Regarding the proposed Twin Cities merger, I am not opposed, nor do I argue that tradition outweighs progress. I am concerned by this attempt and hope others will ask tough questions.

Regardless of the optimistic financial presentation, no one knows the future costs. Some two years after any vote, the cities would begin the process and people hired at that time would make decisions as to staffing, pay and benefits and the overall budget. What has been presented is an optimistic view of best-case scenarios that seem to avoid key details.

I have previously outlined reasons why the financials are questionable and will give one here — why does the outlook not mention new bonding by the new municipality and why is that not included in any tax forecasting?

But those in favor say it’s not just about money and tell us the merger will make us stronger in Augusta. As we will not gain any legislative seats, I’m not sure that’s possible, unless one assumes that those currently elected fight only for their city and not based on political leanings. These arguments are an insult to those we elect currently.

The cities already work together on economic development. When is the last time anyone heard of the Twin Cities “competing” for the same business? The last one I remember was when TD Bank expanded to Auburn and the reaction I heard from Lewiston officials was pride that they choose to add jobs locally.

Time to vote — November 2017.

Robert Reed, Lewiston

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