On November 7, 2017, the citizens of Lewiston and Auburn will decide whether the Twin Cities go forward as one united, stronger, and more prosperous community.
The financial savings are significant…
The consolidated cities could save at least $2.3 million each year. Those annual savings add up to a very significant $23 million over a ten-year period. If the primary objective was saving money, the 10-year savings might amount to $42 million or more. Those freed-up resources could be used to lower taxes or improve services – or both. Given continued strained resources and outside help being reduced, every dollar saved is important.
…but it’s about more than money.
While saving millions of dollars is vital, it is not the only – or necessarily the most important – reason.
We can unite for economic growth and better jobs.
LA faces unprecedented demographic and economic headwinds in the years ahead. Our population is aging. Our workforce is expected decline severely, and many will lack the skills employers demand. Maine’s business climate is ranked near the bottom of all states. LA’s economy has declined during a time of growth elsewhere. When it is most needed, joint economic development between the cities has ceased. If we continue to compete with each other, we’ll be blown away, but as one unified community we can attract the employers and jobs essential for long-term prosperity.
We can build Maine’s best school system.
Inquiring companies ask first about the talent available to hire. Talented people want to live where the school systems are great. Good paying jobs require good schools to attract and educate the good people who attract good companies. A larger, unified school population of almost 9000 students will give us the scale and necessity to rethink and reinvent our education system. We can make it Maine’s best.
We can make a safe city safer and save money.
Even as we have identified savings from merging two cities, we have also pinpointed how a safe city can be made safer. We can put more police on the streets, respond more swiftly to fires, and better train those men and women who serve to keep us safe.
We can have everyone pulling in one direction.
Two cities going their separate ways, sometimes in conflict, is wasteful of resources and opportunities. We can have one city with one vision, one government structure, one leadership team – with employees, officials, and the rest of us pulling in one direction.
We can raise our stature, flex our muscles, and change how others see us.
The consolidated city’s population would be nearly 60,000, just behind Portland’s 67,000. As one city, we would have a stronger voice with Augusta. We can demonstrate to other Mainers, whose views of us are often negative, that we will be forward looking and bold as we confront the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
We can be Maine’s best place to live, learn, work, and play.
We can build on our strengths of hard work and family in Maine’s safest community. We can deliver services more efficiently and even improve some services. We can attract the entrepreneurs and businesses seeking the benefits of our strengths and talents. We can rethink and reinvent our education system so that our talent attracts the jobs that assure our long-term prosperity.
We can be Maine’s best place to live, learn, work, and play if we are One LA.