Observations on updated Rockland Boards, Committees and Commissions members list

By Maggie Trout | Jun 27, 2014

The list of members of Boards, Committees and Commission members was updated as of today, June 27, 2014.  Straight off, I notice two things:  Amy Files has not been appointed to anything, let alone the Comprehensive Planning Commission post to which the newspaper reported she had applied. The second is that Joanne Billington serves on the Board of Assessment Review, the Personnel Board, the Economic Development Advisory Committee (Chair), the Parking Advisory Committee, the Harbor Park Re-Design Committee, (Citizen-at-Large).


Vacancies exist on the following:

1 Vacancy, 1 Alternate, Comprehensive Planning Commission

3 Vacancies on the Energy Advisory Committee

2 Vacancies Parking Advisory Committee

2 Vancanies Public Works Committee

2 Vacancies, 1 Alternate, Board of Assessment Review

2 Vacancies CDBG Loan Review Committee


My observations:  As far as I know, the City has not begun a search for a new City Manager.  Given Joanne Billington's level of appointments, perhaps City administration should just give Billington the job, if she wants it.  Why go to all that expense, fuss, and bother to do a search anyway, when municipal control is invested in the hands of a few, and the Hall seems at its most insular?

 Amy Files.  No appointment.  Many residents have heard her speak.  She's as invested in the city government more than most, demonstrating intelligence, foresight, and logic.  Attending meetings regularly.  (And no blarney about lengthof time living in Rockland or needing a degree in Rocket Science), to serve well and effectively.

The Parking Advisory Committee is to include the City Engineer and Police Chief (or designees) shall be ex-officio, non-voting members.  Rockland continues to have no City Engineer.

The Harbor Park Redesign Committee only has the Lobster Festival Corporation/Chuck Kruger, as a representative of anyone holding events in Harbor Park, disregarding all others.  Obviously, this is not equitable.   

 I continue to think there needs to be a change in the form of Rockland government, because as things are now, it does not seem its most democratic. It would be interesting if readers weighed in on alternate possibilities.


Comments (3)
Posted by: Maggie Trout | Jun 30, 2014 16:53

Even if I had made a personal attack, rather than an, (at most poorly-phrased), observation regarding mayoral appointments, let's weigh the positions of power here.  On the one hand, there's me.  Solo.  No associations.  But a speck on a computer page.  On the other:  the City of Rockland and appointed boards, Committees, and Commissions, Rockland Main Street, The Free Press, the Courier Gazette, Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation, the Maine Lobster Festival, the Penobscot Bay Regional of Commerce, and the Rotary, and all the intertwined associations they hold.


I might better do as inferred and start packing, especially given that one comment - misconstrued -  could literally bring down all chance of survival in this community for decades to come.



Posted by: Maggie Trout | Jun 30, 2014 11:27

I applaud Joanne Billington's dedication, and neither attacked, nor belittled her efforts. I simply read the updated list of appointed members and noted that there were numerous appointments to various boards, committees, and commissoins.  The methodology was questioned.


There are not "so many" pressing to see Amy on a Board. I am not part of any group - ask anyone.  I stand alone. Any perceived investment on my part is erroneous, save for the means by which appointments are made when there has been demonstrated dedication by residents who do not receive appointments.  Note the number of vacancies.  That would suggest that no one applied, that no one was encouraged to apply for them, or that no one was deemed sufficiently qualified to fill them.  There are no requirements other than residency for these appointments.  A recent report in this newspaper quoted the mayor as saying there were many applicants.  It is not only in this current administration that the issue of vacancies has been questioned with cause. 


I'll point out again that Rockland does not have a strong mayor form of government, but that role is treated as such and may account for the City Council's decision not to pursue a City Manager search.   How does the Council account for that?


The "with or without" closing statement carries the implication of encouraging exclusion from the democratic process, but the far more damaging suggestion of community shunning.

Posted by: Glenn Billington | Jun 30, 2014 09:27

How unfortunate that Maggie would use Joanne's dedicated service to Rockland to make a sarcastic attack on our hard working Mayor. My wife's service to Rockland is a labor of love and is deserving of thanks not ridicule.

I might point out , that many do not get on the board of their choice the first time out. The fact that so many are pressing so hard to place Amy on a particular board should tell us something.

Rockland will continue to be a great place, with or without Amy Files or Maggie Trout.

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