Ever imagine what it would have been like if Paul LePage had a Twitter account when he was mayor of Waterville?

Well, now there’s no reason to wonder.

Mayor Nick Isgro took to social media Tuesday to blister Planning Board members, in LePage-like fashion, for postponing a decision about a proposed car wash Monday night.

Isgro said the board’s lack of action on the matter “exposes the depth of their indecisiveness and ineptitude” and called for a “better screening process” to select its members.

In a later interview, Isgro also called the board “cowardly.”

Isgro has said he is standing up for the city’s business community, but it is hard to see how it is productive to question so harshly the character and ability of well-meaning city officials.

(On Wednesday, the mayor said he should have called the board members personally, and that he would send them letters of apology.)

Still, questionable tactics aside, the mayor’s larger point is a good one. The rezoning issue has dragged on, leaving the applicant in limbo.

Prospective business owners need a simple, predictable city approval process, and the city needs well-planned zoning that makes sense for residents and businesses.

Spot zoning that occurs on a case-by-case basis slows everything down and opens the way for infighting that is counterproductive.

On the other hand, a thoughtful, comprehensive process that allows the city as a whole to decide what kinds of development it wants and where it wants it, and then creates zones accordingly, helps avoid those fights.

Zoning should be reviewed citywide, solidified to reflect the city’s values and vision, then followed. There is no need to make it up as you go.


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