Roseville never seems to have a hard time finding City Council candidates.
With modified term limits, just as some council members are being booted out others are ready to get back in. In the Nov. 6 contest, seven candidates are fighting it out for three seats.
Leaving office is John Allard, who is termed out. Under Roseville term-limit rules, after two consecutive terms, officeholders must sit out at least one cycle before seeking a new office.
The race includes incumbents Pauline Roccucci and Carol Garcia, former councilman and gadfly Phil Ozenick, government relations manager Bonnie Gore, small-business owner Scott Alvord, regulatory compliance analyst Tracy Mendonsa and a token campaign from recent retiree John Schwartz.
The quickest way to find separation among the candidates is to bring up Ozenick's ongoing petition to cap total compensation for the city manager and other top city leaders at $175,000.
Garcia said it would be "very destructive."
But Ozenick counters that, "If a guy can't live on $175,000, then I feel bad for them."
Ozenick, 86, also said he would audit all city spending.
"I believe the average taxpayer in Roseville has no representation," he said.
Ozenick boasts a long list of civic achievements over his many years of service, including a term on the Placer County Board of Supervisors and the last 17 years as chairman of Friends of Roseville. He said he still has the vitality needed for the job.
As the current mayor, Roccucci, 64, would seem to have a strong shot at securing another four-year term. She previously served on the council from 1989 to 1998.
But voters may take notice of how often she has been on the losing side of 4-1 votes.
She was the lone vote against the hiring of City Manager Ray Kerridge and the reaffirmation of the quasi-governmental Roseville Community Development Corp., which helped bring the new Sammy Hagar restaurant to town, as well as the 2012 creation of Advantage Roseville, a public-private partnership aimed at recruiting businesses.
Roccucci, a registered nurse, said she's just keeping an eye on the purse strings.
She said the city needs to make sure core services don't erode and the city doesn't overstep its role.
"We don't have to buy everything," she said. "I think you just have to look before you leap. I think that you have to be a little more cautious than usual."
Community 1st Bank Vice President Garcia, 54, said she's running to keep Roseville on track.
And thanks to the city's creation of the Development Corporation, she said, Roseville is one of the cities best-positioned to emerge from the economic downturn.
"We hit rock bottom and we are climbing out of this," Garcia said.
She calls herself a strong proponent of the city's efforts to revive downtown and the historic Old Town.
"Roseville really doesn't have that core area. I'm really excited about what we are doing in the downtown area," she said.
Gore, 46, has been involved in government for more than a decade, first as a district representative for a state senator and now in her role as a government relations manager for Kaiser Permanente.
She also has served on a grab bag of city commissions and committees.
"You need to have people that are willing to step up," she said. "To ask the hard questions. To roll up their sleeves."
She said she supports the downtown Roseville efforts and took a mild jab at Sacramento: "I don't want downtown Roseville to look like K Street."
Alvord, 46, touts his role as the small-business owner in the race the voice of mom and pop.
He's operated Dash of Panache on Vernon Street for six years. During that time, he said, he has helped strengthen the downtown merchants association.
He said the city investment in the Sammy Hagar restaurant was sound and is already paying off. He said the council could use his ability to see things through a business owner's perspective.
He noted the city recently relaxed its sign ordinance but said it could go further.
"We say we are open for business, but we don't know what we are doing to business," Alvord said. "I think having a business guy on there can make a difference economically."
Mendonsa, 37, said his background as a former federal investigator and as a government instructor makes him uniquely qualified.
"When things come up for vote, you need to be able to look at things from all angles," Mendonsa said. "I think I bring a more diversified leadership ability."
Schwartz, 57, is running a bare-bones campaign, but with no fundraising and little name recognition, his candidacy is a longshot.