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Who Is Lewiston Mayor Shane Bouchard? 

Mayor Shane Bouchard’s poker-faced expression doesn’t reveal many clues about what he might be thinking or what he is like. Lewiston Community Relations Coordinator Dottie Perham-Whittier, who has worked with 11 mayors during her employment with the City of Lewiston, offers a glimpse: “Mayor Bouchard has a confident, to-the-point, go-getter type of presence, but when it comes to teenagers and dogs, you see a whole different side of him – he’s a real softie!”

City Administrator Ed Barrett echoes Perham-Whittier’s observation: “The mayor is big on dogs, something both I and Charlie, my Golden Doodle, appreciate. He recently adopted a new family member – Moxie – who he has introduced to some of us. If you want to see a softie in action, just check out Shane with his new buddy.”

Perham-Whittier says that each mayor has contributed something different to the city we are today. “With Mayor Bouchard, I especially appreciate the fact that at the start of City Council meetings, he recognizes the achievements of staff, community members, and businesses that are making Lewiston shine.”

Says Barrett: “The mayor has been particularly strong at reaching out and working closely with other members of the City Council. We have an exceptionally diverse group of elected officials who represent all aspects of the political spectrum, and Shane has built positive relationships with everyone. He works hard to ensure that all views are heard and to maintain positive working relationships even when there are disagreements. It’s a pleasure working with a group that can remain positive and productive even when there are strong differences of opinion, and Shane has been important in keeping things positive.”

Ward 2 City Councilor Zachary Pettengill says, “This is my first term as a City Councilor and it is great to work with Mayor Bouchard. In every conversation and every council meeting he is very dedicated and driven to move Lewiston forward and grow to support its people. I’m looking forward to his second year as Mayor and what that means for Lewiston economically, as he has a very clear vision of what it means for Lewiston to succeed!”

Barrett elaborates, “While addressing current issues and problems, Shane always keeps in mind his vision for the future and his strong desire to improve Lewiston. He speaks frequently about his desire for a ‘WOW’ project that will enhance Lewiston’s attractiveness – be it concerts and events on our riverfront or pursuing ideas for lighting our buildings, bridges, and Great Falls. He’s open to big thinking and big ideas that will move the community forward.”

Barrett says the mayor’s outreach extends beyond City Hall and out into the community: “He’s always ready to meet with citizens with problems, concerns, and ideas and to do his best to provide the help needed.”

Lewiston resident Beth Matthews knows this firsthand. She was surprised and pleased when Mayor Bouchard contacted her personally after hearing about problems she had been having in her neighborhood. “He didn’t need to reach out and seek to understand where I was coming from,” says Matthews. “It was completely unsolicited and the concern was genuine.”

“Despite being on the opposite end of the political spectrum, I’ve come to appreciate the support of the mayor’s leadership,” she continues. “It’s been refreshing, and our shared common denominator is a commitment to what truly best serves Lewiston. There is nothing partisan about what Lewiston needs. The mayor and I have come to this common understanding and I am confident in the direction he can lead us with the community’s support.”

Lewiston resident Stephen Kottler says, “I don’t know Mayor Bouchard very well, but he first impressed me with his common-sense approach to local government when he was a City Councilor and our neighborhood was facing some serious problems. His active interest in solving problems facing some Lewiston residents who were not in the ward he represented really stood out. His approach is respectful, practical, and not tied to any special interest groups or ideology. He really cares about people and the city, but avoids the spotlight. He’s not looking for headlines and glory for himself, but justice and improvement for all of us in Lewiston. We’re lucky to have Shane Bouchard doing all that he’s doing for us.”

Maura Murphy is a freelance writer and editor from Lewiston. After writing her way around the world for nearly 30 years, she returned to the city she has always called home.

This article is part of a series featuring Mayor Bouchard and some of the plans, issues, and opportunities facing Lewiston. Questions and suggestions for topics from our readers are encouraged and may be sent to maurakmurphy@gmail.com.

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