I’ve read about every article written regarding the consolidation of services between Lewiston and Auburn. I don’t recall any mention of polling citizens or employees about their feelings. Perhaps I missed it.

One of the most sensitive and complex issues to be resolved lies within the public safety departments. I believe that if you took a poll of the union rank and file of both cities’ police and fire departments, you would find a large majority who don’t support such a merger.

The officers in both public safety departments have established seniority rights to various aspects of their work, from job and shift assignments to the promotional waiting line. Combining the departments would disrupt that entire process. Resolving differences in the different union contracts, especially retirement eligibility, will give anyone a major migraine.

I watched all kinds of brainstorming over the years – ideas afloat that were going to solve all kinds of problems, individuals hired to do surveys, studies by committees – only to see money wasted. That’s what they are doing with this latest imported problem-solver.

If people thought that the meeting in Lewiston was a little testy the other night, wait until the two councils get together and start thrashing out consolidation. The fox will be in the chicken coop.

For historical purposes, I compare the thought of combining the two cities that have been in existence for hundreds of years to the Clay/Liston fight!

Robert Tiner Jr., Poland


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