Shame on Waterville City Council. The tone of the evening meeting was set when the owner of Holy Cannoli’s criticized the council for not dealing with the repeated vandalism on Main Street.

Candace Savinelli was rebuffed without apology, deflecting responsibility to the police department and told she and other business owners should take care of the problem. Vigilantism? Really?

Next, the petition to change the zoning for Centerpoint Community Church’s future expansion to the Riverside Bowling building. Councilors made known their intention to quash this because of potential tax revenue loss of some $22,600. They demanded the church help the city and offer solutions before considering the request positively. They deferred making a decision a second time to obtain legal counsel.

The leader of the church said the church and school give more in dollars, volunteer hours and assistance to the city than the “loss” predicted. The church and school employs more than 40 people and brings hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Waterville community. The pastor even committed to adopting city projects that need funding, such as police cameras.

The council attempted to cut off Andy Couture, 40-year business owner, as he requested help for his future business partners in a new bowling alley. He noted treatment of the nonprofits (5 percent of the land area nontaxable, compared to 5 percent hospitals, 30 percent colleges and 50 percent for the town itself) reflects how the council treats business development on the whole.

He referred to the failure of previous planning efforts the city has committed large tax dollars to. “The future is in your hands, until we vote you out,” was how Savinelli, who first addressed the council, put it. I say: Bravo!

Mark Reynolds


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