Auburn council to meet Monday on bonds

AUBURN — The Auburn City Council will meet in an emergency session at 5:30 p.m. Mondayto vote on a $7.9 million capital improvement package, Mayor Dick Gleason said Friday.

Gleason said a special meeting was called because a recent council vote on a borrowing package, while passing 4-3, did not meet the two-thirds requirement of the City Charter for passage.

The failed vote means as much as $6.7 million worth of road repairs would be canceled, he said.

"I didn't expect the vote to fail, or to fail in this manner," City Manager Glenn Aho wrote in an message e-mailed to councilors and Gleason.

Gleason said he and others worry the city will lose federal matching funds for road work and state matching funds for education if the city doesn't approve a $5.4 million bond package Monday. Aho's memo noted that $4.7 million of the package is for road improvements in the city and $200,000 of it is to use for matching money to leverage up to $2 million more in federal money.

"By having this motion fail, we've in effect canceled up to $6.7 million in Auburn road projects and turned down $2 million in state and federal (funds)," Aho wrote.

Gleason said councilors had ample time to study the bonding package and that a previous vote on it passed 5-2. On second reading, one councilor changed her vote, leaving the council short of the two-thirds needed.

Gleason said Friday he hoped people would come to the meeting and express their opinions on the bonding package during a public hearing before the council votes.

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 's picture

Slow down with the spending!!

Slow down with the spending!! Auburn is almost 73 million in debt, then this, then the schools, where does the borrowing end? When Aho is done putting all of us in debt that we will never be able to pay off in our lifetime, he will move on.

One thing is for sure, there is enough money to buy councilors dinner at council and workshop meetings. Councilors, was that the price for Aho's raise, the price of dinner? If so, he bought you guys cheap enough!

 's picture

It isn't just Aho

There are four councilors who voted for this during the past meeting - Councilors Hayes, Young, Berube, and Samson. Councilors Gerry, Farrell and Herrick all opposed this CIP vote. It is not Aho who is driving this vast spending spree. He isn't really slowing it either, but he isn't the one pushing for it.

The four councilors mentioned above all voted for the city budget as well. They voted to allow a single polling place as part of the final budget and now when there is public outcry they are dead set against it. If these men had discussed the budget in the first place, we wouldn't be having these conflicting votes. Councilors Hayes, Young, Berube and Samson are the ones directly bankrupting this city. They have not opposed any spending items yet. Look at the tapes of the council budget meetings, these four are practically mute. I can't recall any item they actually opposed in the various draft budgets that were discussed during budget deliberations. Please keep the blame squarely where it lies.

There are some speakers at the council meetings who are expressing disbelief at the cuts the council, at the behest of Aho, made. It should be remembered though that these four councilors actually voted for the reduced budget. The other three councilors didn't vote for the reduced budget because they actually read the document and understood this wasn't the best solution to the city's problems.

As for the unpopular "bottle water fund" that the city manager put in the budget to pay for bottled water or food prior to council meetings, it was donated to the Police Activites League (PAL) this past Monday. Councilor Farrell proposed this action and it was approved on a vote of 6 to 1 with Councilor Young the only councilor voting to keep the money for their own meals.


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