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New councilmembers sworn in

Susan Rohan and Tim Herman join Roseville City Council; Pauline Roccucci becomes mayor
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Two long-term Roseville politicians passed the torch to new city councilmembers during a swearing-in ceremony Thursday at Civic Center. Former mayor Gina Garbolino and former councilman Jim Gray, both termed out, bid farewell to public office, promising they would continue to find ways to stay involved with civic affairs. Susan Rohan and Tim Herman became members of the City Council. As the top vote getter in the Nov. 2 election with 33.6 percent, Rohan is now vice mayor. Herman earned 18.6 percent of the vote. Pauline Roccucci was sworn in as mayor and will serve in this role for two years. Gray, a Grass Valley native who moved to Roseville in 1966, served the city for three decades, beginning with an appointment to the Roseville Parks and Recreation Commission in 1977. Nearly 20 years later, he joined the council as an appointee and was later elected. “This afternoon is a time of beginnings, not endings,” Gray said Thursday to a packed house of friends, family, city employees and residents. He went through a laundry list of people who influenced and helped him, including veteran Parks and Recreation Director Ed Mahany, who he called “one of the original visionaries of the city.” Garbolino, a Netherlands native who moved to Roseville 42 years ago, began her service in 1985 as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner. She served as mayor twice, starting in 2004 and 2008, and sat on the council for 10 years. “It’s more bittersweet than I expected,” she said Monday, of leaving office. As she held back tears during the swearing-in ceremony, she expressed gratitude to those who supported her through the years, beginning with Roseville residents. “Thank you very, very much for letting me serve in this capacity,” Garbolino said. “I also want to thank them for the calls, the e-mails, the letters, the discussions we’ve had in either public forums or the grocery store. Because all those comments helped me very much in the decision process.” Garbolino plans to continue her involvement with the Roseville Chamber of Commerce — she’s been a member for more than 25 years — and local nonprofit organizations, but will not run for public office again, she said. “Who knows what else will come about?” Garbolino said Monday. “I’m open to other opportunities.” After being sworn in Thursday, Herman thanked his wife, Pam, for her tireless precinct walking and daughter Joceline for her political advice. She interned on his campaign. “The most enjoyable part of the campaign was being able to sit down with my daughter at 10 o’clock at night and have her tell me what to do,” he said. He promised to work “diligently and hopefully efficiently” to improve Roseville. Rohan, a 20-year Roseville resident, offered some cautionary words. “It’s going to be a very exciting time,” she said. “I don’t think any of us can forget that there’s an elephant in the room and that’s the economy. We have a lot of hard work to do.” They join Carol Garcia and John Allard on the council, but that may change soon as Allard plans to run for state Assemblyman Ted Gaines’ seat should Gaines win a runoff election in January for a state Senate seat. If Allard wins, the council will appoint a replacement. After being sworn in, Mayor Roccucci listed her priorities — public safety, parks, libraries, low electricity and water rates, increased communication with residents, redevelopment of older areas and filling empty buildings before building new ones. She previously served as mayor from 1989 to 1991. In recent years, she has commonly been the council’s lone dissenting vote. “It’s been 21 years since I was last sworn in as your mayor and many things have changed during that time,” Roccucci said. “But one thing hasn’t changed and that’s my pledge to continue to work and provide a high quality of affordable services and utilities that you’ve come to expect.” Once Rohan becomes mayor in 2012, she will be the third woman in a row to fill the top council job — a first in Roseville’s history, confirmed city spokeswoman Megan MacPherson. The recent election marked another first as an openly gay man, Larson, ran for Roseville’s city council. “One’s sexual orientation is not a condition or qualification to serve on a committee, commission or in elected office,” Larson said Monday. “I have never held an agenda on this issue.” Larson moved here in 2001 with his spouse, Brad, and immediately got involved in community projects. Larson received 13.8 percent of the votes — finishing in fourth place — and attended Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony. “The experience to run for City Council was largely positive and I am grateful for the votes of confidence I have received,” Larson said. “Susan Rohan and Tim Herman are both very qualified professionals and will represent our city well. They stayed on message, did not involve themselves in partisan efforts and campaigned with integrity.” During the ceremony, Gray offered some words of advice to these incoming public servants. “I’m confident you will do well, I know you will do well,” he said. “I ask for you to remember what I think is the mantra of the Roseville City Council and that is always to do what is right for the people of Roseville.” Garbolino refrained from giving advice to the two councilmembers whose candidacies she endorsed. “Tim and Susan are remarkable people and both have been part of the community for a very long time,” Garbolino said Monday. “They are fully capable of doing what they need to do, and doing it their way.” Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.