Here are five of many issues that should be addressed by Auburn mayoral candidates:
• The city is in a phase of rapid growth with widespread construction of both commercial and residential buildings. Should building codes be revised to ensure that these structures will endure and be economically, safely and comfortably operable during the vicissitudes of upcoming climate change?
• The city presently purchases large quantities of its fresh water supply from Opelika. Will future identified and feasible sources exclusive of groundwater be sufficient to support the anticipated size of the population in the latter half of this century? Will the city be prepared to process and discharge the volume of sewage created via this increased population?
• Growth and development of the city and Auburn University are intrinsically entwined. Would you favor making legal changes resulting in the city having an ex officio (non-voting) representative on the AU Board of Trustees and the university having an ex officio member on the Auburn City Council?
• Senior citizens, many retirees, with special needs are forming an increasing proportion of the city’s population. Published plans for development of the core area, e.g., parking deck construction, have not included provisions to facilitate access by people with ambulatory problems. Which such provisions would you advocate and promote? Should ADA-compliant public transportation be on the city’s agenda?
• Tiger Town is eating Auburn’s retail sales tax lunch, while Auburn retailers move there because rents and leases are less expensive. Auburn residents must travel to Tiger Town for comprehensive vendors of hardware, office supplies and other goods. How would you remedy this?
We should elect a candidate on the basis of his/her presenting evidence of having carefully prepared for the responsibilities of this important job and having demonstrated the ability to thoughtfully identify and address the problems the city must solve and the challenges it must meet.