From watching Monday night’s Rockland City Council meeting, one might think that the economy had recovered and business was booming.

A year ago, while still mired in the Great Recession, city and business leaders performed somersaults to welcome the Jewel of the Seas to Rockland Harbor. City councilors were all smiles as they surrounded the captain at a welcoming ceremony and presented him with a plaque. He also received a lobster and a Maine flag from our local state senator.

City leaders were salivating over the potential of more than 2,000 wealthier-than-average passengers from the cruise ship visiting Rockland and other local tourist destinations and spending their wealthier-than-average cash.

The weather that August Sunday was miserable but there were still loads of passengers walking the downtowns of Rockland and Camden.

Seven months later, however, city officials were informed that instead of being a boon to business, these cruise ships were polluting our shores, threatening our lobster industry, causing residents to flee the downtown, spreading swine flu and causing the Boston Red Sox to lose to California in October.

OK, maybe the last two items were not mentioned. But the spokeswoman for the city’s Harbor Management Commission made it clear that the group believed the cruise ships carried more than passengers – they also carried many negative impacts. The spokeswoman made the obligatory point that the committee was not saying cruise ships should not be allowed to make port calls here, but the rest of the presentation certainly sounded like that.

Rockland is a destination, she stressed, and should not sell itself short by allowing cruise ships to visit here unless they pay $8 per passenger. This would be an 800 percent increase from last year. Eight hundred percent is slightly more than the inflation rate of the past year, according to the latest government statistics.

The commission cited problems that Bar Harbor and Portland have experienced. Of course, Bar Harbor sees 150,000 cruise ship passengers each year. Rockland sees about — well — a little more than 2,000 annually.

City officials must be confident of the economic recovery. They are apparently certain that if the Jewel of the Seas is frightened off by an 800 percent increase, other “mega” cruise ships will be waiting in line for the opportunity.

“Mega” was the word used during this week’s presentation and not in a “mega super” sort of way. The word was used more in a “mega scary” kind of way.

But the attitude toward business did not stop with the mega cruise ship.

Several residents of the Pleasant/Union Street intersection spoke out to criticize the operations of a not-quite-so-mega restaurant that occupies the train station. The chief complaint was that music can be heard in homes near the restaurant during the night.

The city’s code enforcement officer and police chief acknowledged that they have used noise meters when those neighbors have complained and no violations have been found.

But nonetheless, a restaurant that provides gainful employment to people in Rockland has to worry about whether it will have its entertainment license renewed even though it has not violated any city ordinance. The train station is located in a commercial zone although it does abut residential properties.

As the state’s retail sales figures show, 2009 was not a good year for tourist-dependent businesses. Rockland, however, remains dependent, in part, on such businesses. While December showed the first increase locally in retail sales compared with the same month for the previous year, there has been no firm evidence that the Great Recession is over.

But maybe some city officials know something we don’t.