WESTBROOK – When Bill Baker became the city’s new director of business and community relations/assistant city manager, he resolved to improve the city’s relationship with its business community.

To that end, Baker is holding a series of open house events all over the city, starting this week, to present himself publicly to local business leaders, and also to solicit ideas on what the city can do better.

“I hope to have some substantive feedback from businesses,” he said.

The first event will take place at noontime on Thursday, Sept. 6, at Full Court Press, 855 Main St. Future events, all at noon, will happen on Sept. 20 at Flaherty Group & Prudential Northeast Properties at 386 Bridgton Road; on Oct. 4 at Pike Industries at 58 Main St.; and Oct. 18 at Acadia Insurance, 250 County Road. Baker said the events were designed specifically to be convenient to major business clusters throughout the city, but all business leaders are welcome at all events.

“We want to publicly thank those businesses, and acknowledge what they’ve done for the community,” Baker said.

Baker said he has sent postcards to more than 130 businesses throughout Westbrook, inviting them to take part. Baker said no presentations are planned, adding, “It’s not going to be me talking. I hope to do more listening.”

Baker started at his new position two weeks ago, having previously served from 2007-2010 as police chief. Baker said he also hopes the events will serve as a chance for him to re-introduce himself in his new role to people he remembers, and to meet business leaders he hasn’t spoken to yet.

“This creates an opportunity to involve interested businesses,” he said.

Baker said he had plans to host the open house events before Gov. Paul LePage declared Westbrook to be among Maine’s “business friendly” communities last month, but Baker said he hopes to build on that reputation with the open house events.

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