I read with amusement Auburn attorney Curtis Webber’s condescending letter (March 25) in support of the merger of Lewiston and Auburn. The merger might be great for the lawyers who would charge hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to draft a charter for the new city and implement a new merged government. For the rest of us, however, it would be a financial disaster.
Webber argues that the New York-based experts who were hired by the Joint Charter Commission have “projected” cost savings due to the elimination of a city administrator and staff. Bizarrely, Webber neglects to mention the millions of dollars in increased costs for merged union contracts that would result from consolidation. He didn’t mention that those “projections” that might result from a merger might or might not be implemented by unknown elected officials several years in the future.
There is nothing in Webber’s letter that indicates he has familiarized himself with recent city budgets. If he did, he would see that both cities have already eliminated dozens of employee positions in recent years. Those budgets are bare bones.
Webber, like other proponents of a merger, condescendingly treats opponents as a bunch of “know nothings” who should just follow along with what the elites would have people believe. “Know-nothings” are comprised of past and present local government representatives and private citizens who, unlike Webber, have actually participated in the nuts and bolts of managing city budgets.
Webber should hang out with us dummies sometime. He might learn something.
Robin Dearborn, Lewiston