A Letter From Our President
To Whom It May Concern,
On August 8th, 2018, The Folsom Police Officers’ Association (FPOA), in conjunction with the Folsom Fire Fighter’s Association (Local 522), conducted interviews with six of the 12 candidates running for 2018 Folsom City Council. Our Associations came together at this time in an effort to make a Public Safety endorsement, and in doing so, make our voices stronger. These six candidates were interviewed because they actively sought an endorsement from our associations, some as early as January of this year. At the conclusion of these interviews, the FPOA and Local 522 boards deliberated and ultimately voted to endorse, Kerri Howell, Sarah Aquino, and Mike Kozlowski. These three candidates were chosen by us because we felt they were most closely aligned with our vision for the safety needs of our City, as we move into the future with the expansion and growth, south of Highway 50.
As noted above, this process and decision to endorse took place more than a week before the Folsom Chamber of Commerce hosted their candidate forum at the Harris Center and before they made their subsequent endorsements. If you’ve been following these three candidates closely, you most likely noticed that they were using our endorsement (on their websites or Facebook pages) prior to receiving the endorsement from the Chamber. On September 30th, 2018, the FPOA posted to our Union Facebook Page, the three candidates we’ve endorsed for the 2018 Folsom City Council race. Our public announcement did come after the forum took place, however, let me be clear when I say, the decision to endorse these three candidates was ours and ours alone.
Over the past several days, social media has run rampant with a flood of negative comments aimed at the FPOA and Local 522. It has been suggested that the FPOA not only gave these candidates our endorsement, but also donated to their cause. Please note that to date, the FPOA has donated exactly $0.00 to any of these candidate’s campaigns. We simply gave them permission to use our brand, logo, etc., in support of our endorsement of their individual campaigns. I have read numerous social media comments wrought with misinformation, lies and conspiracy theories; accusations of a “good ol’ boy” system, dirty politics, the forming of a coalition, people “calling us out” and worse. While some people have chosen to cast aspersions regarding our endorsements and suggest that we are somehow in the pockets of developers and the like, these accusations are simply not true. As a labor union, we have as much right to endorse a candidate running for office as anyone else. And similar to other prominent individuals who’ve chosen to publicly endorse a particular candidate or candidates, we are not required to interview each and every candidate prior to publicly endorsing anyone.
The men and women of the Folsom Police Officers’ Association are not a “Special Interest Group.” We are a group of professionals who work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide the very best police service to the people of our city. We are honored that the City of Folsom is ranked as one of the safest cities in California. We take pride in the work we do and we are loyal to the community in which we serve; the same community many of us call home. We have not and will not, participate in inflammatory speech or negative campaign rhetoric against any candidate. To do so would be irresponsible, unproductive and quite frankly, immature.
Regardless of who wins the 2018 race for Folsom City Council, we look forward to working with them in their new role and we wish all of the candidates the very of best of luck in this endeavor.
Jake VerHalen, President
Folsom Police Officers’ Association
To view the official letter, click here.