Auburn has a new mayor and he is taking the job very seriously. He has only been serving as mayor for seven short days, but is already making plans for the city to move forward, while embracing its rich heritage.
Mike Hughes, who officially took office Jan. 1, is no stranger to Auburn or its government, in fact he was born and grew up here, knowing the relevance of the city’s historic past, and the importance of its passionate and caring people.
Hughes, who is a 20-year employee at Logan Aluminum, has been serving the citizens of Auburn as one of its councilman for the past six years. He decided to make the leap to leader because of his love for the city and its people, and a desire to make it the best place to live, work and raise a family.
Hughes is the son of Alvin and Erdene Hughes. He is a 1976 graduate of Auburn High School and is married to Edna Hadden Hughes who is the vice president and senior lending officer for the Lewisburg Banking Company. They have two daughters, Meredith and Sara. His mother-in-law is the well-known Auburn historian Mrs. Eloise Hadden, who is the founder of the Auburn Museum.
Hughes has served numerous boards and civic groups and held instrumental positions over the years. He held membership with the Optimist Club, the Auburn Tourism Commission and is currently serving with the Auburn Rotary Club. He was a long serving Parks Commissioner, who brought about major changes to the Auburn park.
“Our park is one of the greatest physical assets this city possesses and it brings people into our town,” said Hughes, adding that on any given day during the summer, you can go down to the park and see kids playing baseball and softball and parents taking an active part. “It’s all about the interaction in our community,” said Hughes.
Hughes said he wants to make Auburn a place where the youth of the city can grown up and raise their families. He says right now, people are leaving to find work and he wants to try and change that.
With the new Auburn Senior Center about to open and the numerous senior apartments already built, Auburn can also be a place to retire.
“I care about this city. I see our children having to move away from here to work. I want to see that opportunity for them to stay if they desire and to do that we have to move forward,” said Hughes, who wants to promote existing business and also try to recruit new business to the city. Hughes says the city has a lot to offer.
“The citizens of Auburn are always willing to help. Volunteerism is alive and well. We have a fire department that is second to none and we have a school system that has broken the barriers and continues to do so, and we have some thriving businesses in this city,” said Hughes.
However, Hughes says he is a realist and he knows there are challenges that face the city, but he is willing to meet those head on. He believes the city already has a leg up with a dedicated and competent council and employees as well.
“I enjoy the process,” said Hughes of becoming mayor. “I enjoy seeing things come together and move forward. It’s a good avenue for me to give back.”
Hughes plans on making a presence in Frankfort. He believes in keeping good relationships with legislators such as Martha Jane King and Whitney Westerfield and to continue to work with Economic Development and BRADD in helping keep Auburn on the map.