Rockland council shoots down gun control resolve

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 12, 2013, at 11:14 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Rockland City Council rejected on a split vote Monday night a resolve that would have called for the state and federal government to review gun control legislation.

The council voted 3-2 against the resolve sponsored by Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson that had been suggested by a resident.

Councilor Frank Isganitis said he was voting against the measure because he was not sure whether the resolve represented the sentiment of the citizens of Rockland.

“I’m not comfortable with this,” Isganitis said.

Councilor Larry Pritchett said his reservations included his belief that there are three parts to the issue — gun control, changes to the mental health system and school safety — but that the resolve only dealt with gun control.

“It’s not that I don’t think that gun control laws can’t be tweaked but I want attention on all three issues,” Pritchett said.

The resolve stated: “That, in light of the recent shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Oakland, Calif.; and Oak Creek, Wis.; and other mass shootings in 2012, the Rockland City Council resolves to support the review of gun control legislation and related issues at both the state and federal levels to address gun violence in the United States.”

Councilor Eric Hebert said he supported the resolve because it was not taking a particular stand on what gun control changes, if any, should be approved. This was simply a resolve to ask the state and federal government to review the issue.

Hebert said he has spoken with citizens who are gun owners and they are in agreement that there could be some issues addressed that might help mitigate the tragedies.

“I’m 100 percent behind this,” he said.

In other action at the Monday night council meeting, councilors voted unanimously to approve a one-month amnesty starting March 13 for motorists with parking tickets. The parking violators would only have to pay the original fees and not penalties.

The council also voted 4-0 — Mayor William Clayton abstained — to borrow up to $50,000 to pay for drainage improvements to the Pen Bay Acres residential neighborhood. Councilors said that failure to perform the work could damage city streets.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/12/news/midcoast/rockland-council-shoots-down-gun-control-resolve/ printed on November 28, 2014