WATERVILLE — An effort to recall City Councilor Jackie Dupont is being dropped about one week short of the deadline for organizers to turn in a petition and get the recall to go to a vote.

Patrick Roy, who along with his son, Andy, and wife, Marilyn, initiated the recall effort, said in a letter to the city Wednesday he is rescinding the recall petition because several councilors are near the end of their terms or are leaving the council.

Roy also said it is time for Waterville to “work together as a community” but criticized Colby College, which is in the midst of investing tens of millions of dollars in downtown development. Roy said there are too many councilors with ties to Colby, and Waterville “has sold out to Colby and it is costing the tax payers.”

“I was born here in Waterville in 1947,” he wrote. “I call this my home and with some flat-landers taking over the city council (it) is not just to the people of the city.”

Roy did not answer phone calls seeking comment Thursday and his voicemail box was full. His son, Andy Roy, declined to comment.

“I am not surprised that Pat Roy is withdrawing his recall petition,” Dupont said in an email. “Pat does not live in my ward and he clearly does not speak for the majority of the residents in Ward 7 who not only elected me in 2015, but continue to support me as I have supported them over the last 2.5 years as their councilor.”

The effort to recall Dupont, a Democrat representing Ward 7, started May 7, when the Roys, none of whom live in Ward 7, took out paperwork to start a recall petition.

They needed to gather 101 signatures from Ward 7 residents in support of the recall by May 29 to get the question to appear before voters in an election.

Residents could sign a copy of the petition circulated by the Roys or others, or come in to City Hall to sign a copy. City Clerk Patti Dubois said no signatures were turned in at City Hall.

The effort came amidst political turmoil in the city. At the time the recall was started, it was the third effort to recall an elected official to be started within a one-month period.

Another group of residents first lobbied for the recall of Mayor Nick Isgro following outrage over a comment the mayor made on Twitter telling David Hogg, a survivor of a Florida school shooting, to “Eat it, Hogg.”

That group gathered enough signatures to get the mayoral recall question to appear before voters June 12. A second recall petition seeking to oust Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, will also appear on the June 12 ballot. The recall of O’Donnell was initiated after some residents expressed disappointment with a council decision to appoint O’Donnell instead of their preferred candidate, Julian Payne, to a vacant seat, though the organizer of that recall said he was also influenced by the Isgro recall.

Andy Roy, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor as a Republican in 2011, has been a vocal supporter of Isgro.

When the Dupont recall started, Roy told the Morning Sentinel it was not in response to the effort to oust Isgro, although he did say a reason he started the petition was because residents in Ward 7 had been harassed and lied to by others who were gathering signatures on the Isgro recall petition.

Roy has also made T-shirts that read “Eat it Hogg!” on the front, referencing the tweet that ignited the city’s political turmoil, and #IsupportTheNRA on the back. He is selling the shirts online at his company, Maine’s Royal Tees, and has pledged to give three dollars from every T-shirt sale to Isgro and his family.

Roy said earlier this month he stepped in to take out papers to recall DuPont because people he had spoken with in Ward 7 were afraid to do so. He did not identify the people who raised those concerns and did not say what the cause of their fear was.

He also said Dupont, a graduate of Colby College, favored the college in her votes, but would not provide any examples of specific instances, and said 90 percent of her votes taken on the Council have been against the interests of her constituents.

When pressed for an example, Roy could not provide any and said she did so “in general.”

In the letter to the city, Pat Roy cited the following reasons for dropping the recall petition: that Council Chairman Steve Soule, D-Ward 1, has a term that is up in November; that Councilor Lauren Lessing, D-Ward 3, is leaving by July to take a job in Iowa; the recall of O’Donnell in Ward 5; and that Dupont’s term is also slated to end in November.

He also wrote that dismissing the recall of Dupont will save the city time and money.

Meanwhile, Dupont said it was unfortunate Pat Roy would urge people to work together as a community while simultaneously referring to some councilors as “flat-landers taking over the city council.”

“Waterville is my home too,” she wrote. “It is my hope that my daughter, who was born at Inland Hospital here in Waterville, will live in a community that is welcoming of people from all parts of this country and the world. All residents of Waterville, regardless of length of their tenure here, deserve to be respected and have a voice.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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