Councilors warned there is shortage of people willing to serve

Rockland council gives initial OK to term limits for boards

By Stephen Betts | Mar 13, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Parks Commission member Joseph Steinberger at the MacDougal Park in Rockland.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council gave its support Monday night, March 12, to setting term limits for members of municipal boards.

A longtime volunteer, however, warned that there is already a shortage of people willing to serve.

The council gave unanimous preliminary approval to an ordinance amendment sponsored by Mayor Valli Geiger to set term limits for members of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Comprehensive Planning Commission, Economic Development Advisory Committee, Harbor Management Commission, Library Advisory Committee and Personnel Board.

The ordinance would limit members to five consecutive terms and would prohibit anyone from serving as chair of a board more than six times overall.

A formal public hearing and final vote are scheduled for April 9.

Geiger said when she ran for the City Council she heard from people who said they had notified the city they were willing to serve on boards but never heard back from anyone.

"It seemed like a closed club," she said of some of the boards.

Geiger also said she didn't want experienced people to all leave at one time, leaving no one with knowledge of the process.

But former Mayor Carol Maines -- who serves on the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Library Advisory Committee -- said she saw no reason for such a change.

"This seems to be a solution looking for a problem," Maines said.

Maines said it can be difficult at times to get enough members to attend for a quorum at meetings. She said this change could be viewed as hostile toward volunteers.

"Experience is important, too," Maines said.

Councilor Adam Ackor, while voting for preliminary approval, said the council can take the next month to look at the wisdom of the term limits.

Another proposed ordinance that came under fire was one to reorganize the Parks Commission into a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

The Parks Commission and Recreation Advisory Committees are currently separate boards. The Parks Commission has five members and the Recreation Committee has seven positions, but nearly all are vacant.

Former City Councilor Joseph Steinberger, who serves on the Parks Commission, was sharply critical of the proposed change. He said the change would substantially reduce the authority of the Parks Commission.

He also praised the work of veteran member John Grondin, Steinberger said when he talked with Geiger about the change, she had criticized Grondin.

Steinberger said Grondin works incredibly hard for the city.

He also disputed the argument that the commission has had a difficult time getting quorums. Steinberger said in his many years on the board, it has never not had a quorum.

Geiger said she appreciates Grondin's hard work and that she was sorry for not notifying the Parks Commission members before submitting the ordinance for a vote.

Board members are nominated by the mayor and are voted on by the council for varying terms.

Comments (11)
Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Mar 17, 2018 19:18

Wow! Hayward's accounting of what is owed the city and not enforced is mind-boggling.



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Mar 16, 2018 16:43

More important than this the council ought to be asking why are all these people owe money to the City of Rockland and not paying; (THIS IS ALL PUBLIC INFORMATION)

1. GLENN LAWRENCE, 12/06/2017-$7,300   (FISH PIER)

2. JUSTIN DYER, 6/12/2012-$100(FISH PIER)

3. PACIFIC TRADING, INC. 12/06/2017  $16,500 (FISH PIER)

4. ROCKLAND LOBSTER COMPANY, 04.2013- $23.211(LESS ADJUSTMENTS OF $6,902) NET $15,635 (FISH PIER)

TOTAL FISH PIER UNCOLLECTED FEES $39,631

POLICE DEPARTMENT:

CONTROL POINT ASSOCIATES, -10./16- $238

FARNSWORTH ART MUSEUM- 07/17- $704

PEN BAY MEDICAL-12/17-$50

EMS SERVICES:

NE MOBILE MEDICAL-12/17-$10,014

TOWN OF NORTH HAVEN-6/17-$ 500

TOWN OF OWLS HEAD-12/16-$ 827

PUBLIC SERVICES:

BETH CONTRERAS-11/16-$1,660

PATRICIA JAIDANE-SEAWELL-12/15-$1,150

TRANSFER STATION:

FERRAIOLO CONSTRUCTION-12/12-2/13-$239

JK KALLOCH-11/17-$211

PINE TREE WASTE 8/11 TO 2/18-TOTAL IS $18,511 AND STILL HAULING IN

SUNSET TERRACE MOBILE HOME CO-OP 12/17-$302

TOTAL DUE JUST FOR THE LANDFILL IS $45,832

PUBLIC LANDING:

BOB PRATT-2/17, $2,550

GEORGE MARKS: 6/16-2/17-$1,867

KINDA PRIESTLY 3/17-4/17-5/17-$210

RICHARD CALLIGAN-2.17-$1,414

STEVE HALE-9/15-2/17-$1,453

WILBUR SEAFOOD-5/16-$320

YORK MARINE-11?17-$1,500

TOTAL ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE AS OF 3/16/2018 DUE TO THE TAXPAYERS OF THE CITY OF ROCKLAND IS

$121,968, OVER 120 DAYS DUE IS $28,860, 61-90 DAYS IS $34,618 AND WITHING THE 30 DAY NORMAL BUSINESS IS $54,151 WHICH IS MADE UP OF MANY GOOD LOCAL BUSINESSES THAT PAY THEIR BILLS AND DO NOT TRY TO STICK THE TAXPAYERS OF ROCKLAND.

The city council should worry about this overdue money instead of looking for more ordinances to stick the people of Rockland with.

 

 

$18,, AND STILL HAULING IN

 

 

 

 

 



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Mar 15, 2018 23:19

or dumb thoughts?



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Mar 14, 2018 15:31

Can we impeach a mayor for dump thoughts.?



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Mar 14, 2018 15:30

It will take more than 6 months for the council to find the wisdom of anything, let alone this issue. Never so  disappointed since the "sweetheart deal" at the dump and our new Mt. Demo/Plastic. Never a dull moment in Rocklandia. While the roads deteriorate lets add another useless ordinance and spend some tax money hidden away while we wait for the shock of the next budget and the rise in the dump fee. What a city?



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Mar 14, 2018 15:27

I think we should limit city council members to six months terms. Short enough so they can not infiltrate the minds of each other and learn all the hand holding songs and dance steps.



Posted by: Doug Curtis Jr. | Mar 14, 2018 15:15

I am not sure this should be at the top of the city's agenda. As a person who has been on both sides of the issue, I can appreciate a person's disappointment not being selected for a volunteer position. That was one reason in part why I term limited myself from the Comprehensive planning Committee after 9 years.  I think it is a lot more fair today where people actually have to apply in writing to the Mayor.  I do agree with Carol that experience is certainly helpful.  The logical extension of this world be term limits for councilors. I don't perceive this as a major problem in Rockland. I am grateful for the people who do serve. Any person who is not selected for a committee can show up to a meeting and give their input. I guarantee you that if you show up a few times the odds of getting on when an opening occurs is pretty good.



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Mar 14, 2018 09:38

I like many others appreciate the hard work and long hours contributed by volunteers on our committees. I do think some people get very comfortable in their committee chairs and when given authority to make decisions feel their way is always the best way. If we all feel that shuffling  the the cards now and then is such a bad idea, then let's not impose term limits for city councilors.



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Mar 13, 2018 22:01

Let's hug another tree. Term limits when it hard to get people to serve. And talk about an agenda. Well aren't we special? Let's change the face of Rockland, add to Mt. Demo to the sky and give away the harbor. All on someone's agenda. When is this stupidity going to stop?



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Mar 13, 2018 19:00

My experience being on a couple of these committees was that some members had an agenda. I always thought a committee suggested what was best for all not some. The last straw for me was listening to a guy living out near the Samoset say he was tired of the natives being against those from away. What he didn't get was we are tired of those from away thinking they are more worldly and intellectual than the home grown citizens. People shouldn't be on a committee to stroke their own ego but then again, the person choosing these people need not have an agenda either. I don't expect that to happen real soon.



Posted by: Sumner Kinney | Mar 13, 2018 17:12

It is not very often that I would agree with former Councilor Maines but I sure do on this one.  It would be crazy to add such restrictions on volunteers.   I would challenge Mayor Geiger to name the people who did not get calls from city hall and then call them - not create restrictions on others.  I bet she cannot name 3.  Once their names were made public it wouldn't be long to figure out why they weren't called.

How crazy can this council get?



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