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Rockland to require businesses using city space to enforce mask requirement

By Stephen Betts | Jun 18, 2020

Rockland — The Rockland City Council agreed Wednesday evening, June 17, that it will require businesses that use public space to enforce the mask requirement.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said he would write up the order to be formally voted on by the Council at its June 22 meeting.

Councilor Valli Geiger said at the June 17 meeting she was at outdoor cafe last weekend, and none of the servers were wearing face coverings as is required by state order.

"It's pretty basic, it's the CDC guidelines," Geiger said.

She said failure to enforce could result in Rockland becoming a hot spot for COVID-19 to spike.

The Council vote will come as it opens up more public spaces for use by private businesses.

Also at the June 17 meeting, the Council voted 3-2 to allow the Park Street Grille to use the sidewalk and parking spaces on Park Drive adjacent to its restaurant for seating to serve customers outside.

Councilors Geiger and Ed Glaser voted against it, saying while they want to help businesses they were concerned about safety at the busy street and intersection.

The city will place Jersey barriers on both ends of the parking spaces to be used to offer protection to customers and servers.

On June 8, the City Council voted to close a section of Oak Street to allow adjacent businesses serve customers. That closure will also run through Oct. 31. Businesses adjacent to this closed-off area include Cafe Miranda, Fog and Lulu's Ice Cream.

The Brass Compass is again using a 10-foot strip of city land adjacent to the business for serving customers.

Beginning Friday, June 19, Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic from 5 to 11 p.m. to allow businesses to operate outdoors. The street will also be closed Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The same closure schedule will occur Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27.

The closure of Main Street will stretch from Park Street to Glover's Passage.

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Comments (7)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jun 23, 2020 07:28


The wearing of face masks has never been enforced anywhere in Rockland.  I believe that your statement is discriminating

against employee's of restaurants.  Have you gone into Walmart, Hannaford, Lowes, Home Depot, just to name a few.  Why is it any different if an employee is not wearing a mask?  Shouldn't this requirement pertain to all?

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jun 20, 2020 09:01

I have to agree about wearing masks.  Unfortunately, while dining on Main Street, this is not possible for the customers.  It is possible for the employees.  I wear my mask when I go into stores.  It is the responsible and right thing to do.  Been wearing for so long, it is normal to me now.  No big deal wearing it.  I care about myself, my family and most of all the public.

What really scares me now is people in crowds at the beach, like Lincolnville Beach yesterday, not wearing masks.  My sister lives in Florida so I have been keeping up with what is going on there.  It is not good at all.  The virus is now running like wild fire because their governor opened up the beaches, bars and restaurants.  It is not over, folks.  I commend our State of Maine Governor for the steps she has taken to keep the cases low in the State of Maine.  I am not fearful at all of this virus.  Cautious and concerned to keep it from spreading like the State of Florida.


Posted by: cindy rebecca cox | Jun 20, 2020 05:34

Thank you Gerald! I’m glad someone finally said it. I feel the same way you do. My husband also has severe COPD and at 52 years old, has had a couple brushes with death from the flu and pneumonia. I do understand that some people have medical reasons not to wear a mask ( because I have seen my husband struggling to breath and not being able to keep something over his face). My opinion is, that anyone else that feels they shouldn’t wear one in public, is just a selfish person!

Posted by: Merton Sawyer | Jun 19, 2020 22:12

There is a lot I would love to say here but probably shouldn't. So, I will not. "But the tongue no man can tame; it is an unruly evil full of deadly poison."

Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Jun 19, 2020 20:18

Here's an idea Steve. Instead of just being an asshole with every comment you make, why don't you lead by example? I will join you walking around downtown wearing a mask, which I typically do when I leave my house or car.

My mother has COPD and nearly died of the flu in February. I take her to her doctor appointments. I can't risk getting infected, no matter how safe it seems. So will you join me Steve? Let's show others that wearing a mask isn't really that big of a burden. And then we can work on developing your positive attitude!


Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jun 19, 2020 08:46

I wonder how the seating at Park Street will make out.  I have to agree with Councilor's Geiger and Glaser on that one.  Extremely busy intersection.  I hope that it works out for Park Street Grille.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jun 19, 2020 08:09

Being a nurse of course Vallie is more sensitive to these types of situations.  My question is how will you enforce this order ?  Growing up in Maine I know there is a whole group of people that are going to do whatever they want and to hell with you.  The life long question of how to legislate stupid.  Will the offending server be tazed and dragged off to county Jail ?  Any groundhog will tell you to use caution when exiting it's hole.  You just never know when a virus will swoop down and end your life.  In order for all of us to be safe we must ALL do our part and be responsible.  Unfortunately you just can't "order" someone to be responsible.  Either they are or they're not.

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