Kleeburg Loses City Council Vote, Collins Named as Mayor


There's a new mayor in town as Mike Collins replaces long-time mayor Jim Kleeburg.

The gavel was handed down after the city council voted to replace Kleeburg at Monday's meeting. It was a moment that shocked and apparently angered some people, with at least one attendant storming out as Lewiston's 2018 city council took no time making some big changes

Outgoing councilors R.J. Johnson and Jesse Maldonado encouraged the new council to be forward-thinking, with Johnson urging more transparency.

"It was a tough decision when I chose to not run for re-election so i could spend more time with my wife, Valerie, and our three-year-old son, as well as continue growing our business," he said during his farewell speech.

Maldonado asked for the same open-mindedness that saw him become the youngest councilor in the city's history. "When a young person decides to step out there and run for office, I ask that you don't call them crazy, because I think everyone who runs for office is crazy. Don't tell them they're too young, don't tell them they're not qualified. Give them a chance," he said. Maldonado was 18 when he was elected in 2013.

"It's been the pleasure of my life serving with you guys," Jim Kleeburg told the two outgoing councilors, who chose not to seek re-election. John Pernsteiner and Kathy Schroeder were elected in November and were sworn in at the meeting.

Just minutes after taking their seats, the newest councilors helped make some big changes.

In a 4-3 vote, Mike Collins replaced Jim Kleeburg as mayor, a position he's held since 2014.

Kleeburg, after nominating himself, also lost the council's vote for mayor pro tem. Councilor Kathy Schroeder won that position, taking Mike Collins's place.

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