John Arnaz Talks About His Candidacy For Folsom City Council

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How long have you lived in the Folsom Area?

I have lived in Folsom continuously since 1990.

How are you involved in the Folsom community?

I currently serve on the Folsom Planning Commission and have for approximately 6 years. Two seats on the Historic District Commission are filled by Planning Commissioners who volunteer for these positions. Because of my passion for the Historic District I have also served as a Historic District Commissioner for the past 4 years, including serving as Chairman for 1 year.

Why are you running for council?

I am running solely to give to my community and not for any future aspirations. Over the last few years Folsom has routinely come up on several lists as one of the top places to live in America. My goal would be to continue this trend as a Councilman. As a Planning and Historic District Commissioner I had a hand in many of the things Folsom residents enjoy today.

What qualifies you to run for this office?

My well rounded diversified background, local government experience, and my passion for the City of Folsom make me a well qualified candidate deserving of your vote.

How will Folsom benefit if you are elected?

Folsom will get a hard working public servant who knows that this position is an honor and privilege. I also have been independent on Planning Commission and plan to continue to work hard for Folsom’s citizens. I plan to be responsive to citizen communications.

What are the major issues facing Folsom over the next four years?

There will be 2 issues.

The first issue is traffic mitigation. This is something that needs a constant watch as a change in one part of the City can affect a different area greatly. For instance, Folsom Lake Crossing will be opening in early 2009. How will this affect traffic on Riley and other parts of the Historic District? What new cut through will eager drivers come up with in the Briggs Ranch area?

Second will be the economy. Folsom has already reduced some workforce to mitigate as first step. Folsom has a new Finance director who started this month, so I would seek information as to the health of our budget and its current status once elected. A top priority would need to be Public Safety and not losing any of the gains made in recent years in service levels.

What issues need to be addressed immediately?

The 2 issues above should be addressed as a top priority.

Where do you stand on expansion south of Highway 50?

My stance would be that growth in the Greater Sacramento area is inevitable and that Folsom should control the area south of 50 that is near us. This is the #1 feedback from voters I speak with. What would it look like? Measure W which was overwhelmingly passed in 2004 gives guidelines on water supply, transportation, open space requirements, schools, EIR, and the overall blueprint for development. I would also like to see Light Rail added along this corridor to serve the area in any future plan. Historic Folsom station use is much more than predicted and geographically it makes sense to use the 50 corridor.

What is your opinion of infill?

I have supported infill projects as a Planning Commissioner and intend to continue as a Councilman. Because infrastructure is in place already, infill projects place less of a burden on City Services than expanding outward would.

The Railroad Block is good example of both infill and redevelopment in the same area. It’s convenient to use Light Rail, has a mixed use component, and easy access to the American River Bike trail.

What is your opinion of commercial development?

Commercial Development in Folsom is almost full due to build out or approved projects waiting to build. One item that needs to be addressed is balance of Industrial vs. Retail zoning. We need to keep an appropriate percentage of parcels in Industrial zoning. The reason for this is we need higher paying skilled jobs vs. retail type jobs so more people who work in Folsom can also live here. Folsom is a great place to live, we can make it a great place to work also.

What is your opinion of low income housing?

As a current Planning Commissioner I can tell you that CA state law requires Folsom to provide for the needs of all. The City of Folsom was sued and had to come into compliance in the last few years. The current housing market correction will provide more housing opportunities at market rate than Folsom has had in a long time.

Are there underserved areas in Folsom need attention?

Historic District was long underserved, but now is going through revitalization finally. Central District is also undergoing some infrastructure upgrades at this time. Empire Ranch should at least have a temporary Fire Station to serve the area due to response times and the fact that the staffing is already available.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.