Monday Aug 23 2010
Rohan vows to 'get back to basics'
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
Roseville Public Utilities Commissioner Susan Rohan seeks a seat on the City Council
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of Press Tribune profiles of the six candidates for Roseville City Council. All profiles will be available online at www.rosevillept.com. ---------- Susan Rohan is ready to get down to business. On a recent morning, Rohan sat at the Perfect Blend coffee shop in Roseville dressed casually in shorts, a polo shirt and sandals. She comes from a corporate background and now dresses up only if she absolutely has to, she said. Besides, this day necessitated the comfortable outfit because Rohan, 59, planned to spend the next several hours walking several miles through neighborhoods as part of her campaign to become a member of Roseville City Council. “I really like this sort of approach,” Rohan said. She’s not a fan of mailers, instead opting for face-to-face interaction with residents. In addition to walking the precincts, she has about 20 meet-and-greets scheduled at people’s houses and local parks. Rohan, a Roseville Public Utilities Commissioner, is running against five other people to fill two vacant council seats. The election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 2. If elected, Rohan promises to work to preserve the “fine qualities” of Roseville, such as the parks, schools, public utilities, youth sports, public safety, shopping and restaurants. She said the core beliefs that would guide her votes include fiscal responsibility and strategic planning, strengthening the local economy and maintaining affordable utilities. She vows to "get back to basics." “I hope I will be responsive to (residents’) needs,” Rohan said. “I have a philosophy on how to perform the role of a councilperson, which is to talk to residents, answer the phone, look into an issue and when approaching a task, know the perspective of the community. It is not our job to be a judge, but to reflect the community.” Raised in a small town in Nebraska, Rohan moved to California more than two decades ago and has lived in Roseville since 1989. Her three children all graduated from Oakmont High School. Prior to starting her own business in the late 1990s, Rohan performed community and government relations for corporate landowners. She worked for Del Webb as vice president of government affairs during the development of Sun City Roseville. She now runs her own part-time consulting business, which provides government relations support for the Placer County Association of Realtors. About a year ago, Rohan decided to run for City Council. “It’s a wonderful time in my life and I have the opportunity now to spend more time in public service,” she said. But civic involvement is nothing new to Rohan. She served five years as a City of Roseville Grants Advisory Commissioner, and she served as a Roseville Charter Review Commissioner in 2000 and on the Placer County Economic Development Board from 1999 to 2005. She has chaired the Roseville Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee and acted as a member of Sutter Health’s Placer County Community Advisory board. She also volunteers as a board member for the Keaton Raphael Memorial, a nonprofit organization that funds childhood cancer research. In 2007, Rohan was appointed to the Roseville Public Utilities Commission. She said “this electric business is hair-raising,” but the experience taught her how to sort through complex concepts and issues. She considers affordable and reliable utilities one of Roseville’s strengths, but said new state and federal regulations challenge the city’s ability to continue providing inexpensive service, and she wants to help address these external challenges. If elected, Rohan would encourage city staff to delve deeper into the budget and look at places to cut without jeopardizing public safety. She said the city effectively communicates with the business community for input on various issues but, if elected, she would make interacting with residents a parallel priority. She said she’s excited about City Manager Ray Kerridge’s focus on economic development and thinks the city must do more to diversify its job base. “I think this is a fabulous city and I want to see it continue to be a fabulous city in these difficult economic times,” Rohan said. “I’m absolutely certain that’s achievable.” Rohan has been endorsed by the Roseville Firefighters Association, Roseville Mayor Gina Garbolino, Mayor Pro Tempore Pauline Roccucci, former Roseville Chamber of Commerce President Naaz Alikhan, Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District board member Scott Otsuka and the Roseville Police Association among others. Roseville Planning Commissioner Audrey Huisking also endorses Rohan. The two met several years ago when Rohan worked on the Sun City development project. The two have since become friends. “She’s a very conscientious woman,” Huisking said. “What I like about her is she really and truly does have the interests of the city at heart.” When not campaigning for City Council, Rohan and her husband love to travel and have been all over Europe and Asia. The couple often goes hiking and camping together. “I like the quiet, wild places,” she said. Sena Christian can be reached at email@example.com. ---------- For more information about Susan Rohan’s campaign, visit www.vote4susan.com.