Since the abolishment of the caucuses and the recent Ward 5 council seat vacancy, city councilors opted to make themselves the arbiters of who will fill the remaining term for this seat.

When the city of Westbrook was under the caucus system, the people had the opportunity to choose their candidate of choice. The council had the authority to vote the candidate up or down, but the citizens had a voice in the choice brought before the council. This is more in line with our representative form of government.

In this instance, the council has taken representation away from the citizenry and given it to themselves. Unless you ask, read the council records or possibly read the American Journal, you will have no idea who is running for this seat or anything about them, their interests and reason for putting their name forward.

Those in control of our budget and how our city operates should not have the sole choice of who represents us.

My suggestion is either hold an election or allow the runner-up, Larry McWilliams, to fill the vacancy. At least the citizens had weeks to get to know the choices they had for representation when Mr. Storey and Mr. McWilliams ran for the seat in 2019.

Deb Shangraw