It is with much sadness, yet heartfelt gratitude, to bid one of our exceptional modern-day public servants “farewell” from another tour of duty faithfully served to the citizens of Westbrook. Mike Sanphy has now completed a term as mayor to add to his four decades of public service and “retirements” from the Westbrook Police Department, Fire Company and Emergency Management.

Like many in our community, I have known Mike Sanphy for what seems nearly an eternity. There are few in our community that know our history like Mike, who still serves as president of our Historical Society – fittingly founded during our country’s 1976 Bicentennial by many exceptional citizens including the recently passed Vaun Born, Ellie Conant Saunders and my own father Phil Spiller Sr. Since that time, Mike and many others continue to help remind us of the importance of honoring our past while diligently working in the present towards a bold new future.

I had the pleasure to work on several projects with Mayor Sanphy during his tenure, including the establishment of the Hawkes “Walking Man” sign as our 7th landmark on the National Register. It was also an incredible experience working and campaigning together for mayor – despite running for the same position – as I had given Mike my word that I would support him even if I ran myself. Unfortunately – as we both were reminded – even those with extensive experience in Public Service/ Community Building are often challenged to win races against more “traditional” politicians, regardless of qualifications. But like myself, Mike Sanphy has never been one to play the “political game” – and I think he should be commended for that.

Thankfully, Mike will still be engaged in our city’s progress. In fact, we have a very special project about to launch in the downtown that he and the Historical Society will be part of – a project that will not only remind us of our storied past, but strengthen our sense of place as we look to Westbrook’s future.

Thank you, Mayor Sanphy.

Philip D. Spiller Jr.
Vice president, Discover Downtown Westbrook