Drew Gattine, 44, incumbent Democratic city councilor for Ward 2, is seeking his third term, running against first-time Republican candidate Bill Holmes. Gattine is the vice president of client services at HWT, a Portland company servicing health-care payers.

Gattine said he is a proponent of an automated or voluntary curbside recycling program paid for out of the tax base. “Let’s give the people in Westbrook a chance to do this,” Gattine said. If poor recycling rates come out of a voluntary system, Gattine said, he would be willing to look at a pay-per-bag system in subsequent years, but a pay-per-bag system is more of a cost increase for low- and middle-income renters, which he would prefer to avoid.

Gattine said a community center at a renovated Wescott Junior High School “conceptually, is a great idea,” but he is wary of how the multi-million dollar project would be funded. “If we’re a little more creative maybe there is someone out there that is willing to make that investment.” Gattine suggested Pineland in Gray-New Gloucester as a possible model to be looked at.

Gattine is a proponent of municipal legislation against sex offenders to offset what he sees as a lack of action on the state’s part.

“Unfortunately, Westbrook has a much higher per capita rate of registered sex offenders,” he said. “We carry more than our own weight. So long as I see that disparity, I don’t have a problem with Westbrook being more aggressive or strict.”

Gattine said it is an area where municipalities can step in and make choices until the state does.

Gattine said he is not satisfied with the way a recent personnel issue between City Councilor Michael Foley and former Human resources Director Tina Crellin was resolved.

“I think (the administration) did it to make it go away,” Gattine said of the decision to sign a separation agreement with Crellin, paying her the remainder of her salary for the rest of the fiscal year. He also does not like the fact that the payout, which had a gross value of nearly $85,000, was not brought to the council for approval, as is generally done with any expenditure over $3,000.

Gattine said it was hard for him to believe that the administration could not have defused the situation.

Gattine is a proponent of sticking to zoning plans. He said he often sees the city in a reactive position, changing zoning to match projects the city likes, such as the now defunct Wal-Mart plan. He wants to keep the rural character of Stroudwater Street.

Gattine wants to work to make financial matters more transparent. He said he has learned the most about how the city works by looking at the budget, and he would like to see regular financial reports, which currently are not handed out.

“I’m supposed to be accountable, and if I don’t read it, it’s on me,” he said. “We can’t really do our jobs as councilors unless we know how the money is being spent.”

Drew Gattine

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