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Election season set to start in Rockland

By Stephen Betts | Aug 03, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockland Mayor Lisa Westkaemper after being sworn in as mayor by City Clerk Stuart Sylvester.

Rockland — The city election season officially kicks off Aug. 5 with two seats up for the Rockland City Council and one seat on the regional school board.

The City Council seats held by Mayor Lisa Westkaemper and Councilor Valli Geiger are up for election.

Geiger already announced she will not seek another term. She is the Democratic nominee for the Maine House District 93 seat which represents Rockland and Owls Head at the State House in Augusta.

Geiger is completing her second consecutive three-year term on the City Council, being elected in 2014 and 2017. She was also elected by her council peers to be its mayor in 2017.

She is a nurse by profession and has lived in Rockland for 24 years.

Westkaemper is completing her first term on the Council and has been elected as mayor by her council peers for the past two years (Novembers 2018 and 2019).

An email was sent to the mayor on Monday asking if she planned to run for re-election. There was no immediate response.

Westkaemper moved to Rockland in 2013. She served a two-year term on the city council of Justin, a city of about 3,200 residents in northern Texas, in 2012 to 2013.

She is executive director of the DaPonte String Quartet.

Before coming to Rockland, Westkaemper had a career as an arts administrator; she has been employed as the executive director of an arts umbrella organization in Austin, Texas, where she served as an arts advocate and representative of the theater community.

As production manager at the University of Texas at Austin, she oversaw all aspects of production at a multi-theater performing arts complex with a multi-million-dollar budget. She was also the co-artistic director for a theater and community education center in north Texas.

In addition, Westkaemper was a member of the dance and theater faculty at the University of North Texas for many years.

School board seat

One of Rockland's five seats on the Regional School Unit 13 Board is also up for election Nov. 3. The seat is held by Board member Carol Bachofner.

Bachofner said Monday, Aug. 3 she would seek re-election.

Bachofner has served on the RSU 13 Board since June 2011, when she was appointed by the City Council to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Steve Dyer.

Bachofner, who grew up in York, taught English. Her husband was a teacher and her oldest daughter is a teacher in California. Bachofner and her husband moved to Rockland in 2006.

She was elected to full three-year terms in 2011, 2014, and 2017. She has served as vice chair of the board.

There is also a single five-year seat on the Rockland Port District. The seat is held by James Kalloch.

Nomination papers for all municipal seats can be picked at the city clerk's office at city hall beginning Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Candidates for Council and school board need signatures from at least 100 registered Rockland voters to get on the Nov. 3 municipal ballot. The deadline to file is Sept. 21. Port district candidates need at least 15 signatures with the same Sept. 21 deadline.

Seats for election warden and ward clerk are also up for a vote Nov. 3. Those positions also require at least 15 signatures to get on the ballot.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Joanne Kenney | Aug 03, 2020 15:58

I agree with Richard !

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Aug 03, 2020 14:42

Although I may not always agree with their decisions am thankful for those whom have thoughtfully served our city during this difficult time. Don't think anyone could have done any better.

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