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Enough is Enough: How will the mayoral election affect you?

By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
“Tip O’Neill said that all politics is local. I say all politics is personal. Voters want to know: how does this election affect me and my concerns?”
Thus spoke Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, to a group of Suffolk University students tracking the race for mayor in Boston.
I pose the same question to Lewiston voters: how is the upcoming mayor’s election going to impact you?
In the last seven years, the mayor’s position has gone from ribbon cutting, running a council meeting and occasionally breaking a tie vote to the person sitting in the corner basement office setting the direction in which the City of Lewiston will proceed. This power, not found in the City Charter, is the result of the Bully Pulpit.

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Enough is Enough: Attacking achievements in Downtown Lewiston; No Name Pond

By Robert Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

When one runs for public office there is an expectation that at times you will be the subject of scorn from the public and the media. In short: the faint of heart need not apply.
Two years ago I ran for and won the office of Mayor of Lewiston. I did not run to be loved by all of the people. I ran to address the problems brought on by political correctness, problems that have been keeping Lewiston from her potential. I ran to address problems shied away from by elected officials who feared retribution and backlash.
In adhering to the commitment I made to my supporters, I have been pilloried in the press. Governor Paul LePage once remarked, “You’re the only person I know that gets worse press than me.” This is to be expected in politics. You can turn up the heat, but I won’t be leaving the kitchen any time soon.

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Enough is Enough: True community leaders motivate followers with their vision

By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
True leadership is a rare quality possessed by very few. There are successful business leaders who achieve fame and fortune through their hard-working staffs—staffs whose motivation comes from a handsome paycheck.
There are military leaders, whose absolute power over their troops is used to gain promotions and glory—this through the pain and dying of the troops under their command.
Then you have self-appointed community civic leaders—leaders who organize people from outside a neighborhood to come in to address problems in an unfamiliar neighborhood. They refer to this as help. I think it would be better defined as enabling.
True leaders do not rely on riches, power or celebrity status as a way to motivate people. True leaders have vision, a vision they are able to articulate in such a way that it motivates those hearing the message to realize the achievement of that vision is a reward in itself. Such a leader is the Rev. Doug Taylor, who along with his wife, Sonya, founded and run The Jesus Party on Bates Street in Lewiston.

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Enough is Enough: It’s time to start investing in our local neighborhoods

By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
It’s time for Lewiston city government to take two steps back and call a time out. A time out to examine the whole city. An examination of our limited yearly resources to determine where we will get the best bang for our buck.
Where can we invest our money so that it will show a return?
Every day I speak to people from throughout Lewiston who relate to me problems in their neighborhoods they would like addressed. Many of these issues are quickly addressed by a simple phone call to one of the city’s departments.
Some can be rectified by a meeting between the taxpayer and city officials. Others, because of budget restraints, must wait their turn. This occasionally turns into a lengthy wait. All this while the city focuses on the downtown.

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Enough is Enough: Portland Pirates, Arts and Culture can help L-A achieve prosperity

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last Thursday, September 26, was the happiest day of my mayoral term. I feel it also has become a defining moment in both Lewiston and Auburn and possibly the surrounding communities.

The events that happened that day clearly open a path to success and prosperity to our area. But this success can only be achieved, first and foremost, by you, the people residing in our community. This is your chance to step up to the plate and put our area on the map.

What happened on September 26? Two major things: First the various groups responsible for arts and cultural events in the Twin Cities organized into a single group, Arts and Culture Lewiston Auburn. Second, although it is deeply instilled in Lewiston-Auburn culture, our second piece of good news does not fit into the preceding category: first-class professional hockey. Portland’s loss is our gain.

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Enough is Enough: Armored Personnel Carrier will be used to protect or save lives

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

The ground rumbled. Houses started shaking. Calls flooded the police, fire and emergency lines. Many turned on their TVs, looking for the answer. Others felt this was the end, their petitions for mercy filled the air, rising to Elysium. Then, suddenly, everything stopped.

An eerie quiet prevailed. Opening their eyes, they viewed the bright sun and blue skies. They ran from their homes to check and converse with their neighbors. Reaching the street, they suddenly froze in fear.

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Enough is Enough: Jobs: Those who don’t want them and those who are not allowed

By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
They are not our brightest.  We’re in big trouble if they are regarded as our best.  They invade Lewiston like a pestilence, infecting a few of our neighborhoods.  The majority can barely read or write even though they have lived in this country all their lives.  Collectively they appear as a breathing and walking illustration of the Maine State Disability Rating Manual.
Work skills?  Please!  But worse, they are fawned on by politicians who engage in Herculean efforts to make their idleness more comfortable.  This sympathetic policy will soon lead to a new underclass battle cry—Representation without Taxation.

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Enough is Enough: Proper foundation needed to create a destination city

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last Friday I attended a Board of Directors meeting of the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council.  During the meeting two things became apparent. First, I really am in need of a pair of hearing aids.

Second, there is a lot more to economic development than bringing businesses and public transportation to an area.

These entities come as a result of creating an area that is not just livable, but also a place that individuals seek out and want to live.

Clean streets, vibrant houses and well-kept properties describe over 90 percent of Lewiston’s current neighborhoods. A mixture of young and older families serve to stabilize neighborhoods, creating a slow, steady turnover of properties.

The condensed area of our city allows residents a short travel to retail and grocery stores, hospitals and doctors’ offices, a variety of restaurants and eateries, as well as nature walks. Then there is my personal favorite: coffee shops.

Upon moving to Lewiston from Boston, one of the biggest amenities found in our community were the abundance of private and public children’s sports leagues covering all sports. No matter the abilities of the youngster, all sports were open to them—unlike larger areas, where a lack of talent precluded you from playing. This is a huge selling point when trying to attract younger families.

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Enough is Enough: Why is there so much pressure to attend college?

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Apparently the mayoral campaign has started and friends of my opponent have begun attempts to discredit me.

In a Letter to the Editor published June 27 in TCT, “Students have a willingness to succeed,” signed by Jordan C.D. Handy, I am accused of negativity towards the Lewiston School System. (Oh, did I mention that his father, James Handy, is the chairman of the Lewiston School Committee and a friend of my opponent?)

Young Mr. Handy’s letter about one of my columns, which was published May 23, comes five editions after the column ran. Why the slow response?

In his letter, young Mr. Handy states that my column was written with a negative flavor. He contends that I implied that “The Lewiston Regional Technical Center is nothing more than a dumping ground for students that can’t succeed academically.” On the contrary, my article praised the program.

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Enough is Enough: A good rapport with our local refugee population

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I was humbled by Jane Pelletier’s letter which appeared in last week’s TCT (“Refreshing to have Mayor Macdonald”).  However, I must address one sentence, “out of the country guests wanted him to resign.”

The incident she is referring to was performed by a group of illusionists who succeeded in masking their identity in order to make it appear that this protest was being carried out by “out of the country guests.”

To better understand what went on here, I must refer to two events, one referenced by Ms. Pelletier and another which took place over a three-day period. Both were an attempt to label me (feel free at this point to enter a derogatory name).

At the beginning of this year, I was visited by two agents from the Department of Justice. One of the agents was Frank Amoroso, a former Portland Police Chief, and his partner of Somali descent. For three days, they had been roaming the streets of Lewiston inquiring of every Lewistonian of Somali descent as to how they felt about me.

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