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Our city shines in many different ways
Auburn is a great place to live, work and play. I know it's cliché, but it is what I believe.
I have spent the last few months sitting silent, reading this constant stream of negativity toward my city, my elected officials and the people that live here. I, for one, will not speak ill of the town where I was born, raised, educated, and, for the better part of my adult life, earned a living.
I was educated in and taught in the Auburn School District – I would put our district up to any school district in the state, and it's not far reaching to say the nation. We consistently turn out young adults that go forth and make a positive impact locally, regionally and nationally. The district offers top-of-the-line programs and opportunities to all of its students in this most basic of benefits as an American citizen "a free and public education." My former colleagues in the district are the smartest, most dedicated and passionate people I know and are truly doing the Lord's work day in and day out.
We have nonprofit organizations in this town that give selflessly to help the hungry, poor and underserved. It is tragic and heartbreaking. I sit on the board for two of them and volunteer or give to others whenever I can – we are only as strong as our weakest link, and our fellow citizens need us. Demonizing the poor in this town is callous. It is not a crime to be poor, unemployed or homeless.
Our local government is doing its best to maintain a high level of service to its 74,000 citizens. I am one of those people doing their best each and every day to make every tax dollar spent on me as an employee worth it, but I don't work for a paycheck, I work for Auburn. The place I was born and raised. I do it because I love it here.
I've lived in other cities for a short time, but I always came back to Auburn, and this is where I will stay. I'm not a disgruntled employee, a lazy government worker or a corrupt City Hall insider. I'm a resident, a professional, and I work very hard for Auburn, as do my coworkers.
Like any city, we can certainly make improvements and try to make positive progress every day, and I believe we are well on our way. We have great schools, a growing business community, plenty of amenities and a local government that cares.
I try every day to leave Auburn better than I found it. Where I see a need, I will try to help. If there's a mess, I will clean it up. If I can buy it in Auburn, I will. I'm either part of the solution or part of the problem. I prefer the former. My father admonished me many times, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." He was right.
– Dana Hinman