ROCKLAND – Frustration over the lack of two-way conversation involving harbor redesign proposals by Yachting Solutions has prompted the group, Sensible Harbor Infrastructure Plan (SHIP), to host that conversation.
The mooring forum, Jan. 30, only addressed potential displacement of moorings within the harbor. Some believed that the Yachting Solutions presentation, Feb 14, was just that — a one-way edict of ideas.
Organizers of that event intended to conclude the meeting with a facilitated accumulation of pros and cons by audience members; however, many in the audience requested a question and answer session instead. So many questions were fielded that the Q and A turned into a Q only, with the promise that answers would be accumulated, transcribed, and publicized on the City website within a day or two. Those answers have yet to appear.
“In many respects, I think myself and other members of the public were a little bit frustrated with the fact that we couldn’t engage,” SHIP member Christos Calivas said during a special council meeting, Monday, Feb. 27.
In response, Mayor Valli Geiger said: “I totally agree with you. It was not my expectation at the Yachting Solutions public hearing that someone would take questions and run out of the room. I was prepared to stay there as long as it took to go through all of those answers and comments. I, too, was disappointed, and I felt like I had promised people that that was the purpose of that forum.”
Calivas called for City Council to schedule another meeting to give the public opportunity to comment. In the meantime, his group, along with members of the public, will gather in City Council Chambers, 6 p.m., Thursday, March 1. The forum will not be aired live, but Calivas has requested use of the Chamber’s recording devices for documentation. This is not a council meeting.
“It’s not an adversarial situation,” he said. “It’s, hopefully, going to be a balanced, informative discussion on the proposal that Yachting Solutions has put forth.”
Maine State Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center — Maine State Representative for District 93 – wrote on her Facebook page:
What's your vision for our harbor? Join fellow Rockland and Owls Head citizens at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, at Rockland City Hall chambers for a community discussion of proposed harbor plans. Do you want a new federal anchorage bringing even larger cruise ships than the ones we've already seen? A harbor of windjammers, small coastal sightseeing ships and sailboats? A private, gated anchorage for big yachts? Weigh in this week!