I am opposed to merging the cities of Lewiston and Auburn.

As the senior citizens recreation specialist for the Auburn Recreation Department, I have serious concerns about the impact that this merger would have on the elderly citizens who are living on limited incomes. Any increase in Auburn’s taxes could be detrimental to its elderly population.

Under Maine law, the commission is authorized to do seven things in presenting a merger to a vote, including picking a name for a newly merged city, an inventory of the assets and liabilities of each city, determining the debt of each city, deciding where the city hall will be located, etc.

Nowhere under state statute is the commission authorized to actively “advocate” for a merger. They should be sticking to its mandate under Maine law and merely presenting the facts to the voting public. Nothing more.

I am concerned that many of the details of the merger will be unknown until after the issue is voted upon. The commission has repeatedly acknowledged that there will be a one- to two-year transition period during which the details of a merged city will be fleshed out.

How can the voters make an informed decision of such magnitude without knowing what impact it will have upon tax rates, possible school closings, seniority and employee pay rates?

Consolidation of Lewiston and Auburn is a bad idea and should be voted down overwhelmingly by the residents of both cities.

Jan Biron, Auburn

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