By Largo Wales/for the Auburn Reporter
I have the support of the council majority because of a shared vision.
Your council yearns for leadership to implement this vision. A vision where we will make our parks, library and neighborhoods safe again and live within our budgets. Where small businesses thrive, Main Street is vibrant and the city is a destination. A city that engages citizens and the council in collective decision-making and problem-solving. This is the shared vision for the 21st century in Auburn.
To create the 21st century vision, we need to make improvements in parking, repair and build new roads, and create an attractive, safe, vibrant environment for our downtown core, work centers and college. We need to partner with our schools and college for work training programs and more programs for our children and seniors.
Like most in Auburn, I recognize the Sound Transit vote will not help us with our goals but tax us while achieving theirs. Waiting on the timelines and promises of others is not the solution. We must enlist the support of local businesses and the community to reach our goals. If you are not working on Auburn’s goals, you’re working on someone else’s.
There is talk of rising average incomes in Auburn. In your household, have you seen a rising income? Most of you haven’t. We need leadership to bring small and large businesses that have family wages, not starting wages to our city. We must generate revenue growth, not taxation and fees, as you have seen for the last four years.
Also during the last four years, we have had an unchecked increase in crime. Property crime, a precursor for crimes against individuals being the highest. My opponent says there is no increase in crime. Then why in Auburn are you five times more likely to be a victim of crime than the rest of the nation? We need leadership that will identify the problem and take action, not say it’s not an issue.
Homelessness has increased 300 percent in Auburn in just four years. Government can’t fix this alone. Again, we need partnerships with our businesses, nonprofits, faith community and multicultural communities to give a hand-up, not hand-outs. We need to provide centralized services away from our core businesses and neighborhoods that are prescriptive and not just “feel-good solutions.” Haircuts and drivers’ licenses for uninsured drivers are not solutions or responsible. Feeding programs shouldn’t encourage the homeless to migrate freely in the city.
In the last four years progress has stalled and been weighed down with rules and procedures that have blocked small business development. Constantly, you hear from the city staff we could do more if we had more money … they are stalled in the mire of over regulation and taxation. It’s time to get Auburn moving forward with leadership and growth, not regulations and taxes.
My commitment is to you. To work with all parts of our community to improve Auburn. Please vote Largo Wales for mayor.