BREWER, Maine — Kevin O’Connell was named mayor Tuesday night at the city council’s annual meeting and said his plans are to work hard to get projects done, to always look for what’s next and to spread a few smiles.
With that statement, it was totally appropriate for O’Connell, who retired last year as a master sergeant for the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Air Refueling Wing, to get a framed picture of a squirrel he once took off a power line at the home of friend and fellow Air Guard retiree Mike Gleason. He has worked as a Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. lineman for 25 years.
O’Connell thanked his wife, Gayle, his children and other family members and said he is looking forward to his new role serving his community.
“Me being mayor has been a work in progress,” he said. “I was born in Brewer, raised in Brewer and schooled in Brewer.”
He has served on at least six city committees, from the library board to the school board, and has gained experience through his 24 years in the military and quarter century working as a lineman.
“Between my family, my friends and my life experience — I am ready to be your mayor,” O’Connell said.
Former mayor Jerry Goss was named deputy mayor for the next year at the joint city council and school board meeting held at Schooner’s Seafood and Steakhouse.
Former Washington Street School Principal Janet McIntosh and Michael Hutchins, who taught at Brewer High School for 25 years, earned seats on the school board last year and on Tuesday were made chairwoman and deputy chairman.
New city council member Matt Vachon, a local mail carrier; school board members Dani O’Halloran, a real estate agent, and Brewer High alumnus Kevin Forrest, Class of 1982, also were sworn in, as was student representative Megan Pike.
During a Monday city council meeting, outgoing Councilor Larry Doughty, who served the city as a councilor for 24 years, was thanked for his years representing Brewer.
“One of the highlights of the night was the recognition of Larry Doughty,” City Manager Steve Bost said. “He was commended for his many years of service and his attention to his constituents. He was never afraid to say what was on his mind.”
Doughty, who was taking photos at Tuesday’s meeting said he’s still not afraid to speak his mind and will continue to do his blog, ourstory.com/larrytdoughty, and listen to concerned residents.