Inaugural meet-and-greet with mayor to be held Friday

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Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy, center, shown here on Election Day 2016, will hold an inaugural meet-and-greet on Feb. 17 instead of a traditional ball so he can meet and talk with more residents.

WESTBROOK — In place of the traditional inaugural ball, Mayor Mike Sanphy is holding a meet-and-greet Friday.

The event, which is being organized by the Westbrook Downtown Coalition, will take place from 4-8 p.m. Feb. 17 at My Place Teen Center at 755 Main St.

Sanphy, who was elected Nov. 8, said in his December inaugural address that he wouldn’t be holding the traditional ball that past Westbrook mayors have had. He said he’d be forgoing a ball in order to be more “modest” and “frugal.”

“Inaugural balls are expensive,” Sanphy said Tuesday. “This is open to the public and doesn’t cost anything.”

However, light refreshments will be served.

Westbrook’s inaugural balls, which date back to at least the 1960s, have cost up to $50 per ticket in recent years. Sanphy said the cost limits who can attend the event, which he doesn’t want to do.

“This here is more down-to-earth,” he said. “We want people to meet us and talk to us.”

The City Council and School Committee will also be at Friday’s event so the public can meet all of Westbrook’s elected officials. Sanphy said the open house will be casual and will allow people to talk casually with him, the councilors, and the School Committee members.

Being available to the public is important to Sanphy, he said. Like past mayors, he has been holding open office hours since he took office. Every first Saturday of the month from 9-10 a.m., residents can come speak to Sanphy at City Hall. So far, he said there’s been a “very good turnout.”

Sanphy said he hopes his inaugural meet-and-greet also sees a strong turnout, and he hopes to meet as many residents as possible.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy, center, shown here on Election Day 2016, will hold an inaugural meet-and-greet on Feb. 17 instead of a traditional ball so he can meet and talk with more residents.

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