Residents know that for many years Lewiston and Auburn have been a model for how to work together. Case in point is the operation of the municipal airport, which is owned by each city. The airport board must have the cooperation of each city.
The same is true for Unified Emergency Management (911), L-A Transit, the Growth Council and LA Arts, etc.
At one time, the approval process was easier because officials could make a single joint presentation to both cities. Recently, it was decided to have all major inter-local agencies report to each city individually. This process can be difficult and frustrating because approval is needed from two mayors, 12 city councilors, as well as input and support from various department heads. Also required is compliance with often differing codes and policies from both cities. Furthermore, one city can hold the other hostage if issues cannot be resolved. For example, if the airport wishes to build hangars for rent or lease for corporate or private aircraft, and one city disagrees, growth potential stalls and the opportunity for additional revenue is lost.
Residents can hope that Lewiston and Auburn will continue to work together, or we can do something now to ensure that we move forward, improve and develop in the future. Having one system of governance can safeguard that. The cities’ histories and cultures remain intact. Mailing addresses remain the same.
The future will be more resilient as the cities progress as one united community.
Edouard Plourde, Lewiston