WESTBROOK — A new mayor and two new city councilors took their oaths of office Monday night, but they will start their jobs ahead of the curve.

All three have represented the city’s residents in some capacity or worked for city government in the past. City Administrator Jerre Bryant said they have “a great deal of familiarity” with local government.

“There’s not a whole lot of orientation there,” Bryant said. “It is without question the easiest transition I’ve experienced.”

Michael Sanphy officially began his term as mayor, which he won in a four-way race in November. He succeeds outgoing Mayor Colleen Hilton, who decided not to run for re-election this fall.

Sanphy served five years on the City Council representing Ward 5, and he is retired from a career in the Westbrook police and fire departments.

“While my new title may be mayor, my job remains civil servant,” Sanphy said during his prepared remarks. “I have very proudly served the city of Westbrook for most of my adult life – more than 40 years in the Westbrook Police Department and simultaneously 20 years with the Westbrook Fire Department.

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“Service to the community has remained a high priority of my retirement,” he added.

Ann Peoples assumed an at-large City Council seat vacated by Michael Foley, who also decided not to run for re-election. Peoples spent two terms on the council from 1994 to 1996 and 2003 to 2005, and she served on the Westbrook Planning Board from 1996 to 2003.

From 2008 to 2014, she also served in the Maine House of Representatives.

“Hopefully it gives me an understanding of the fact that my major job is to communicate with people and to listen to people,” Peoples said. “So people understand if we make decisions, why we make them.”

Former City Clerk Lynda Adams ran unopposed to fill the City Council vacancy in Ward 5. Adams first worked for the city from 1989 to 1998 as an assistant to the city clerk and then an assistant to the fire chief. She served as city clerk from 2008 to 2014 while it was both an elected and an appointed position.

“I think it will help knowing how each department functions and their roles and responsibilities,” Adams said. “I think that’s going to really help especially when it comes to the budget process.”

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Incumbent Councilors Brendan Rielly in Ward One and Victor Chau in Ward 2 held on to their seats, so they were also sworn in for new terms Monday.

Three councilors – at-large member John O’Hara, as well as Anna Turcotte in Ward 3 and Gary Rairdon in Ward 4 – were not up for re-election this year.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: megan_e_doyle


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