What’s old is new again. This week saw the inauguration of the new city councilors and mayors for the twin cities of Biddeford and Saco.

In Biddeford, Mayor Alan Casavant took the oath of office at the City Theater on Tuesday for his third consecutive term leading his native city.

On Monday, in Thornton Academy’s Garland Auditorium, Saco Mayor Ronald “Ron” Michaud also took the oath of office for a third term, though it’s been four years since he last held the position.

Both mayors talked about the positive steps being made in their respective cities as well as some of the plans for their new administrations.

For his part, Michaud wants to make Saco even more vibrant and even more livable, expand the commercial tax base, help existing businesses and farms, resolve traffic issues and work more closely with the City of Biddeford.

Casavant said he felt the past four years were “remarkable and at times dazzling” but “there is still room for improvement.”

He said he wants to help change some residents’ negative view of their city and work on some issues he’s being dealing with in his past administrations, such as increased parking in the downtown and mill district, and repairing the City Hall clock tower.

Like Michaud, he said he would like to work more closely with his neighboring city for the benefit of both communities.

In the past, many a city leader on both sides of the river have made much ado about plans to work with one another. After all, both communities face many similar issues, such as growing development in their mill districts and downtowns, trying to pay for necessary services while keeping down property taxes, the desire for greater economic growth, developing the amenities of their respective cities and much, much more.

So getting city officials to work together to advance their shared interests makes sense. The two communities share a river, with a pedestrian bridge that traverses it, joining each city’s river walks. They share a Main Street. And for those looking in from the outside, there are many who don’t know where Saco ends and Biddeford begins.

Taking a lead from their shared geography, we hope in the new year the two communities and their elected officials will not just give mouth service to the idea of working together but actually do it.

One of the first orders of business should be seriously considering whether the two can share a single fire chief.

It’s not a new idea. And this is an oppotune time to mull over the issue since the Biddeford Fire Department has been without a chief for months.

The fire departments of Biddeford and Saco already work very closely together. Under their mutual aid agreement, both departments respond to fires in both cities and they also come together for training; it’s likely an even closer working relationship would lead to greater benefits.

This is just one example of how the two cities can create a closer bond.

One former Biddeford mayor, General Wallace Nutting, who held office from 2003-2007, and has lived in both cities, advocated for the two cities to become one, as they had been in the past.

While we won’t go that far, a stronger working relationship between Biddeford and Saco can only improve the prospects for progress for both while also saving dollars for the taxpayers on either side of the river.