Note: As of press time, Mr. Robidoux had not yet returned our telephone call requesting some personal background information. Following are Mr. Robidoux’ responses to AMD’s candidate questionnaire. We will update this article with additional information as it becomes available.
AMD: What do you feel qualifies you to be an Auburn Selectman?
Robidoux: I feel the most important qualities a selectman can possess is doing what he/she believes in their heart is right, and using common sense. If you’re looking for a politician, I’m not him. I am a family man and business man with a loving wife, great kids and grandchildren. I have a passion to help make our community a better place to live, work, raise our children and grandchildren.
AMD: What would you improve in local government?
Robidoux: I would work to improve the transparency of government. Too many things are done behind closed doors. I believe that the best disinfectant is sunlight. There can never be too much transparency in government.
AMD: What do you feel are the top two issues facing the Board of Selectmen?
Robidoux: Roads: The town of Auburn is currently investing approximately $500k locally. The amount hasn’t changed much in the past 3 years. The town receives approximately $2,000,000 in excise taxes derived solely from cars registered in Auburn. One of my first initiatives would be to establish a plan to isolate the revenues from excise taxes to be used for paving only. We rely on state funds to pave our roads as we have no control what that number is. People should be upset when they see all these new town vehicles and their road not being paved.
AMD: What will you personally bring to the Board?
Robidoux: I will personally bring a note pad and pencil. I say that half joking. What I mean is I plan on taking lots of notes of what is happening around me. It seems like the politics of the present board are making simple decisions difficult. I think we need to bring a level of respect and common sense back to the board. It’s ok to disagree, so long as it’s done respectfully.
AMD: Do you have any suggestions to keep Auburn on its strong financial track?
Robidoux: Yes, this year marks the first year in 6 years the Board Of Selectmen voted to move forward a budget that was in excess of their own self-imposed limit of raising taxes to 1.25% and actually drew down the stabilization fund instead of contributing to it. Auburn’s recently received bond rating upgrade consisted of two major contributing factors. They were the Board’s discipline to adhere to the self-imposed tax levy limit, and their commitment to increasing the stabilization fund. They violated both. This is a slippery slope. There will always be a reason to justify go over 1.25% and taking money from stabilization. Common sense says, if we were able to stay disciplined and not violate these limits in 08, 09, &10, which was the worst economic collapse in our lifetimes, then there is no reason we should not be able to achieve that now. It took 6 years of discipline to earn the increased rating, it will not take that long to lose it if we continue to violate our own self-imposed limits.