Recall petitioners set up shop in Lewiston

Recall petitioners set up shop in Lewiston
LEWISTON - The group of Lewiston citizens calling for the recall of the city council members took their concerns to the public Friday.

This is what drivers saw as they headed into Lewiston and up 21st Street. The group, Citizens for Better Government, filed preliminary petitions last week for the recall election of Mayor Kevin Poole, Mayor Pro Tem Brad Cannon and council members Thyra Stevenson and Dennis Ohrtman. Lewiston residents Fred Fritz and Louise Hunt said they're concerned with the way tax dollars are being spent, among other things.

"One of our three ambulances has been moved to Asotin County up on Appleside and it's staffed 24 hours a day up there," said Fritz. "It's an ambulance to give us quick service. Now it's giving quicker service to Asotin County. The problem is we're paying $718,000 for that ambulance to put it up there. We're getting $381,000 back, so we are subsidizing it. I don't think the taxpayers of Lewiston have that responsibility or should have to be paying for that service."

"The way the airport advisory council is being abolished and the authority is being set into place (is a problem)," said Hunt. "I mean, the whole write up, the whole list of by-laws the county and city came up with, there's something seriously wrong with it. These people can't decide on a fifth member. How are they ever going to determine how to run the airport. Not only that, but I don't believe they have any money."

Fritz further believes the city council's interests are not with the residents.

"Since we have the people on the council that came in with support from a special interest group my concern is, do they represent the taxpayers, or do they represent that special interest group," said Fritz.

Fritz said they'll be set up at the old Thompson Auto Sales property as long as it takes to get 20%, or just over 3,000 Lewiston voters to sign the recall petitions. The group has until August 25th to come up with the signatures.

City council members were out of town Friday attending a conference in Idaho Falls. But Action News did speak to Mayor Poole and Councilor Stevenson. They both said they are disappointed with the current action being taken. They said the city council is and has always been committed to helping the citizens of Lewiston and keeping property taxes low. Poole said they have been doing their best with the deficit budget they inherited from the previous council. He said if there should be allegations against anyone, it should be the former officials. Stevenson said she welcomes individuals to city council meetings and open councilor hours on the first Tuesday of every month in the old city council chambers.