- Sonya O'Neal
Can’t stop the Machine!?
The City of Auburn held City Council elections on Tuesday Aug 23rd. A whopping 3,485 people or 7.2% of the population in the involved wards, turned out to help shape the direction of the city. Each ward has a population of roughly 9,400, since redistricting in 2022. On Tuesday, 3 incumbents were on the ballot, and all easily won re-election.
It appears that little will change in the City of Auburn. Six of the 9 council members will remain the same as the past 4 years. The three newly elected council members will have to do a lot of heavy lifting if the direction of the City of Auburn can/will be changed. With recent complaints about exploding growth, high rise buildings in the “loveliest village on the plains”, destruction of wooded areas within the city, government ordinance overreach, unaffordable housing and growing traffic situations, there is much to address. With three seats vacated, we will have to wait and see what effect the “new guys” will have –if any – on the entrenched philosophy of the current council. The City Council members are the people who appoint people to governing boards like, the planning commission, school board, etc. So how the council members think is very important and can have far reaching impacts. It only took 943 votes to keep the incumbents in their positions. In a city that has a population of 76,143, according to the 2020 census, 943 people were enough to keep the city moving in the same direction, by re-electing incumbents.
Is it a disengaged citizenry? Lack of interest? Ignorance? Or have the Auburn Citizens learned that they can’t stop the machine?
Incumbent Connie Taylor won with 214 votes
Challenger Arthur L. Dowdell Sr. earned 90 votes
Incumbent Kelley Griswold won with 382 votes
Challenger Paul West earned 241 votes
Ward 5 (Vacated by Steven Dixon)
New comer Sonny Moreman won with 412 votes
Challenger Sarah Jane Levine earned 257 votes
Challenger Leah Billye Welburn V earned 62 votes
Incumbent Bob Parsons won with 347 votes
Challenger Phillip Pollard earned 60 votes
Ward 7 (vacated by Jay Hovey)
New comer Max Coblentz won with 864 votes
New comer Greg Lane earned 556 votes
Total votes cast 3,485 Votes to re-elect incumbent 943
Ward 3 Beth Witten - Mayor Pro Tem
Ward 4 Tyler Adams - Unopposed –New comer (Vacated by Brett Smith)
Ward 8 Tommy Dawson
Mayor Ron Anders