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Auburn mayor Jason Levesque asks Gov. Mills to lift statewide stay at home order

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Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque sent Maine Governor Janet Mills a letter Tuesday requesting she lift the statewide stay at home no later than Monday, May 4. In the letter, Mayor Levesque said the citizens of Auburn are at “an emotional tipping point” and said the mood about town is “anything but receptive” to an extension of the stay at home order.

Read Mayor Levesque’s full letter below:

“Dear Governor Mills,

First, thank you for your leadership during this time of crisis. Through your press conferences, you and your staff have helped us all to understand the threat and the data. You have built a base of knowledge that I and my fellow municipal leaders have carefully applied to our unique communities. This has helped us protect our residents and has, hopefully, minimized the economic damage to Auburn businesses. Like all of Maine, Auburn is a resilient city filled with strong, determined people.

Throughout the last 6 weeks, we have focused on responding to need. Auburn was the first city in Maine to roll out a small business bridge loan program, which has saved 118 jobs. We were also the first to fund a city-wide food preparation program, which turns out nearly 1,000 meals a week to our most vulnerable citizens. This kind of inspired leadership is what we will need as we enter the next phase: recovery.

I am writing today on behalf of the City of Auburn to urge you to lift the Stay Safe at Home order no later than May 4.  

I feel strongly that Auburn is at an emotional tipping point. As Mayor, like my peers around the state, I am strongly connected to my community. I can tell you that here in Auburn, the mood is anything but receptive to a long-term extension of the order. I encourage you and your staff to communicate with me and with other mayors around the state prior to taking action, or at a minimum, please give us the courtesy of informing us a few hours prior to your decisions, so that together with city staff, we can properly and efficiently prepare our response.

I would also like to follow-up on my letter to you dated April 2, which offered my assistance on formulating a distribution plan for House Bill 748 “Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security Act,” in which over $1.25 billion dollars is directed towards Maine and its cities and towns.

I look forward to the reopening of our great state. And I urge you to place your trust in local leaders and in our citizens to do what is right to both fight this pandemic and also minimize undue economic strain. Rest assured that Auburn will stand at the forefront of a great Maine resurgence.

Yours in service and leadership,
Jason Levesque, Mayor of Auburn”

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at Maine Policy Institute and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at Maine Policy. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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