According to the U.S. Census 2012 Census of Governments, the state of Maine has 840 total local governments. That includes 488 municipalities and 336 school districts. For comparison purposes, the state of New Hampshire has 541 total local governments.

Why does Maine need 55 percent more government entities to manage its affairs?

Touching upon Maine’s state and local government system, the 2006 Brookings Institution study titled “Charting Maine’s Future” referred to Maine as “administrationland.”

I have a little bit of experience with private sector mergers. Change is challenging and there will be upfront costs for a variety of reasons. That said, unless very poorly managed, there are significant recurring financial benefits to achieving scale in the private sector providing a meaningful return on merger-related costs. I do not understand why that could not be the case in the public sector, as well.

In addition to the financial efficiencies a well-managed consolidation would bring, I am also excited about the positive vision of addressing the collective challenges and opportunities as one community and have voted in support of one city —Lewiston-Auburn.

Rick Vail, Auburn

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