A new mayor and a new direction
Rockland City Councilor Will Clayton has announced his interest in serving as Rockland's next mayor, and based on what we have seen from him, he would make a fine mayor.
Clayton's youth is often pointed out in articles. At 33, he is younger than other members of the council. However, in the past year, his has often been the voice on the council showing maturity and reason in the face of emotion-driven controversies.
He has also proven to be fair, impartial and business-friendly. When it comes to the issue of transparency, one that this council needs to address moving forward, Clayton has been good about responding to questions from the press and the public.
Rockland will need strong leadership as it faces challenges in the near future. One of the big questions will be how to move the city forward economically in tough times, especially given the move of Walmart to Thomaston and the vacancy in the city's community development office left by Audrey Lovering.
Among local communities, Thomaston has done a good job of planning five or more years down the road economically, and building its tax base by drawing businesses, while Rockland has been more reactive recently. Hopefully, in the near future, Rockland will learn to look ahead and plan for the future to keep from being left behind.
Cooking with gas is not always a good thing
The Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office is advising homeowners never to use a flammable liquid to start a wood stove. This advice came following a fire in Augusta Nov. 10 that seriously burned the homeowner, who used gasoline to start a wood stove inside the porch of his home.
State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said, "Homeowners should never use a flammable liquid to start a wood stove fire because the vapors are explosive and cause a fireball. Only paper and kindling should be used to start a wood stove."
Gasoline has a tendency to explode, so please be careful this winter and use all reasonable precautions. If you have any questions at all, call your local fire chief and ask what you should do. We're sure he or she would rather field that call than come out to your house in the middle of the night to put out a fire.
We have also heard some recent incidents involving carbon monoxide buildups in local homes caused by faulty heaters. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries on each floor to keep your family safe and have your furnace maintained regularly.
Rockland students doing a good job
Veterans in Rockland were treated with great respect and honor Nov. 9 in a ceremony at Rockland District Middle School.
Students took time to invite local veterans to the school, provided them breakfast and held an assembly in their honor. Students read essays they wrote about Veterans Day. The school band played songs and a few of the students sang.
The event helped not only members of the student population but the larger community to learn something about the history of Veterans Day. We have included the student essays on page 5 for you to enjoy.
We are grateful to the educators at Rockland District Middle School for hosting the event and to the veterans for their service.