Waterville city councilors, after very little debate or consideration of other opinions, took it upon themselves to enact a new tax, in the guise of a “sanitation fee.” This is a trend that is popping up in other towns in Maine, most recently Portland.

When a small group of people takes great efforts to reach into the wallets of an entire community, it would seem that some informative discussions should have taken place. Instead there was a single informational session with meager advertising and a summary decision, all followed by well-meaning explanations.

To be fair, not everyone on the council felt this way. Two common-sense-minded members recognized that they were overstepping a moral, if not legal, line. Those two folks can count on my vote.

As for the rest: The very small public window for discussion was planned to do exactly what it did — keep common-sense debate to a minimum. This is a prime example of the we-know-best philosophy, which permeates all of our politics in Maine and nationally at the moment.

One has to wonder how many of the residents of Waterville’s South End were consulted before the incomes they scrape for were earmarked for sanitation upkeep that probably could have (and should have) been funded other ways.

Anthony Tompkins


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