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Council candidates face off on the issues

Forum finds participants agree on taxes, public safety
By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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Light rail, crime, traffic and the economy were just a few of the topics that were discussed at the Roseville City Council candidate forum held Wednesday at the Martha Riley Community Library. The forum, which included candidates Rene Aguilera, Sam Cannon, George Muntean, Pauline Roccucci and council incumbents John Allard and Carol Garcia was moderated by Kathy Souza, president of the League of Women Voters of Placer County. It included a variety of questions about many topics including one regarding a proposal that would raise the business license fee in an effort to bring more revenue to the city. All candidates agreed this was not a good time to raise fees that would affect business owners. “This is a tremendous disincentive,” said candidate Sam Cannon. “The city needs to be mindful of what the business climate is right now.” “Small business is the engine that drives our economy. I made it clear to staff I would not support this,” Allard added. Candidates were also in agreement about not raising taxes for Roseville residents. “I think we need to look hard at the city budget on a month to month basis,” Roccucci said. “We need to see what money is coming in and what’s going out.” Roccucci said she’s in favor of looking to Roseville city employees to see what ideas they might have to cut expenses. Garcia said she is also opposed to a tax increase during the current economic crisis. “I’m fiscally conservative and I would try to find other revenue sources,” she said. Responding to the question of whether candidates would be tough on crime, all candidates voiced opposition to cutting any part of the city budget related to public safety. “I would be tough on crime,” Aguilera told the crowd. “Roseville residents need to feel safe.” Muntean said he is in favor of making the laws tougher. “Putting more police out on the street doesn’t help,” he said. On the topic of bringing a light rail system to Roseville candidates had a variety of opinions. While they all expressed interest in having a connection to downtown Sacramento, they voiced concern at the cost. During the 1½ hour forum candidates had the opportunity to state the top three priorities they would have if elected to office. For Muntean, security, helping businesses and addressing traffic problems ranked high. Roccucci said her priorities include the health and safety of Roseville residents and the continuation of the city’s planning into the future. Garcia stressed public safety, the maintenance of a fiscally sound budget and traffic. Cannon wants to maintain high-quality water and reliable utilities, keep public safety on the front burner and address traffic as well. Aguilera wants to help out neighborhoods and businesses and keep public safety as a top priority. Allard also stressed the importance of public safety and he said he’s concerned about maintaining a balanced budget and strengthening the local economy. For more information and to view past articles about each candidate and their qualifications and goals, visit www.rosevillept.com and click on the Election ’08 tab.