From 1996 to 2006 I was an Auburn city councilor. During that time, I served on the Emergency 911 Committee. The committee’s task was to provide dispatching and emergency response for both cities. The system was professional and well run. The public safety leaders from both cities collaborated well.

I was pleased to be a part of this successful undertaking, but questions entered my mind. Why are the governmental services to Lewiston-Auburn split between two cities which so clearly are advantaged by combining delivery of those services? Why does cooperation of the two cities depend on the commitment of the currently serving city councils? Why isn’t that cooperation institutionalized by a merger? I was concerned that the level of cooperation between the two municipalities could suffer with successor policymakers. Indeed, that has proven to be the case.

The reasons for the merger of Lewiston and Auburn are well documented by the Charter Commission. I find those reasons compelling. The reasons against merger are summed up as fear of change. Resistance to change will hold the two municipalities back from progressively and confidently confronting the daunting challenges of today and tomorrow.

I commend the vision of those who propose the merger. The merger will bring economies of scale and efficiency and will permit a confident Lewiston-Auburn to lead the state.

The hard work of the commission has presented Lewiston-Auburn with a rare opportunity that should not be squandered. It should be embraced. Vision and confidence should prevail over fear of change.

M. Kelly Matzen, Brunswick

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