Richard Whiting

Name: Richard Whiting

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired; former executive director of Auburn Housing Authority

Political Experience: Former chairman Legislative Policy Committee, Maine Association of Public Housing Directors; former Auburn Planning Board member; chairman of 2010 Comprehensive Plan Committee; city councilor.

Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

I have served as Ward 1 city councilor since December 2021 and this experience will make me more effective in my second term.


Please name two issues that you believe are critical to Auburn’s future, and how you would address them.

Protecting Lake Auburn and maintaining the filtration waiver for our public water supply are essential to the future of Auburn (and Lewiston). Very few communities in our country have this advantage. Restricting development continues to be the best way to protect our public water supply for 40,000-plus consumers.

Continuing to improve student performance, attracting well-qualified educators with fair compensation, and properly maintaining our schools, will benefit the community as a whole. The new high school, and availability of high-quality technical education through LRTC and CMCC offer excellent educational options that we need to encourage students to utilize.

What actions will you take to support businesses and grow the local economy?

The best way for Auburn to support business is by providing good infrastructure (in particular, transportation). Additionally, Auburn can provide businesses tax increment financing, when there is a clear and compelling public benefit, such as good-paying jobs with benefits.

Do you support the direction Auburn in moving toward with redefined development zones?

I do not support the sledgehammer approach being taken to zoning in Auburn. Most residents I speak with do not feel that the bulk of Auburn is, or should be a “traditional downtown neighborhood.” The extent of rezoning proposed is libertarian overkill. State legislation (L.D.2003) was targeted at communities like Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth, not Auburn. Historically, housing production here has been cyclical, based on demand, and for years our zoning has encouraged development of diverse housing types. New zoning will not solve the biggest problem, which is the high cost of construction. 3-D printing to produce housing, which is being developed under the guidance of professor Habib Dagher at the University of Maine Orono, may offer one answer to the cost problem. Wouldn’t it be great to have this as a local educational offering?

What do you want voters to know about you?

I grew up on Turner Street, have lived on Lake Street, Fourth Avenue, and in North Auburn. I have worked on Turner Street, Court Street, Minot Avenue, Mill Street, and in Great Falls Plaza. I know Auburn like the back of my hand and do not want to see it turn into Anytown, U.S.A.

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