Ron Winkley, 48, was appointed to a seat on the Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees in November after longtime board member Kenneth Kenney resigned. Winkley retired as Lewiston police chief in June after 26 years on the force and ran a failed bid for Town of Lewiston supervisor before being appointed a trustee. He’s running for re-election to that seat.

QUESTION: What do you consider the village’s biggest challenge and how do you plan to address it?

ANSWER: The infiltration problem we are having with the sewers is one of my biggest concerns — this is an issue that cannot be ignored and is currently costing the residents on their water bills. The Board (of Trustees) and (Department of Public Works) have taken positive steps to alleviate the problem by locating the infiltrations and prioritizing the repair work. We cannot ignore the aging of the village’s infrastructure and must continue to maintain it or the cost to repair it will become too high.


Q: How do you plan to balance commercial and residential interests in the village?

A: I have learned over the years there is always a solution when it comes to meeting the needs of the residents of the village and the needs of the businesses. An example of this is Artpark and the Whirlpool Jet Boat. With Artpark we formed a committee of residents and Artpark and came up with a traffic plan that satisfied the concerns of the residents and assured the continued success of Tuesday Nights in the Park. Again with the jet boat a group of citizens expressed their concerns about noise and wake and the jet boat invested $50,000 dollars to address the noise issue.

We are continuing to work with the jet boat and others to address the wake issue. These examples show how sitting down with both parties and working together can address the interest of both residents and business.


Q: The Frontier House project has gained a lot of publicity and met with some criticism. Where do you stand on the proposal by developer Richard Hastings and how important is the project?

A: Going door to door I have found the preservation of the Frontier House to be a great concern of the residents. We must remember that the Frontier House is privately owned and is currently in need of millions of dollars of repair. This is a cost that the village cannot afford to inherit. We must work with Mr. Hastings to assure the repair work can be done and he will be able to succeed as an owner.


Q: What is your vision for the village’s future?

A: My vision of the village’s future is that of a historic community which is able to continue the excellent services to its residents and support the strong business we have on Center Street.


Q: Why do you think you deserve a new term on the board?

A: My actual time as a trustee has been short since I was appointed in November 2007. My experience with the Village Board though has been long. I have attended almost every Village Board meeting since I became chief of police 25 years ago. I am familiar with the issues the village has had since that time and have a strong knowledge of the basis of them. I feel this gives me the ability to seek a compromise between parties involved and resolve the issue for the betterment of all village residents.

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