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Auburn Town Election: Who’s Accusing Candidates of Corruption?

Monday, April 09, 2012

 

Challengers for Auburn’s Board of Selectman and Town Clerk are taking shots at the incumbents, one for personal reasons and one for professional, while another candidate withdraws from the race.

Board of Selectmen’s Race

Perennial candidate Michael Robidoux said he was running for selectman because the town was corrupt and he wants to expose the corruption.

Doreen Goodrich is corrupt,” Robidoux said. “She put me out of business.”

Goodrich, who is currently chairman of the Board of Selectmen, shot back at Robidoux, saying that he had difficulty following the rules of the permitting process, and that he doesn’t like being told no.

“And when he is told ‘no,’ he blames everyone but himself,” Goodrich said. “We’re doing good work here in town.”

Goodrich cited the implementation of the town’s new charter with a strong manager and the budget, which is increasing by only 1 ¼ percent this year, instead of the permitted 2 ½ percent, as some of her successes.

Incumbent Timothy Hicks agrees that good things are happening in town.

“When I knocked on doors in my first campaign, people were complaining about the roads,” Hicks said. “I learned that the town was not putting any of its own money into town, just the Chapter 90 money. This year coming up we're using just under half a million dollars of town money for the roads.”

Hicks said he was eyeing the side streets and older developments, now that the main roads have been fixed.

Hicks also said that the town’s improved bond rating, which was recently upgraded from A2 to Aa3 by Moody’s will save the taxpayers money on any capital expense that the town borrows money to fund.

Christian Latino, a candidate for selectman, withdrew from the race on Friday, citing work obligations, and endorsed Hicks as well as Nicholas Hammond, who is running for Town Clerk.

Kenneth Holstrom, who is also running for selectmen did not return calls seeking comment.

Town Clerk

Former Auburn Selectman Nicholas Hammond is challenging Town Clerk Ellen Gaboury for her job.

Hammond, who lost his bid for re-election to the Board of Selectmen in 2011, served one term on the board and said that it was Gaboury’s handling of the state’s mandate on ethics that prompted him to run for Town Clerk.

“It was an unfunded mandate, and in the same year we were negotiating zero percent increases with the police and fire departments, she came in and said she wanted more money for more work,” Hammond said. “How does this represent the taxpayers?”

Gaboury said that she should be re-elected because she brings ten years of experience to the table, and is a Certified Massachusetts Municipal Clerk. “So I have the education too,” she said.

Gaboury said Hammond said that he wanted to modernize the Town Clerk’s office. “I’ve been doing what I can with the limited resources available.”

Other Election Issues

Also on the ballot is a Proposition 2 ½ debt exclusion question for the renovation/addition to the Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School. As a debt exclusion question, the $3.5 million for the school will only remain on the tax levy for the borrowing period (typically 20 years), and then it will be removed.

This year will mark the first time Auburn votes on a Tuesday for its annual town election, scheduled for May 15. Previous town elections were held on Thursdays, but a change to the town’s bylaws at last year’s town meeting has moved the town election permanently to a Tuesday.

 

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