By Hannah Lester


Auburn Mayor Ron Anders will serve another four years.

Auburn’s municipal election for several City Council seats will take place on Aug. 23, however, the mayor’s race will not be among them.

Qualifying ended on June 28 and no candidates other than Anders qualified to run. Therefore, by state law, the seat is Anders’ by default. He was declared elected during the July 5 City Council Meeting.

“I am honored that I will be serving as mayor for four more years until 2026,” he said. “I look forward to continuing the work that we set out to do four years ago, and some of that work was delayed due to the difficult times that we have worked through with the pandemic, but we certainly have more work to do, and I look forward to working with the great people of Auburn for four more years.”

Anders said that his goals for his campaign have remained the same, “to protect our citizens and educate our children,” however, there are some specific goals for the next four years as well.

“One is the annual maintenance and improvement of our infrastructure, specifically our roads, and our intersections and our sidewalks,” he said. “With the great growth we have in Auburn, that is an area in our community that we can never take our eye off of, and we have to annually make sure that we’re chipping away and improving our roadways and making them safer.

“Second, is we have got to catch up on the needs of our children and our families with our recreation facilities. Our growth has surpassed our capacity when it comes to fields and community centers, and we have got to attack that here early and often in this next term.”

These needs will be easier to fulfill, Anders said, with more funding coming into the city through new businesses and sales tax. This also brings jobs to Auburn, he said.

There were several challenges Auburn faced during Anders’ first term, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of Auburn Police Officer William Buechner, the abduction and murder of Aniah Blanchard and more, Anders said.

Despite the difficulties, Auburn’s mayor had praise for the people of his city and said he feels more prepared now to lead Auburn over the next four years.

“I look forward to every day serving the great people of Auburn,” Anders said. “We have a community that has more blessings and resources than a majority of cities of our size, and so being able to work within all the wonderful things of Auburn University, our people, our industries, our university, our school system — we have a deep bench of opportunity in our community, and I just love being a part of that.”

Anders is not the only one who will be serving again.

Ward 3 Council Member Beth Witten and Ward 8 Council Member Tommy Dawson were both unopposed following June 28’s deadline. They were also both declared victors July 5 without opposition.

“I am thrilled to be working with Beth and Tommy,” Anders said. “The three of us represent the core of the senior leadership of our council. We are the three people who returned four years ago. Tommy and Beth have invaluable city experiences that I believe benefit their constituents of their wards but benefit the city as a whole. They are invaluable resources of wisdom, and guidance and advice to me, [and] I simply could not guide our city without having them.”

The other city council seats are up for election on Aug. 23:

Ward 1: Arthur L. Dowdell Sr. and Connie Fitch-Taylor (i)

Ward 2: Kelley Griswold (i) and Paul West

Ward 4: Tyler Adams and Chad Leverette

Ward 5: Sarah Jan Levine, Henry G. “Sonny” Moreman III and Leah Billye Welburn V

Ward 6: Bob Parsons (i) and Phillip Pollard

Ward 7: Max Coblentz, Jay Hovey (i) and Greg Lane

“I’m excited about the other individuals, the other citizens in our community who are seeking to run,” Anders said. “That includes the people who I’m currently serving with and some of the new faces that we’re seeing.

“I’m proud and thankful for all of those people. This is a very difficult job to serve on the city council. It takes a lot of time.”

Auburn voters need to register by Aug. 9 and can find registration information online here:

More voting information is available on Auburn’s website: and given that Auburn has new boundary lines due to redistricting, some citizens may live in a new ward. That information is available online.

“I want our citizens to know that Auburn is a great community, but Auburn is not a perfect community,” Anders said. “And the way to make Auburn the best it can be is for everybody to work together. I hope that they have seen that we have an open door at City Hall and that our citizens are invited to share their opinions or their concerns with their city leaders. And that door will stay open for the next four years, and I look forward to moving Auburn into the future with their assistance.”