Two qualify in Auburn on first day

AUBURN - Two candidates qualified to run for an open Auburn City Council seat Thursday, the first of a seven-day qualifying period.

Peter Hoover, 50, and Linda Blechinger, 46, are both vying for the council seat vacated by Billy Parks when he decided to run for county commission. Qualifying continues from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each weekday through July 16.

Blechinger, who has lived in Auburn for 12 years, said she became interested in running for council after serving as chairwoman of the city's parks and recreation committee.

"I'm excited about where Auburn is headed," she said. "I want to be part of it."

Blechinger said she has listened to Auburn residents to determine that sidewalks and a town square are top priorities in the community. She also listed better infrastructure and controlled growth as some of her interests in working on the council.

Hoover, a seven-year resident, said his main interests for Auburn lie in code enforcement and economic development. Hoover is a member of the planning and zoning board, and said he wants to redevelop the downtown Auburn area, bring restaurants and other business to the area and increase the value of homes in the city.

"I feel I could do more as a City Council member," Hoover said.

The special election will be held on the same day as the July 18 primary.

Linda Blechinger

•Age: 46

•Occupation: Stay-at-home mother

•Education: High school

•Family: Husband Daniel; children Derek, 17 and David, 14

•Political experience: None

Peter Hoover

•Age: 50

•Occupation: Fleetcor Technologies

•Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, Master's in political science and history from Wesleyan University

•Family: Divorced with one child

•Political experience: None