AUBURN — Two newcomers to city politics both say they have the temperament and experience to represent the residents in Auburn’s Ward 4.

Doris Russell, a former state employee, said she has a mind for policy discussions.

“It may sound weird, but I like policy,” she said. “A lot of things at the city level become policy. I’m interested in that, and I’d like to see the data and make sure these decisions are based on solid data, and if there are two sides, both are developed.”

Attorney Adam Lee said his experience as a litigator makes him a strong candidate.

“My days are spent largely in the courtroom, advocating for my clients,” he said. “As a councilor, I feel I can be an advocate for the residents of Ward 4. It’s what I do all day. I talk to people, look at different perspectives and hope to come up with a solution.”

Lee said education seems to be the biggest issue for Auburn’s residents today, and he expects that concern to continue.


“There is fundamental agreement on many things, and one of them is people want an exemplary education for their kids and grandkids,” Lee said. “But they also don’t want to pay an unreasonable amount of property taxes. I think we sell the community short if we assume those discussions are zero sum, just one or the other. We have to be able to provide an exemplary education while keeping real estate taxes at a reasonable amount.”

He carries that nuanced outlook through to his opinions about Edward Little High School.

“The question is not ‘do we have a new facility or not,'” he said. “The question is, ‘what we can do to provide the best education for students in Auburn?’ I don’t think we should sacrifice programs to just build a new facility. What happens inside the classroom is more important than what the classroom looks like.”

Russell said the school is a big topic in the community.

“Even people who don’t have kids have talked about how bad the physical plant is,” she said.

She notes that the question is on hold now while school officials wait to find out if state funding will be available.


Russell said she’d take a balanced approach to the city’s budget. She’d have to review city services and taxes to determine what could be cut if state revenue sharing continues to fall.

“There might have to be a balance, depending on if anything can be cut,” she said. “There might have to be a balance. Some services might have to be cut and some taxes raised.”

Russell said she’s also interested in reviewing the city’s recycling program. She said she was concerned when councilors considered cutting curbside recycling collections last spring.

“It’s taken so long to get people recycling, and taking a year off could really set things back,” she said. “I’d like to see what was behind their discussions. And the discussion about reducing fire coverage in New Auburn — I’d like to better understand what was behind that.”

The seat is currently held by David Young, who is giving up the seat to seek an at-large council position in this election.

Ward 4, located in the center-to-southwest part of Auburn, is made up of two sections of the city. The first includes most of the downtown from Court Street south the Little Androscoggin River between Minot Avenue and the Androscoggin River.

The second runs from Broad Street and Pownal Road east to Minot Avenue, Hotel Road and the Little Androscoggin River from the downtown south to the city’s border with Poland.

Ward 4 voters cast their ballots in Auburn Hall.

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