Chris Asbury and Scott Holbrook are the best candidates running for the Auburn Recreation District board of directors on the Nov. 2 ballot. Asbury would bring a fresh, savvy, professional and common-sense approach to the board. His focus is on youth sports, improving fields and infrastructure. He is a proven leader, active volunteer and creative fundraiser. Asbury is able to effectively network within the business community and is focused on what Auburn Recreation District does best; provide quality recreational experiences and opportunities for residents. With a degree in economics, outside-the-box thinking and enthusiasm for the staff and positive direction the district is headed, Asbury would be a wise addition to the board. Holbrook has been a driving force in the success Auburn Recreation District has enjoyed the last several years. He has a strong working relationship with senior ARD staff and has passionately worked to find private and public funding while keeping programs affordable. Holbrook is a successful concert promoter. He created the Party in the Park series, one of the district’s most popular and successful events. Groups like the Auburn Rotary Club have made thousands of dollars selling beer and tri-tip sandwiches at Party on the Park, most of which goes right back into the community. Auburn Recreation District has a talented, hard-working and energetic staff. District Administrator Kahl Muscott and his crew should not have their efforts diminished by infighting on the board. Director Gordon Ainsleigh and candidate Larry Tracy seem to have an almost myopic focus on creating more dirt and rock trails within ARD. The nearby American River Canyon has a plethora of great wilderness trails. Hidden Falls and other nearby parklands also offer myriad hiking opportunities. Directors who are one-issue oriented and intolerant of other opinions are taking away from the great work the staff is doing. ARD offers knitting classes for seniors, ballet dancing for children, youth basketball leagues and camps, a pool that’s the center of the community during the summer... ARD sports fields, gymnasiums, classrooms and more need constant upgrades and vigilance if the facilities are to remain in good, playable condition. With limited funding available in the foreseeable future, it’s important the infrastructure be maintained and upgraded as needed. Parks should also be accessible to young families with toddlers or kids in strollers as well as Auburn’s abundant senior population. The new asphalt pathway in Recreation Park will be a nice addition. Despite what the out-of-touch, all-wilderness-trails-all-the-time crowd keeps screaming, the district is headed in the right direction. Its diversity of offerings, from pingpong to pickleball to the Auburn Community Festival giant-pumpkin contest, make ARD great. Those wanting more trails should support Canyon Keepers, Protect American River Canyons and other efforts to preserve and enhance the pristine canyons at Auburn’s doorstep. Director Curt Smith is a nice guy with plenty of time on his hands, but not the creative thinker or motivator that Asbury and Holbrook are. Larry Tracy, a newcomer to the ARD election, has gained the support of two Placer County supervisors but appears mired in antagonistic finger pointing at past decisions. Auburn Recreation District needs less antagonism and more positive action. Holbrook and Asbury are the best choices on the Nov. 2 ballot.