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Auberger reflects on career

by Sean Carroll

Greece, N.Y. --- This month Greece Town Supervisor John Auberger wraps up his sixteen year run in that office.  His retirement means the start of a new regime, and an opportunity to look back on a fascinating political career.

Auberger was sworn into office in January 1998 after serving ten years in the Monroe County Legislature, including two as the Legislatures President.  Prior to public service as an elected official in Greece, Auberger worked at Kodak for 25-years.

"I jokingly said but there is a bit of truth to it, I've said, I'm the road and sewer guy, chuckled Auberger of his approach to the job.  I do not deal with the sexy issues of intercontinental missiles or whatever I deal with roads, I deal with police issues.

Those police issues saw him deal with a number of public controversies.  Former Police Chief Merritt Rahn was imprisoned along with two other officers in a series of unrelated crimes that combined to create an ongoing scandal. 

"It was unfortunate what happened but it was just one of those issues where you could not control the actions of the individual; no employer is responsible for the actions of their individual, said Auberger of that time.  "I remediated a situation and I cleaned it up and that is about the only thing an administrator can do once they become aware of it.  I mean there are people within the community who do have agendas (but) any logical individual with any shred of commonsense would know that you can't blame an employer for the actions of a few employees.

Auberger spoke of his steady focus on public service and customer service as he led the regions largest suburban town.  Over his 26-years as an elected official he oversaw the communitys transition from a Kodak Town to one that has new companies and industries taking root at the Eastman Business Park.

And I'm very, very positive on the future here, said Auberger. 

"Ridge Road is the engine in the economy in the Town of Greece, said Auberger.  "The naysayers who said there were vacancies up and down The Ridge were wrong The Ridge has remained a very, very positive part of the Greece Community."

Auberger also notes that only 4% of the towns land houses commercial business and that is still very much a home to residents.

Auberger is quick to express his thanks to family, friends, supporters, and the many town workers and employees who helped him throughout his career.  During the interview he also made numerous references to his naysayers and critics over the years. 

So we asked if he had some final words for them too?

"To the naysayers I would say, and whether it's political (and it is) primarily political, you need to change to your approach.  Running against John Auberger all these years will get you nowhere.  The fact that we've done our best to provide services to this community, we've had some setbacks that we've had to deal with but primarily this is a great community, Auberger continued.  I say to them change your approach, get involved with the community, start learning about local government instead of sitting there day after day, night after night trying to tear down the elected officials because obviously it doesn't work. I'm going to go on.

Assemblyman, and Chairman of the Monroe County Republican Party, Bill Reilich will replace Auberger as Town Supervisor on January 1st.  Auberger, 61, plans to take some time off before seeking out another opportunity that he hopes will keep him in public service.

Click here to watch and read more of Aubergers Exit Interview with 13WHAM News.  In it he addresses how police had to question him in the course of a homicide investigation.

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Washington Times