Mayor seeks meeting on school safety

Issues statement on Connecticut school shooting
By Staff | Dec 15, 2012
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Will Clayton

Rockland — In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Rockland Mayor Will Clayton issued a statement Dec. 14 calling for a community meeting on school safety and preparedness.

"It is with a heavy heart I must come to you tonight to discuss the tragic scenario we have all heard about today in Connecticut," Clayton said in an email. "I have asked the city manager to reach out to the city's school principals, school board members, police chief, fire chief and any other officials necessary to convene an urgent meeting to discuss our procedures in place for a situation as we saw unfold today. We have the luxury of living in a state where things like this 'just don't seem to happen,' but we cannot rest on our laurels and must be ever vigilant in our preparedness."

Clayton said he will have a preliminary meeting with Superintendent Lew Collins, City Manager James Smith and another school official Friday, Dec. 21. There will be another meeting after that involving more officials.

Gov. Paul LePage issued a statement ordering all state and U.S. flags be flown at half-staff effective immediately through sunset on Dec. 18, in accordance with a presidential proclamation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and community affected by this horrific event this morning in Connecticut," LePage said. "It is difficult to comprehend the loss of so many innocent lives. Ann and I will continue to pray for the families of the children and staff members who lost their lives in what should be the safest of places, their school.”

On Friday, President Obama issued a proclamation as a mark of respect for the victims of tragic events in Newtown, Conn.

“Like all Americans, I am shocked and sickened at this reprehensible, heinous act at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut," U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe said Dec. 14 in a prepared statement. "Such senseless violence is simply unimaginable and has no place in this great country of ours. As we struggle to comprehend this national tragedy, we stand united in holding the families and loved ones of those lost in our thoughts, and we pray for the full recovery of everyone who has been injured.”

Comments (11)
Posted by: penny sanborn dostie | Dec 17, 2012 12:16

I for one do not think more gun control is the answer, If your out to break the law what good are more laws.

Posted by: Debra L Whittier | Dec 16, 2012 22:03

I think Will's quote in this article is articulate and proactive.  Good job Mayor.

Posted by: Harry Fitzgerald | Dec 16, 2012 20:07

As I said Debra it sounds like a good idea BUT the Mayor cannot control the media!! That is one (and probably the first way) of the easiest ways those insane people get all of these ideas. It will never change with freedom of the press being allowed to keep telling the world. As for the Mayor I was not saying anything against him other than saying it way out of his control. You and other should be speaking to your polilicans in Augusta. To include the one on the city council and have her take it back to them.

Posted by: Debra Damon | Dec 15, 2012 22:10

I agree with William Clayton that a safety measure needs to be set up and as Mayor he's doing the correct thing. How can any of you who have spoke negative about what he said is unreal! Maybe we won't be able to stop something like this but at least we could try to set up safety measures. They were a small community also and never thought something would happen there, and now they are a community that is devastated by this tragic event. My heart and prayers go out to the families that lost their loved ones. So Harry and Kendall maybe you don't think anything can be done, but we CAN try along with William Clayton to stop it. Amen William..

Posted by: Rick Winslow | Dec 15, 2012 18:59

I have known Will for a while. He's concerned about his community and if he did nothing to address this, and God forbid something happened, someone would be asking why. I don't live in Rockland anymore, but I'm glad he got the job of Mayor.

Posted by: Jennifer J Dostie Stewart | Dec 15, 2012 16:42

Perhaps I am wrong, but is it not the Mayor's responsibility to serve the city's citizens?  Keeping the children safe is "city business".


Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Dec 15, 2012 14:39

The country, congress and city councils can weep and wring its' collective hands, again and again but until we have gun and ammo control these tragedies will continue unabated. 320+ million privately owned guns does not seem to be enough for Americans and the NRA.

Posted by: Harry Fitzgerald | Dec 15, 2012 14:35

It may sound like a good idea BUT if someone has there mind on doing this insane sort of thing there will be NO stopping them.  So maybe the Mayor should stick to the city business instead.

Posted by: James Clinton Leach | Dec 15, 2012 14:07

Our Mayor is quick to respond and smart as well to act now !

Posted by: Jennifer J Dostie Stewart | Dec 15, 2012 13:09

Thank you, Will!!

Posted by: Rick Winslow | Dec 15, 2012 10:23

Now that's leadership. This could happen anywhere and this tragedy should never be repeated, under any circumstances.

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