WESTBROOK — Incumbent Mike Sanphy, citing his abilities to collaborate with others and his experience in the city as his strengths, wants to continue as mayor for another term.

Sanphy, a former Ward 5 City Councilor, police officer and firefighter, is running against At-Large Councilor Mike Foley, Michael Shaughnessy and Phil Spiller Jr. in the Nov. 5 election for the mayor’s seat.

If re-elected, Sanphy hopes to continue his work in supporting taxpayers, and he wants to change the current political system to get rid of “back door deals.”

“We have grown to the point where I feel the city manager form of government is the way to go,” Sanphy said. “We come into the office as novices, but a professional manager is the best thing. It would take the politics out of it and do what’s best for the city.”

In a second term, he would work to do away with the mayoral role in the city and strengthen the city administrator’s role to give Westbrook that city manager form of government.

Sanphy, who lost his party’s nomination at the previous two Democratic caucuses he was involved with, also looks to rework how city officials get elected.

“When the election comes around the idea is to do a primary, no back door deals. I want to see something where everyone has a voice. We have 5,500 Democrats in the city, last caucus we had 2% of them come. Ninety-eight percent of Democrats didn’t have that voice in government. They may even want to run themselves and not know how to,” Sanphy said.

Aside from making changes at City Hall, Sanphy says he wants to continue his support of local businesses and art, as well as expanding the senior tax program.

“I serve the public and people, and we have more changes to make. I want to do positive things for the city. (City Administrator) Jerre Bryant and I put together the senior tax break, though Jerre did most of the work, these are things I get satisfaction in doing. I want to expand and grow things that help our struggling taxpayers,” he said.

“I want to see the city grow and good things come here. I want to see the tax base offset by the commercial taxes. I want to see new projects, lots of arts and culture coming downtown. I want to make it a friendly city that people want to come to,” he said.

Sanphy hopes to continue making cuts and fiscally responsible changes to the budget, something he has worked on with Bryant over the past few years.

“We’ve gone through the budget to keep things as low as possible. … When I was elected I didn’t have (an inaugural) ball because I am cheap. If my taxpayers are struggling I’m not going to spend money on something like that,” Sanphy said.

Sanphy also noted the addition of Economic Development Coordinator Dan Stevenson under his tenure, as well as a youth substance misuse initiative and work on a veterans housing initiative.

In making those changes, Sanphy sees his ability to collaborate across party lines and personal interests as his greatest strength.

“Since coming in, a lot of people in City Hall have been working together, collaborating. It wasn’t always like that,” Sanphy said. “I serve the people, not a party.”

Sanphy is a part of what is being called “Team Westbrook,” a bipartisan group that consists of Ward 5 council candidate Larry McWilliams, Ward 1 candidate Deb Shangraw, At-Large nominee Steve Willette and mayoral candidate and opponent to Sanphy, Phil Spiller Jr.

“These are candidates with no self-serving agenda, they just want to make a difference and work with people. ... They are out to help the people,” Sanphy said.


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