A former city councilor and a newcomer have been elected to two open, at-large seats on the Rockland City Council.
Kaitlin Callahan, the newcomer, received 33.14 percent of the vote, or 1,255 votes, according to unofficial results. That was two more votes than the second-place winner, Nathan Davis, who previously served on the council from 2019 to 2022 before losing a reelection bid that year.
Louise MacLellan-Ruf, an incumbent city councilor who serves as mayor, lost her reelection bid with just 12.49 percent of the votes, or 473 votes, according to unofficial results. In third place was Adam Ackor, another previous councilor who received 21.28 percent of votes.
Callahan and Davis ran on remediating the housing crisis in Rockland. Both support rent control and limits on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals. Davis is supportive of reducing barriers in the city code to allow for building more housing.
“We have a great new comprehensive plan, but I feel that the city government isn’t really using it as an effective guide at the moment,” Davis said in an October interview.
Callahan works with people with substance use disorder and with unhoused people in Rockland. She said in a September forum that Rockland needs to offer incentives for the development of more housing.
“I’ve borne witness to countless heartbreaking stories over the last three years, new ones unfolding each week,” Callahan said at the forum. “Rockland needs a fresh perspective and energy to be brought to council.”
Rockland voters also elected William Hathaway and Matthew Ondra to the Port District, Kali Asplund Dionne to the Regional School Unit 13 board of directors and Chelsea Avirett as warden.
Jules Walkup is a Report for America corps member. Additional support for this reporting is provided by BDN readers.