A group of community-minded individuals have noticed that it’s time to celebrate the positive in Auburn. Lately, the yet-to-recover economy has claimed some victims, including local businesses and possibly halting new ones to sprout based on empty retail and office space throughout Auburn. The 18-person class of this year’s Leadership Auburn believes during tough times, it’s important and imperative to focus on the positive. The group of community members and leaders has enjoyed their months-long experience of learning about what Auburn has to offer. Courses have included touring the county jail, learning the area’s rich history and a stop to the Auburn Journal office. During their tour of the town, members have been pleasantly surprised about what Auburn has to offer. For example, many agree that Auburn has more arts and culture than they knew about and the foothill city is more than just hiking. One said it’s been “eye-opening” to learn about Auburn’s history and others were impressed at the wealth of information available at Placer County museums. “The experience I walk away from Leadership Auburn Class of 2011 with is an in-depth appreciation of the local history, arts and government,” said Dianna Baird with Placer County. “Furthermore, I received a wealth of personal knowledge about myself through Wayne Manning’s inspirational hours. And, I’d like the class to know I have truly enjoyed sharing this journey with them and look forward to continued relationships and attending reunions.” All agreed that Auburn should be a destination spot and not just a pass-through town. This year’s Leadership Auburn group is also taking action. They’ve created a business plan aimed to help Auburn businesses and the community become a destination. One suggestion they’ve promoted is installing an electronic kiosk in Central Square. The kiosk would direct tourists and residents alike to the shops and restaurants they are looking for and provide additional information about the town. Past Leadership projects have included building a bus stop on High Street, and improving landscaping and adding a new sign in front of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. It’s time to follow step and get involved. Help make Auburn a better place yourself. Think Auburn First and support your local shops and business owners. Join Leadership Auburn, learn more about your community and work with a group of energetic individuals to come up with a project that will better Auburn. Leadership Auburn Class of 2011: Donell Ball, retired, Lance Lowe, City of Auburn, David McHugh, New York Life, Mary Ball, retired, Richard Page, educator, Scott Christianson, Reynolds Maddox, LLP, Ron Schwab, First Choice Business Broker, Rosie Joe Herrnberger, Auburn Chamber, Dustin McLaughlin, Auburn Police Department, Clare Buckley, Interfaith Food Closet, Dianna Baird, County of Placer, Joanne Valentine, Pacific Custom Machinery, Kathy Partak, Zipper Back Gloves, Larry Gray, Auburn Recreation District, Jim Kelley, retired, Stewart Schurr, Doctor PC, Chris Vogel, high school senior, and Cynthia Ferrell, life coach.