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One withdraws, one takes out papers as deadline nears for Council race

Ryan Smith of Tea Street takes out papers Sept. 17
By Stephen Betts | Sep 18, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Ryan Smith

Rockland — Three people have qualified to be on the ballot for two open seats on the Rockland City Council as the Monday, Sept. 21 deadline nears.

Another person took out papers this week while one who took out papers announced he would not seek to be on the ballot.

As of Sept. 17, Ian Emmott, Sarah Austin and Louise MacLellan-Ruf have returned nomination papers to the city clerk with sufficient signatures to get on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Joseph Catalano Jr. announced Sept. 16 he would not continue with his plans to run. He took out papers earlier this month, but said a family matter is taking priority.

Melissa Byer of Pleasant Street also took out nomination papers, but has not yet returned them.

Ryan Smith of Tea Street took out nomination papers Sept. 17.

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

The Tea Street resident said he wants a sustainable community that is welcoming to all and which remains an accessible place to all people, not only professionals.

Signatures of at least 100 registered Rockland votes are needed. The deadline is 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, to file completed nomination papers.

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 Nov 2017

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.

Austin of Talbot Avenue is chairperson 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.

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.

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 has taken out papers to seek reelection. No one else has taken out papers. Bachofner has yet to file her papers.

There is also a single five-year seat on the Rockland Port District. The seat is held by James Kalloch who is not seeking re-election to the five-year term. No one has taken out papers. If no one takes out papers for the port district seat, 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.

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Comments (6)
Posted by: Stephen Betts | Sep 21, 2020 11:05

Celia, Yes Adam is also a candidate. This article was written before he took out papers. A subsequent article has been written and posted about Adam running. There will also be a final article on who are candidates once the 4:30 p.m. deadline passes today.

Posted by: Knight Marine Service | Sep 21, 2020 10:29

What about Adam Lachman, he is in the running!  Adam is the BEST man for the job.  Celia Knight

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Sep 21, 2020 10:28

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Smith with his signature clipboard while walking my dog last night and had him ask me if I was a registered voter as he was collecting signatures to get him on the ballot for city council. I listened to his views and reasons for seeking a council seat. I was impressed enough to sign. I think he sincerely stands for the residents of the city, the views of all residents and not just a segment of them. I didn't read into him any personal special interest. My gut tells me he is a very good candidate.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 19, 2020 03:54

Very well said, Jim. Looks like we are going to have a very clear choice this year. More important than ever to get out the vote.

Posted by: James York | Sep 19, 2020 01:40

Smitty! Great to see so many people stepping up to help our city move forward.  I worked with Ryan down the old IGA and we cashed many checks from the harbor that supported generations of families. Today it seems like our harbor is a playground for the rich showing off  their yachts, while working people are pushed out of town and  alienated from own community.  We have one of the best harbors north of Boston lets get it working for all the residents of our blessed city.  1) Fish Pier 2) Affordable Housing, 3)Focus on Neighborhoods- End the Lodging industry in our Nhoods and stop pandering to downtown.

Despite hee talk at the $5 coffee shops downtown , workers still make up the fabric of Rockland, Smitty will stand with us. I hope others will too.

Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Sep 18, 2020 17:38

Rockland is very fortunate to have so many people running for City Council this year. It says something wonderful about our city that people care and are willing to step up and run, to add their voices and service in creating Rockland's future.

Valli Geiger

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