WESTBROOK — Ward 5 voters will be marking their ballots for one of two City Council candidates this November, incumbent Larry McWilliams or Elliot Storey.

McWilliams was appointed to the council about five months ago after Lynda Adams stepped down to take a job with Rock Row. McWilliams says he has learned a lot during his short tenure on the council and is seeking another term to put that knowledge to use. His opponent, political newcomer and lifelong Westbrook resident Elliot Storey, aims to organize and streamline operations at City Hall if elected.

“I got involved when they wanted a 96-unit condo barrack on a dead end street in my neighborhood, which could not be supported,” McWilliams said. “We worked and started a neighborhood coalition to stop this.”

His dealings with the Planning Board as a citizen made him want to get involved with the city at a greater level, he said. Then, more than two years ago when he started his medical marijuana business, a business that has “a lot of red-tape,” he got an even better idea of how the city works, he said, and he wanted to get involved even more. 

When he was appointed to fill the remainder of Adams’ term, “I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into. I didn’t know what it would entail,” he said. “Once I got to learn about what is happening in the city, I felt compelled to escalate what I am doing. I love the job now, and that’s why I am running.” 

McWilliams hopes to keep taxes low by encouraging fiscally responsible spending, increase civic engagement at meetings and eventually put more work into maintaining the city’s Tree City title, given by the Arbor Day Foundation.

“I am business minded and customer service oriented. I am able to talk to anybody and I am not afraid to speak with anyone, whether they are a president or a custodian. Everyone puts their pants on the same way, one leg at a time, and with that mentality, it makes communication smooth, which is key,” said McWilliams, adding that he answers every phone call. “Anyone can call me, 207-239-7366.”

In Ward 5, McWilliams hopes to strengthen the smaller businesses along Route 302.

Storey also said his experiences with the city in trying to get his business off the ground prompted him to get more involved and run for office. He hopes to soon be able to have liquor on his Portland Party Bike excursions. He also has dealt with city government as a board member for Westbrook Youth Football.

“The challenges we’ve encountered led me to want to be a part of the solution,” Storey said. “There is a lack of imagination, lots of red tape, no one returns emails or phone calls and there is no accountability, so we are going to fix that. People don’t know whose job is whose, so they pass you around until you go away, that’s what I’ve experienced.”

Storey hopes to make quick, clear communication common at City Hall, using his skills as a project manager.

I feel that I can tackle a large scope and be able to organize my own thoughts, and if there are teams involved with any planning, whatever, I can influence what is going on,” Storey said.

I’ve been practicing as a project manager professionally for three years and in the role for eight years,” Storey said. “Before that, I ran my own business. … There is a lot that goes into being a project manager that I think are strengths of mine.”

Another strength, Storey said, is his passion for the city.

“I am super invested in Westbrook, I got four kids here, I help with sports and am involved in the community,” he said.

Elections will be held Nov. 5, with all wards voting at the Community Center.

 

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.