Auburn gets a new mayor

Alice Dowdin Calvillo’s third time serving as Auburn mayor.

Alice Dowdin Calvillo  being sworn into mayor position by Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson.

Marissa Laucirica

Alice Dowdin Calvillo being sworn into mayor position by Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson.

Marissa Laucirica, News Editor

On Dec. 12,  Alice Dowdin Calvillo was sworn into the position of mayor in Auburn, California. 

Calvillo has decades of public service experience on both the state and local levels, starting her journey as a freshman at UC Davis when she “began working for the State government.” 

After completing her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science-Public Service and in German, Calvillo continued her career on the California State Mining Board, Associate Resources Policy Analyst. 

On the home front, Auburn has been the hometown of Calvillo’s family since 1852, and Calivillo says that she is “proud to sit on the Auburn City Council,” and make the “town the best place to live, work, play and contribute.” 

From businesses small and large, the local airport, and industrial parts, Calvillo says that it’s “vital that we step up our efforts to spur economic development to increase and diversify our revenues streams.” Colleagues of Calvillo share the same perspective, eager to further develop Auburn. 

Behind the scenes, in Calvillo’s limited free time, she enjoys “trail running and traveling with [her] family.” 

This year is not the first time Calvillo has served in Auburn City Council; from 1998 to 2005, she served twice. During Calvillo’s first year term serving as mayor in 2000-2001, one of the main focuses was on fire preparedness. A few years later, from 2004-2005, she served another term as mayor. This year, from 2022-2023, Calvillo proudly serves as mayor for Auburn. 

In between that time, in January 2008, Calvillo served as the Chair of the quasi-judicial agency that collected bargaining statutes with most public sector employers within California. That same year, Calvillo was appointed “by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)” in several cabinet levels from 2005 to 2008. A few included Schwarzenegger’s “Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary and as Chief Deputy Appointments Secretary.” 

Prior to these appointments. Calvillo joined the Governor’s senior staff, and was Schwarzenegger’s “Legislative Director for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.” During that time, Calvillo worked closely with Governor Wilson and Schwarzenegger, as well as in the State Assembly. 

Further along, Calvillo served on the “Auburn Planning Commission from 2015 to 2020,” and she was appointed to the City Council in May of 2020 after the current mayor, Bill Kirby, was tragically killed in a plane accident. Calvillo was elected to “his Council seat in November that same year,” and her term will end in 2024. 

Currently, Calvillo is a member of numerous committees and Boards, including the Pioneer Community Energy Board of Governors as Chairperson, Placer County Transportation and Planning Agency, Endurance Capital of the World Committee of the City Committee, Streetscape History and Art Advisory Committee of the City Committee, and the  Board of Directors for the California League of Cities representing the Sacramento Valley Division. 

From 2021 to 2022, Calvillo served as vice mayor. She would “fill in for the mayor when needed,” and “preside over the meeting in her place” if now former mayor, Sandy Amara, was absent. 

As Mayor Calvillo’s mantra is “perseverance brings results,” she express her biggest goals this year is having a fire-safe community, new property and home inspections, increase efforts to home hardening, and educating property owners are aware of necessary steps to ensure their homes and open spaces are protected from fires. 

To accomplish this, Calvillo is determined to promote “resiliency and fire protection funding at the federal level by partnering with other local and regional agencies,” to support Auburn’s FireWise community. 

To achieve this goal, Calvillo has already made connections with the “Placer County Water Agency, Placer County and El Dorado county officials, the incoming Mayor of Placerville, Councilmembers from surrounding cities, and the General Manager of the El Dorado and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District.” 

Beyond fire safety, Calvillo finds that it is imperative to work with the “police department, led by Chief Kinnan,” to support his efforts to use innovative technology and “problem driven policies in public safety.” 

Furthermore, to “increase the membership of the City’s Traffic Committee, Sustainability Committee, and the Arts Commission,” both Mayor Calvillo and Vice Mayor Radell-Harris are introducing opportunities for Auburn students to engage in council discussions and make recommendations.