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Lewiston City Council Candidate Forum

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The nine Lewiston City Council candidates were part of a forum at LCSC Tuesday night.

The two biggest issues residents asked questions about were homelessness in downtown, and Urban Renewal, especially with sewage in the East Orchards.

Question asked: How would you address the issue of homelessness in downtown Lewiston.

“To actually address the issue we have to acknowledge we have this as a problem, and it is not just a problem for downtown, it’s a problem for all of Lewiston,” said candidate Mike Collins.

“We have some agencies in this valley who do it right, the YWCA, Family Promise, The Salvation Army. We have resources out there who are addressing the issue,” said candidate Bob Blakey. “I think we can build on the back of what they are doing.”

“But I do want to emphasize the importance of the city, in helping out, not just relying on non-profits and charities for the situation,” said candidate Kimberly Tolson.

“I believe that we are our brother’s keeper, I believe that. I also believe that homelessness is as much a mental health issue as it is anything else,” said candidate Steve Lear.

“When I first came here a year-and-a-half ago I was homeless. I chose to be homeless because I wanted to gain some empathy and I wanted to treat these people the way they need to be treated,” said candidate Steve Martin.

“I truly believe that we need to take care of each other,” said candidate Greg Follett.

“It’s a problem that’s not going to go away and it certainly can not be ignored,” said candidate Kevin Kelly.

“I think that as time goes on, we’re going to see where the needs are once we have shelters in place, we can see how they work,” said candidate Kathy Schroeder.

“Our economy is high, so we need to prepare ourselves for that next downturn,” said candidate John Pernsteiner.

As for urban renewal, the main project spoken about was sewage in the East Orchards. All agreed that sewage in the area needs to move forward, and it is necessary to further develop Lewiston.

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