Recently, Auburn’s current mayor was quoted as saying “The house has been shaken off its foundation for a while now.” A community’s foundation is its people and its public and private entities. Fortunately, Auburn’s foundation is still strong. Unfortunately, the social/economic/political “house” has been weakened and detached.

“For a while,” the mayor has:

• Overwhelmed the city manager’s office with a flood of emails. Has that action played into the turnover within that office? And, similarly, sent emails directly to staff and has publicly criticized some. Has such action prompted the early departure of individuals who have been valuable municipal leaders?

• Shown disrespect to committee and agency volunteers who have contributed personal time and even monetary investment. Might some retreat, feeling unheard and unappreciated?

• Severed Auburn’s relations with its neighbors across the river, leading Auburn away from constructive dialogue, cooperation and collaboration. Might the merger issue have never arisen under a different mayor?

In sum, it appears that our mayor has “shaken” our “house … for a while” — quite contrary to our city’s motto, i.e., “No steps backward.”

Having served as an Auburn City Councilor for 11 years, four of which were with the current mayor. I have witnessed these things and am comfortable making the statements and advancing the questions presented above.

Might it be time for Auburn citizens to seek and support a new mayor, one with the ability to inclusively, respectfully and constructively advance ideas and to reset our “house” on its “foundation”?

Bob Hayes, Auburn

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