Oct 29, 2015

One thing after another: Rocklanders writing what they think about their new Rockland city manager.

Below, read Rocklanders speak ing out quite emphatically in reaction the  to the statements of  James Chaousis II and Rockland city councilors  (especially councilor/mayor Frank Isganitis), recorded by Villagesoup  at an October 22nd meeting and reported  on by  the Rockland Courier Gazette.(copy)


Selected comments
POSTED BY: ADAM S ACKOR Oct 27, 2015 15:35
comments and scrutiny from the public and press come with the territory.  The level of
arrogance within this council and city administration is unparalleled.  The public should always be encouraged to remain engaged in the process and discourse.  Who is the vocal minority the speak of?  Are they referring to the abutters and neighbors who spoke out about the Pleasant street hotel project, or are they referring to the vocal minority who are now attempting to dismantle our school district.  Are they referring to the vocal minority who believe that the harbor should be more of a cash cow?  or is it the vocal minority who believe that a power plant, producing energy for export out of Maine, would be a good replacement for our city hall....I'm just curious about who they are referring to.  If city councilor's don't like the criticism and engagement of the public, then they should step down and go home.

We (Kendall & Phyllis Merriam) are stunned by the attitudes of our city's council's and administrator's toward city employees and the public they are elected to serve. However, the following thoughtful Americans say it better than we can:
"Whereas it appeareth that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free excercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience hath shown that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
-Thomas Jefferson
And from another great American and social critic:
"Forget the politicians. They are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't.   ...the city halls control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They don't want a population of well-informed citizens capable of critical thinking."
-George Carlin



What is next? If The People cannot “get along” with city council, are we going to be shipped to The Gulag?

POSTED BY: AMY FILES Oct 27, 2015 14:35
While I can understand frustration that city workers and volunteer council are constantly under fire -- I agree with Mr. Ackor that we should be VERY VERY weary of a council who is blaming a "vocal minority" as one of their major problems. A government intent on quieting its opposition in a democracy is a very scary thing. While I sometimes find myself part of this "vocal minority", and others I find I am in disagreement with it -- I would always prefer that there be people keeping a watchful eye on what is going on, and getting the word out about concerns -- as opposed to a council who passes important policy and prefers that "'Nobody even knows we've done this." Council should consider that more transparency and communication could result in a larger and louder opposition -- not simply assume that the "vocal minority" has no reasonable case to be upset with their actions or methods. There have been multiple duplicitous approaches to projects this year by the City -- from how we've handled bids, to having vote do-overs, to having our code officer act as lobbyist -- asking local businesses for of new development. I would prefer a "vocal minority" intent on calling these issues out than a Council who prefers to quiet them.

Isganitis, Clayton, Geiger, Pritchet, Mclellan Ruff & Chaousis [[mayor,city councilors and city manager]] think that Rocklanders are just a bunch of Morons!

On their "vision" they state "with a focus on renewable energy. . ." and then, they proceed to promote a natural gas burning plant!

What kind of Kool-Aid is being served at the council meetings?

Should we cry or should we laugh?

POSTED BY: SANDRA SCHRAMM Oct 28, 2015 11:29
This meeting was despicable and the taxpayers paid for it! More waste.

The counsel outlined all the weaknesses they observe. Remind them that most of them have been in office long enough to create more than enough decline and debt.
Recently I was told that the City officials let MBNA walk out on 8 million in taxes due! I would like to see the accounting on this and who signed it as it was the beginning of the debt issue resulting in former Mayor Pritchett's mission to sell of our PW garage and city hall for a greatly outdated plan for a natural gas plant. He likely plans to sell our harbor off as well for export.

The very issues the described fear mongers have been trying to explain at the podium are the issues that will take Rockland down. The actions of this council, manager and city attorney need close scrutiny in my humble opinion! If theses thorns were not correct why are we so feared we are all but banned from city hall?


The local Press:  we can thank the stars above our press representation finally has been restored to fair and respectfull representation. Stifling the press is to take away our First Amendment. As a young student in the Camden school system we learned early on the importance of the press and understanding the duties bestowed upon them.  Locally, we have a press team to be proud of. Yes there are issues nationally everyday where the press is called into question but I consider our press representatives to have restored their profession to a high standard after a long period of controlled press news reporting.  The men and women locally can be proud of the job they do each day exhibiting great integrity with some of what they have to deal with.  The only complaints come from city officials! Shameful.

To describe residents or the press as threats is not representative of a Democracy. To deny either entity of the Freedom of Speech is shameful and against our Constitution. They have as others have said, trampled the Charter of the City of Rockland. Is the Constitution next?

Please attend tonight's meeting and above all, Vote for change November 3rd.

I will will add that I sat in on this meeting for 75 minutes and was overwhelmed with the disdain shown for anyone opposing these people. It would be a positive step for the City should this piece of work be destroyed and those not tolerant enough of the entire populace resign their reign.

POSTED BY: DEBRA L WHITTIER Oct 27, 2015 21:05
"Enhanced civic amenities" certainly does not include an outsourced Recreation Department.  Having grown up in Rockland, this change will always bother me.

POSTED BY: DEBRA L WHITTIER Oct 27, 2015 21:03
Interesting that Daniel Dunkle's article was considered to be negative and taken out of context. A review of the attached document from the meeting was reported exactly as stated in the document.  City employees were characterized as casual, unprofessional and resistant to change.  Yet, in the City Manager's response it was said that morale was at all time high. Seems to me there is a bit of disconnect here.
POSTED BY: DEBORAH O ATWELL Oct 27, 2015 18:31

Vote for Bill Jillson.  I was at this goal setting meeting too. Mr. Chaousis referred to me, in private, as a deviant. I believe as soon as he rids the city of all deviants he will find the peace and victory of his personal vision for Rockland. That will leave....who? Perhaps you are next? Do you display deviance? Do you disagree with the city manager? Did you like how he fast tracked the power plant deal? Don't say so!  Watch out! the city manager is out to get you, you deviant!  Vote Bill Jillson. A Hundred Cheers for Rockland!

POSTED BY: RONALD HUBER Oct 27, 2015 17:21
I must agree with all of the above.One could reasonably say that Mr Chaousis and the city council are the most "threatening" vocal minority.

City officials have even sought to get around Maine's  Freedom of Access law, declaring (1) that not one of them ever keeps written or online notes of their office phone conversations to each other, Nor those to or from contractors, state, and county officials and others  No phone notes of what transpired during conference calls either; and.

(2)  that due to the   city policy letting city officials  use a single smartphone for both government purposes and private purposes, the two sets of calls are so hopelessly muddled  together  that  according to an email from Rockland's city attorney,  the city manager Chaousis has estimated  it will take him at least ten hours  to go through his last two phone bills  and figure out which are from his family and personal friends, and which aren't.  It will also take the city attorney Kevin Beal ten hours to go through HIS  last two  phone bills and Terry Pinto HIS.Ms  Bell likewise will need at least at least ten hours to read her last two phone bills and figure out which are from her family  and friends  and which aren't:
Hence, city attorney Beal wrote , at $15 per hour for each to look at their last two phone bills for ten hours, I'll need to cough up $885.00  - in advance- before they will undertake this arduous task, (which logically shouldn't take more than an hour, max) - with no guaranteed that there will be any records produced at all!

This is not good governance.
The city council and city manager can have all the "visions" they wish. What is needed is a mission statement with very specific goals with very specific steps to meet those goals.

The city governments' attitude toward Mr. Dunkle specifically, and the Fourth Estate, in general, continues the defensive posture city government continues to take in the face of any critiques. They do not seem to grasp the civic process and the role of journalists and newspapers.

POSTED BY: HOPE KOCIAN Oct 27, 2015 16:13
"The goal of the three-hour meeting, Bouchard said, was to create a vision statement for the city, setting a vision of what success would look like by June 30, 2018. She said this should be inspiring, achievable but not easy, something that would be a stretch to reach."
Was this goal achieved?

Hi there Rockland Residents [aka The Voters] members of the SILENT MAJORITY,

What else can be added to the very long list of what this group of DICTATORS has been imposing on us, The People?

BTW, this was a PUBLIC meeting. Notice the size of the room. Space for only 5 members of the Public. No cameras, no microphone, no OFFICIAL RECORD.

Democracy is dying in Rockland and on November 3, we can begin the process of electing new faces that will work for The People and not being in the pockets of "developers".


POSTED BY: ADAM S ACKOR Oct 27, 2015 11:55
I keep scanning the article for the part where at least one person on the city council speaks up and says "do you think this is appropriate, spending tax payer dollars to publicly state that those opposed to our views are the greatest threat to our city?"...but I don't see that....what I do see is a group who are void of even the most basic knowledge of civics, and frankly the foundations of a thriving democracy.  

I'd take a thousand voices of dissent over one of these pitiful clowns any day.  Their aim is to pander to development while weeding out any city employee who disagrees with them at any time....because of course the city manager is always right?!  Democracy doesn't exist without dissenting voices, and this council is operating now at a level of incompetence that I can rarely recall.  I believe it is time for the vocal minority to become the vocal majority and give this manager a ticket out of town
I believe that the single greatest threat to our city is the city manager

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