BREWER, Maine — The first meeting of a citizen advisory committee created between Brewer and Bangor and charged with finding ways the two cities can save money by working together met for the first time on Wednesday.
“The meeting was primarily organizational in nature,” Brewer City Manager Steve Bost said Thursday. “The group assembled and looks like it will be a very positive working group.”
Bost is one of 14 members of the committee, which includes the city managers and finance directors of both cities and five other members from each city.
“There were a number of basic materials requested such as previous studies about collaboration, the cities’ respective budgets, organizational charts, [and] things of that nature,” he said. “The co-chairs were elected. They are John Simpson from Bangor and Lester Young from Brewer.”
The panel also directed Bost and Jim Mullen, a committee member from Brewer, to create bylaws for the panel, with rules, procedures and guidelines that will be presented to the committee at its next meeting.
The Brewer committee members are Gail Kelly, state director for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and a former Brewer mayor; Mullen, a retired banker; Young, former business manager for the school department; Joe Cote, plant manager at Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility; and Bev Uhlenhake, a commercial real estate agent and Brewer Planning Board member.
Bangor’s five members are: Bill Lucy, president of Merrill Bank; Simpson, president of the board of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems; Thom Johnston, president of the New England School of Communications at Husson University; Evelyn Silver, senior adviser to the president of the University of Maine; and the Rev. Bob Carlson of Penobscot Community Health Care.
Carlson and Uhlenhake could not attend Wednesday’s meeting. Four Brewer city councilors — Larry Doughty, Joseph Ferris, Jerry Goss and Mayor Arthur “Archie” Verow — were part of the audience.
“One of the things the committee wants to ensure is all the proceedings are open to the public and there is an opportunity for the public to weigh in with their thoughts,” Bost said.
The next meeting of the advisory committee was not scheduled at the meeting because members couldn’t easily find a date, he said.
“There are a lot of busy people around that table,” Bost said.