Newly elected Mayor Valli Geiger cited the weekend death of a man in a storage container on the municipal pier in her call for a greater sense of community.

Geiger was elected mayor Monday night, Nov. 20, by a 4-0 vote of councilors. Councilor Amelia Magjik was absent from the meeting.

Geiger won election Nov. 7 to a second three-year term on the council.

In her first remarks as mayor, she talked about an elderly veteran from northern Maine who lived alone and whose only contact with people was during his monthly trip to the grocery store. She then turned to the Nov. 18 death of 37-year-old Adam Purington.

Purington was found dead in a storage container on the city fish pier. Police suspect that he died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a forklift that was running in an effort to produce heat in the container.

"The problems of the world are incredibly daunting. But in this city we have an opportunity to make small changes for our own humanity," Geiger said. "Little changes to reach out in our community to people like that young man who was in that storage container."

She said everyone in Rockland should have housing and should be able to connect to the community. She pledged to work for that and to work with the other councilors to achieve that goal.

The Broadway resident is a nurse. During her first term on the council, she called for steps to deal with the affordable housing shortage in the community.

Geiger served as chairman of the Rockland Comprehensive Planning Commission before being elected to the council.

The mayor moderates meetings, nominates members to municipal boards and oversees ceremonial functions.

Councilors are paid $800 per year and the mayor receives an additional $200 per year.

Lisa Westkaemper was sworn in for her first term on the council. She was the top vote-getter in the Nov. 7 election in her first run for office in Rockland.