Regarding the merger of Lewiston and Auburn — there have been expressions of concern about loss of heritage. Another concern should be the potential loss of voice.

The proposed charter provides for only five wards for the combined cities in place of the current 12. Councilors elected in larger wards are less likely to represent the diversity of the area’s neighborhoods.

The professional and business class among the municipal reformers of a hundred years ago sought larger wards and/or at-large elections to suppress the influence of ethnic groups and of lower class voters generally.

The advocates of the merger apparently subscribe to a similar outlook. The elites and organized special interests are better able to fund campaigns in larger wards. In addition, those whose views are more concentrated in particular neighborhoods will be diluted.

If adopted, whose voices will be muffled under the proposed charter?

Douglas Hodgkin, Lewiston

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