LEWISTON — Former City Councilor Mark Paradis on Tuesday became the first person to publicly declare his candidacy for mayor.
“I think it has a lot to do with teamwork, and that’s what I want to do,” Paradis said. “I’m looking forward to working with the council. It’s going to be fun, but we have a lot of work to do.”
Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 8 to elect a new mayor and city councilors. Those elected at that November vote will take office in January 2012.
“What we need now is a council that is accountable for what’s going on,” Paradis said. “If we have a (tax-increment financing) deal or a developer’s dream of building something, it really has to be balanced with what’s going to be compatible with Lewiston’s families — and our future families. We need to be very careful about what we do.”
Paradis served as a city councilor for six years beginning in 2002, for three terms as the Ward 6 representative. He stepped down just before the 2007 ballot, deciding not to seek a fourth term.
Paradis was back in 2009, trying to unseat Mayor Larry Gilbert. Paradis lost that race, getting 46 percent of the vote compared to Gilbert’s 54 percent.
That won’t be an issue this year. Gilbert has reached his two-term limit and cannot seek election this year, according to the City Charter.
City Clerk Kathy Montejo said it was too soon to tell how the city races would shape up. Candidates can officially begin the election process on July 11, taking out nomination petitions from the City Clerk’s Office.
Montejo said her office has fielded a few phone calls but nobody else has openly declared their intentions.
“We’ve had a couple of phone calls, not a ton, and they don’t give their names,” Montejo said.
All seats for the City Council and School Committee are open. That includes the mayor, councilors for all seven wards, School Committee members for all seven wards and the at-large School Committee member.
Candidates for mayor must gather between 100 and 200 signatures from registered Lewiston voters.
Candidates for City Council and School Committee must gather at least 50 signatures. For City Councilors and School Committee members from a particular ward, signatures must come from registered voters of that ward. At-large School Committee candidates can gather signatures from any Lewiston registered voters.
Candidates must file their nominating petitions and signatures by Sept. 9.