Mayor Ed Glaser said a goal during the next year for the City Council will be to find ways to better engage citizens in the Council's decision making process.

Glaser was elected Monday, Nov. 16, as Rockland's mayor for the next 12 months. He received four of five votes from councilors with Councilor Louise MacLellan-Ruf casting her ballot for Councilor Nate Davis.

The new mayor said more engagement is needed, despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

Before the vote, Davis said the Council has not done a great job in the past of engaging with the public. He said the Council needs to find ways to encourage and welcome the public to participate in the meetings.

He also said he wanted to change the rules so the mayor can participate in debates. Currently, a mayor has to hand over the gavel to debate.

Glaser said the city has a lot of work to do, and he looks forward to working on the issues.

The mayor post in Rockland is largely ceremonial. The mayor runs the Council meetings, presides over official and civic events, and nominates members to city boards and commissions. The position, however, also often sets the tone for a council during the year.

The position runs from November to November each year.

Glaser was a schooner captain and served 12 years as Rockland's harbormaster. The Old County Road resident was elected to the City Council in 2016 and reelected in 2019.

He is the senior member of the Council with four years of experience.

Glaser succeeds Mayor Lisa Westkaemper who served two consecutive terms as mayor. She was the first councilor to serve two consecutive terms since Brian Harden who was elected in 2010 and 2011. Harden also served as mayor in 2005 and 2006.

Tom Molloy holds the record for terms as mayor — being elected to the post seven times — the first time in 1987 and the last time in 2004.

At the start of the meeting, Councilors MacLellan-Ruf and Sarah Austin were sworn into office by the city clerk.

Political newcomer Austin was the top two vote-getter Nov. 3 with 1,580 votes.

A recount was held Nov. 11 to confirm who won the second seat on the ballot. The recount took less than two hours and at the end MacLellan-Ruf retained her win with 1,388 vote.

Adam Lachman finished a close third with 1,375 votes. Ian Emmott received 1,175 votes and Ryan Smith with 661.

MacLellan-Ruf picked up three votes in the recount while Lachman picked up four votes.

The 1,375 votes Lachman received is the most ever for a Rockland City Council candidate who did not win a seat. The previous record was Vance Johnson in 1976, who received 1,371 votes but lost in a two-way race to Warren Perry, who received 1,487 votes.

The most votes ever received by a Council candidate in a contested race was Adele Faber in 2004 with 2,155 votes in a three-way race for two seats.