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Seven compete for three ARD positions

By: Bruce Warren Journal Staff Writer
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Three Auburn Recreation District board seats are open for election in November. Those running include incumbents Gordon Ainsleigh and Jim Gray, as well as Jim Ferris, Jerry Devlin, Thomas Carl Gardener, Wayne T. Lyndon and Keith Smith. “Jimmy Carroll’s chair was open, but he decided not to run,” said Kahl Muscott, ARD district administrator. While Muscott does not get personally involved with the election process, he did comment on possible qualifications for future board members. “A good qualification is to want to provide the best service possible for the people of our district,” Muscott said. “We have an opportunity to improve people’s lives.” Following is a brief look at each candidate: Gordon Ainsleigh: Ainsleigh, 61, served on the ARD board from 2005-2008, and was board chairman in 2006. In 1983, he obtained his Doctor of Chiropractic from Western State Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore., and went on to do postgraduate work in nutrition at the same school in 1994. He has been a chiropractic doctor in the Auburn area since 1983. In addition to being an ARD board member, Ainsleigh was board president of the Midway Heights County Water District from 1991-92. Some of the accomplishments Ainsleigh cites are first race director in 1977 of the Western States 100-Mile Run. He ran and finished 22 times in the endurance run. Ainsleigh lists his major emphasis on ARD “to enhance both the health and happiness of citizens of the Auburn area. Using current science now available, it is completely reasonable to expect a 25-percent decrease in cancer death among those who participate in the programs I am bringing on-line.” Jerry Devlin: Devlin, 62, is one of the newcomers running for the ARD board. Devlin served as vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for U.S. Robotics, where he oversaw distribution and retail channels throughout North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific Rim, Europe, Middle East and Africa, prior to retiring and moving to Auburn in 2006. Devlin says he would bring expertise in areas such as finance, sales, procurement, manufacturing, customer support and general management. Prior to working for U.S. Robotics, Devlin was the chief operating officer for eWireless Inc. and vice president and general manager for 3Com Corporation. Devlin also worked 11 years for Apple Computer in a number of executive positions, including director of European Operations in Cork, Ireland. His past community experience came as board chairman for Kenneth Young Centers in Elk Grove Village, Ill., which funds a number of comprehensive youth and senior citizen services. He also was an Honorary Chairperson for the Special Olympics of Northwest Chicago and served as chairman for the 2000 Heart Walk of the American Heart Association. Devlin attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., where he majored in finance. He completed several management courses in operations and business marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Management. Jim Ferris: Ferris,72, has been an Auburn resident for more than 18 years. He holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University. Currently retired, Ferris was past president of Signet Laboratories in Los Angeles, president of Dietary Labs in Burbank, and vice president of marketing for Plus Products, a large distributor of vitamins and natural foods. For 10 years, Ferris did all the market research for the consumer products division of Avery Dennison Company, a large producer of office supplies. Locally, Ferris is founder and chairman of the Canyon Keepers, started in 1998. For the past 10 years with Canyon Keepers, Ferris has worked on projects in conjunction with state parks. He also co-authored a book on area trails called “American River Canyon Hikes,” which can be found at local bookstores. Ferris is a board member of Gold Country Wildlife Rescue and Citizens Involved Means Better Living, which essentially picks up area trash, Ferris said. ARD sponsors numerous outdoor sports activities and Ferris brings an interest and background in sports as well. “I’ve been interested in outdoor recreation all my life,” Ferris said. “I participated in sports since college. My favorites were skiing, hiking and tennis.” Thomas Carl Gardner: Gardner, 28, works at the Lincoln Training Center in Roseville. He was born in Elmira, N.Y., but has lived in California most of his life, he said. A graduate of the Vista Center in Sacramento, Gardner is currently taking online courses to become a paralegal. “I would like to try to make a difference,” Gardner said, when asked why he entered the ARD election race. There are at least two agenda items that Gardner would like ARD to consider. “I want to see if we can get a pool at the north Auburn gym,” Gardner said. “I would like to see a smoke-free environment there.” Jim Gray: Gray, 46, has served on the ARD board for the past eight years. In 2001 and 2002, he was selected as the board’s chairman. Gray has been employed by the Sacramento County Probation Department for 22 years and now serves as supervising probation officer and substitute teacher for the Placer Union High School District. In sports, Gray has been a football coach at Yuba College, Del Campo High School, Bella Vista High School and Placer High School. Additionally, he has served as coach and manager of various Little League baseball teams and youth basketball teams. A 1984 graduate of South Dakota State University on a four-year football scholarship, Gray, a linebacker, was invited for tryouts with the Arizona Wranglers and Miami Dolphin professional football teams. “I am very committed to local youth sports programs and a strong advocate in promoting recreation and health programs for the entire Auburn community,” Gray said. Wayne Lyndon: Lyndon, 67, is a retired business owner, after running a retail hobby store in Sacramento for 25 years. Lyndon has been an Auburn resident for 12 years, but has lived in Placer County for more than 30 years, mostly in Roseville. Besides being a business owner, Lyndon was with the Arcadia Fire Department in Southern California for 14 years. He was a firefighter and became a fire inspector for about seven years. He is a graduate of Pasadena High School and Pasadena College. He said his business and sports background might be beneficial for ARD service. “I think my business background and having a family background in sports,” Lyndon said, when asked what he would bring to ARD. “My dad was athletic director at the Pasadena Athletic Club. He was an Olympic coach and had several divers in the 1956 Olympics in Australia. I grew up with a background in sports, but that’s not all I think about, but you need a broader mindset for the position.” For the past six months, Lyndon said he’s been attending ARD meetings “to get a background and feel for it. I think my business experience is what the ARD board would benefit from and being able to give input in planning programs.” Keith Smith: Smith, 47, has been a practicing chiropractor in Auburn for many years. Born in Davenport, Iowa, Smith moved to Auburn at age 1. He went on to graduate from Placer High School and from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa in 1985. Smith joined his father’s Auburn practice in 1985. He has used his medical skills to contribute to the annual endurance run. “I’ve been a check-point doctor on the Western States Endurance Run for the past 11 years,” Smith said. In the community, Smith does volunteer work with the D.C. Troopers of E.V. Cain school and is a treasurer for that group of eighth- graders, who make an annual trip to Washington, D.C. “I want to see enthusiasm for youth in reclaiming their health,” Smith said, when asked what he would bring to ARD. “We need to have more programs to get kids involved in exercise. I would like to see some ARD programs where children with weight problems can get involved without feeling self conscious.” The seven candidates are vying for three four-year seats on the Nov. 4 ballot.