WATERVILLE — The city’s 53rd mayor called for cooperation during his inaugural address Tuesday, saying the city has the resources to succeed but that depends on the community coming together.

Mayor Nick Isgro, a Republican, replaces former Mayor Karen Heck following the November election. He was the only one of three candidates to get an endorsement from Heck, who did not seek re-election.

Addressing the crowd there to see him assume the mayor’s office, Isgro, a controller at Skowhegan Savings Bank, named ancestors who have lived in Waterville since his maternal great grandfather.

He read an excerpt from a letter written in 1963 by his grandfather, Sam Isgro, advising the then city government that there is no rule that big problems require big and drastic solutions.

“The issues of progress versus taxes and the balancing of homeowners and commercial development are so fundamental to the building of this community it would be naive not to view ourselves in historical context,” he said.

Isgro admitted the city’s manufacturing base remains decimated by forces beyond the city’s control, and many are selling their homes as they look for either higher paying jobs or more affordable places to live. However, he also said that new residents and small businesses are coming to Waterville, bringing new life to the community.

“In a time that the mandated portion of the revenues that we generate remain under attack, the task that we face looks harsh, and it is, and at times it can be disheartening,” he said. “But it shouldn’t be, because if we look back and we see that these problems have existed since the beginning of Waterville, we know that when we come together as a community, the city has always come back stronger than it was before.”

Calling on community members to work together, he said, “Our destiny, success or fail, is together.”

Also speaking during the inauguration event, Heck addressed her endorsement of Isgro, saying many may be wondering how a feminist progressive came to endorse a conservative Republican.

“While I initially did not think I would endorse anyone to succeed me, I changed my mind after talking to Nick about his goals for the city,” she said. “While I don’t endorse his vision for the nation or the world, those are not things over which the mayor of Waterville has much impact.”

Heck said she does endorse Isgro’s interest in ensuring Waterville remains a vibrant and positive place to live that balances the needs of small businesses, families and the community and his understanding that nonprofit institutions are partners in that effort.

Before the election, Isgro spoke out against proposals to tax nonprofit institutions like Colby College.

He also said he opposed the city’s pay-as-you-throw trash program, saying it was sad the city was in such a poor economic situation that residents must purchase special bags for their garbage.

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