October 16, 2013

Westbrook’s seven council seats up for vote

All voters can cast ballots for a representative of their own ward and for two at-large councilors.

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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A near-lifelong resident of the city, Rairdon, 49, said he’s an active community member who would strive to make the best decisions for all residents.

“I enjoy interacting with people, will listen and am not afraid of speaking up for the needs of others,” he said.

Peoples, 66, said her experience representing Westbrook would be valuable for building the city’s tax base and creating more job opportunities.

In addition to being “a good steward of our tax dollars,” Peoples said, she would work to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard on neighborhood issues and see that the city’s downtown continues to grow.

“I would hope to build on the progress that has been made in making Ward 4 a vibrant and exciting place to live,” she said.


A current member of the School Committee is challenging the longest-serving member of the City Council for his at-large seat.

Veronica Bates, a Democrat, will try to unseat John O’Hara, who has served on the council for 16 years and is its sole Republican member.

Bates, 40, said she wants “to serve my community in a larger capacity.” She said she’s committed to the city and its residents and wants to give them a stronger voice.

“I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do what needs to be done for the benefit of all,” she said.

Bates said her goals would be to help the council and School Committee cooperate better, clean up the city’s green spaces and encourage responsible residential and business growth.

O’Hara, 55, said his focus would be on finding a way to finance a new public services facility and coming up with a plan for a new fire and police station in Ward 5.

“You must have experienced people who understand not only how financing in the public sector happens, but also how we can get the biggest bang for our buck,” said O’Hara, who was a leader in the renovation of William Clarke Drive and the construction of Westbrook Middle School.

O’Hara said he’s concerned about how Route 302 in Westbrook could be affected if a sewerage system is installed in neighboring Windham. Because the pipe would have to run through Westbrook, he said, the northern part of town would be opened up to major development.

O’Hara said he wants to make sure that “the rural character of Ward 5 stays intact.”

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:


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