Auburn invests in future generation: It's our tradition | GUEST OP
February 15, 2012 · Updated 4:15 PM
By Pete Lewis, Michele Oosterink and Terry Davis
For the Auburn Reporter
Auburn has a history of investing in its future generations. Among the great examples are the Auburn Performing Arts Center, Game Farm Park, Auburn Symphony Orchestra and the Miss Auburn Scholarship Pageant.
Can you imagine a city without beautiful parks for our many youth and adult sports leagues to play? Or imagine an Auburn School District without the proper educational facilities to teach our children for tomorrow's jobs? These timely and necessary investments in the past are a true reflection of Auburn's values.
This willingness to invest in Auburn was not built overnight. It's a process respected by our community in only asking the taxpayers of Auburn to address needs that preserve or enhance the fabric of our community. It's the citizens leading and our government responding.
From this respected and trusted process, we ask this generation of Auburn to address our severely deteriorating roads. The roads that we are talking about are not the ones included in the Save Our Streets dedicated funding, but are the ones that connect all of us to our jobs, goods and services, schools and businesses throughout Auburn. We know that many of you have witnessed and experienced these streets first hand, recognizing the need and the risk to public safety.
A citizens-led Arterial Streets Task Force was formed to look for solutions to address the problem and the best way to finance the solution. The task force was stunned to learn that nearly none of the state and federal transportation-related taxes and fees that we pay as citizens and businesses come back to our city to help pay for the preservation and maintenance of our major connector roads.
The task force agreed that a voter-approved bond measure would be the way to go because it would immediately begin repairing our streets and be equitably placed upon the citizens and business community. Our proposed bond measure addresses 31 miles of our most critical connector streets throughout economic centers and neighborhoods that need to be rebuilt, patched and overlayed for these roads to stay open, safe and providing for the needs of our community.
This April we will be asking you for your support to Keep Auburn Moving. This is the next investment in our future generations so that Auburn will stay open for business, our children will be safe on the roads and there will be jobs for generations to come.
Pete Lewis is mayor of Auburn. Michele Oosterink is chair of the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce. Terry Davis is chair of the Arterial Streets Task Force.