Incumbents win, experienced newcomer joining Roseville council

Coming out of a lively campaign season in which a pre-primary field of nine candidates were up for three seats, the Roseville City Council will be mostly the same come next year.

Incumbent Mayor Dan Roe won his third term with 58 percent of the vote over current council member Tammy McGehee, who netted 41 percent.

Incumbent council member Bob Willmus will be sworn in for a third time next year with the backing of 26 percent of the vote, while top council vote-getter Wayne Groff will join the council in January on the strength of winning 31 percent of the vote, in the four-way race for two seats.

Newcomer Dannah Thompson came up short in the council race with 23 percent of the vote, as did current Planning Commission member Jim Bull, who tallied nearly 19 percent.

“People have been able to see what I’ve done and how I’ve done it over the past eight years,” said Roe the morning after the Nov. 6 election, echoing the main message of his campaign.

The mayor also ran on continuing that work for at least another term, and with an experienced council returning, plus Groff, who has years of experience on city commissions if not the council, Roe said the group should be able to focus on the job at hand.

“We all do good work together,” he said.

Though he didn’t run on a single issue and his work on the council defies being boxed in, based on feedback and statistics, Roe said he foresees making a push in the coming year to combat property crimes in neighborhoods, things like thefts from vehicles.

“I think that’s something that deserves our focus as a city and a city council,” he said, saying he’d look to working with Police Chief Rick Mathwig and his department to determine which resources can be turned toward the problem.

Roe had kind words for McGehee, whose term on the council, her second, ends Dec. 31.

“She can look back at her time on the council as having made a difference,” he said.

Roe also complimented the city’s voters.

“I think the approximately 17,000 voters in the municipal races in Roseville was the highest participation in our municipal elections that I was aware of,” he said, “and that’s something we can all be proud of.”

Is McGehee thinking of another run? 

“I wouldn’t rule out what I could do in two or four years, but at this point I’m going to see what I can do in the short term,” she said.

 

All about door-knocking

Groff, who’d came up short against council members Lisa Laliberte and Jason Etten in the 2016 council election, found the backing this time around of some 8,500 voters.

“I think what worked was door-knocking and getting out to talk to the residents of Roseville,” said Groff, a current member of the city Planning Commission and former chair of the Human Rights Commission.

He said he’d take a lot of feedback from all the residents he met and apply it to his work on the council, having heard about the need for maintenance of city parks, keeping the city’s waterways clean, easing traffic congestion and supporting trails and paths, and controlling the city’s troublesome-to-some deer population.

Beyond those nuts and bolts issues, Groff said there was an overarching theme in his talks with residents, if not specific to Roseville or its city government.

“Almost everyone at the door said, ‘Is there just a way to get civility back in government?’” Groff said, noting he’d look for ways to keep contentious behavior out of the local level.

Wishes for civility aside, Groff said he found residents had a positive outlook on the place they live.

“Mostly people are happy with Roseville,” he said, “I did not find anyone who said ‘This city is going down the tubes.’”

With decades of experience in the city as a realtor and being no stranger to local government, Groff said he’s confident he can hit the ground running.

“I’ve been around City Hall for a long time,” he said, “so I don’t think there will be any shocks for me working with the council.”

 

–Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. 

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