And Rockland’s new mayor is…

Seventeen people have held the title mayor in Rockland since the city charter was amended by voters about 34 years ago.
The position is largely ceremonial but the person holding the seat does often set the tone and character for the council. The mayor presides over council meetings and has the authority to nominate people to boards and commissions.
In the early decades of the system, councilors would pass the gavel to a different member each year. Often the councilor serving the final year of their term would receive the honor of being elected mayor.
That practice ended in 1994 when councilors elected Tom Molloy to a second consecutive term as mayor. In fact, he ended up serving three consecutive one-year stints as mayor.
Molloy has the distinction of being elected mayor a record seven times. Brian Harden has been mayor four times and may have gone for more if he had been successful in his re-election bid this month.
Robert Peabody and Warren Perry both have served three times as mayor. Mildred Merrill, James Raye, Deborah McNeil and soon-to-be state Sen. Edward Mazurek have both served two terms.
Councilor William Clayton announced this week that he is seeking the mayor’s post for 2012-2013. Councilors will make their decision at their Nov. 19 meeting.
Clayton will hold the distinction of being the youngest mayor in Rockland’s history if he gains the support of his other councilors. The 33-year-old is serving the final year of his first term on the council. When he ran for the council for the first time in 2010, he was the top vote getter.
Clayton has a good shot at winning the post. Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson had interest in previous years but having just been elected to the Maine House that will consume a lot of her time. Councilor Eric Hebert will be the most veteran councilor, having been on the council since 2005. He has shown no interest in the post previously and likely could have had it with his seniority and experience serving as chairman of a city board. Isganitis will be sworn in to office on Nov. 19 and it would be unusual for a councilor with no experience to hold the post.
So stay tuned to Nov. 19 and see who will become Rockland’s 18th mayor.