It’s great to see all the emails and letters to the editor sent by Auburn residents expressing their views about whether the Auburn City Council should rename, once the streetscape project is completed, what has been called for many years “Central Square” into the “Endurance Capital Plaza.” Most people seem to favor keeping the “Central Square” name.

As I previously mentioned at a public meeting of the city council, we should, when designing public art, honor what we value. I have a strong sense from talking with residents and reading about the city’s past, that residents value and take great pride in the multiplicity of Auburn’s history. Everywhere one looks, one sees evidence from a heritage that includes Native American settlements, the Gold Rush, Chinese immigration, the railroads, the Confluence of the American River, and fruit orchards. And for the last several decades, our town has emerged as the “Endurance Capital of the World,” as courageous men and women each year complete the 100-mile Tevis Ride and the Western States Endurance Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn. We have a lot to be proud of.

The city council, staff, and residents have embarked on the multi-phase streetscape project to physically connect Old Town to Downtown and to create an interesting place for both residents and tourists to socialize, mingle and shop. Making a place interesting includes variety with some common themes. In the first phase of the streetscape project, Central Square will be designed to accommodate three places for art pedestals and pavers. No final decisions have been made by the city council, however, as I have previously stated at a public meeting, each of the art pedestals or areas in the square could represent an important part of Auburn’s history –the Gold Rush, the influence of the Railroad, and the American River for instance. Honoring the winners of the Tevis Ride and Western State Endurance Run with pavers also makes sense. Getting on the right track with a blended theme could be the way to go.

What is important to keep in mind is that no final decisions have been made. Public input is indispensable. We have a great opportunity to redesign Central Square into something that residents will enjoy. It is the city’s responsibility to ensure that residents are informed about when the final decisions will be made so that they have an opportunity to let their city council members know their views. We look forward to your input.