By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Fall has arrived. Comfortable days, cool sleeping nights. Over the next few weeks, leaf-peeping tourists will flock to our state to view and enjoy the beauty of our endless rolling foliage.
It’s a time for football. It’s a time for renewing childcare. It’s a time for the return of bright young men and women to Bates College.
Bates College and the former Bates Mill have for years put Lewiston on the map. Bates Mill, which produced a legendary bedspread, was renown throughout the world, and Bates College is renown throughout the country for its excellence in education.
The college was founded by the Rev. Owen Cheney, a Free Will Baptist minister and abolitionist in 1855. At its founding, it was known as the Maine State Seminary. In 1862 a “collegiate department” was added to the school. Two years later the school was re-charted and renamed Bates College after its primary benefactor, industrialist Benjamin E. Bates.
With a population of approximately 2,000 students, Bates ranks 21st on the list of best liberal arts colleges in the nation. It also is the oldest continually operating coed college in New England.
All Lewistonians should be proud to have this institution call Lewiston home. Since the beginning of my term, I have reached out to Bates College in an effort to insure and cement in place a better relationship between us. I am happy to announce that fortune has smiled upon us with naming of Clayton Spencer as the new president of Bates College. She brings a real passion to her new office.
Upon meeting with her, I found that we shared the same philosophy; that by working together, both Bates College and Lewiston will help each other to successfully forge ahead and prosper.
As Mayor of Lewiston I am asking that “The Townies” vs. “Batesies” mentality be brought to an end. Again, the success of both entities are intertwined. Bates Freshmen Orientation will now include a tour of both Lewiston and Auburn.
If you see our new temporary residents around Lewiston, please welcome them. Your hospitality may result in a new permanent resident, fresh ideas, a new business or a new leader in the area. It is incumbent on all of us to seize this moment and move our city forward.
Last week, while attending the monthly Chamber of Commerce breakfast, I had the pleasure of sitting with a delightful young lady who is a major mover and shaker within the Lewiston-Auburn community. She is a member of YPLAA (Young Professionals of the Lewiston-Auburn Area). She reminded me of a column I had written months ago in the TCT criticizing the organization. She asked if my opinion had since changed.
Since becoming Mayor of Lewiston, I have found that when things have to be done there is a major core of YPLAA members ready to step up to the plate and tackle the problem. They bring fresh ideas to the table, allowing city planners to create what will surely be a successful roadmap to the future.
I am not infallible. Occasionally, I make mistakes and when I’m wrong I will apologize. Therefore, I apologize to YPLAA for my criticism directed at the organization and its members. I hope to work closely with you in the future to move our city forward.
I am unable to give you this week’s updated welfare numbers. These numbers are due to our local state legislators failing to introduce or support legislation designed to decrease the burden on Lewiston property taxpayers; thus our continued financing of the indolent lifestyle of layabouts.
Our local legislators’ inaction in these matters has forced us to expand our welfare office in order to accommodate the growing hordes seeking assistance. A temporary General Assistance Office has been set up on the first floor of City Hall, while the primary office on the second floor is expanded.
Auburn builds hockey rinks. Lewiston expands its welfare facilities.
Please! Remember in November.