Because of local term limits, Mayor Susan Rohan and Councilman Tim Herman are heading out after eight years and two seats are up for grabs on the Roseville City Council on Nov. 6.
Among the six candidates, the best bets are Krista Bernasconi and Bruce Houdesheldt. Their combination of experience and expertise should be a good addition to the council. Both have a slew of endorsements from area elected officials and groups.
Bernasconi, a U.S. Navy veteran who owns a public relations firm, led the city’s Community Priorities Advisory Committee and previously served on the city planning commission and school board. Houdesheldt is vice chairman of the planning commission and director of regulatory affairs for the Northern California Water Association.
Pauline Roccucci, who served on the council from 1989 to 1998 and from 2008 to 2016, is running again. She is a known quantity, but it would be better to let others have a chance to serve. Also on the ballot are David Larson, a former city planning commissioner who ran unsuccessfully in 2010, and first-time candidates Stephanie Dement, who works for the University of Phoenix nursing school, and Sehrish Khan, a public health program manager at Touro University.
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There also will be a third open seat. Councilwoman Bonnie Gore won a spot on the Placer County Board of Supervisors in June, so when she takes office in January, the council has 30 days to select a replacement.
If a candidate finishes a close third on Nov. 6, it might make sense to appoint that person to fill Gore’s term until 2020, even though the council is not required to do so and it hasn’t done so in the past.
Yes on Measure B
Voters in this Placer County city of 135,000 also will decide on Measure B, a half-cent local sales tax increase. The city’s current sales tax of 7.25 percent is at the state minimum.
Even after a decade of belt-tightening and politically tough decisions to lower labor costs, such as requiring police officers to pay more into their pensions, the city’s five-year budget projections estimate a gap of $13 million a year.
The half-cent hike would raise about $16 million to $19 million a year, the city says, and a big chunk would come from shoppers who don’t live in Roseville, but spend money at the Galleria and other shops and restaurants in the city.
To the city’s credit, it went through a year-long public outreach process before the council voted unanimously to put the measure on the ballot. It also plans two open houses on Oct. 15 and 16. Partly because of that engagement, the measure is backed by the Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Roseville says the additional revenue would allow it to add another police beat on the west side, complete two parks and maintain other city services. Without the cash, there could be more cuts to parks and public safety, like the decision in June to reduce the number of firefighters per shift.
Tax increases should never be the first option. This one wasn’t and so it is justified.