To the Editor:
To all the voters who supported my candidacy for Mayor of Lewiston, I send my heartfelt thanks to you. As a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, I know firsthand the pain and sacrifice that our men and women undergo to preserve the right and duty to vote in America.
Now, on to the run-off election on December 13. If you voted for me on November 8, please make a special effort to return to the polls, or vote absentee, on December 13. If everyone who voted for me in November returns to the polls and repeats the vote, we should all benefit from your generosity.
We are going to hear many promises made in the upcoming weeks from our opponent. Choo-choo trains on Lincoln Street, jobs galore and good times for all—everyone getting along here in a wonderful Camelot on the right bank of the Androscoggin River.
I’m sorry, dear fellow citizens of Lewiston, I cannot promise you all things wonderful under the sun. I am running for Mayor, and as the City Charter instructs, my principal duties as Mayor will be to represent the fine citizens of Lewiston at official functions, such as ribbon cuttings, and to run efficient, orderly City Council meetings. No more. And no less.
In a change of direction from the current mayor, I will use the position as a public figure to advocate for a strong effort by the City Council to return Lewiston to a place where work is valued. Lewiston used to pride itself as the “Industrial Heart of Maine,” and we have drifted away from that value set.
The major theme around here over the past 20 years has been building very expensive “affordable housing.” Affordable housing is a code word for “Section 8, government-paid housing.” The sad fact of the matter is that building affordable housing attracts people who live in affordable housing.
Attracting more low-income (or no-income) residents to Lewiston is a sure bet that our city is going nowhere. We need to get off the kick of being the dumping ground for Maine, New England and the United States. We need to stand up and say “No.”
The sad fact is that a legion of developers of Section 8 housing are killing Lewiston. While they and their government bureaucrat friends in Augusta and Washington are profiting handsomely off the projects that attract some very lazy people to Lewiston, we citizens are writing the checks to support Section 8 residents.
I will be the first to offer a “hand up” to people who have run into misfortune in their lives. That’s what a true community is all about. But we have built a system in Lewiston that is promoting generation after generation of welfare.
When I was working at Lewiston Middle School as an Ed Tech after I retired from the Lewiston Police Department, one student actually told me that she didn’t have to do homework or do well in school because her father told her “When you turn 18, you can just go on the state.” This attitude has to be rooted out of our fine city.
If you want a free ride through life, I am sorry. I invite you to ride free in another community. You are not going to sap the prosperity out of the checkbooks of our working citizenry. On the other hand, if you have fallen on hard times but want to do better, we’ll see that you get the help you need.
As citizens of Lewiston, we can only work our way to prosperity. We can never return to prosperity on the backs of government hand-outs. The government is running out of “other people’s money.” I hope the city council understands this.
Let’s see what we can do to return Lewiston to the status of the “Jobs Heart of Maine.” Doesn’t that sound better?