ROCKLAND, Maine — An effort by city leaders to find volunteers to serve on a variety of Rockland boards and commissions went exceptionally well, according to the mayor.

Mayor William Clayton said 17 people signed up to partially fill nearly 50 vacancies during a forum held April 16.

“The forum went exceptionally well, much to my pleasure,” the mayor said. “People started arriving 20 minutes early to sign up and ask questions.”

Forty people turned out at the Rockland Community Center to meet with representatives of the board to inquire about what the boards do and what is required of their members.

The 17 people who agreed to volunteer will be nominated by Clayton. The nominations then go to the full city council at its May meeting.

“I am ecstatic with the turnout and the interest level from our citizens,” he said.

He said in addition to filling vacancies, he organized the forum to offer a chance for those people who are concerned with or disagree with decisions that are being made by the council to step up and be part of the change to make things better.

“Make no mistake, I am calling out to action all those that resign themselves to negativity to help and be part of the solution,” Clayton said.

He said the turnout last week showed the positive feelings in the community and the excitement that people share in progressively moving the city forward.

The boards needing members include ones that have authority such as the planning board, zoning board of appeals and assessment board of appeals. The others are advisory ones such as the recreation advisory board and library advisory board.