Retired Lewiston Police Detective Robert E. Macdonald has announced that he’s running for mayor of the City of Lewiston.
Macdonald believes that the development of Lewiston’s riverfront and Lincoln/Main Street area has the potential for producing an economic boom for the city and placing the community in direct competition for tourist dollars now being spent in Portland.
“However, this can’t be accomplished until we directly confront the major problem facing Lewiston: our reputation as a service (welfare) city,” he stated.
“I am told that I cannot win because Lewiston’s political machine is against me,” Macdonald said. “Is this the machine that gave us Kaileigh Tara and Larry Gilbert? Is this the machine that elected many of our city councilors who have stood by silently while our inner-city neighborhood defines Lewiston on the Internet, hanging the moniker ‘The Dirty Lew’ around our necks?”
“The reputation of Lewiston as a service center community—welfare—has drawn dependents from two continents and many states to settle here,” he said. “This influx is not only diminishing a quality education for Lewiston’s property taxpayers’ children, but causes our schools to be labeled as failing. This has resulted in the dedicated professional principals and teachers of our school system to be held up to public ridicule, providing a scapegoat and cover for the inept policies of our elected city officials.”
“I am told you have to be nice when running for office; don’t make any waves,” Macdonald said. “Perhaps it’s time to replace congeniality with aggressiveness. With all the thousands of federal dollars flowing into Lewiston, why is it our mil rate is $25-plus? Lewiston taxpayers can no longer afford to support people who are unable or refuse to support themselves. If you come to Lewiston, come with a job or a sponsor—not with your hand out.”
If elected, Macdoanld said he will:
1. Push for a moratorium prohibiting the building of any new Section 8 housing over the next 10 years.
2. Push to condemn and tear down any buildings declared uninhabitable by city inspectors.
3. Lobby strongly against all federal funds designed to perpetuate Lewiston’s reputation as a welfare destination.
4. Review, weekly, the Lewiston Police logs and keep the public appraised about what is or is not happening.
5. Make sure any Lewiston citizen coming before the city council will have their questions fully answered. If the staff is unable to supply an answer during the meeting, they will call and provide the person with the answer. The question and answer will be passed on to the public at the next council meeting.
Macdonald was born and raised in Boston. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1966. Upon graduating he joined the United States Marine Corps, serving as a Rifleman with the First Marine Division in the Republic of South Vietnam. Upon discharge he enrolled in Boston’s Northeastern University, graduating with a BS in Criminal Justice.
In 1977 he joined the Lewiston Police Department, retiring in 2000 as a Detective after 23 years of service. He then went to work at the Lewiston Middle School as an Ed Tech, retiring in 2010.
Locally he served on the Board of Directors of the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project and the Christian Coffee House. He served as the Lewiston Police primary fundraiser for the United Way and Special Olympics. He also served as Secretary for IBPO (Police Union). He coached basketball in both the Lewiston Rec Department and school (Pettingill) league.
He is a member of the Longley-Dionne VFW Post 9150 (Commander), Lewiston American Legion Post 210, Marine Corps League (Central Maine Detachment), Disabled American Veteran’s Post 11, Franco American War Veterans, the Marine Corps Association, the First Marine Division Association, and Benevolent Order of the Elks Lodge 371.
Macdonald resides in Lewiston with his wife Virginia. They have four children and five grandchildren.