LEWISTON — The City Council will vote on a proclamation next week stating all members of the council, including the mayor, have equal opportunity to share views.

The document, which will be signed by each member, follows an earlier proposal that would have limited the mayor’s ability to comment on council items. The proposal stemmed from councilor disagreements over the mayor’s conduct in previous meetings.

According to a memo for Tuesday’s meeting, the proclamation will “reaffirm their commitment to the council protocols.”

“We, as members of the City Council, share a love for our great city of Lewiston,” the proclamation states. “We may have differences in views as do members of any board, but we want to emphasize that we respect each other’s views, including giving each member of the council, including the mayor, the opportunity to have a full discussion and equally share our views in a respectful way. Our common goal is to further the interests of the city. In that regard, we reaffirm our commitment to the council protocols as governing our conduct.”

Lewiston City Council President Lee Clement, center, responds to comments by Mayor Carl Sheline during the council’s meeting Jan. 3. Marla Hoffman/Sun Journal file

The council protocols outline the duties and conduct of the council and mayor, including guidelines regarding civility, avoiding surprises, handling disagreements directly, and more.

Last month, the council waded into in a lengthy debate over Councilor Lee Clement’s proposal that would have prohibited the mayor from expressing opinions on agenda items unless they relinquished their role as presiding officer.


Some said the proposal was simply a political move to make things difficult for Mayor Carl Sheline, and was only introduced because Sheline had long disagreed with a majority of the council on several issues. Under the city’s charter, the mayor is considered a member of the council, but does not vote on items unless another councilor is absent.

However, Clement and those in support of the language said the proposal became necessary after several unsuccessful attempts to stop Sheline from making “improper” and “belittling” comments after council votes. Councilors said there had been multiple conversations over his conduct in previous executive sessions.

The council ultimately tabled the proposal, agreeing instead to more discussions on the issue in executive session. The Sun Journal asked city administration how the discussions have qualified for executive session under state statues but did not receive a response.

“I look forward to working in unison with our city councilors to tackle the challenges that face Lewiston,” Mayor Carl Sheline said Friday.

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