New Auburn mayor: ‘Love not hate’

Maki takes chair for third time
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Calling for love over hate — and keeping the community safe from fire — Cheryl Maki was sworn in Monday as Auburn’s mayor on Monday.

“Let’s not get caught up in the hate and national dysfunctional crap,” Maki said, after being sworn is as the city’s mayor for the next year.

Maki succeeds Bridget Powers, who stepped down as mayor and also as a City Council member. Powers chose not to seek re-election in November.

Maki called on Auburn and her fellow City Council members to set an example.

“It’s not about politics at this point — it’s about loving one another,” Maki said.

The retired heating and air-conditioning business co-owner was elected to the City Council in 2016 — her third stint on the panel, having also served between 1994 and 1998 and from 2000 to 2004. She has twice before served as mayor.

Maki stressed public safety in an address to about 80 people attending Monday’s City Council meeting and swearing-in ceremony.

“There’s nothing more important than public safety and fire safety in the city,” Maki said.

That amounts to working harder not just in getting the canyon areas cleared of excess fire fuels but also ensuring neighborhood yards are free of overgrown brush and grass, she said.

“We have to think about it now,” Maki said. “That is something very important to me this year.”

Maki added that Auburn already has a caring community, despite the national political atmosphere.

“Politics are important but when I look around me, all I see is people helping people,” Maki said.

Replacing Powers on the City Council is attorney Sandra Amara. She was sworn in Monday along with re-elected incumbents Daniel Berlant and Matthew Spokely. City Councilman Bill Kirby was sworn in as vice mayor.