I have been in Waterville for 28 years and had various dealings with the City Council, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly as a columnist for Sentinel and Kennebec Journal. Through nearly three decades, I have voted for various Democrats at all levels of local and state government. In honesty I will say that they have been few and far between, but have I never voted a straight ticket — although it is getting more difficult to vote for anyone in any party.

My most intimate dealing with the City Council pertained to a level of hubris demonstrated by the council when our church wanted to buy the former Hoyt’s Cinema in Waterville. When councilors implied they would not approve such a measure because of the loss of tax revenue, I informed them of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits such action. The chairperson then asked the city solicitor if they would be in violation of federal law if they voted to deny us the right to buy the old cinema. The answer was a quick and certain “yes.” Without so much as a hiccup they voted 5-1 to knowingly violate federal law. Only my ward councilor, Dana Sennett, voted to uphold federal law.

Such arrogance, putting their constituents in a legally precarious position, has not been mitigated over the ensuing years. The council recently ignored the clear and compelling desires of the Ward 5 electorate concerning whom they wanted to represent them. The council now has an orchestrated vendetta against Mayor Nick Isgro using feigned outrage over a benign Tweet consisting of three words.

Some may not believe this, but there are more and more people planning to escape the small town bigotry of Waterville for a more congenial community.

Bill Cripe


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