Bob Grossman is seeking a 7th term as an Auburn selectman. He has served now for 18 years.
Now retired, Bob spent most of his working career as a buyer. Originally from Athol, Bob and his wife, Bonnie, chose to live in Auburn in 1971 because of its location and convenience. 41 years later, they still live in the same home. They have two daughters who were raised and educated in Auburn.
In addition to serving as a selectman, Bob has served on the School Building Committee, Economic Development Committee, and has volunteered at countless events and functions over the years.
AMD: What do you feel qualifies you to be an Auburn Selectman?
Grossman: I’ve been a selectman for 18 years. I have experience and leadership, and I understand how Auburn town government works. I can work with the people in administration and with other board members to make positive change.
AMD: What would you improve in local government?
Grossman: Taxes and roads. I would like to see the dual commercial and residential property rate continue to shrink. I am a homeowner, so higher residential tax is not good for me, either. But it is in the interest of the town. In 1986 when we went to the split tax rate businesses were forced out of Auburn. We’ve started to shrink the gap and in just the last year and a half I count 12 businesses that have come to Auburn or remodeled or expanded. Pakachoag Acres Daycare is building on Auburn St. where Frank and Nancy’s used to be. R.H. White is tearing down the old KofC and building state of the art office, meeting and training space. There are other projects coming that aren’t ready for announcement yet.
Also roads. I want to see the town continue to budget money for road improvement in addition to the Chapter 90 funds we receive from the state. The roads are better, but we need to keep improving.
AMD: What do you feel are the top two issues facing the Board of Selectmen?
Grossman: Working together in the best interest of the town. We also need to work together with administration and management. The administration has done a lot for the town of Auburn. New policies and restructuring have saved us many thousands of dollars. Our cash stabilization account is up since the override for the high school. Our bond rating is now AA+. That alone saves Auburn $300,000 a year in interest for the next 10 years. We’ve done all of this without taxing to the levy limit of 2.5%, without layoffs, without overrides, and maintaining full services. We hear a lot about tax rates, but Auburn is actually in the bottom third of Massachusetts towns for property tax rates. We need to keep the ball rolling and keep a strong relationship between the board and the town administration.
The other issue is to continue the move toward a single tax rate which will continue to attract business.
AMD: What will you personally bring to the Board?
Grossman: My experience, most importantly. I remain unbiased and do what is best for the town and for its future. Some decisions are not popular right now, but I look at the long run. I have been in business all my life, and I understand the need for balance between the business and residential needs.
AMD: Do you have any suggestions to keep Auburn on its strong financial track?
Grossman: A well-balanced board working together with the town administration will have a positive end result.