Hayward calls for a civil, transparent city council
Rockland — Harold "Dale" Hayward Jr. said he is running for Rockland City Council in hopes of creating accountability in the council's actions for the benefit of Rockland taxpayers and to create a more open and transparent form of city government.
"It's time to stop can-throwing and hat-throwing and treat each other with respect and treat the public with respect," he said, referencing a dispute between Mayor Brian Harden and Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson earlier this year.
Hayward said the council needs to make more of an effort to allow the public to be heard.
The candidate is running in a three-way race for a city council seat held by longtime incumbent Harden. Frank Isganitis is also running for the seat.
Could fat be trimmed from the budget?
Hayward argues the city budget needs to be examined line-by-line, item-by-item and department-by-department with a magnifying glass. The candidate feels he is qualified to do so because he has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maine and has studied accounting at the Hartford Institute. In his career he has run businesses and accounting practices.
There is always a way to trim the fat, he argued, whether it's 1 percent, 2 percent or 20 percent.
In particular, he said the public works department and the city landfill need to be scrutinized, but he said there is probably room for improvement financially in all the departments of city government.
On the issue of taxes, he said a large number of houses are for sale in the city, which may be due to high taxes. With costs of heat, fuel and food all on the rise, he said the council has not respected the plea of taxpayers on the edge.
Experience vs. new blood
While Harden argues the city needs his experience and continuity on the council, Hayward said it is time for some new ideas and new blood on the council to change patterns.
"I don't think the old regime has worked well," he said. "...Familiarity breeds contempt. This is not an election of simply changing faces. It's most importantly changing from stagnation to future perspectives."
In particular he criticized what he sees as hostile attitudes on the city council leading to a "determined lack of cohesion."
He wants to see more respect shown among councilors for each other, taxpayers and city employees, which he believes will be accomplished by more listening and public input.
Use of city property
Hayward said he favors having the city charge fees for commercial use of city property and parks. "It's there for the use of everybody," he said.
He said too much personality got involved with the issue this year and argued the council needs to take personality out of the issue when dealing with businesses. He said the council needs to be more objective in researching issues and handling them in a fair and equitable manner.
Councilors should not have a personal agenda and there should be no payoffs or punishments based on personality issues, he argued.
On the issue of downtown construction, he said it is also important to pave roads in other parts of the city.
Hayward was the owner of Seaport Office Supply on Main Street in Rockland. He also has extensive experience in accounting.
He has both a bachelor's degree from the University of Maine and completed an accounting course at the Hartford Institute.
He drove tour buses for a time and served four years in the Air Force. He is currently retired and serves as a substitute teacher for six school districts.
The candidate has lived in Rockland for 30 years. He has been married for 46 years to Geri Hayward. They have one daughter, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
News Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @DanDunkle.