AUBURN, AL—Auburn Mayor Bill Ham announced today that he will be a candidate for re-election in the August 24 Municipal Election.
"I have decided to seek re-election as Mayor of Auburn," said Mayor Ham. "It has been an honor to serve as Mayor for the past 12 years, and if the citizens allow, I'd like to serve our City for another four years. The City Council, City staff, and I, with input and involvement from the community, have developed a number of important initiatives that I would like to see carried out in another term."
Mayor Ham's focus has been on improving the high quality of life enjoyed by Auburn residents. Under his leadership, Auburn has added 25 miles of new bikeways and multi-use paths, Town Creek Park, and new recreational facilities such as the Yarborough/Auburn University Tennis Center, the Auburn Soccer Complex, and renovations to the Frank Brown Recreation Center.
Recently, Mayor Ham credited teamwork at City Hall with bringing Knology to Auburn. "We knew how frustrated our citizens were with the lack of competition in the local cable television market, so we contacted other providers to determine if they were interested in entering our market. Knology responded to our invitation. As a result, our citizens will finally have a choice in cable, internet, and telephone providers."
The recently-released 2010 Citizens Survey indicates that 93% of Auburn's citizens rank Auburn highly as a place to live. Ninety-two percent (92%) give the City high marks for its schools, and 90% are satisfied with the quality of our police, fire, and ambulance services. "During times of economic stress, most cities find that citizens become less satisfied with city services. Auburn is just the opposite. Our reputation as one of the best places in the country for economic development means that we have been able to withstand the economic downturn better than many other municipalities." Just this week, Forbes Magazine moved Auburn up four places to number six on its national list of "Best Small Places for Business and Careers."
Mayor Ham noted that the last few years have been challenging. "As our national and state economies moved into recession, the City of Auburn focused on controlling the cost of City government, so that the City would remain in strong financial condition. "Auburn's bond rating is one of the best in the State, and we are determined to control expenses while continuing to provide outstanding services," Mayor Ham noted.
In addition, the City has continued to recruit new industries and assist existing industries with expansion plans so that Auburn faced fewer layoffs and job losses than those faced by other Alabama communities. Mayor Ham added, "It is important that we remain focused on our economic development efforts because they generate the revenues that allow us to provide the level of support for our schools and city services that our citizens have come to expect." City fiscal support for Auburn City Schools has more than tripled since Mayor Ham took office in 1998.
"If the citizens of Auburn allow me to serve them for another term, my focus will be on maintaining our excellent schools, recruiting more high paying jobs for Auburn, continuing efforts to improve our infrastructure, building on our already excellent relationship with Auburn University, and continuing our work to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion on our streets," said Mayor Ham. "Auburn will continue to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family."
Charles Pick has agreed to serve as campaign chairman for the Mayor Ham re-election committee. "It is critical that we have experienced leadership for the next four years," Pick said. "I am supporting Bill Ham because I believe we need his leadership to keep Auburn moving forward and to keep our economy strong." Bill Dyas will serve as Treasurer and other committee members are Carolyn Matthews, Laura Cooper, and Doug Watson.