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Archive for December 2010

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Auburn will NOT pick up Christmas trees

UPDATE: The City of Auburn sent a press release last week stating it would pick up Christmas trees. It later retracted that press release, but TCT had already gone to press. The revised press release is below:

In an effort to provide “Superior Services at an Affordable Cost” the City of Auburn continues to explore options for cost-effective and efficient services.

How can you help reduce the cost? The city has established three convenient locations where residents may drop off their Christmas trees. Residents may deliver trees to: Public Works Garage, 296 Gracelawn Rd.; or Mid Maine Waste Action Corporation facility, 1 Goldthwaite Rd.; or Engine 2 Fire Station, 181 South Main St.

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Weekly Review: CLT seeks lease at Great Falls East

By Glenn E. Aho

Auburn City Manager

The Great Falls School story is long from over. After years of inaction, this City Council took a bold move toward resolution and finality—actions that have eluded prior city councils. Who would have known the motion to demolish the Great Falls School would have generated such debate, passion and action? This Auburn City Council is who.

It was only after the topics of Great Falls School and Community Little Theater were debated as separate issues did the logjam release enough so councilors could then speculate under what conditions the building could remain. The resounding response was that the building could remain under the condition that it was privately funded.

Contrary to what some might believe, not all community development is solely publically funded. There are many examples of where community development projects are either funded privately or through some private/public partnership. Yes, the Great Falls School (or, as some call it, the Great Falls Performing Arts Center) can go on without public funding.

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Mayor’s Corner: Helping the needy; tax cuts for the rich; and WWJD

By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.

Mayor of Lewiston

Every year around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we hear of story upon story as to the goodness of people who share what they have with those who are poor and hurting financially.

We hear personal accounts, see stories in newspapers and on television as to how the holiday has been made brighter by those who gave of themselves, either by volunteering their time, giving their money and providing food stuffs to those who are needy. What wonderful gestures by these people. It truly is evidence of people caring for their neighbors. Often times these gifts are made anonymously.

Let’s look at some of they needy who were hungry on Thanksgiving Day, when they were fed at a local rescue mission. But they were also hungry on the day before and the day after Thanksgiving.

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Lewiston seeks consultant for Riverfront Master Plan

The City of Lewiston has received an earmark grant of $900,000 designated for creating a master plan to guide riverfront development.

The $900,000 in the Economic Development Initiative grant can only be used for: acquisition, planning, design, purchase of equipment, revitalization, redevelopment or construction. No more than 20 percent of the grant can be used for planning.

City staff is creating a request for proposals to seek a consultant to assist in the project. Assistant to the City Administrator Lincoln Jeffers outlined the process for issuing RFPs in a December 16 memo to the city council:

Phase I is to develop a comprehensive master plan for the downtown riverfront area. Phase II will involve efforts to implement the recommendations of the riverfront development plan.

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Catholic Charities loses funds for City Hall receptionist

Catholic Charities Maine will no longer pay for a full-time position in Lewiston City Hall that has been handling General Assistance clients, as well as refugees and other clients serviced by CCM.

Catholic Charities lost the ability to pay for the full-time position because its funding for refugee case management was not approved for the next fiscal year. The City of Lewiston and Catholic Charities will now split the cost of a part-time position.

“The part-time receptionist position is currently not included in the city’s budget,” Deeputy City Phil Nadeau stated in a December 15 memo to the city council. “It is, however, necessary to have this position on at least a part-time basis since it handles much of the walk-in traffic that comes to the office and schedules appointments for applicants to be seen by caseworkers.”

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LHS Centre Stage Ensemble presents “After Juliet”

“A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.” It was with these words that came the unforgettable tale of Romeo and Juliet, remembered to all as both tragic and romantic.

LHS Ensemble Cast of "After Juliet"

However, with their deaths the story ends, thus causing the realm of Romeo and Juliet’s Verona to disappear. Right? Wrong!

Lewiston High School ’s Centre Stage Ensemble is proud to present “After Juliet,” a story that illuminates all the chaos and more romance that follows the death of our two “star-crossed lovers.” Haunted by the death of her beloved Romeo, Rosaline (Sarah Patterson) becomes filled with hatred and woe.

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Merry Christmas from TCT!

"Ho, ho, ho! Now you can post comments on the TCT website—I do!"

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Moving APD to Auburn Hall; General Assistance costs

This is the Weekly Review by the Auburn City Manager.

By Glenn E. Aho

Auburn City Manager

It’s the size of an iceberg that’s beneath the water that’s impressive, not what shows above; in fact, almost 90% of an iceberg remains under water and hidden from view. The same can be said of where the true savings in local government are—hidden from view.

What people don’t always see is the internal operations of local government, which can be the true cause of needless expenditures. Here are a few examples.

First, outdated job descriptions can, and usually do, lead to poor performance. Residents want accountable and efficient employees working for their government so that’s what our expectations should be. Auburn is taking a wholesale approach and updating every one of our 70 or so job descriptions. Gone will be the Betty Crocker-like job descriptions that were simply a to-do list of limiting activities.

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LETTER: United Way responds to Auburn city manager

To the Editor:

United Way of Androscoggin County has a long history of investing in our community and supporting the health and human service needs of local residents, including the residents of Auburn.

As an organization we address the underlying root causes of our community’s most pressing problems from a variety of angles, including convening individuals, non-profit agencies, government, business and other partners to address issues. We generate approximately $1.7 million in revenue to support the communities’ initiatives, mainly from the generosity of corporate and individual donations and employees giving through workplace campaigns.

I was disappointed when I read the Weekly Review written by Auburn City Manager Glenn Aho that stated, “Allowing employees to gather for a single rally is too expensive and creates a loss of productivity.” (“Weekly Review,” Twin City TIMES, page 4, November 25, 2010)

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