LEWISTON — A city council of 10 plus a voting mayor would govern a combined Lewiston-Auburn, according to a draft charter released Tuesday.

The combined city would have five wards with two councilors per ward serving staggered two-year terms, according Gene Geiger, chairman of the Lewiston-Auburn Charter Commission.

“We imagined five wards, each twice the size, in terms of representation, that they currently are,” Geiger said.

At least one ward would cross the river, according to the document. One or more wards would be contained completely in present-day Lewiston and at least one would be contained in present-day Auburn, he said.

“The notion is that you want the new city to feel like there is a connection,” Geiger said. “If you have wards that cross the river, you have that shared linkage — like a bridge over the river.”

The draft, available online at newlacharter.ning.com, is the culmination of 18 months of work and discussions among the six members of the Charter Commission. But Geiger said none of it is written in stone.

“Obviously, we think this is all a pretty decent idea,” Geiger said. “But we could very easily get a comment or an observation or insight from left field that we’d never thought about, in which case, we could change. And clearly there will be holes or things that we’ve missed. So this is considered by us to be a very first draft.”

Lewiston and Auburn voters elected the six commissioners — three from each city — in June 2014 to study and draft a new charter combining the two cities. The group has met twice each month, discussing government options, meeting with local government representatives and writing a draft charter combining language from the Lewiston and Auburn charters and a national model charter.

Geiger released two documents on the commission’s website Tuesday, a draft of the charter  and a document comparing it with the current Lewiston and Auburn charters.

Now the effort turns to presenting the proposed charter to the public, getting feedback, opinions and making changes to suit the Twin Cities, he said.

Geiger said he expects consultants will be on hand in February to meet with residents, members of Lewiston and Auburn city staff and elected officials. He also expects the group will schedule a public meeting to discuss the charter in February. Voters could decide the fate of the charter and the effort to combine the cities at the polls in November.

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Lewiston-Auburn Charter Comparisons Jan 2016

Lewiston-Auburn Draft Charter v 1 Jan 2016


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