To the editor:

Auburn will be electing a new mayor in a few months. Fortunately, our outgoing mayor has left the city in good shape and we have two strong candidates running to replace him.

I had the opportunity to work with Sarah Payne through the ACD Festival. She came to us at a time when we were going through a transition period. Our board lacked depth and diversity and we were facing the challenges of how to attract new fans to a festival featuring old cars. While those in the hobby love these shows and gatherings, many outside the hobby don’t share their passion and don’t see the appeal. Sarah will probably admit she falls into the latter category. Why didn’t we hire more of a “car person?” Because festivals are in the people business and Sarah is a “people person.”

Sarah attracted new board members and volunteers. She actively brought corporate sponsors on board. She initiated new events and enhanced existing ones to make them more appealing. She raised our profile regionally with media partnerships including the popular All Things Auburn publication. In short, she took a good event and made it even better.

I believe Sarah can do the same thing for the city of Auburn. She is smart enough to initiate and oversee large scale projects but will let the department heads do their jobs to manage them. She’s creative enough to leverage her people skills and relationships around the state to attract the resources that will allow Auburn to flourish. To me, local government is not about being a Republican or a Democrat. It should be about managing issues within our control and trying to improve them for all citizens. I personally want a mayor who will be proactive and willing to try new things and that’s why I’ll be voting for Sarah this fall. I hope you will consider doing the same.

Bill Hohler

Auburn

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