By Jonathan P. LaBonte
Mayor of Auburn
Last week, a meeting was held by the charter commission, which was established to propose a merger of Auburn and Lewiston. The primary focus of the meeting was to deliver a report on operational savings the commission projects might be possible and to explain how a new city, created out of Auburn and Lewiston, would function.
While there will be plenty of time to get into each detail of what problem a proposed merger may be attempting to solve and the pros and cons of how the commission proposed doing that, it might be valuable to highlight what the law states must be put forward by a merger commission. Keep in mind, the merger commission has been meeting for about two-and-a-half years to work on these items.
The Auburn Police Department has been awarded national re-accreditation “With Excellence,” considered the highest level of quality and professionalism in law enforcement, as determined by a Gold Standard process administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
David C. Thompson has joined Central Maine Healthcare as the system’s new Chief Financial Officer. Thompson comes to CMH from Centura Health in Englewood, CO, where he’s served as Chief Financial Officer since 2003. During his tenure at Centura, he also worked alongside Jeff Brickman, CMH’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Auburn Public Library is currently hosting a traveling exhibit of outstanding works of origami created by children from around the world. Called “Origami by Children,” the exhibit is sponsored by OrigamiUSA and may be viewed in the library’s Children’s Department through March 15.
Legislators may not understand how taxes work, but experts recognize the tax reforms in my budget would make Maine more competitive and more prosperous.
Dear Maine Taxpayer,
The non-partisan Tax Foundation has reviewed the tax changes in my budget, which reduces individual income taxes, lowers corporate taxes, broadens the sales tax and eliminates the death tax. They called my plan “a recipe for a more competitive state.”
They also liked my effort to simplify the income tax and reduce it to a flat tax of 5.75% in 2020. We have also proposed lowering the top corporate rate from 8.93% to 8.33%, which would still be relatively high compared to the national average.
But the Tax Foundation said this reduction would make Maine more competitive with its neighboring states.
By Jonathan P. LaBonté
Mayor of Auburn
If you take the time to read this weekly report, odds are you aren’t just doing it out of boredom. Perhaps you are from Auburn and catching up on local issues. Or, most likely, you are an Auburn resident, business owner or taxpayer and you want to ensure you know more about what’s happening with your tax dollars.
While citizens elect a city council, and that council adopts a budget, your input as the investors paying those bills is essential for two reasons. Are the goals of the Auburn City Council and city manager ones that you support; if not, how do we align them? And if they are, how much should we ask of you in tax money to implement them?
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Imagine having to caution and remind your children, as they leave your house for the playground, to drop to the ground if they hear a gunshot. Further, you remind them to remain on the ground, in place, until told by an adult to get up.
Imagine being in your apartment hosting a family get-together when suddenly a bullet comes crashing through a window, killing one of your relatives. This happened in the Bronx on New Year’s Eve.
In a 12th-floor apartment, Luis Diego was hugging his niece and welcoming in the New Year. Suddenly a bullet came through the window, killing him. He now goes down as New York City’s first 2017 homicide victim.
City Administrator Ed Barrett has announced the appointment of Brian O’Malley as Chief of the Lewiston Police Department. For the last six months, O’Malley has served as Interim Police Chief following former Chief Michael Bussiere’s retirement.
The City undertook a nationwide search for a new Chief. “Brian O’Malley was the consensus choice of a diverse hiring panel that evaluated over twenty qualified applicants for the position,” said Barrett. “Through that process, it became clear that he is strongly committed, not only to continuing and building upon the success the department has achieved, but to the community it serves. I look forward to working closely with Brian as he takes up this new challenge.”
The Park Avenue Pickers Gospel and Blue Grass Band will perform at the United Methodist Church of Auburn’s monthly Public Bean Supper on Saturday, January 28. The music will begin at 4:15 p.m. and the supper will begin at 5:00. The menu will include baked beans, casseroles, potato salad, hot dogs, coleslaw, breads, beverages and pies. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. Come early for the best selection of pies.