Leadership Auburn class building legacy with Downtown bus kiosk

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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The Leadership Auburn Class of 2009 will graduate in June. But members are leaving a permanent signature — a bus stop shelter/kiosk on High Street in Downtown Auburn. Auburn resident Tom Roemer, retired from the California Air Resources Board, has taken the lead on construction. “I happened to have some of the tools people could use and the time to show and help people along,” he said Monday. “The real leader is our mentor, Bob Snyder (former Auburn city councilman).” Architect Michael Kent Murphy designed the structure as part of the Auburn Streetscape project. Funding is coming from the city of Auburn, Roemer said. Work started in February and is nearly finished. “We have to complete the stonework,” Roemer said. “There’s stone on the outside and we’re going to put stone on the inside. There’ll be brickwork for the bench and sheeting for the roof.” The finishing touch will be a shiny copper roof that will age to a green color, he said. The kiosk builds on the work of last year’s Leadership Auburn class. “It’s right next to the last class project — a bench in the center of the parking lot,” said Bruce Cosgrove, Auburn Chamber of Commerce CEO. Laurie Carman, Citizens Bank relationship officer, is one of the volunteers. She and her son, Casey Carman, a senior at Golden Sierra High School, have been working on the roof. Carman, a Cool resident, joined the 18-member leadership class because she wanted to learn about the community. “I wanted to find out more about the inner workings of the city,” she said. “I’ve never been involved in a city like this before. Where I’m from, the East Coast, a lot of people can’t wait to grow up and move out. There wasn’t this family feel where a community surrounds you and people are involved and all help each other.” Leadership Auburn is an Auburn Chamber of Commerce program. The group meets monthly from October to June, starting with a weekend retreat at Granlibakken Lodge in Tahoe City. Participants learn about local law enforcement, city and county government, education, healthcare, community development, arts and culture, and the history of Auburn. The last session is on media relations. Among the activities are a tour of Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, spending the day in a local classroom — this year it was Bowman School, a tour and lunch at the jail and visiting a judge in judge’s chambers, Cosgrove said. Carman was particularly impressed by the program presented in April. “It was an eye-opening class because of all the different aspects an owner has to go through to open a business or redevelop the land,” she said. Roemer has come away with some observations, too, starting with the sessions at Granlibakken. “It’s making plans, making decisions and having the courage to move forward on projects even if you’re uncertain about them,” he said. “And to appreciate the network of people involved in Leadership Auburn.” The group is making preparations for a garden party and silent auction to be held May 15. “It is to get former class members and the community together to raise funds for the Leadership Auburn program,” said Carman, who heads the planning committee. The pace of gathering items for the auction has been slow because of the economic times. “But we do have some very nice prizes and donations,” Carman said. Deadline for making a donation is May 1 and Carmen is hopeful others will step forward. The Garden Party will be held at the Sisters of Mercy Center in Auburn and will feature hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar and light jazz music. Gloria Young can be reached at ---------- Leadership Auburn Class of 2009 Garden Party & Silent Auction What: Fundraiser for Leadership Auburn When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 15 Where: Mercy Center, 535 Sacramento St. Cost: Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Auburn Library, Citizens Bank of Northern California, Umpqua Bank and Bank of the West Call: (530) 887-7497 or e-mail to make a donation for the silent auction and for more information.