Name: Andrew (Andy) Titus
Office sought: Auburn City Council, Ward 3
Occupation: Wholesale tire sales representative
Education: High school, paralegal certificate from the National Academy of Paralegal Studies
Political experience: City Council for two years, county Budget Committee for four years
1. Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?
The last two years of experience as a city councilman puts me in a good position to focus more on issues, and less time learning the job.
2. What do you believe is the biggest issue facing your city? Why?
The biggest challenge continues to be controlling expenses while providing needed and wanted services. Tax increases year after year cannot be supported without increases in “tax base,” which leads to the next challenge: economic development. The city has made some positive moves in the last two years, but more needs to be done. We need to see results in order for the taxpayer to feel the positive effects of a bigger, better tax base.
3. What do you like about the city budget passed this year, and what don’t you like?
It was a good budget, considering we did not have a manager or assistant through most of the process. I did not vote for it because we should have been able to stay under a 3 percent increase. Also, the School Department passed on all the proposed state funding cuts directly to the property tax payer. It turned out very well, as we got more funding than expected. However, the budget placed the taxpayer in the position of funding any reduction in state funding. This, I feel, is not fair to the taxpayer.
4. What is the best way for your city to boost economic development and its attraction to people from outside the region?
We have been doing the right things as of late. First, determine our assets, fix or add what is missing or broken, and then promote the city. Also, we need to make it as easy as possible to do business within the city. I think we have made progress, but more needs to be done.
5. Do you support the merger of Lewiston and Auburn?
I do not. The advantages presented by One LA are possible, but in my opinion, not likely to happen. The disadvantages of a merger are sure to happen, such as change of addresses, street name changes, loss of identity, and very high costs of transition. There will not be any reduction in taxes, and some may go up, in my opinion.