramento, but for the first time, this year he will be bringing his talented troupe to Three Stages. For tickets and prices, visit