WESTBROOK — With seven months left on her first City Council term, Lynda Adams has resigned to accept a job as a consultant with the developer of the Rock Row project.
Adams, first elected to the council in 2016, told the council Monday she will be working with Waterstone Property Group on Rock Row, a multi-phased mixed-use project proposed at the former Pike quarry on Main Street. Adams said she was scheduled to represent the company at a meeting Thursday.
“As I learned more and more about this development, it became apparent to me that I could be an asset to Waterstone, but also the city by being directly involved,” she said at the April 1 council meeting in which she tendered her resignation. “I feel I can have a greater positive impact on our community by working with Waterstone than I could just by remaining a city councilor.”
Josh Levy, a principal with Waterstone Properties Group, said hiring Adams “represents a commitment and investment for us, the Rock Row team and Waterstone Properties Group, to really make sure we are fully understanding and addressing the needs of the community and the needs of the city.”
Adams, he said, will serve as a local point of contact for residents and city officials and will help market and plan events for the property.
“Who better in that role than someone who really understands the concerns of the community and what’s important to the city,” Levy said.
David Morse, chairman of the Westbrook Democratic Committee, said Wednesday no date has been set for a caucus to select a nominee to complete Adam’s term. The nominee would then need to be approved by the City Council.
Although she said she originally hoped the resignation was an April Fool’s joke, Council Vice President Anna Turcotte told Adams, “I am sad to see you go. It was an honor to work with you.” Councilor Brendan Rielly echoed that sentiment and Councilors Mike Foley, Victor Chau and Council President Gary Rairdon thanked Adams for her service.
“I am positive you will help the Rock Row development go in the right direction, in any direction they take,” Chau said.
Adams, who worked as city clerk for seven years from 2007 to 2014, said the new position and the vision for Rock Row melds well with her professional background in event planning, marketing, wellness, music and municipal service.
Initially, she said, she had hoped she could remain on the council, but after speaking with city administration, she decided stepping down was the only way to avoid a conflict of interest and to quash the appearance “that Waterstone Properties Group hired a city counselor to receive preferential treatment.”
Adams said while she may not be serving the city in an official role, she will continue to be an advocate for the city.
“The way I look at it, I may not be serving the city of Westbrook anymore, but I still will be serving my community,” she said.
Michael Kelley can be reached at 780-9106 or email@example.com or on Twitter @mkelleynews.
Lynda Adams reads her letter of resignation Monday as student representative Sadie Cross and Ward 2 Councilor Victor Chau look on. Adams is stepping down to take a job as a consultant for the proposed Rock Row project.