BREWER, Maine — City Council incumbent Kevin O’Connell, who earned the most votes in the Nov. 8 local election, was elected mayor by the panel on Tuesday at the annual meeting.
He said he is honored and thankful for the opportunity to lead the city again.
“I’m humbled to be standing here and honored to have the opportunity to continue to be of service to the citizens of Brewer,” O’Connell said in his acceptance speech.
O’Connell served as mayor three years ago. Jerry Goss, who also has served previously as mayor, was named deputy mayor at Tuesday’s ceremony, which was held at Jeff’s Catering.
O’Connell earned 3,463 votes in the Nov. 8 election to earn another three years on the council.
Former mayor and incumbent Beverly Uhlenhake, with 2,453 votes, also retained her seat, beating out resident Randy Tompkins, who earned 1,202 votes.
O’Connell said the people who make up Brewer’s council are a team that work well together.
“I am thankful to work with these four individuals,” he said. “We all add a different character to this group to make it an effective city council.”
The new mayor also thanked city employees, specifically City Manager Steve Bost, for their hard work over the year and citizens, who took the time to vote.
“Communication is key to the success of any organization, and I am thankful to have open communication with all of our employees,” O’Connell said. “It’s a great thing.”
O’Connell said his plans for the next year include keeping an eye on the Interstate 395-Route 9 connector project, and working on extending the waterfront trail.
“Do you know why the bridge is wider in Brewer?” the mayor asked. “It’s because there was once a toll booth there. It’s hollow underneath the toll booth, and it’s my belief that the Maine Department of Transportation will allow us to tunnel under the bridge and extend the waterfront trail from the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge to the Penobscot Bridge.”
During the annual meeting, school board member Kevin Forrest was named chairman of the board for the next year and Ashley Blanchard was named vice chairwoman.
Superintendent Cheri Towle also took the opportunity to thank outgoing Brewer High School District Trustee Mark Chambers, who served 12 years on the school board and five years on the Brewer High School District Trustees.
“Thank you for your 17 years of service to the school department,” Towle said to Chambers after handing him a plaque.