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Auburn City Council General Election Questions – Round 1

We sent out questionnaires to the current seven Auburn City Council Candidates.  Each of these candidates will appear on the November 5th ballot.  You can read the previous questions we posed to each of the candidates here.

Questions Asked of Each City Council Candidate

  • Social media accounts for public officials can build a direct connection for the city’s residents that can create a dialogue for comments or questions with those responsible for their public services.  Presently only Auburn’s Mayor has an official Facebook account.  Do you believe city councilmembers should have official social media accounts to engage with their constituents? Please explain why or why not.
  • A common issue raised about downtown Auburn is a lack of parking, or that parking is limited to 3 hours.  With the two new mixed-use buildings going in, how do you propose the city addresses these concerns?
  • What thoughts do you have, if any, to improve the appearance of the city?
  • If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
  • The city’s projected budget indicates that without changes, Auburn could be in the red in the coming years.  It has been suggested that implementing new revenue sources would likely prevent this.  What revenue source(s) would you propose to help balance the city’s budget?
  • What do you feel we can we learn from Seattle’s growing problem when it comes to affordable housing?
  • The city will see new development and redevelopment to accommodate the continual growth of Auburn.  If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?
  • While not voters the youth of Auburn are still constituents.  How will you involve them, and ensure they are considered in your decision-making process?
  • What programs do you feel the city is lacking?  If elected, how will you work to see these programs implemented?
  • Illegal dumping, excessive litter, graffiti, and unkempt sidewalks are among concerns raised by Auburn residents.  What do you propose to address cleaning up Auburn’s more unsightly areas, and keeping them maintained?
  • What businesses do you feel Auburn is lacking and would benefit from the most?
  • If elected, how will you govern for the future of Auburn?

Final Ten Questions

The final ten questions asked of each candidate may be familiar to some readers.  They are the same ten questions James Lipton poses to each of his guests at the end of each of his interviews on Inside the Actor’s Studio.  “These questions are supposed to reveal deep inner truths about one’s personality,” explains Joe Kissell of Interesting Thing of the Day. “But their effectiveness depends entirely on who’s answering them.”

While Lipton credits his list to French talk show host Bernard Pivot, Pivot indicated that the list originally came from French novelist Marcel Proust.  According to Kissell the list actually stemmed from an old parlor game and the originator is unknown.  Though all three lists of questions differ, their themes remain similar.

  • What is your favorite word?
  • What is your least favorite word?
  • What turns you on?
  • What turns you off?
  • What sound do you love?
  • What sound do you hate?
  • What is your favorite curse word?
  • What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
  • What profession would you not like to do?
  • If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Auburn City Council Candidate Responses

Chris Stearns (Position No. 1 candidate)
James Jeyaraj (Position No. 3 candidate)
Kenneth (Ken) Pearson (Position No. 3 candidate) – No responses provided
Ryan Burnett (Position No. 5 candidate)
Robyn Mulenga (Position No. 5 candidate)
Robert (Bob) Baggett (Position No. 7 candidate)
Vera Orlandic-Hodak (Position No. 7 candidate)

Each candidate’s answers are published as they were provided to the Auburn Examiner and have not been edited. If a candidate did not submit a response it is notated as such. If a candidate noted they were purposefully not answering a question we notated that the candidate declined to answer. We feel it is important to clarify this difference.

The questions for our next round were provided by community stakeholders, so keep an eye out for those candidate responses!

If there is something you feel should be asked of the candidates, or if you have a question related to anything about the 2019 elections email If we don’t know the answer, we’ll dig into it to find out!

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