As a resident of Auburn, I am particularly alarmed by the proposed merger with Lewiston.
Under a new charter, proposed by the Joint Charter Commission, three wards would be located in Lewiston, two wards would be located in Auburn, and two more would be straddling the Androscoggin River. That could result in a real “tyranny of the majority” in favor of the Lewiston side when it comes to budget, economic development and other issues.
The population of Auburn is approximately 23,000. The population of Lewiston is approximately 36,000. There is a substantial chance that the scale could be tilted significantly in favor of Lewiston’s interests and against the former Auburn’s interests.
As a proud Auburnite, I see the merger proposal as a significant power play by the larger city of Lewiston. A merger would result in the identity of my great city of Auburn being swallowed up by the larger population — with all of its massive problems — from across the river.
As an Auburn resident, I have already been through a revaluation that was a disaster 10 years ago. Lewiston residents will have to go through a revaluation this time, with all its craziness. The brunt of the tax burden will be placed on residential taxpayers. Don’t vote to let that happen. It will happen only if the merger goes through.
I strongly urge all Lewiston and Auburn voters to vote “no” against this crazy idea in November.
Barbara Stockwell, Auburn