Oct. 14—Pro-strong mayor organization Lewiston SMART will hold a forum at 6:30 p.m. today in the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds pavilion at 1229 Burrell Ave. that will include candidates for city office.
Lewiston SMART collected enough signatures earlier this year to put Proposition 1 on the Nov. 2 ballot. Voters will be asked to vote "yes" to retain the current council-city manager form of government, or "no" to switch to a strong-mayor form. If voters approve the change, the mayor will be elected separately and replace the city manager as the city's chief executive, who will preside over six council members.
The council currently consists of seven members who choose a mayor from among their ranks. The mayor has an equal vote with other councilors under the council-manager form, while an elected mayor would only vote to break ties under the strong-mayor form.
According to Lewiston SMART, the event will consist of a discussion and question-and-answer session on Proposition 1, as well as a mayoral and council candidate forum. All mayoral, city council and school board candidates have been invited to the forum, as well as Lewiston KEEP, an organization promoting the retention of the council-manager form of government.
Lewiston KEEP initially declined the invitation because of its belief that the event would amount to a partisan political rally. But Lewiston KEEP chairman and City Councilor John Pernsteiner said the group will now attend after organizer Joe Gish accommodated his requests to change the format to foster an open debate about the issue.
Those who are not able to attend the event in person may visit LewistonSMART.org for information on how to watch a livestream.
Mills may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208) 310-1901, ext. 2266.