It’s time to pass the gavel, as they say. But, politics will remain in his future

Rockland’s youngest mayor officiates his last meeting

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 10:00am

    ROCKLAND — Rockland Mayor Will Clayton presided over his last city council meeting Wednesday evening, Nov. 13, at City Hall. The meeting was punctuated by accolades for Clayton from the public during the public comment portion of the meeting. Not all the awards, however, were lavished on the Mayor. The Rockland City Council gave three plaques to organizers of the Lobster Festival, Blues Festival and Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors show.

    Steve Barrow, of Rockland, took the podium to publicly thank Clayton for his time and energy he had given the city over the last three years.

    “You always been one to keep things calm, civil and encouraged us all to be nice to one another,” he said. “I think those are very important traits and I hope that whoever takes your position can do as well.”

    Clayton, at age 34, has perhaps one of the firmest understanding of parliamentary procedure to grace local government in many years.

    Former Rockland Mayor Tom Malloy echoed Barrow’s sentiments.

    “I’ve watched for the past year, the council work in such a nicer fashion then it had in the past and I think it had to do primarily with your leadership,” he said. “You brought the civility that you’ve asked for and the rest of the council wanted. Even though there were some bumps in the road, but that goes with the territory, the citizens of Rockland owe you a big thanks for the kind of city council leadership you have shown this past year. I think you’ve accomplished an awful lot and I think it’s due primarily to your choice as Mr. Clayton as your mayor, our mayor, so thank you very much and good luck.”

    Lorain K. Francis, Executive Director of Rockland Main Street, presented a letter from the board of directors of RMS.

    “Thank you for the commitment, the can do attitude you shown us and the people ofRockland,” she said. “Thank you for participating in our events. We appreciate the consideration you give to decisions including the impact to the economy of downtown Rocklandand our downtown businesses. Thank you for your time you have devoted to the people of the city of Rockland. We thank your family for sharing you with us and your time and commitment will never be forgotten.”

    Three years as a city councilor and one year as mayor. I asked Rockland’s outgoing mayor to comment on his term.

    “You know I’ve always been a positive person, glass half full, so there really hasn’t been too many lows,” he said. “The only low I can see is when we had to convene a special session with the local communities, on a school safety meeting because of Sandy Hook. Thehigh point is continuing to see the city evolve. I’ve been here for the majority of my life, and from where it [Rockland] came form to where it is now, it’s unlimited what we can do here.”

    And it is a matter of record you are the youngest mayor the city has ever had.

    “The City Clerk has confirmed that as far back as he can see I am the youngest mayor for Rockland.”

    Any advice for the incoming mayor?

    “Try to keep things as expedient and on-task as possible,” he said. “It’s extremely easy as we saw on my first two years on council to get off track and really send the meetings off kilter so stay on task and make sure you stay in touch with other councilors. Everybody is going to have a difference of opinion, that’s healthy, but it should be aired out in a pragmatic, problem solving way so that the people who voted us in won’t lose respect, or their support.”

    Is there politics in your future?

    “Absolutely, 100 percent,” he said. “I don’t know where, or when, or in what aspect. The biggest piece is that I will stay involved on the municipal level. The biggest concern that I always had was making sure that people who came to me had the correct information.”

    At a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 18, the Rockland City Council will elect a new mayor.