LEWISTON — Enough is enough, Mayor Robert Macdonald said during his inaugural address Tuesday night at the Franco-American Heritage Center.
He said it to people who refuse to recognize Lewiston as a great city, and again when he promised efforts to break the generational cycle of poverty and welfare.
"We must demand that our children complete their education and that those that can work, do work and contribute to our economy and community," Macdonald said.
Macdonald promised to be a transitional mayor, leading the city while it transforms into a city of the future.
"... A full-fledged destination community with a thriving creative economy where residents and newcomers make their living by thinking and creating," Macdonald said. "I want Lewiston's future to serve a stellar example of what can be achieved by working together."
Macdonald, six city councilors and eight School Committee members swore their oaths of office in a pomp-filled ceremony in front of a full house.
The evening included choral performances by the Lewiston High School chamber choir, opening and closing prayers by the Rev. Doug Taylor of the Jesus Party and the Rev. Bob Vaillancourt, chaplain of St. Dominic Academy.
Macdonald stayed away from controversy through his address, focusing on the city and how good it is.
"I believe it is time for all of us to join together and say enough is enough to those who refuse to recognize how Lewiston continues to flourish," he said. "Enough is enough to those who focus on the past and not on the future and enough is enough to those who emphasize what we have not yet achieved and denigrate what we have already accomplished."
Macdonald pointed to the city's economic development efforts over the past 20 years, its thriving restaurants and good schools.
Macdonald said he pinned much of his hope for the future on a new master plan focusing on developing the city's Riverfront Island.
"It is essentially developing a vision of that area that will not only be attractive to those of us who call Lewiston home, but to create an energetic residence needed for our future."
Macdonald also said he wanted to work with newly elected Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte to create a downtown housing task force to attract market-rate housing.
Councilors and School Committee members were elected Nov. 8 at the municipal election. Macdonald won his seat more than month later in a runoff election against Mark Paradis.
Councilors sworn in Tuesday were Ward 1's John Butler,Ward 2's Donald D'Auteuil,Ward 3's Nathan Libby, Ward 5's Craig Saddlemire, Ward 6's Mark Cayer and Ward 7's Richard DesJardins.
The City Council's first regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Jan. 10 in Lewiston City Hall.
The City Council's Ward 4 seat remains vacant until a special Feb. 7 election. November's winner, Doreen Christ, had her election nullified when it was learned she moved into her ward too late to qualify for the seat. Christ, Charles Turgeon, of 43 Buckley St. and Christina Berry of 13 Dupuis Ave. are all running for the seat.
Members of the council selected Ward 6's Cayer to serve as Council president. In his address, Cayer said he was proud to serve on a council that held so many diverse viewpoints.
"Diversity contrasts stagnation, challenges unexamined assumptions and shines the light on new pathways," Cayer said. "Diversity can also be challenging for those set in their ways. However, it is my hope that the Lewiston City Council will continue to embrace diversity."
Also swearing their oaths of office were members of the Lewiston School Committee: Linda Scott in Ward 1, Paul St. Pierre in Ward 2, Eugene Dumont in Ward 3, James Handy in Ward 4, Sonia Taylor in Ward 5, Elizabeth Dube in Ward 6 and Thomas Shannon in Ward 7. Robert Connors was sworn in as school board member at large.
School Committee members selected Ward 7's Shannon as their chair for the next two years. In his address, Shannon pledged to work with Macdonald and the Council.
"Perhaps we will not always be in agreement, but we will always act civil and with respect," Shannon said. "We will act with open doors, open arms and open minds. When any of these are closed, nothing good comes in and nothing good can get out."