Freitas makes life easier for Auburn residents

City of Auburn award winner finds work rewarding
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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For 23 years Mary Freitas has been helping businesses in Auburn get their start. Whether it?s a seamless explanation of the business licensing procedure or a friendly face when paying fees, Freitas? supervisors say the senior accounting technician helps make sometimes complicated procedures smoother for Auburn residents at City Hall. Her tireless contributions unanimously earned her the honor of the State of the Community Award for the City of Auburn. ?I think first and foremost she sincerely cares for all customers,? said Andy Heath, administrative services director for the City of Auburn. ?She really goes above and beyond to help customers understand city policy and the process.? Heath said even with limited technology Freitas is able to send out business renewals efficiently each year. Her workload has increased since the city has experienced a 50 percent reduction in staff over the past few years, but Freitas continues to perform at a high-level, he added. Freitas also works on employee benefits and licensing for events held in the city. She said she was shocked to find out she was being recognized with the honor. ?I was in total disbelief, but very nice I have to admit,? Freitas said. ?I love working with the public. It?s always been rewarding.? Freitas said helping new businesses start up brings her joy and 23 years later she still enjoys her job. She raised her two children Tiffany and Simon in Auburn and loves the Auburn community. ?I think it?s a family community and it was a great place to raise my children. There is a lot to do, a lot of events,? Freitas said. Some of her favorite annual events in town include the Antique Street Fair held in Old Town Auburn and the Festival of Lights. One of her favorite special events was last year when Auburn was a start city for the Amgen Tour of California. She said she could see the peloton whizzing by her office window. Her greatest source of joy is seeing members of the public she has worked with come back to see her later. ?Some of the customers even just come back to say, ?hello.? I think it?s great to see them,? Freitas said. Bob Richardson, Auburn city manager, said Freitas? skills help make life for Auburn residents a little smoother. ?She in essence creates a roadmap for people to get in and out of City Hall as quick as possible,? Richardson said. ?She earnestly cares about making people?s time in City Hall as easy and swift as possible.? Reach Sara Seyydin at, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.