by Joshua Maloni
Village of Lewiston residents could have three candidates for mayor on June 17.
Jacqueline Lampman, a 30-year resident, is gathering petitions to run on an independent party line.
On April 22, Lampman lost her bid to secure the Democratic Party endorsement. She was selected to run for trustee, but was set to decline when her party was disqualified April 23.
Lampman wanted to run for mayor, and is now pursuing the office, "Because, in my career, I've risen to positions of authority," she said. "It kind of fit in that that's where I would go."
A legal nurse consultant with medical and financial auditing experience, and a former restaurant owner, Lampman said this position is preferable if one is to make an impact in village affairs.
"I think it gives you more of a bully pulpit in order to get out to the people what you want to say, and what you want to do for the village," she said.
In particular, Lampman wants to create a better budget for residents.
"My No. 1 thing is the budget," she said. "I got a copy of the budget; I found some things in the budget that I'm very concerned about."
She pointed to "large amounts of money that have been bonded," and said, "It's hard to question the decisions that they made at the time that they did them, to do what they did. But I'm thinking I would have done it a different way."
Lampman said voters should decide what is bonded. She said the village should hold a referendum on such matters.
"That (spending), to me, has long-term impact on the people in this village and the taxes in this village," she said.
Lampman said the village could save money on police costs associated with Artpark concerts. She pledged to plot out a course of action with Town of Lewiston Supervisor Dennis Brochey.
"I would work with Dennis on this Artpark thing with the police," she said. "I think that, since Artpark made over a million dollars last year in profit, I think that Artpark should be paying for the police force. I don't think we should be ... paying overtime for that."
Lampman added, "They can get Park Police. They have a thing, when they have events in other parts of the state; these Park Police go to those events and support the police at the other events. Why can't they come here and support the police here? Why do we have to pay ours? We have 15 cops down here. They're all controlling a crowd of 10,000 people, and then they're trying to answer calls in the town and the village, and they can't do it.
"I think that needs to be rectified. Absolutely," she said.
Lampman said the village has a major problem on its streets, too.
"People are complaining about the traffic," she said. "The traffic, the traffic, the traffic. And it's not so much the amount; it's the speeding. It's ... completely ignoring the traffic laws in the village.
"A 10-year-old kid can't ride his bike on these streets without taking his life in his hands, much less any other younger kid."
"We have a lot of younger parents in this village now with kids," she said. "They want the streets safer. ... That's a big thing for me. This is a pedestrian village; it's not a thruway."
Finally, Lampman intends to look into the village's water bills.
"On my trips out getting petition signatures, I know there are some problems with the water bills in this village," she said. "I talked to a lady yesterday, who's single, who's raising kids. Her water bill is over $300. She said, 'I don't know what to do. $300.'
"A neighbor near her, her water bill - her and her husband work - their water bill was $130. Her sister lives right across the village line into town. ... Her water bill was $32."
"Everybody thinks that Lewiston is very affluent - 'Oh, everybody's rich here.' But they're not," Lampman said. "There's a lot of people that are struggling here."
Lampman called herself and her husband, Jim, Independents. However, he is a registered Republican, and she is a registered Democrat. This was done, she said, so they could vote in the primary elections.
"We're not really aligned with either party," Lampman said. "We pick the best person that we know, and we pick the best parts of both parties.
"It's not being a Democrat or a Republican. I just want to run to do the best I can, and work with everybody."
On Tuesday, incumbent Mayor Terry Collesano secured the Republican Party line. Jamie Symmonds, a Democrat, also is collecting signatures and plans to run on the Voice for the Village Party line she created.
Symmonds defeated Lampman in the Democratic caucus.
Some village residents have suggested Lampman and Symmonds would split the vote, thus allowing Collesano to win a second term.
Though Symmonds declared her candidacy first, Lampman said she's the better choice.
"I'm not going to feel responsible, because I feel like ... I feel that, if you want to get to be mayor, and you want to work with the budget - which is the most important thing in this village - it's nice to be on committees, but you need to know what you're doing about a budget," Lampman said. "And I have done multimillion-dollar budgets as the director of nurses."
"I've been here 30 years," she added. "I think that - with my background, my experience - I'm the most competent. I think Terry Collesano has been in (on the board) 20 years (and) it's time for a change.
"I think I have more experience and knowledge about a lot of things."
Lampman isn't convinced she and Symmonds will cancel each other out.
"Well, Collesano and I might split the vote. Who knows?" she said. "You just don't know.
"I think people are ready for a change. I think there's a lot of unhappy people in this village that I have talked to in my days of getting signatures.
"You can't please everybody, but I don't think that a lot of issues have been addressed. I think there's kind of a complacency. I just think there needs to be a change."
Lampman said she favors open government. She would work to make all decisions public and understandable.
"I think everything should be opened up. That's what I want to do," she said.
"These people feel like they're just not being listened to," Lampman said. "Who are they going to go to if they can't go to the board?"
"I went into nursing because I cared about people," Lampman said. "I'm doing this because I care about the people. And I think that I have the intelligence and the ability to do a good job, and to be able to do the best that I can for these people."