Monday Aug 16 2010
Larson wants to 'give back' to the community
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
Roseville Planning Commissioner David Larson seeks a seat on the City Council
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of Press Tribune profiles of the six candidates for Roseville City Council. Future profiles can be found in Wednesday print editions and all profiles will be available online at www.rosevillept.com. ---------- David Larson isn’t afraid to gush. As he stood in the Project Play playground at Mahany Regional Park in Roseville recently, he commented on the neat cushioned-rubber ground surface, described the sensory toys that kids can touch and expressed gratitude to the two local families instrumental in the development of this universal playground. This adaptive playground is accessible to all children, including those with mental and physical disabilities. While city parks must meet minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this park far exceeds those standards. Project Play features three planned parks throughout the city and Larson volunteered on the project’s committee, helping obtain resources and acting as a community advocate. “That was amazing,” he said. Larson, 46, is running as a candidate for Roseville City Council. He’s up against five other people to fill two vacant seats. The election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 2. Larson, a Roseville Planning Commissioner, says if he is elected, he will work to strengthen the local economy, protect and enhance public safety, manage growth, reduce traffic congestion, increase availability of higher education opportunities, expand outreach programs for seniors and establish a “future community leaders” mentoring program. “I’m very passionate, very committed to everything I do,” Larson said. “It’s not intend or try. Either be fully on board or don’t be involved at all.” He and his spouse moved to Roseville from San Jose in 2001 for the quality of life here. He left a lucrative job as a field sales representative for a software company to start a business from scratch, working as an agent for Farmers Insurance. In those early years, Larson worked long days to make his business successful. The whole time, though, he also dedicated himself to giving back to the community. His third day after starting his insurance agency, he joined the Roseville Chamber of Commerce. Soon after, he joined the chamber’s Revitalization Committee. In addition to his current appointment as a Planning Commissioner, Larson has served on the Roseville Parks and Recreation Commission, Roseville Sustainability Action Committee, March of Dimes and Blue Oaks Neighborhood Association. “I want to give back, it’s that simple,” Larson said. “As a leader, you can sit on the sideline and complain or you can be involved and contribute. And I choose to do just that.” Now he has his sights set on the City Council. If elected, he said he will focus on ways to save jobs and he will work with the city’s economic development team to recruit new employers, especially in the field of green technology. He said he fully supports current efforts to revitalize downtown Roseville in a way that preserves the area’s character, warmth and cultural aspects. If elected, he promises to focus on ways to streamline city practices and achieve more efficiency. Where the budget is concerned, he would consider layoffs and furloughs only as a last resort. “Our No. 1 resource are the employees of Roseville,” Larson said. In the last few years, he’s been building his leadership skills, in part, by graduating from the Roseville Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Roseville program in 2005. To deepen his understanding of city operations and issues, he’s been a regular face at council meetings, budget workshops and commission meetings. “That’s who I am as a leader,” Larson said. “I think it’s important to take on this type of preparation.” Larson calls being a City Council member the “ultimate in customer service,” when done right. He said he’d be available to talk to constituents seven days a week and his job as an insurance agent has made him a committed listener. He has been endorsed by the Roseville Police Association, Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, Roseville Transportation Commission Chair Grace Keller and Roseville Library Board Chairman David Uribe among others. Roseville Parks and Recreation Commissioner John Vertido also endorses Larson. “He’s very much involved in the community and he seems to genuinely care and want to make a difference,” Vertido said. “He comes across as a person of great integrity.” Vertido said Larson was one of the “standout leaders” on Project Play and helped increase awareness and involvement. “He let people know that they’re still children and they need an outlet that allows them to be children.” Vertido said. “I really respect that. He would make a wonderful city leader.” When not working, Larson’s typical weekend getaway is fishing and kayaking on high-elevation lakes in the Sierras — but most of his weekends are now spent walking precincts and interacting with Roseville residents. “(I love) the warmth of the people,” Larson said. “I know all my neighbors. The people are friendly and that’s my greatest experience.” Sena Christian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. ---------- For more information about David Larson’s campaign, visit www.larson4roseville.com. ---------- EDITOR'S NOTE: In the above article, the word "wife" was incorrectly used in the print edition of the Press Tribune and has been corrected online. “Wife” was not the word used by David Larson in the interview. We regret the error.