Lewiston’s elected officials are sworn in Jan. 3, 2018. Former Mayor Shane Bouchard, center, resigned in March, and Kristen Cloutier, left, has filled the role since. Those elected Nov. 5 will take the oath of office Jan. 6. Russ Dillingham file photo/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — A new slate of elected officials will begin a new decade in Lewiston.

It will all start with an inaugural ceremony Monday, Jan. 6, at which mayor-elect Mark Cayer and the newly elected city councilors and School Committee members will take the oath of office.

The schedule for the event, at 6:30 p.m. at the Gendron Franco Center, is being finalized this week.

It will feature a farewell address by outgoing Mayor Kristen Cloutier, as well as an inaugural address by Cayer. The City Council will elect a council president, while the School Committee will elect a chairperson, with each giving brief remarks.

According to a draft agenda for the ceremony, the event will also feature several performances, including a presentation of the “Oh Lewiston” song and a performance of an original poem by Lewiston’s Youth Poet Laureate, a position created in May after Lewiston High School senior Joao Victor won the state’s 2019 Poetry Out Loud competition and was among nine national finalists.

There will also be a musical performance by the Lewiston High School chamber singers.

For Lewiston, the 2020 inauguration will mark significant change for city government. Four of the seven council seats will see new faces, after two councilors stepped down, one lost his seat and Cloutier’s seat in Ward 5 was vacant.

The Nov. 5 election solidified more change, ushering in an era in which three of the seven councilors will be millennials in their 20s, including the city’s first Somali-American councilor, Safiya Khalid.

Cloutier told the Sun Journal in November she is “excited to have diversity on the council through Safiya but also through the younger councilors. It speaks a lot to where we are as a community.”

On Dec. 21, city staff held an all-day orientation session for the new City Council at City Hall, with training on Freedom of Access Act laws, email communications, City Council procedures and rules and introductions from every city department head.

Staff also schedules a council retreat early in the new term so that the new council can outline goals and priorities for the next two years.

Cayer’s inaugural address will likely hit on his biggest campaign focus: economic development. Since he was elected, Cayer said he has been meeting with an array of local officials, including representatives of the city’s two major hospitals and its colleges.

The 2020-22 city councilors are Safiya Khalid, Ward 1; Zachary Pettengill, Ward 2; Alicia Rea, Ward 3; Michel Lajoie, Ward 4; Luke Jensen, Ward 5; Kerryl Lee Clement, Ward 6; and Stephanie Gelinas, Ward 7.

Members of the 2020-22 School Committee are Megan Parks, at-large; Bruce Damon, Ward 1; Monique Roy, Ward 2; Kiernan Majerus-Collins, Ward 3; Tanya Whitlow, Ward 4; Lynnea Hawkins, Ward 5; Ronald Potvin, Ward 6; and Ryan Donovan, Ward 7.

A dessert reception will immediately follow the ceremony, with catering provided by the Lewiston Regional Technical Center’s culinary arts program.

Parking will be available at the Continental Mill lot.


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