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Pull together and keep town viable

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Your “Our View” on July 9 hit the nail on the head in many ways. With the exodus of the grocery stores, hardware stores and the post office in Downtown we lost our viability for people who “had to come Downtown.” For 30 years I have been talking to the Auburn Chamber of Commerce about the need to advertise out of town, get on travel guides and get to be known for our history and bring in tourists. Many towns with less going for them have found going after the tourist trade to be the answer. They worked hard on this and became destination points for tourists. Look up and down Highway 49 and observe these towns. Most of these towns were almost ghost towns in the ’60s and are blooming today. It takes just what you mentioned in your (editorial) to get Auburn going unless it wants to be a bedroom community in Placer County and lose its city status. With ever-shrinking viable retail business in the city limits, Auburn will have no tax money to operate as a city and raising taxes will not help because then those who are left in business will leave as well. Every dollar spent outside Auburn takes police, fire and services away from the citizens. Tango’s beautiful umbrellas are a plus for our Central Square. In a viable Downtown a pawnshop is fine, too, and needed. It just happens to be the only retail store with foot traffic in that neck of the woods and therefore very visible. Our city is actually working very hard on getting Downtown going. It takes also Realtors and property owners to cooperate in this project. The economic times are very uncertain and we cannot count on the state or Washington, D.C. or our elected officials to do the right thing, so we collectively (in Auburn) have to stick together and slowly work ourselves out of this situation. We all can be part of the solution in small and big ways. MARGARETA SWANN, Auburn