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Council candidates have different views on issues

By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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In just a few weeks Roseville voters will cast their ballots for their choice of candidates for the city council. There are three spots available that will make up the five-person panel. The candidates include: The priorities Rene Aguilera has as a candidate for Roseville City Council include developing creative and workable plans for youth, families and seniors around entertainment, culture, public art and railroad heritage projects. He stresses the importance of a balanced city budget and an update of the city’s general plan that would enhance the quality of life, business interests and green guidelines for all. “I will bring a fresh face to the council,” he said. “I’m a proven leader. I come from the grass roots, a community-folks person who is interested in servicing our neighborhoods.” Aguilera said he is interested creating more youth commissions and getting more police and firefighters on Roseville’s streets. He’s been a board member of the Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, Crimestoppers and the Roseville Lions Club. If elected, Aguilera said he’s interested in being a “bridge-builder from the community to the council. “I’ve been a community organizer since I was a little kid,” Aguilera said. Even though John Allard has been a member of the Roseville City Council for five years, he is interested in continuing his tenure in order to further the work he has begun. As a former member of the Roseville Chamber of Commerce board of directors and a small business owner himself, Allard said he’s worked to increase Roseville’s attractiveness as a regional job and retail center. “We’re fortunate to have a balanced budget and a fiscally sound city, but with these challenging times, we have to keep tracking revenues closely,” Allard said. Allard’s main concerns are focused on making certain the city’s transportation system can accommodate Roseville’s increased population, continuing the local bike trail system, providing a high quality parks and recreation department and the revitalization of the city’s downtown area. “I want to keep Roseville a top-quality place to live and I want to make sure the community’s voice is heard,” he said. Sam Cannon has lived in Roseville for about 10 years. He said he moved to the area from San Diego after what realizing that Roseville stood out in his mind in terms of planning and progressiveness. “It is a forward-thinking area,” he said. Cannon said he made his decision to run for city council because of his commitment to be a part of local government, the schools and public safety. His occupation as a legislative director has allowed Cannon the opportunity to work on behalf of cities and counties. As a Roseville planning commissioner he said he has fought for “smart growth, worked to restore historic Roseville and helped to create jobs.” In addition Cannon said he pushed to create local energy independence and has advocated using recycled water for golf courses and public parks. Cannon has also been the president of his homeowners’ association in his Diamond Creek neighborhood. Cannon is concerned with ensuring the high standards already in place in regards to Roseville’s public safety, which he said is related to the economy. “With a recessed economy there is sometimes an increase in crime,” he said. “I want to make sure our commitment to public safety is maintained. We need to continue to be a job center for our citizens. I want to make sure our police officers and firefighters are happy in their jobs and that they have incentives to stay here.” As a fifth generation Roseville resident, Carol Garcia is proud of her roots in the local community as a volunteer on countless commissions and committees as well as her career in community banking. “I want to run for a position on the city council because I have a passion for the community,” Garcia said. “I want to play a part in the future of Roseville and help to make a difference for the city and its residents.” For Garcia the challenges for the city in the months ahead include keeping an eye on the city budget, especially in tough economic times the country is currently facing. She is proud of the balanced budget the city has in place. Garcia is also concerned about dealing with a number of specific plans of several proposed neighborhoods. “Citizens need to know how much bigger our city will get,” she said. “We don’t want to jeopardize what we have here.” In addition to her work with city government and committees, Garcia is also the founder and current chair of the South Placer UC Davis Breast Cancer Endowment Fund. George Muntean immigrated to the United States from Romania at the age of 23 with a “desire to have a better life and to be free.” He is currently the owner of Muntean’s Boulevard Bistro in Roseville. He said he is interested in serving on the city council in order to learn more about how cities are run. He is concerned about what he calls a lack of consistency in the regulations concerning what type and size of signs businesses in Roseville are able to display. “I had a problem with City Hall, and that is why I’m running,” Muntean said. “I want to help business owners promote their business. If their signs are tasteful, they should be able to stay up.” In addition to running his restaurant Muntean is a volunteer at the Romanian Community Center in Sacramento where he helps immigrants from his homeland get adjusted to life in the U.S. Besides working on the city’s sign ordinances, Muntean said he is also interested in the planning process to ensure new neighborhoods and commercial areas blend together. He would also like to make sure the city maintains its commitment to public safety and education. A lifelong resident of Roseville, Pauline Roccucci said she feels her past city government experience and fiscally conservative approach to politics will help to maintain Roseville’s sustainability and vitality in the region. Roccucci’s priorities include maintaining the city’s safety record and the low costs and reliable utilities and services Roseville residents have come to expect. She is interested in providing more opportunities for alternative transportation options such as public transit, bicycling and walking in order to make Roseville a more pedestrian-friendly city. “My passion is having good water, electricity and a healthy community,” Roccucci said. “I’m interested in how things affect people.” She said her career as a nurse for 40 years has taught her how to listen to concerns of people. “I’ve learned from people,” she said. “I’m here to serve the community.” During her past tenure as mayor and councilwoman, Roccucci said she was heavily involved in the city’s planning process. Although no specific plan for any community is set in stone, Roccucci said keeping with original guidelines is important. “The people will always know where I stand,” she said. “People can trust what I say is what will happen.”