AUBURN — Twin Cities voters will consider who will draft a combined city charter next spring, now that a petition effort successfully collected enough signatures to put the matter on June’s ballot.

Members of the Lewiston and Auburn city councils should meet in late January to set a date for electing a commission to draft a charter.

“It would be at least two years before we actually vote on whether or not there will be one city,” Auburn City Manager Clinton Deschene said. “This puts a group in place to draft that charter and show how we would act as a community, if we have one community and one charter.”

Deschene said the effort collected 1,000 signatures in Auburn and 1,000 signatures in Lewiston.

“That starts the formal process now,” Deschene said. “We’re suggesting having a workshop in January and then you need to set an election date to select a charter commission.”

Councilors also need to decide how many names would-be charter commissioners need to gather to win a spot on the ballot and what the group would be named.

Residents will be able to submit their names to be included on a June ballot. Each city will elect three residents to the charter commission.

“At some point, councilors will have to talk about how involved they want their staff to be, or if they want them involved,” Deschene said.

That commission will draw up a founding document to both cities under a single elected body. They’re proposed charter would decide on a name for the new city, list each community’s debts and assets, a name and location for city offices, rules of government and rules for the transition.

Voters in both cities would get the chance to vote on that new charter, likely in November 2015.

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