LEWISTON — City Council candidate Tim Lajoie knows in which direction he wants the city to move.

“Is Lewiston going to become a city fueled with entitlement money providing programs or does it want to move forward and become a productive, blue-collar city like it once was?” Lajoie said.

He votes for conservative and blue-collar. Lajoie said he’s confident the voters in Ward 2 agree and he hopes they will help him shift the city’s course.

“I don’t think anybody in Ward 2 doesn’t want to help people in need,” he said. “But I know there are people who could be productive living off the sweat of someone else. That’s not what Lewiston needs to be. It needs to be a productive, hardworking community.”

Opponent Marc Roy likes where the city is going and looks forward to keeping things moving.

“I don’t see the city being as bad as it was when I was growing up,” Roy said. “I see a city that is rising, as opposed to stagnating. And I want to help out. I want it to continue to rise.”

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The two differ on several issues. When it comes to improving downtown housing, Roy sees an important role for the city.

“I understand people don’t want to spend money frivolously, but not every project is frivolous spending,” he said. “Some are investments in improving the downtown.”

Lajoie disagrees.

“I am more in favor of private-sector solutions,” he said. “I believe the private sector is best-suited to invest in a community and the more barriers the city puts up, the worse it gets. I have no problem with the city tearing down buildings. But then, let’s sell them to private developers.”

He has the same view on developing the downtown along the Androscoggin riverfront: Let the private market do it and get out of the way. He also is not thrilled with the prospect of developing Bates Mill No. 5.

“I really think they need to tear the mill down,” Lajoie said. “We’ve been talking about that building for 25 years now. Enough, already. Make a decision with it, and if nobody develops it, tear the thing down and let a private developer turn it into something that will improve the tax base.”

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Roy, on the other hand, is bullish on the riverfront.

“It’s one of the big areas where we can fix the curb appeal of the area,” Roy said. “Once you do that, you begin to fix the image. And then more people come in and then businesses come in. Businesses are not unwise. They don’t go where people are not. They wait until the people are there.”

Roy said he’s willing to listen to the idea of paid trash collection.

“There is no free trash collection, ever,” he said. “We’re paying for it one way or another now. But if we start paying for it with bags, then it becomes kind of an optional tax. People still need to pay, but they get to decide how much they pay. Want to pay less? Just recycle more.”

Lajoie thinks it’s not a good idea.

“My taxes already pay for it, so why should I pay twice?” Lajoie said. “Someone needs to be a guardian for local taxpayers. When a city councilor has to look a taxpayer in the face and has to justify why the city needs to take more of their money, you spend a lot more time contemplating if you’re making good decisions.”

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Election guide

Learn about more candidates and issues in our Election 2015 guide at www.sunjournal.com/election/2015.


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