I attended the briefing by the L-A Charter group at which the group’s report was presented. I have also studied the materials on the group’s website and the full report, and come to the conclusion that supporting the merger of the Twin Cities is the best option.

Exhaustive data collection and analyses were done by the commission. I am hugely impressed with the hours of work the report represents. I know some people question the numbers, however, I have yet to see specific data that contradicts the very conservative, positive estimates of tax dollars saved.

I’ve heard concerns about the impact on schools. But the proposal maintains both high schools and allows for more specialization by staff that can be shared with all Auburn and Lewiston students. The cities will also more effectively address special educational needs by joining forces. A larger school system will allow for more in-district offerings, thus improving local access (and the cost of same) closer to home.

Finally, there are emerging shortages of educated labor all over the state. But the metro area has a downtown census tract that is actually growing. What a great competitive factor this is, both for businesses and for new folks looking to relocate. The Twin Cities are diverse, growing and have the wisdom to creatively combine assets. I urge others to dive into the details versus just listening to rhetoric; that’s where they’ll find that voting yes on the L-A merger makes the most sense.

Betty Robinson, Auburn

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