Mayor Jason Levesque has, among his magic tricks, a hat filled with cliches. One of his favorites is NIMBY — not in my backyard — which is used to guilt-trip Auburn citizens.

This tired and old acronym has nothing to do with how the petition signers feel. The petition signers I have met reject the recent zoning ordinance because they do not want the landscape of their neighborhoods forever changed for the worse. No one wants to entrust the layout of the city to five councilors (excluding citizen supporters Richard Whiting and Belinda Gerry) and a mayor, none of whom has any training in urban planning, architecture, landscape design and, apparently, aesthetics.

The citizens are saying “first things first.” Auburn needs to repair the deplorable condition of its roads and address the safety and condition of housing in underserved neighborhoods.

The citizens are saying absolutely “no” to pizza joints, tattoo parlors, and looming apartment buildings next to their 50 by 100 or 100 by 100 backyards. They want to come home to their patch of green as far away as possible from noise and air pollution.

The mayor doesn’t have land-deprived issues. His backyard is 13-plus acres.

Pam Larouche, Auburn

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