LEWISTON — Deciding when to meet, how often and how to get Twin Cities’ residents involved will likely be the first order of business for members of the newly elected Lewiston-Auburn Charter Commission.

The group has scheduled its first meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 7, in Lewiston City Hall.

“Obviously, there won’t be any decisions made, other than when and how frequently we need to meet and what data we want,” Commissioner Chip Morrison said. “Also, how do we make sure that everybody who wants to get at us, can?”

Morrison, who took it upon himself to organize the first meeting, said he picked that date and time because it worked with most of the commissioners. He expects five of the six members to be at Monday’s meeting.

The sixth, Lewiston representative Gene Geiger, will be out-of-town, but Morrison said he expects Geiger to be there virtually, using Apple’s Facetime to teleconference into the meeting.

“There was nothing special about the date,” Morrison said. “It was literally the only time when five could meet within four weeks. It’s July in Maine, and people have plans. You should see the spreadsheet I used to work all this out.”

The meeting is open to the public.

The group has no deadline, no budget and no examples to base their work on. Twin Cities’ voters elected them on a special June 10 ballot.

Auburn voters selected Morrison, Michael Beaulieu and Holly Lasagna to be their representatives.

Lewiston voters selected Chantel Pettengill, Eugene Geiger and Lucien Gosselin to be their representatives to the commission.

The group is being tasked to write a new charter for a combined Lewiston-Auburn.

According to state law, the group needs to come up with a name for the new city, catalog each city’s existing debt and assets, set a location for city offices and draft a charter that spells out how the new government will work.

Once they’ve finished, the matter goes to Lewiston-Auburn voters. If a majority of either city turns it down, the new charter fails. If both cities approve it, however, the current cities have two years to wrap up their business.

But Morrison said he does not expect members to get into the details yet. He expects setting a schedule for future meetings will be the group’s first order of business.

“Every single commissioner has expressed to me and to each other that we have to make sure that we make every opportunity for people to talk to us,” he said. “Something is going on every night of the week in both cities. So we need to make sure that, in terms of locations and times, we will be in both cities and different cities and will have lots of opportunities for people to contact us, electronically and personally and at meetings.”

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