LEWISTON — A request last week to delay the appointment of Luke Jensen to the School Committee stemmed from constituent concerns, City Councilor Tim Lajoie said.

Lajoie said he requested the delay because he wasn’t able to attend last week’s meeting, and he needed time to “address some constituent questions and concerns concerning the appointment prior to casting a vote.”

He said when news of the delay circulated on social media, there were rumors and accusations of “backdoor dealings.” He called those “unfounded and inaccurate.” 

The City Council is set to discuss Jensen’s appointment at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. 

Jensen could be appointed the Ward 5 representative of the School Committee, after Ward 5 member Richard White resigned for personal reasons. The City Charter stipulates the City Council must approve the mayor’s appointment.

Jensen, 26, has sought a number of elected positions, and has frequently been outspoken on issues in the community. He said last week that he wasn’t given a reason for the delay. 

On Friday, Jensen declined to speculate on what the concerns surrounding his appointment may be, but said he looks forward to Tuesday’s meeting. 

Mayor Robert Macdonald said last week that he also shared concerns about Jensen’s appointment, but forwarded it on the request of School Committee Chairwoman Linda Scott. 

Lajoie said he sent an email to the entire City Council and the mayor requesting the vote be rescheduled, and that several members yielded to his request.

“I have spoken to Mr. Jensen and the school board Chairwoman Linda Scott about these issues,” he said. “I have meetings with both this week. The accusations of backdoor dealings after are unfounded and inaccurate.”

Jensen ran for mayor in 2015 and lost to Macdonald.

A fifth-generation Lewiston resident, Jensen graduated from Lewiston High School in 2009 and graduated from Lynchburg College with a bachelor’s degree in international relations in 2013. 

He has run for the state Legislature and has served on the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board. In 2016, he spearheaded an effort to move Lewiston’s election to June to keep Bates College students from voting.

Luke Jensen 

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