Lewiston councilor: Political meeting 'slimy and sad'

LEWISTON — Two city councilors are sparring over a fledgling group that is critical of current council decisions.

Ward 1 Councilor Tom Peters, the council president, said he is taking part in the group's organizational meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Ramada Inn.

"It's been organized by people that are not happy with the politics in Lewiston at this particular moment," Peters said. "Some people are a little concerned about decisions that have been made and future directions. They wanted to talk about it."

Councilor Robert Reed questioned Peters' motives.

"It's interesting that a sitting council president is organizing a group that has issues with the council he's currently sitting on," Reed said. "It doesn't feel right. It just feels dirty to me."

The two are on opposite sides of a decision earlier in July to fire City Administrator Jim Bennett. Reed sided with the majority councilors, agreeing to buy out Bennett's $110,000 contract. Peters and his brother, Ward 2 Councilor Nelson Peters, voted to retain Bennett.

Reed is currently collecting signatures to gain a spot on the November ballot seeking re-election to his Ward 7 City Council seat.

Peters has said he will not seek another term as Ward 1 councilor. He and Ward 6 Councilor Betty Dube are the only sitting councilors who have not taken out papers seeking re-election.

"That doesn't mean I can't continue to be interested in local politics," Peters said.  "What I know is that a number of people are disgruntled about that decision, specifically, and they wanted to talk about it."

Peters said he expects the group will identify and help promote alternative City Council candidates. It is a public meeting, he said. He is one of the organizers, but much of the work is being handled by others, he said. He wouldn't say who else was involved in planning the meeting.

Reed said he would not be in attendance Wednesday night.

"It feels to me like it's a lynch mob aimed at the current council," Reed said. "It just feels slimy to me; I don't know how else to describe it. It feels like a violation of the respect councilors should show for one another. I think it's sad — slimy and sad."

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

NANCY BARRY's picture

Mr. Reed, When there is

Mr. Reed,

When there is value to be attained with me attending a firefighter’s union meeting, let me know. I am more than happy to attend although after 4+ intensive and great years serving on the Balloon Festival Board, I am not sure where the value lies. I retired 3 years ago and am not a spokesperson for the Festival; I am simply educated on the logistics due to experience and state my opinion as a citizen. And, since you criticized others for not doing so I stated my previous role when referring to the Festival. You may consider stating your city role at the end of every comment you make as well.

As a city counselor, please communicate why you would not want to attend a public meeting because I have not attended a firefighter’s union meeting. This confuses me.

In your last post you finally responded to my inquiry for reasons for Mr. Bennett’s dismissal. "nerw direction we'll head in simply means with someone else driving the bus, and for me, that opportunity is incredible. “ I added the ending quote but left the grammar error for quotation reason. Seems odd that a business person might not state a strategic reason vs. a personal reaction. Again, I am confused.

Regarding your constituents - so it works for you? What you feel is 7-3 in your favor. Please explain your logic on the 7-3. I do not understand; must be missing something. Not criticizing, just do not understand your logic or you did not fully communicate the 7-3 out of x (what is x?) Did only 7 positive citizens contact you? I did not read this. And, if only 7 did contact you, why not participate in the meeting?

Another question I asked was your logic on “budget neutral.” This was a while back with no response. You did admit much later that perhaps Phil might need to be compensated (which I fully agree with) that was part of my question. Overall your logic is still questionable with the facts you originally stated (without Phil in the equation.) I still would like an answer.

And, from one “numbers” person to another. Never took a typing class - still make mistakes but at least I catch some. In my opinion, your communications as a city counselor are very unprofessional.

So, Mr. Reed, I have no personal vendetta or agenda. Just see so many holes and illogical statements. All of this leads to questions. Does not add up in my book.

NANCY BARRY's picture

Well said Donnie. And, I

Well said Donnie. And, I assume once you are elected city counselor you will double check your grammar (one small error in last sentence.) Though much easier to understand than Mr. Reed’s comments (or questions in response to questions) - perception is reality. BTW, you rarely make grammar and spelling mistakes on this site :)

I agree. Mr. Reed initiating such negative publicity for this meeting might generate more attendance, which should be very productive. It is unfortunate he chooses not attend. If I were in his position, the need to hear how my constituents feel would override the need to protect myself in a narcissistic bubble.

NANCY BARRY's picture

There you go! Everyone make

There you go! Everyone make mistakes and you admit it it... even the tiny ones :) Hope you know I was half kidding...

RONALD RIML's picture

'Or someone else?" Like moi,

'Or someone else?"

Like moi, for example.....?

That's certainly a wide net......

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When I was a young Sailor - I drank like a Sailor, fought like a Sailor, and screwed like a Sailor. Now that I am old and wise - I have a few scars, but many fond memories.

RONALD RIML's picture

Robert61 A Counselor got his

Robert61

A Counselor got his knickers in a twit because he was asked to leave a Department Head Meeting.

I asked you before - what do you think the outcome would have been had a Congressman inserted himself into a Cabinet meeting?

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When I was a young Sailor - I drank like a Sailor, fought like a Sailor, and screwed like a Sailor. Now that I am old and wise - I have a few scars, but many fond memories.

 's picture

Robbie, my dear, you work

Robbie, my dear, you work for the CITIZENS of Lewiston. (in case you needed to be reminded) Sounds to me this is what Tom is doing. You put yourself in the hot seat...remember that.

Michael Theriault's picture
staff

Mr. Reed, How can you state

Mr. Reed,

How can you state that "It doesn't feel right. It just feels dirty to me" regarding Councilor Peter's decision to organize a meeting to mediate between the citizens of this city and your (the majority of the councilors) decision to terminate Mr. Bennett.

Let me remind you that just last month you attempted to organize a meeting (at your personal house on a Saturday) with the Lewiston Fire Fighters and members of the Great Falls Balloon Festival in an effort to mediate a resolution between the two groups.

It didn't feel right. It just felt dirty to me.

My feelings exactly!

 's picture

Bob, I think you are off the

Bob, I think you are off the mark on this one. Tom can organize anything he wants to. Political activity is good for Lewiston. The more the merrier.

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