Lewiston Resident most of my life.
The last "Citizens Commission on Joint Lewiston-Auburn Cooperation" consisting of 10 people (five members from each city), started in Feb. 2007 and was tasked at just looking at where the two cities could share some services easily. They chewed through almost $200,000 in State Grant money hiring a consultant and a Joint Services Coordinator in an effort just to consolidate a few services. Then when all was said and done, after about 2 years it was all abandoned.
Now this latest effort is pared it down to 6 people (3 from each city) with totally empty coffers and they are looking to come up with a plan that the voters will endorse to entirely MERGE the two cities.
The vote for Charter Commission members was held (voters had to choose three from Lewiston and three from Auburn) it was for Lewiston and Auburn residents only. Read about how all this works here at the Sun Journal... http://www.sunjournal.com/twincities They have a quick video that explains it nicely.
"We have no budget, and if I have my way, we won’t ask the municipalities for support. I think people will donate to support the work of the commission.”
The municipalities had wanted to explore the sentiment of the people before forming yet another possibly fruitless and expensive consolidation effort.
Some people couldn't wait, and circumvented that process via a petition drive, forcing all citizens into creating yet another consolidation commission (aka our Charter Commission) with NO funding, schedule, or real framework.
I think it would be lovely if all the people who signed the petition fund what they have forced upon the rest of us.