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Editor's View: Mayor strips city address to essentials

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Andy Morin kept his State of the City address to the essentials — reforming benefit packages for city employees, redevelopment of the historic district, annexing the area south of Highway 50 and praising the Folsom Bulldogs. The mayor said the city is still negotiating with all the bargaining units regarding retirement benefits and other cost-saving measures. He praised the staff for doing more with less. Morin also stressed the importance of all city employees adopting the changes to the retirement system to keep the city in the black. He said city staff, compared with three years ago, has shrunk by 100 employees and three department heads. Today, the city has 450 employees divided into 11 departments. “In 1976, we had a population of 7,000 with 60 employees,” he said. “That’s one employee for every 116 residents. Today we are one employee for every 142 residents.” He said the comparison shows how much more efficient the city has become. For the Folsom Historic District Revitalization project, he said when the medians and trees were removed; there was apprehension on all sides. “It was a stark contrast, and we were all holding our breath a little bit,” Morin said. He said next up is work on the public plaza area located near the turntable and parking garage. For the city’s annexation plans, he points to the past to reassure residents about the future. “Our last major annexation was 1984 with about 3600 acres, Empire Ranch and Broadstone area,” he said. “That’s about the same size as this annexation.” For the Folsom High Bulldogs and their championship win, Morin said, “We couldn’t have purchased this kind of (positive) public relations.” To show his pride, he shucked off his jacket and tie to reveal a Bulldogs T-shirt. You could say I suffer for my job. I’ve seen Morin do this twice — once at the Jan. 25 City Council meeting and again at the Folsom Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Jan. 27, where I was armed with a camera and notepad. Odds and ends The Folsom Cordova Unified School District is holding a parent information meeting on what they call The Gateway Academy for Advanced Learning. According to the district, it is “a public school magnet program providing academic rigor and challenge to motivated GATE and other high achieving students in (the district).” The program is located at Theodore Judah Elementary in Folsom for grades first through fifth. To attend the meeting, stop by Cordova Lane Center in Rancho Cordova at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 and Feb. 17. In Folsom, the next meeting is 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Theodore Judah Elementary in the multipurpose room. For more, call the district at (916) 355-1100, ext. 112, or visit fcusd.org/gate. Don Chaddock can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.