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Rockland mayor won't seek Council re-election

By Stephen Betts | Aug 23, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockland Mayor Lisa Westkaemper and City Clerk Stuart Sylvester.

Rockland — Rockland could elect two new councilors for the first time in a decade.

Rockland Mayor Lisa Westkaemper informed city councilors last week that she would not seek re-election to the Council. Her term expires in November.

Westkaemper has not responded to an email sent to her Aug. 3 asking about her plans. She is completing her first three-year term on the Council, having been elected in 2017. She has been elected mayor by her council peers during the past two Novembers.

This means there will be two open seats on the Nov. 3 ballot. Councilor Valli Geiger has previously announced she would not seek re-election to the Council because she is seeking the Maine House District 93 seat that represents Rockland and Owls Head in Augusta.

The last time two first-time councilors were elected to the Rockland City Council in a single election was in 2010 when Will Clayton and Larry Pritchett were voted into office.

As of Friday noon, two people have taken out nomination papers to seek the Council seats — Ian Emmott and Joseph Catalano Jr.

The deadline to file nomination papers with the city clerk's office is Sept. 21 to get on the municipal ballot.

Emmott served in the Coast Guard, including time in Rockland, and now works with disabled veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He served on the Rockland Port District.

Catalano is an information technology employee for the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

He lived in the Rockland area previously and founded and operated Get Wired LLC, a home electronic installation business from 2004 through 2008. He also operated the Italian restaurant LaFamiglia in 2006 and 2007.

He returned to Rockland a year and a half ago and bought a home on Cedar Street earlier this year.

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 re-election. No one else has taken out papers.

There is also a single five-year seat on the Rockland Port District. The seat is held by James Kalloch. No one has taken out papers.

Seats for election warden and a ward clerk are also up for a vote Nov. 3.

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 24, 2020 08:39

Is that Stuart wearing a suit ?  Can't say as I have ever seen that before.  Looks quite dapper, like a preacher in that black suit.  Westkaemper will most likely not respond for comment.  I personally have never received a reply from her on any communication sent since she has been on the council.  She is much like Susan Collins in that respect.  She just does her job without feeling the need to communicate.  Looking forward to this years race.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Aug 23, 2020 11:45

Realistically, who would want the position? Next year is not going to be fun. There are tough decisions that will mean cuts to every one of our departments. Other cities in Maine have already done it and we will have to. Nobody wants it yet there will be no choice. Thank you, Madam Mayor, for serving us in a very difficult time. Overall the council has done an excellent job and it starts with leadership at the top; as we have found out nationally.



Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Aug 23, 2020 11:24

New mayor ought to be someone in council already not a brand new person. It's my opinion, might not be correct? Lisa did well because she's had so much past history being in charge of administrative organizations, as I recall.



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