ROCKLAND – “This is going to be a great year,” said Rockland City Council member Louise MacLellan-Ruf.
In a 4-1 vote by council members, Monday, Nov. 21, MacLellan-Ruf became custodian of the gavel as mayor of Rockland for the upcoming year.
This year begins with all five councilors bringing community-minded focuses to the table. New councilor Penelope York has spoken about wanting to set up youth-engagement programs, as well as repairing the infrastructure to the City website. Nicole Kalloch is advocating to end sales to children of Juul cigarette in Rockland. New councilor Adam Lachman is interested in creating a housing taskforce. Sarah Austin also wants to further community engagement.
“We have an incredibly active council that’s ready to do product-driven things, not just process,” said MacLellan-Ruf, in her mayoral acceptance speech.
The mayor, who’s held the position in the past, made clear that this council is non partisan.
“We don’t bring our politics into it,” she said. “We bring only our heart and soul, and what it means to be a councilor for Rockland. Not the state, not national, but what we are going to do to keep Rockland moving forward.”
For her, the post Covid-chaos goal, which she said caused people to become insular and break down relationships, is to bring process back. The City Council positions require accountability – knowing who will do what, when, where, and how.
“It does not have to be an ordinance amendment,” she said. “Some things can just be done with a simple phone call to a neighbor to say ‘hey, can you cut your lawn?’"
MacLellan-Ruf also mentioned the need to generate more grant money.
“It’s always a little upsetting when we see other communities receiving grants that we were eligible for,” she said.
As well, MacLellan-Ruf wishes to reinstate the annual volunteer celebration day, at which volunteers and committee members eat pizza, receive certificates, and are reminded that their hard work is not forgotten. As an example, MacLellan-Ruf acknowledged the Rockland Harbor Trail committee, who secured an easement with Dragon Products, which made way for the El Faro Salute memorial.
“That would not have happened had our volunteers not been working soundly,” she said.
She also wants focus on the waterfront and also to secure the Boardwalk for the City of Rockland and all of the users in perpetuity, after it’s brought up to its original glory.
“Even during our last meeting, there was jocularity, people kind of enjoying themselves, and we’re going to bring that back to this council,” she said. “And we’re going to bring that back to our community.”
MacLellan-Ruf thanked her friends, family, and community for allowing her – over many years – to be human, and were supportive and loving.
Sarah Austin’s term expires in 2023
Louise Maclellan-Ruf 2023
Nicole Kalloch 2024
Adam Lachman and Penny York 2025
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org