A sign welcomes motorists to Rockland. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

ROCKLAND, Maine ― A newcomer to city politics ousted an incumbent city councilor in a race for a single seat on Rockland City Council.

Nicole Kalloch, 33, secured 1,056 votes at the polls Tuesday, beating first-term Councilor Ben Dorr, 37, who received 979 votes. Kalloch will be sworn in and begin serving her three-year term later this month.

Nicole Kalloch. Credit: Courtesy of Nicole Kalloch

Kalloch, a Main Street resident, is a manager for the Sierra Peaks Corp. in Rockland, as well as the office manager for her husband’s business, J.K. Kalloch.

After considering serving on a city board for a couple of years, Kalloch said she was motivated to run after the City Council spent time creating a police review committee. Kalloch felt the discussion around police reform distracted the council from more pressing issues like economic development and housing.

Kalloch has said the biggest challenge facing Rockland is its tax base. During her campaign she said she wanted to focus on attracting new businesses to the city inorder to grow the tax base and keep property taxes from rising. She said her experience as a project manager would benefit her while serving on council in terms of budgeting and creative thinking.

Dorr’s seat was the only one up for grabs on the council this year.

In uncontested races, Rockland voters chose two people to represent the city on the Regional School Unit 13 Board of Directors, though there were three open seats. 

David Martz, who was appointed to the school board earlier this year to fill a vacancy, was elected to serve a one-year term. Kelli McCannell was elected to serve a three-year term.

With no candidates running for a second three-year seat on the school board, the City Council will have to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until next year’s election.