By Keith Casey Ahlas
Hi, I’m Keith Casey Ahlas, a long-time resident of the Village of Lewiston. Although I have run for elected office in the past, at no time did I feel as great a sense of urgency to bring change as I do now. For that reason, I have decided to again seek the office of trustee in the Village of Lewiston. There are two trustee positions up for election this year, on Sept. 15.
When I ran for trustee in the past, I ran on the platform of progress and growth within the village. Since that time, there has been some growth, but also a lot of broken promises, and delayed progress. One only has to look at the Paladino Plaza project, and also with the apartments/condos at the old Fairchild Nursing Home site, which has had very little renting activity since its opening and still has the original, now rotting nursing home wood fence around it. I am aware of the state of both of these projects, because I live on the same street, and witness this each day.
I do realize that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, progress has stalled for many local businesses; but these two projects have been like this long before shutdowns associated with the pandemic. They cry out for oversight by the village, to make sure our streets and daily lives are not constantly impacted by ongoing, slow progressing construction. Also, there needs to be more oversight to make sure that those wishing to “develop” in the village by constructing large projects, like rental units, demonstrate that there is, in fact, a ready market for such a large number of higher-priced rental units so the village does not look in places like it has expensive but abandoned housing.
The fire a few months back at the BBC showed that we in the village have a serious water supply infrastructure issue that has been overlooked for too long. With development comes increased demand on the entire infrastructure in the village, including our water lines. These infrastructure needs must be addressed before we have more development, and before homeowners and business owners suffer the tragic consequences of our water supply being too strained to fight a fire. These issues are important to me and important to those who are “not in power” in the village, and have been overlooked for too long by those who remain in office term after term, not always attending meetings to hear the citizens concerns.
I am running once again, not only as a concerned citizen, but to be a prominent voice for those that have major concerns within the village. As a resident of nearly 20 years, I have seen many changes within the community.
I also feel that in my line of work, as I work with U.S. Customs in the brokerage division at FedEx, that I also have some government-related experience as well. On Sept. 15, I encourage all residents of the village to get out and vote – make your voices heard!
I humbly welcome your vote, and the opportunity to serve as a village trustee to invoke some very needed positive changes.