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Auburn City Council – Primary Questions

We sent out questionnaires to the current eight Auburn City Council Candidates.  Three of these candidates, for Position No. 5,  appear on the primary ballot.  Ballots should arrive soon if you have not already received it.  Each of the other positions automatically goes to the general election as they only have two candidates at most running.   Here are the questions we posed to each of the candidates:

Primary Candidate Questions:

  • What part of Auburn do you live in and why did you choose to live there?
  • Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?
  • Where do you do your grocery shopping?
  • How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our city?
  • What are your main infrastructure goals for Auburn?
  • How would you evaluate whether a new piece of public infrastructure in our city (road, bridge, etc.) would be worth implementing?
  • If elected, what steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
  • In looking at the city’s budget, what portions of the budget would you advocate to be increased, and which would you advocate to be decreased?
  • Pierce County (and South King County) has the fastest-growing housing markets in the state. As housing prices continue to rise, what is your plan for providing affordable housing?
  • Should Auburn offer developers incentives to build affordable housing? If so, what kind?
  • The city recently unveiled a public art installation at Les Gove Park, ‘Crow with Fries.’ How do you feel about public art?
  • Some residents feel the amount spent on this sculpture was too much. Do you agree, if so, why?
  • There are several empty commercial spaces available throughout the city. Should Auburn offer incentives for businesses to come to Auburn? If so, what kind?
  • Do you think our Main Street/downtown is healthy and attractive to consumers? If not, what would you do to change that?
  • How would you assist small businesses in Auburn?
  • The Auburn Police Department recently had two fatal officer-involved shootings. What changes, if any, would you make to how these incidents were handled by both the police department and city officials?
  • If elected, what would be your suggestions to best address resident and business owner’s concerns related to crime?
  • Auburn’s homeless population is a concern for many residents and business owners. What are your suggestions to address these concerns, while also meeting the needs of these often vulnerable members of society?
  • If you are not elected, what would you do to try to help work on ideas or issues that are important to you?

    Candidate Responses

Chris Stearns (Position No. 1 candidate)
James Jeyaraj (Position No. 3 candidate)
Kenneth (Ken) Pearson (Position No. 3 candidate)
Anthony Ase (Position No. 5 candidate)
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)

Unless otherwise noted, 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.

We’ll be asking questions again in the general election. Is there something you think should be asked of the candidates?  Email [email protected] to let us know and we’ll do our best to include your question!

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