I want to applaud the leadership of Auburn’s mayor, Jonathan LaBonte. He understands the hardworking people of Auburn and their plight with the high tax burden.

Every day as I travel door-to-door, I meet people struggling to get by.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the state and federal government, the easy path always seems to be to ask taxpayers to pay a larger bill. Officials never make the hard choice to spend less and let working people keep a bigger paycheck. Instead, it is always easy for politicians to justify spending and taxing just a little bit more.

But real leadership is about making tough decisions, not easy ones.

I appreciate Mayor LaBonte raising the idea to privatize some services as the community discusses the next budget for the city of Auburn.

“We can continue asking for different results from doing things the same way but with more tax dollars, or we can try to innovate and find ways to deliver needed services more effectively and efficiently,” Mayor LaBonte recently wrote online. “Privatization can be part of that … it’s not the only way, but it’s one of many ways we must research.”

Thank you, Mayor LaBonte, for thinking of Auburn taxpayers and for balancing the need for services alongside the need of Auburn families to heat their homes and feed their children.

If only the politicians in Augusta could follow his lead.

Eric Brakey, Auburn

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