I could not be more proud to take part in the latest citizen’s petition drive in Waterville to have the City Council reconsider the budget as an effort to lower the property tax rate. The recent property revaluation has left many residents of Waterville paying for a bigger piece of the pie, due in part to adjustments in property values to get them closer to market value as well as an inflated tax rate. The sad and honest truth is that many homeowners are being slammed with tax hikes with no forewarning or ability to plan their budgets accordingly.

That said, I do believe that we must remain respectful of the elected officials currently serving our city. Whether or not we agree with their decisions, we must realize that they are just everyday citizens like you and me. Calling for a recall of their position in office because we are upset with their vote is counter-productive, pins neighbors against each other, and leads us astray of the issue at hand.

Rather, I challenge those upset with their councilors to contact them directly with your plights, show up to meetings, challenge them in the next election, or elect someone that you feel will make better decisions. That is democracy at its finest.

Division in our community is the last thing we need as we move forward through this time of crisis. We are all in this together.

Nick Champagne

Waterville