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A spirit that is not afraid

New board appointments at first April City Council Meeting

Auburn City Council meets on April 2, 2024
Auburn City Council meets on April 2, 2024

Auburn’s City Council held their first meeting of the month on Tuesday night. A variety of topics were discussed, but the most important issues were the new board appointments, particularly the reappointment of Nick Hayes to the Historic Preservation Commission. 

Hayes is a real estate agent in Auburn. He has served one partial and one full term at the Historic Preservation Commission, and Mayor Ron Anders would like to nominate him for another full term. 

According to Council Member Kelley Griswold of Ward 2, a citizen complained about a property belonging to Hayes back in Oct. 

“We had citizen input on that regarding offensive and vulgar banners being hung on various properties for the Auburn-Georgia football game," Griswold said. "One of those properties is owned by the nominee."

According to Griswold, the banners were taken down only after the citizens complained, and Hayes responded “Freedom of speech, War Eagle” when questioned about said banners. 

“This response is not indicative of someone who cares about the historic district or citizens' concerns,” Griswold said. “It was said that we don’t need the F-word in front yards, and while we want to protect free speech, we also need to maintain decency. This occurrence was not meeting minimum standards. I urge the mayor to withdraw [this] nominee.” 

Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Beth Witten of Ward 3 argued that the council should separate Hayes from his tenants and that she is in favor of Hayes being granted another term. 

The council was split 5-4 in reappointing Hayes to the commission. 

Another topic discussed was the vacant position on the Auburn Public Library Board. The incumbent, Marcia Boosinger, was nominated to take that position. She has already served one full term.

“Ms. Boosinger has been a very capable leader of the Auburn Public Library Board," said Sonny Moreman of Ward 5. "She has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience with her into this position. As a past Associate Dean of Library Sciences for the Auburn main campus and AUM, it would be hard to find someone with better credentials. However and more importantly, I believe she cares about not just the public library itself, but the Auburn community."

The motion to reappoint Boosinger was carried unanimously. 

There was also a vacancy on the Cemetery Advisory Board. Witten nominated Doris Hutchinson to fill the position.

“I’ve known Doris all my life and I think she knows the cemeteries pretty well," said Connie Fitch Taylor of Ward 1. "I think she can serve as a good asset to the Cemetery Advisory Board."

The motion was carried unanimously. 

The City Council also renewed the Ad valorem property taxes. 

“Not only are these not new taxes, but they have been renewed every year for a very long time," Moreman said. "Some of these date back to the late 1800’s. These are all property taxes, and because of that fact, I would like to point out that we are one of the lowest property taxed state, county and city in the country."

The council also renewed taxes that go towards the Special School Tax Fund, which also are not new taxes.

The next City Council meeting will be April 16 at 106 N. Ross St.

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Sam Vise | Community Reporter

Sam Vise, junior in journalism, is the community reporter for The Auburn Plainsman.

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