Matt Leonard, president of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, is running for the Auburn City Council, Ward 1. His candidacy raises serious ethical concerns. How can he avoid a conflict of interest? As Chamber president, he is mandated to make decisions which benefit the county; however, as an Auburn Councilor, he has to act in the best interest of the city.

He will have to recuse himself regarding any vote that stands to benefit any business that is a Chamber member, including a new school proposal that will provide direct financial benefit to businesses that determine his salary. Will he feel compelled to vote for the superintendent’s school budget because she is on the Chamber’s board of directors?

Auburn residents need utmost confidence in its elected officials. The CEO’s candidacy raises serious questions about the Chamber’s potential influence over local government.

I will not vote for Matt Leonard in November.

Mary Roussel, Auburn

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