Rockland sets special election to fill vacant seat

Posted:  Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 7:30pm

ROCKLAND – The Rockland City Council met in chambers at City Hall, February 14, and scheduled a special election for June 13 to fill the seat left vacant with the resignation of Larry Pritchett. One ordinance in its final reading and one ordinance in its first reading were both postponed indefinitely by the council.

The Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance, which spurred many citizens to speak at previous council meetings, was postponed indefinitely by the council. A public hearing on the ordinance was opened and no one rose to speak for or against it.

The ordinance was originally sponsored by Valli Geiger and it was she who requested that it be postponed indefinitely.

Councilor Ed Glaser said he would support the action to postpone the ordinance indefinitely, but would rather vote in favor of it.

"The concept of the ordinance was a good one in the first place," said Glaser. "I'm sad to see it leave."

Geiger said that after several conversations it was decided to postpone rather then kill the ordinance.

"We want to see what happens in the State Legislature," she said. "And there are some final legal opinions about the Supreme Court decision, which we now have, and which I think strengthens the argument; but for now we'll postpone it and see what the legislation does."

In a turnabout the council did pass a resolve to protect the health and integrity of the local food system.

Geiger's other sponsored ordinance, the Infill Ordinance, which would overhaul residential zoning laws to allow for denser development in an attempt to relieve housing shortages, was also postponed.