BREWER, Maine — Police Chief Perry Antone reminisced at the City Council meeting Monday night about joining the force as a young Brewer Police officer and meeting Sgt. Arden Jones, who retired from the force at the end of September after nearly four decades.
“I was a rookie then and he was an experienced officer,” the chief said at the meeting where Jones was honored for his more than 39 years of police service.
Jones, a veteran officer who spent 29 years serving the citizens in Brewer, started at Old Town Police Department and earned the rank of sergeant before leaving for a job in Camden, followed by a post at the University of Maine. He was hired by Brewer in 1984 with 10 years of experience already under his belt, said Mayor Kevin O’Connell who presented him with a resolve at the meeting.
“The biggest thing about Arden was his consistency,” Antone said, saying that Jones was someone who he could rely on “to come in and do the things that needed to be done” day after day.
“He’s greatly missed,” Antone said, with half a dozen officers in attendance at the meeting. “I missed him today. I know I’ll miss him next year and I know I’ll miss him to the day I retire.”
“Thank you,” Jones said as he exchanged a firm handshake with his former boss.
The council also honored 27-year employee Mary Stuart, the city’s technology director, and said goodbye to City Councilor Arthur “Archie” Verow, who decided not to run for a third term on the council in order to concentrate his efforts in Augusta as the area’s state representative.
Verow, who was given a standing ovation, said he was happy he accomplished two major goals of adding credit and debit cards use at city hall, and making the building truly handicap accessible. He also advocated for broadcasting the public city council and school board meetings on the local cable access channel, a project that has been deemed too expensive.
When O’Connell called Verow to the front of the meeting to thank him, the mayor quipped:
“I want to let you know I’ll be calling your house for words of wisdom, and I hope Fran is home,” O’Connell said, referring to Verow’s wife.
A round of laughter filled the council chambers that were dedicated in Verow’s honor in 2007 after he retired as city clerk, a post he held for 40 years.
At the meeting, the council also:
• Established an economic development revolving loan fund with $100,000 from the tax increment financing special reserve funds to stimulate economic growth. “It is intended to be a self-replenishing pool of money, utilizing interest and principal payments on old loans to issue new ones,” the order reads.
• Hired Nancy Marshall from Augusta to market the GoBrewer.com campaign under the Cross Insurance Center founding partners sponsorship.
• Accepted a donation of $500 from the Brewer Kiwanis Club for the public library and $25 from Wayne and Letha Spofford for the fire museum.