Brendan Rielly, 37, is the incumbent Democratic Ward 1 city councilor and the council president. He is seeking his fourth term in office. Rielly is a lawyer at Jensen, Baird, Gardner and Henry, a Portland firm.

Rielly said he supports an automated recycling pickup system. Rielly said there is no question that a pay-per-bag curbside recycling program would achieve the highest recycling rates, but “it is the most expensive program to impose on our taxpayers,” especially renters who would not see a reduction in taxes from the program.

Rielly said that a tax-funded recycling program would in part be funded by the business taxes. This would offset the costs for residents. In a pay-per-bag program, the resident would be picking up 100 percent of the cost.

Rielly is in support of finding alternative funding to develop the Wescott Junior High School as a community center once it is vacated in 2010.

“We cannot let that building go unused,” he said.

Rielly said he wants the community center to give a permanent home for things like the food pantry and to provide a center for seniors. Rielly also thinks it’s a good idea to look into selling the current City Hall and moving municipal offices into the old school.

Rielly was fully in support of the sex offender ordinance, and was the councilor to make the ordinance as strict as it was. “If it were my world, I wouldn’t let a criminal who commits that crime out of jail,” Rielly said of pedophile sex offenders.

Rielly said the ordinance passed by Westbrook is not the end solution, and he believes things need to be done at both the state and national levels.

“I think you should change the criminal code.” Rielly said, adding that crimes against children and women are some of the least punished.

He sees the recent issue between former Human Resources Director Tina Crellin and Councilor Michael Foley as a greater reflection of a poor top-level administration.

Rielly said the council did not approve the $84,000 in funds paid to Crellin as a separation agreement for “anything but to pay a human resources director for the year.” He said the separation agreement should have been taken to the council before it was signed.

“It’s been frustrating dealing with City Hall,” Rielly said. “Not just for me, but for citizens.” Rielly said he has been spending an increasing amount of time getting City Hall to return phone calls and e-mails from constituents. “Dealing with City Hall ineffectiveness takes away from the more important things you want to do.”

The ineffectiveness Rielly sees in these matters is also reflected in the city’s economic development, he said. “We’ve dropped off the radar. The development you see now was really made two years ago.”

Rielly said there have been budget increases in the economic development department for more aggressive marketing campaigns that have not been followed through, which he again relates to the leadership at City Hall.

Brendan Rielly

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