Incumbent city councilor and lifelong Auburn resident Debby McCormick said she wants to transform Auburn into the community she remembers growing up in. 

"When I look back, and of course when you're growing up you don't realize it, I think Auburn was a great place to grow up and I would want it to be that way again,” she said.

If elected for a second term, the 60-year-old Democrat said she wants to tackle the city's zombie property issue. McCormick said she and the rest of city council has already begun to address the abandoned properties by reopening the city's codes office full time, hiring another code enforcement officer and a new corporation counsel, as well as introducing the Brighter Side program designed to help property owners avoid foreclosure on their properties. 

"I would love to get that under control," she said.

Additionally, McCormick said Owasco Lake and the watershed is a top priority. Her time on the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection and Management committees has given her the experience and knowledge necessary to help remedy the issue. 

"It's a very complicated thing and its taken me a good two years to really get it," McCormick said. "I've got a lot of experience on the committee and with the different agencies that I think is valuable. I just want to take advantage of the people I've built relationships with and the knowledge I have. I want to continue that work."

Before being elected to the city council in 2013, McCormick worked as the Auburn city clerk for 13 years. That experience, she said, has helped her in her role as a city councilor. 

"I've held leadership roles in the past so I know what a leader needs to do and what a leader shouldn't do," McCormick said. "(As the city clerk) you really support the city council, so I have a lot of history in my head that is very helpful to being a good city councilor. And I have a lot of connections with people in the community."

Overall, McCormick said she and the current council have done a lot of good things over her four-year term and wants to continue working on them. She said she is excited to see the Harriet Tubman National Park and the Equal Rights Cultural Heritage Center projects come to fruition. 

"Hopefully what I've been doing speaks for itself," she said. "I just want to do what's best for the city of Auburn and the people who live here." 

Staff writer Natalie Brophy can be reached at (315)282-2239 or natalie.brophy@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie. 

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City Reporter