Brewer council returns mayor to post

Posted Nov. 18, 2009, at 9:20 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — The vote was not unanimous, but Arthur “Archie” Verow, who served as mayor for the last year, was named to the post for another year on Tuesday at the City Council’s annual organizational meeting.

Joseph Ferris also was reappointed deputy mayor, in a duplicate 3-2 vote, with Councilors Larry Doughty and Manley DeBeck voting against both Verow and Ferris.

Doughty nominated DeBeck for the post of mayor but was overridden by the three votes for Verow. He also nominated Ferris for deputy mayor and then voted against him.

“Joe called me last Friday afternoon and told me Archie was going to be the mayor,” and that they had the three votes needed, Doughty said on Wednesday. He said he nominated DeBeck to demonstrate his displeasure with the council’s leadership.

During that same conversation, Ferris asked Doughty to nominate him for deputy mayor, which Doughty said he was happy to do, even though he voted against him.

“I just feel I’m not happy with the way a couple of things have happened in the last year,” Doughty said. “I wanted to send a message that I’m not particularly happy.”

Doughty said there are no hard feelings between councilors.

“The council is going to get along fine,” he said. “We’re all there for the same purpose.”

Before the leadership votes were taken, new Councilor Jerry Goss was sworn in, along with Doughty. In the audience were Goss’ parents, Ralph and Phyllis Goss, his wife, Jean Goss, and his brother Kevin Goss.

In the mayor’s speech, Verow thanked fellow councilors and city and school leaders for their hard work over the last year and added, “This past year has been another year of tremendous progress in the city” with the opening of several new businesses, including the city’s largest taxpayer, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

“While we pause to celebrate our accomplishments, we are mindful that there is more that is required to be done,” he said, listing the mandated sanitary and storm water separation project, the riverfront stabilization and trail projects, changes to the downtown traffic flow and parking, and plans to make City Hall handicapped-accessible.

And with the struggling economy, “There is certainly no shortage of challenging decisions that the City Council will face this year,” Verow said. “At times there will be differences of opinion among council members as to courses of action.”

Another issue that needs addressing is what to do with the school buildings that will be vacated once the new school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade is open in 2011. Verow said he wants the public to have a hand in deciding what to do with the buildings once they’re empty.

Before the school board met to choose its leaders for the next year, new school board member William “Bill” Birch was sworn in along with incumbent Amanda Bost and Brewer High School district trustee incumbent Albert “Al” Gibson.

During a special school committee meeting, chairman Mark Farley was reappointed, for the fifth year in a row, to lead the board, and Bost was selected as vice chairman for the second year.

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