Folsom City Council returned to City Hall after a brief break Tuesday to resume its regular meeting schedule. During Tuesday’s meeting, a number of resolutions were reviewed and approved, including the approval of Tesla electric vehicles to the Folsom Police fleet and a salary increase for the Folsom City Manager position.

During Tuesday’s consent calendar the City of Folsom took a step forward helping its Police Department become more emission friendly as they approved the purchase of the department’s first zero-emission electric vehicles. At the request of Folsom Police Chief Rick Hillman, the city will purchase two Tesla vehicles for an amount of $108,838.28, which falls into the department budget of $500,000 for police vehicles. 


The cost of the vehicles is comparable to that of the traditional Ford Explorers the department utilizes but are deemed to be more cost efficient when it comes to maintenance and fuel. According to city staff, Tesla is becoming an industry standard for many law enforcement agencies in California. The Folsom Police Department currently has several hybrid patrol units, this will be the first addition of all electric vehicles to its fleet.  One of the new vehicles will be used as a regular patrol car, the other will be used by a community service officer.

One of the lengthier discussions Tuesday was the final agenda item of the night, which was to execute an amendment to the employment agreement for the city manager position. The amendment called for a 10% salary increase. The City Manager’s current base annual salary is $263,681. The amendment adjusts the base compensation to $290,050 per year.


The proposed increase in compensation follows a pair of previous years in which Andersen declined a scheduled salary increase due fiscal challenges that the city was facing at the time. Those years were in 2020 during the pandemic, followed by 2022 as the city was still in the wake of the financial wrath COVID-19 wreaked.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Councilmember Anna Rohrbough opened the discussion on the proposed salary increase, motioning that it be adjusted to the standard 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) that has been applied to other city salaries over recent months rather than 10%.


“Based on our discussion in closed session, the contracts that have been passed for our employees the past handful of years and the comments from our city staff and the majority of this council, I believe that it would be fair and equitable to offer a COLA adjustment of 3%, not 10%,” said Rohrbough. “It has been said many times from this council, our finance director and the city manager herself that we can’t afford to pay more.  So, in light of all the evidence presented by the city and supported by the majority of this council in the past. I believe it would be fiscally irresponsible to accept the 10% increase in pay that would raise the salary and benefits close to $40k every year.”


As council voted on the motion, Folsom Mayor Rosario Rodriguez along with Council Members Sarah Aquino and Mike Kozlowski voted against the motion to lower the increase to 3%. Aquino then motioned to move ahead with the vote on the original increase of 10%.  Before moving forward with the vote, Rohrbough noted that anything above the 3% COLA amount would be based on merit, she looked to council as to what that merit would entail. 

Aquino then noted that the majority of Andersen’s term as city manager has been during the most challenging times the city had ever experienced with the pandemic. She also noted that Folsom was the one city in the region that managed to keep the doors open on city hall to serve residents during the challenges of COVID-19, she attributed that feat to Andersen’s leadership, noting again that she declined pay raises at that time and in 2022. 


Rodriguez joined in the discussion with her support for the increase of 10%. The mayor noted that due to Andersen declining the previous two pay increases in tough times it puts her salary within single digits above the other highest paid city executives, even though she carries much more responsibility managing the entire city. She noted that the 10% brings the city manager salary close to where it would be had they done three consecutive COLA increases over the last three years. 

“By bringing Mrs. Anderson up to the level where she would have been had she taken then increases back in 2020 and 2022 she will be much more aligned appropriately to other comparable cities,” said Rodriquez. “Mrs. Anderson has higher years of service than the current comparison who is a male. When I looked at a ranking throughout the county, I looked at male vs. female and women are still making $.82 to the dollar for every man. Anyone who has ever managed others, knows that when you, as a manager, are not being compensated much more than your employees that it can feel very demoralizing. It would not be right for us to allow that to happen in our own city.”

Chalamcherla, who also opposed the 10% increase, joined in the discussion as well. The vice mayor shared his appreciation for Andersen’s work and the fact she declined raises in times when the city was challenged and any were suffering from the financial impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. He also noted that those increases were declined and not differed. 

During the discussion, Andersen spoke to clarify that she has not requested any increase in compensation and expressed her appreciation for the council’s intent. She also noted that the two previous times she declined a raise that it was never intended by her to be differed, but rather, declined at those current times when the city was facing many challenges. 

Following the discussion, council voted on the original proposal for a 10% increase, The motion passed 3-2 with Rodriguez, Aquino and Kozlowski in favor of it while Rohrbough and Chalmcherla remained opposed.

Looking at budget, homeless issues ahead

Tuesday’s meeting concluded with requests for future agenda items. Rodriguez requested that the topic of the city’s future budget deficit be brought to future agendas so council can fulling review and study options to address the challenges the city is forecast to face in the future. Rohrbough requested that the city’s homeless situation be brought to a future agenda to review current data in order for council and the community to address future issues.

Construction projects, Community Service day ahead

In Andersen’s City Manager report she noted the many construction projects that are underway in the city. Among those is the safety improvements on Folsom Lake Crossing that include a median barrier and the application of friction improvements to the surface of the roadway that has had many serious and fatal accidents over the years. She also noted that a barrier is scheduled to be installed in the next week on Folsom Auburn Road from Pinebrook Drive to Folsom Dam Road where many collisions have occurred. 

Anderson also mentioned the upcoming Folsom Community Service Day on September 16 is still in need of approximately 1000 volunteers who are urged to visit the city website for project details and to sign up. 

Assemblyman Hoover presents $425K grant funds check

Tuesday’s meeting began with Assemblyman and Folsom resident Joshua Hoover presenting a check in the amount of $425,000 that will go towards the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience.

As reported by Folsom Times back on July 11, the local assemblyman secured the funding as Folsom Parks & Recreation is continuing to fundraise to install a world-class linear public art experience that will celebrate and honor the legendary Johnny Cash, his music, and his strong connection to the City of Folsom. As part of the public art project, installments at the beginning and end of the trail will feature “Cash’s Pick”, 7 foot tall bronze guitar picks. The funding secured by Assemblyman Hoover will be used for the design and fabrication of Cash’s Pick No. 2. The first pick is currently slated to be installed by early 2024.

“I am excited to announce significant state funding for the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience in Folsom,” said Assemblyman Hoover. “These investments will be an amazing benefit for the residents in our community and will bring this amazing city landmark one step closer to fruition for visitors to enjoy.”

“The City of Folsom extends its heartfelt gratitude to Assemblyman Josh Hoover for securing substantial state funding to bolster the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience”, said City of Folsom Mayor Rosario Rodriguez in a previous statement on the grant funding. “This remarkable contribution will financially support Cash’s Pick No. 2, marking a significant milestone in the city’s efforts to install a world-class public art experience to celebrate and honor the legendary Johnny Cash, his music, and his connection to the City of Folsom. 

To read the complete story on the grant funding, visit the original July 11 Folsom Times article here.

Those wishing to watch Tuesday’s entire meeting can view it ON DEMAND HERE.