PORTLAND — Mayor-elect Michael Brennan is shaking up the city’s usual inauguration plans.

Instead of having the traditional inaugural reception at City Hall, he will throw open the doors of the Ocean Gateway terminal Monday evening for a joint reception with officials who were elected last month to the City Council and school board.

In past years, new mayors and city councilors have had a daytime reception in City Hall’s State of Maine Room after being sworn in. Brennan said he wanted a larger venue so more people could attend, and the city staff suggested the city-owned Ocean Gateway.

The event at 6 p.m. will be open to the public, and organizers said they anticipate about 300 people. It won’t be a black-tie soiree, but there will be light refreshments and live music.

“We wanted to invite as many people in the community as we could,” said Brennan.

It’s not surprising that things are being done differently.

Brennan is the city’s first popularly elected mayor since 1923. He won a closely watched race among 15 candidates, whose fundraising events, forums, debates and door-to-door canvassing directly engaged many Portland residents.

For 88 years, until voters decided to change the city charter, Portland’s mayor had been chosen by the City Council, from among its own ranks.

Tradition will be upheld for the actual inauguration: Brennan will be sworn in at noon Monday at City Hall.

Ocean Gateway, with its modern, angular lines and two walls of soaring windows overlooking Portland Harbor, has turned into a popular venue for charity events, conventions and even weddings. This fall, first lady Michele Obama spoke there at a Democratic fundraiser.

On Monday, it will be local officials taking the stage.

The reception will begin at 6 p.m., when Brennan intends to give a speech for about 15 minutes.

“I haven’t written anything yet,” he said Friday evening. “I have ideas.”

The reception also will honor re-elected City Councilors John Coyne and Cheryl Leeman, and school board members Elizabeth Holton, Justin Costa and Marnie Morrione.

The joint party is meant to symbolize “the start of a close working relationship,” Brennan said.

In past years, the council and school board held their own receptions, catered by dining service workers from the Barron Center and the School Department, respectively.

For Monday’s party, they’re working together on the menu of punch, coffee, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and a chocolate fountain for dipping fruit.

“It’s not a lavish (event),” said Ron Adams, food service director for the city’s schools.

City spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the city’s $5,000 budget for the inaugural reception is unchanged from previous years.

Chipped Enamel, a band from Portland that features the local author Phillip Hoose, a longtime friend of Brennan’s, will play at the reception.

And Brennan said he hopes his son Ryan, a guitar player who played at his election-night party, will also take the stage.

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

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