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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Local

City of FolsomCandidate for City Council

Photo of Chad Vander Veen

Chad Vander Veen

Marketing Communications Manager
4,259 votes (5.62%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve safety on Folsom streets and school campuses
  • Return vocational education to schools and give kids a voice in Folsom's future
  • Invest in physical and technology infrastructure to meet 21st Century challenges

Experience

Experience

Profession:Marketing and Communications
Marketing and Communications Manager, Purchase Green (2015–current)
Editor, Government Technology Magazine (2005–2015)
Commissioner, Folsom Architectural Review Commission — Appointed position (2006–2008)

Education

University of Redlands Bachelor of Arts, Government (2001)

Community Activities

Board Member, Folsom National Little League (2016–current)
Coach, Folsom National Little League (2012–current)
Coach, Folsom Soccer Club (2012–current)

Biography

I am originally from a small Southern California town called Yucaipa in eastern San Bernardino County. I attended the University of Redlands where I graduated with a degree in government. I moved to Sacramento in 2001 and to Folsom in 2002. My wife and I have been married since 2004 and have two sons, Eoin and Calvin.

 

In 2005 I landed a job in journalism as a staff writer for a magazine called Government Technology. I covered information technology in state and local government across the country. I was fortunate in the position to learn about the many ways local government has succeeded - and failed - in attempts to serve the public. I met with local officials all over the nation. I would ultimately go on to run my own spin off magazine there called FutureStructure. In that magazine we looked into all the ways governments can use technology to build smart cities that would, ideally, better meet the needs of citizens in the future. As editor I got the chance to travel the country speaking to government officials about how city infrastructure, transportation, water, waste and energy systems can all combine with data to help us make better decisions about the building for the 21st Century.

 

In 2015 I left to join a small, family-owned business called Purchase Green. Purchase Green is an artificial grass manufacturer and I serve as the marketing and communications manager.

 

In my spare time I am usually either coaching little league or soccer. I also serve on the board of directors for Folsom National Little League. In the past I served the city of Folsom as a commissioner for the now-defunct Architectural Review Commission.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (1)

  • Roger Gaylord

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am running on a platform I call SKI Folsom - Safety, Kids and Infrastructure.

Let me address safety first. Living in Folsom means you are no doubt familiar with the fact our city has a problem with speeding, on major thoroughfares as well as in residential neighborhoods.

I would like, if elected, to let neighbors decide whether speed control devices are something they want rather than a blanket city policy. I would also like to see a few more strategically placed solar speed signs. Presently those that exist in the city are privately funded. But most importantly we need more police presence in areas of chronic speeding. If elected it will be my priority to work with our new police chief to increase neighborhood traffic patrols to help curb speeding.

Along those same lines - do you ever look around you while you’re at a traffic light? Do you see how many people are on their phones? It’s terrifying. And countless studies show distracted driving is as bad as drunk driving. So why do we treat distracted driving so mildly? As your councilman I will propose a local ordinance that tacks on to state law steep, additional penalties for distracted driving. I believe repeat offenders should face significant fines. The current state penalty, at $25, is completely toothless.

Safety is a serious issue and if you’re a parent - or a human being with a conscience for that matter - the last few years have been horrifying. The school shootings seem like a monthly thing now as if they’re being scheduled. And we’d be fools to think Folsom is somehow immune. I applaud what FCUSD has done so far but I believe much more needs to be done to keep our kids and our teachers safe.

We need to boost police presence on all high school and middle school campuses. And I believe we need it at our elementary schools as well. What I propose is hiring, over the next five years, more officers to serve on Folsom school campuses.

Homelessness is another serious issue Folsom is facing. The entire state is seeing a massive rise in homelessness and no one has a cure all. And that’s because there are so many different reasons for homelessness. But we can not ignore it and hope it will go away. So there are two things I would like to do as your councilman to begin to address homelessness.

The first is I would like to create is a safe, supervised area for temporary homeless sheltering with shower and laundry facilities for those who want to get out of being homeless.

Secondly, as I proposed for school safety, I would like to see establish another city commission, this one on homelessness. This commission would be comprised of representatives from great organizations like HART of Folsom, Twin Lakes Food Bank, Powerhouse Ministries as well as area churches and other organizations. Plus, there would be regular citizen members as well. The commission’s job would be to scour the nation for best practices for addressing homelessness and bring these solutions to the council.

I don’t have all the answers to fixing homelessness - nobody does. But if we don’t start looking it’s only going to worsen.

Now I want to talk more specifically about kids. I’ve addressed school safety and bullying. I really believe it’s vital we give our kids a platform so we can hear from them the issues that they feel are important. That’s why if elected I will propose a quarterly City Council meeting expressly devoted to Folsom kids. These council meetings will be designed to let kids address their city leaders and empower them to speak their minds.

We can also do better about what we’re teaching our kids. The traditional subjects are great but we are sorely lacking in practical education. I don’t think it’s ever been more important that we as a community return vocational education to schools.

Finally, I’d like to talk about infrastructure. We need real infrastructure investments to prepare for the future instead of simply getting by in the present.

That’s why my primary objective on the infrastructure side will be to raise Folsom’s developer impact fees. There are radical changes coming to Folsom thanks to South of 50. Our city is going to be transformed, for better or worse. I believe that those making millions upon millions of dollars turning our open spaces into housing ought to be funding much more of the infrastructure we’ll need to be viable and competitive in the future.

One such project I’d like to pursue is a municipal broadband network, built and operated by the city of Folsom. Not only will a Folsom network be great for citizens, it will be a great economic development tool to attract businesses to relocate here.

Speaking of local businesses and infrastructure, as your councilman I will propose a tax incentive program for local businesses that offer telecommuting to employees. It’s a no-brainer that almost any office job can be done remotely these days - it’s simply antiquated thinking that keeps so many of us in the office 5 days a week. I want to incentivize telecommuting because it will help reduce traffic, it will reduce the number of roadway injuries and fatalities and it will reduce the environmental toll regular commuting takes on our city and our region.

Much of what I am proposing is to help Folsom thrive in the future. We must lay the groundwork now for what we want Folsom to be rather than, some day down the road, wish we would have done something sooner.

 

Videos (1)

An overview of Chad Vander Veen's SKI Folsom (Safety, Kids, Infrastructure) Campaign for Folsom City Council.

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