In his letter (May 4), former Auburn Councilor Bob Hayes criticized Mayor Jonathan Labonte for “a flood of e-mails” to recent city managers. Having personally tried to get those former employees to work for Auburn taxpayers, I am confident that the mayor’s e-mails were warranted. While weak mayors historically are typical of the manager-council form of government, Lewiston and Auburn have a tradition of mayors being seen and heard — going back at least to John Jenkins (who served each city).

Hayes alleged that Labonte showed “disrespect to committee and agency volunteers.” Committees on which I have served have requested consideration from the mayor on multiple occasions, with the response always being timely, gracious and positive.

Hayes stated that the mayor “severed relations with (Auburn’s) neighbor across the river”. Mayor Labonte has shared the podium with Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald at events I have attended, and they seemed to have a cordial relationship. Mayor Labonte’s weekly media reports also include supportive comments concerning what is happening “across the river.”

Personally, this diatribe from Hayes is simply unconscionable — he didn’t return this constituent’s calls. Also, there was a perceived cronyism among a significant percentage of the councilors (and at least capitulation by the managers), which led to the council doing what was best for their personal interests, rather than for fellow residents.

While Labonte and I don’t agree on every issue, I have no doubt that what is best for Auburn citizens absolutely is his priority one.

Robert Hansen, Auburn

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