Isganitis wins Rockland City Council seat
Rockland — Frank Isganitis won Nov. 6 in a three-way race for a single seat on the Rockland City Council.
In unofficial voting results released at about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 7, Isganitis had received 1,194 votes, beating longtime incumbent Brian Harden, who had 1,026 votes. Harold "Dale" Hayward Jr. trailed in the race with 758 votes.
Official results will be available later Nov. 7, according to the city clerk.
Isganitis has been active in the community since purchasing the LimeRock Inn with his partner, PJ Walter, in 2004. He has served as chairman of Rockland’s Comprehensive Planning Commission and a member of the board of assessment review. He has also served as president of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
During the campaign he focused on the issues of taxes and the city budget, saying the city should use its assets to generate alternative revenue sources.
The inn represents his second career. He worked in banking for 20 years including work as a senior vice president of a bank in the New York area.
During the campaign, Harden sought to fend off the challengers arguing the need for continuity and experience on the council. Harden, the sitting mayor going into the race, has served on the council for 12 years.
As an incumbent, Harden has been part of a city council that has faced controversy during the past year.
In the spring, tensions ran high at several meetings after the council voted against allowing the Brass Compass restaurant to pay to use space for tables in the neighboring Winslow-Holbrook Memorial Park. The use of the city park was opposed by some area veterans and some members of the business community. At a meeting in June, after much heated debate, the council reversed the decision and allowed the tables in the park.
More recently, the council has faced questions and criticism from community members over the sudden departure of Community Development Director Audrey Lovering, who is receiving a severance package of $21,667 (equivalent to four months salary) to resolve a dispute.
City officials have refused to explain the reasons for the payout, saying the matter is confidential because it involves personnel. In a publicized email Nov. 2, City Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson criticized Harden for not acting on her request for an investigation into the matter. He responded that he had seen her request as being a question about process rather than the specific incident, and noted she would have had more information if she had stayed for a closed-door meeting earlier in which the city manager explained the issue.
These issues may have played a role in the election results.
News Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @DanDunkle.