Rosemary Younts Talks About Her Candidacy For Folsom City Council

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How long have you lived in Folsom area?

I first moved to the area in the mid-1960s, when I was in the fifth grade. During those early years, I lived in El Dorado Hills before moving to Folsom. I began my first career at age 17 as a reporter for the Folsom Telegraph, where I later served as editor. Over the years, I have always played an active role in the community. I left the Telegraph and joined GenCorp/Aerojet in 1983. While with GenCorp, I spent three years in Mississippi (1990-1992) and the next seven in Ohio. It was nice to be able to return home to Folsom in 1999!

How are you involved in the Folsom Community?

Currently, I am the second vice chair for the Folsom Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. This is my second term on the chamber board; I served an earlier term while with GenCorp.

I was instrumental in developing the new Folsom Leadership Academy in partnership with Folsom Lake College, where I am a part-time faculty member in the business and communication departments. I now serve as the instructor of the academy, which brings participants together with business, government and community leaders to further their knowledge of Folsom and to develop and fine-tune leadership skills.

I am a member of the Folsom Advisory Council for Seniors, which is made up of community leaders who are concerned about the provision of adequate services for our growing senior citizen population. This will become an increasingly important issue in several years as Folsom’s demographics begin to shift; as Baby Boomers age, our senior citizen population will significantly increase.

My history in Folsom and my current work as head of Mercy Foundation in Folsom has enabled me to develop strong relationships with government, business and civic leaders and organizations.

I am a past board member of the Folsom Lake College Foundation, past chair of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee, and past member of the National Business Roundtable Education Task Force.

What qualifies you to run for this office?

I have 30 years of business experience, serving in various management and leadership positions. I actively serve our community in various capacities and as a result, have gained an in-depth understanding of Folsom and the region – its issues, challenges and opportunities. I have been involved in the local, state and federal government process throughout my career, and have built strong relationships with our representatives at these levels. It is a combination of the above that qualifies me to run for office.

How will Folsom benefit if you are elected?

I will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to our city government process. I value honesty, openness and accountability. Building relationships and consensus are two key strengths. I believe that working together collaboratively and developing strong partnerships results in the best ideas and solutions. I will strive to maintain the quality of life and community spirit that sets our city apart from the rest. I am committed to listening to our citizens, and keeping them informed and involved in the government process.

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

Folsom must stay fiscally healthy during a difficult economic time, while holding to the highest standards of safety, service and education.

We need to take care of our business community. Business retention is a key issue, especially during the downturn and particularly for our small businesses. Attracting new business is important for long-term economic vitality; attention should be given to the clean energy and technology business sectors.

We must make certain that growth is supported by adequate infrastructure, and balanced to prevent compromising the character of our community. Water and traffic/transportation are critical components and we will need to work collaboratively across our region to find long-term viable solutions for both.

We must also begin to address changing demographics to provide for our increasing senior citizen population.

What issues need to be addressed immediately?

All of the above issues require immediate and ongoing attention. Water during the current drought condition is most pressing. If water levels continue to drop, we face the danger of not being able to draw water from Folsom Lake. It would be necessary to begin buying water from other purveyors.

Where do you stand on expansion south of Highway 50?

Projections made in the Sacramento Region Blueprint Project indicate that over the next 50 years, the region will grow by 1.7 million, with 1 million new jobs. With growth inevitable, I am in favor of annexing south of HW 50 property because it will allow us to shape growth in the future. The Blueprint Project has identified this property as one of the best opportunities in the region to make smart land use decisions. We need to insure that we embody the Blueprint principles, including adequate infrastructure, new water sources, alternative methods of transportation, open space, natural resources conservation, quality designs, and balanced mixed-land uses that are phased over time, not overnight. Expansion south of HW 50 cannot be undertaken at the expense of safety, services, education and the quality of life current resident of Folsom enjoy.

What is your opinion of infill?

Folsom does not have a lot of infill property. Regardless, we must be sensitive with any infill project to ensure that it is respectful of, and in keeping with the character of existing neighborhoods.

What is your opinion of commercial development?

The definition of commercial development is extremely broad – office, small retail, big box retail, in-line shopping centers, malls, etc. Our mix of these commercial developments must be balanced, compatible and consistent with the overall character of our city.

What is your opinion of low income housing?

The city has a responsibility to provide housing for all income groups. The provision of affordable housing is a government mandate. There are different levels of “affordable” housing however, and some are not realistically affordable for lower income families. A good example of “affordable” housing is the new Creekview Manor Apartments, which provide low income housing for senior citizens.

Are there underserved areas in Folsom that need attention?

While more affluent than other areas, Folsom does have an underserved population that warrants attention. Nonprofit organizations such as Powerhouse Ministries, the Mercy Free Family healthcare clinic, and Twin Lakes Food Bank play an important role in providing support.

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.