Mayor offers names to study Rockland harbor's future

By Stephen Betts | Jun 02, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — Rockland Mayor Valli Geiger has nominated four people to fill five seats on a committee tasked with developing a long-term management plan for the harbor.

The council will vote on whether to confirm the nominations at its June 11 meeting.

Tapped for the Ad Hoc Harbor Management Plan Committee are John Jeffers and Jennifer Rockwell, who will represent the Economic Development Advisory Committee, James Kalloch, who will represent the Comprehensive Planning Commission, and Christos Calivas, who is an at-large resident for the committee.

A fifth person to represent the Harbor Management Commission has not yet been nominated.

The City Council agreed in March to create the ad hoc committee as the city wrestles with a community divided over whether large cruise ships should be allowed to make stops in the city. In addition, a proposed marina expansion by Yachting Solutions Inc. has generated considerable opposition and a less vocal group of supporters.

Last month, opponents of allowing cruise ships in Rockland that carry more than 250 passengers presented an online petition to the City Council that was signed by more than 750 people, but only 80 were from Rockland. The opponents of large cruise ships asked the council to impose a moratorium until regulations could be enacted, which could include prohibiting large cruise ships.

Opponents claim that the ships threaten the character of Rockland, cause chaos on Main Street, put the environment at risk and damage lobster gear.

At the following meeting May 14, there was a large turnout of people in support of allowing all cruise ships.

Jeffers spoke at that meeting and said he supported visits of cruise ships to Rockland, including the large ones, but that it was important to address potential problems.

He said not a single person getting off the ships asked where to get a T-shirt, beach towel, snow globe or refrigerator magnet. Critics have repeatedly said that gift shops are among the few businesses that benefit from the visits of large cruise ships.

Calivas is a member of the group SHIP, Sensible Harbor Infrastructure Plan, which opposes the Yachting Solutions proposal.

The city has not updated its harbor management plan for 20 years.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Doug Curtis Jr. | Jun 03, 2018 22:42

Where is spell check when you need it?

Posted by: Doug Curtis Jr. | Jun 03, 2018 22:41

I am not convinced this council knows how to handle a Ad hoc committees. There track record isn't one to emulate.

Posted by: Lynne A Barnard | Jun 03, 2018 12:29

Mr. Mazzeo and Mr. Carroll...Please take note that also on the Agenda Meeting at City Hall tomorrow evening is yet another Liquor License Application filed by Windstar Cruise Lines this time (last summer it was Royal Caribbean with 5 mega cruise ships on one application with 125 venues on board).  Granting such a license to a Cruise Line is in direct competition and not fair to our local restaurants and bars.  I plan to stand up and speak again during the Public Comment part at the beginning of the meeting.  I would really love it if both of you would join me or at least be in the audience to applaud me.  I've stood up so many times to speak...including against the Coast Guard's designation of the Federal Anchorage at Broad Cove. Were you there? Please come to these meetings...we need you and all of your family and friends to participate to save Rockland's Harbor for Rockland and it's future for fishing, boating, views, clean water, and clean air.  Hope to see you all tomorrow.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jun 03, 2018 08:56

Francis Let's take a look at our leaders and those that influence the major decisions effecting our town.  How many on the City Council are from Rockland or even grew up in Rockland ?  Not many or perhaps not any ? Several at City Hall live in Owls Head ( and are proud of it) and most of the big money players (other than Frank Ohara and Everette Spear) notable exceptions are not even "from around here".  And you wonder why things are not going the way locals would like ?

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jun 02, 2018 18:03

One of four grew up in Owls Head and went to high school in Rockland. The cruise boats do not bother me half as much people that do not pay taxes in Rockland signing a petition that in all reality have no business signing it. The harbor belongs to the residents of Rockland and not people that rub elbows on Main Street.

Posted by: Lynne A Barnard | Jun 02, 2018 12:10

The choice of Christos Calivas to the Ad Hoc Harbor Management Plan Committee is brilliant.  He is a force in the community, a skilled diplomat and natural leader, an attorney, a sailor, and he doesn't have any conflicts with economic interests as other others do.  I truly hope he is appointed as the Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee.  Thank you City Council for placing him on the Resolve #25 Appointments for the next City Council meeting on the 04 June Agenda and for approval on the 11 June City Council meeting.

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