Donna Gillespie

Name: Donna Gillespie

Age: Did not answer

Occupation: Retired social worker

Political experience: None

Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

I don’t necessarily believe I’m the most qualified candidate for this seat, but I do think I am the best suited for this position due to the fact that I will advocate for all the residents of Lewiston and not just a small handful. This should be an imperative requirement for any mayor. Although I don’t have specific political experience I am willing to be the advocate that the people of Lewiston deserve.

Please name two issues that you believe are critical to Lewiston’s future and how you would address them.

Homelessness and drugs are two issues to resolve to better the future of Lewiston. The city can support a barrier-free homeless shelter with all the necessary resources readily available to help people with the struggles they are facing. Drugs are killing our residents and without support the issue will persist. The city should support a safe place to use drugs without the fear of overdoses, while also offering rehabilitation options to everyone who walks through its doors.

Do you support the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project? Why or why not?

Whether I support the CMP corridor or not is irrelevant to the mayoral election. What is relevant is that once the people of Maine make a decision regarding this proposal and we learn how such a decision will directly affect Lewiston, then as mayor I will work with our City Council to research all the facts and determine the best course of action for the entire city.

There is a lot of pressure and negativity that public officials have to deal with these days. As mayor, how would you handle that? 

As a former state employee of 30 years, I have had a lot of experience with being in pressure situations and found that the best way to reduce negativity and tension is by giving everyone a chance to be heard. This would be no different if elected mayor, as I would strive to allow all residents to be able to voice their concerns. It is imperative that everyone be treated respectfully, regardless of whether you agree or not.

Carl Sheline

Name: Carl Sheline

Age: 42

Occupation: Co-manager of Munka Coworking

Political experience: None

Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

I’ve lived and raised my children in Lewiston for over a decade. During that time, I’ve successfully started and managed businesses and developed a lifetime of professional and personal relationships. I’ve also served on community boards, including the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce. This is a critical time for Lewiston. There have been a lot of challenges, but with challenges comes opportunity. I believe we can make meaningful changes that will positively impact our community.

Please name two issues that you believe are critical to Lewiston’s future, and how you would address them.

We need to focus on economic development. By supporting and attracting new businesses, we can help fill vacant storefronts and buildings. Doing so would increase the tax base, which will enable us to invest in our city and lower taxes. We also need to address our city’s image. We can start by removing graffiti, picking up litter and beautifying our parks. I’m proud to live here, and I want everyone to feel that way too.

Do you support the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project? Why or why not?

I support the CMP corridor because it makes a lot of economic sense for Lewiston. The environmental impact is small, and the long-term economic benefit will make a huge difference for Lewiston with the added estimated annual revenue of $6 million. As we look to the future, we need to explore more clean energy options and this just makes sense.

There is a lot of pressure and negativity that public officials have to deal with these days. As mayor, how would you handle that?

I think it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective. “Why am I serving?” and “What am I here for?” are two questions that can bring someone back to center and provide a reminder that commitment to service goes beyond any partisan discourse. Citizens expect results from their city government and I will be focused on moving Lewiston forward.

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