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Five make ballot for two Rockland Council seats

By Stephen Betts | Sep 24, 2020
The Rockland City Council candidates from left are Sarah Austin, Ian Emmott, Adam Lachman, Louise MacLellan-Ruf and Ryan Smith.

Rockland — Five candidates have made the ballot for two open seats to the Rockland City Council.

They appeared Sept. 24, at 7 p.m., at City Hall's for a  candidates' forum, organized by The Courier-Gazette. The debate was broadcast live on government cable access channel 1303 and will be rebroadcast between then and Nov. 3. The broadcast will also appear on the VillageSoup website and Facebook page and will be livestreamed on the city of Rockland web site at https://livestream.com/rocklandmaine/events/9319064.

The debate was held earlier than normal because absentee balloting will begin during the first week of October.

The five candidates are Sarah Austin, Ian Emmott, Adam Lachman, Louise MacLellan-Ruf and Ryan Smith.

Melissa Byer took out papers but did not return them by the 4:30 p.m. Monday deadline. Joseph Catalano Jr., who also took out papers, announced he would not file his papers and run this year.

The two seats being vacated are held by Mayor Lisa Westkaemper, who is completing her first term, and Councilor Valli Geiger, who is running for the Maine House after nearing the end of two terms on the Council.

Austin of Talbot Avenue is chair of the city's parks and recreation advisory committee. She works as an office manager for a local accounting firm. She is also on the board of directors of the non-profit organization One Less Worry, which provides personal hygiene products to people served by the Area Interfaith Outreach.

Austin first came to Rockland 15 years ago, when she served as a crew member on a sailing vessel and it stopped in port for repairs. She lived in other places before settling in Rockland in 2018, when she purchased a home.

Emmott, of Talbot Avenue, served in the Coast Guard, including time in Rockland. He recently left his job with the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he worked with disabled veterans. He said he plans to open a distillery, but it is still in the planning stages. Emmott served on the Rockland Port District. He has been on the Rockland Historical Society Board since 2017.

Lachman has served since 2013 as a senior aide for I-Sen. Angus King. Lachman currently serves on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee; a council of public and private sector leaders working to stabilize the state’s economy and advance future economic prosperity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., Lachman previously owned and operated small businesses on Vinalhaven and North Haven, and has a background in hospitality, innovation and renewable energy.

Former Rockland Mayor MacLellan-Ruf served one three-year term on the Council, being elected in 2013. She was elected mayor by her council peers in 2015. She did not seek reelection when her term expired in 2016.

The Pacific Street resident serves as chair of the Harbor Management Commission, a post she also held prior to serving on the Council. She also serves on the Harbor Trail Committee.

MacLellan-Ruf worked as a social worker and therapist when she lived in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, before moving to Rockland.

Smith, of Tea Street, is a certified personal trainer, gardener and naturalist. He comes from a commercial fishing family and has lived in Rockland since 1983.

Smith said he wants a sustainable community that is welcoming to all and will remain an accessible place to all people, not only professionals.

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, who filed a declaration to be a write-in candidate. No one else took out papers or declared intention to be a write-in candidate.

There is also a single five-year seat on the Rockland Port District. The seat is held by James Kalloch, who did not seek reelection for another five-year term. No one took out papers. The City Council can appoint someone to fill the five-year term.

Seats for election warden and a ward clerk are also up for a vote Nov. 3. No one has taken out papers for those posts.

For debate video, click here.

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Comments (9)
Posted by: Stephen Betts | Sep 27, 2020 09:53

The link on the city of Rockland web site to the Council debate is now working.



Posted by: Elizabeth Ignaszak | Sep 26, 2020 10:34

Village Soup and Facebook link to the livestream video on the City website.  The video on the city website does not play.  Can it be moved to a site that will allow people who missed the debate to watch it?  We do not get channel 1303.



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Sep 25, 2020 09:50

Taxes being cut ? More for less is just a fallacy. I don't remember the city ever having as many vehicles. We used to have more people and less vehicles and now it is less people and more vehicles. Being a County Seat and shopping area doesn't reduce taxes in town either.



Posted by: Ed Glaser | Sep 24, 2020 21:49

Great forum, thank you Steve and the Courier. You asked about many of the big issues that we are facing, and it gave us a good overview of the candidates.
We are lucky to have such a good group running and willing to serve.



Posted by: Dennis Corkum | Sep 24, 2020 19:55

Cannot find the live stream on your website



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 24, 2020 03:52

Please, pay attention folks: "They will appear Sept. 24, at 7 p.m., at City Hall's candidates' forum, organized by The Courier-Gazette. The debate will be broadcast live on government cable access channel 1303 and will be rebroadcast between then and Nov. 3. The broadcast will also appear on the VillageSoup website and Facebook page and will be livestreamed on the city of Rockland web site."




Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Sep 23, 2020 14:05

has "everyone" sent their questions to Steve Betts yet?   sbetts@villagesoup.com

here's our opportunity to learn something about these 5 fine people willing to take on a tough position.



Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Sep 23, 2020 08:31

My questions for these good people willing to take on this serious position:

For city council candidates:

sorry to say that I will not be available Thursday night for that mtg.

Of course I want to ask about cell towers and their thoughts on that?

How much is too much on Main Street on roof tops? How to measure the amount of radiation being emitted? Will code officers be in charge of that to make sure it is not over kill? pun intended.

What about the proposed tower for 182 Camden St. now in settlement phase (??) possibility secret, no one knows outside of city council what will be decided by October due date for settlement option. What would each one of them be doing & thinking if they were on city council NOW dealing with this settlement proposal? How much research are they willing to do each time there is a meeting, rather than wait until the meeting then respond to issues presented that evening? I view city council position as a demanding role which requires doing homework BEFORE each and every meeting, which seems to me we have that type of commitment now, which I do appreciate. I couldn't/wouldn't do it.

Do they (each one) think that cell tower emissions are, or might be hazardous to health and the environment ?

Have they done any research on this? How much have they read? Why is it the FCC has done zero research does that concern them?

 

 

 



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 21, 2020 18:04

Looking forward to hear where the candidates are willing to look for cuts from next year's budget.  There will have to be some serious changes made in order for our senior saints to stay in their homes.  Hopefully we will elect those willing to assist the common man.    We will see who gets our the vote.



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