Gavin to return as solicitor; Hebert to retire

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PORTSMOUTH — The new town council has appointed a familiar face to serve as town solicitor — Portsmouth resident and attorney Kevin Gavin.

Mr. Gavin who held the post previously when Democrats were in the majority, regained the post with the support of the new Democratic council majority in a 4-3 vote taken Monday evening.

Democrat James Seveney moved the appointment, action that was supported by Democrats John Blaess, Michael Buddemeyer and Molly Magee. Voting against the change were Republicans Liz Pedro and Keith Hamilton, and Independent David Gleason.

The council then thanked outgoing solicitor Donato Andre D'Andrea for his service and presented him with a town tile in gratitude for his expert legal service to Portsmouth. Mr. D'Andrea has often been the solicitor of choice when Republicans hold the Portsmouth council majority over the years.

• In other action Monday, Police Chief Lance Hebert submitted a letter notifying the town of his intention to retire, effective Dec. 31. Chief Hebert has served on the Portsmouth Police Force for 25 years.

• The council swore in newly promoted Portsmouth firefighters — Steven Lynch and Howard Tighe as captains; and Carl Bowley and Michael Pinksaw as lieutenants.

• The council also agreed to send a resolution asking state leaders to require the state Department of Transportation to conduct a thorough and comprehensive impact study on the proposed Sakonnet River Bridge toll. The letter will also ask that the measure be put on a state ballot.

The council took the vote after being asked to do so by John Vitkevitch of the Portsmouth Business Association.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.