I am disappointed by the question Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro asked on his public Facebook page: “Is it moral or ethical for Colby College students from places like upstate New York to take over our venerable institutions, like the Waterville Democratic Party, for the purpose of influencing local elections and city policies?”

Originally from Houston, Texas, I am in my fourth and final year at Colby College. I have never felt more at home than I do in Waterville.

First, the logistics. The money I make through my campus jobs is taxed, and I pay sales tax, often at local businesses. My car is inspected in Maine each year, and I pay dues to Congregation Beth Israel on Main Street. My favorite evenings of the quarter, PechaKucha Waterville, take place not in Houston or at Colby College but at the Waterville Opera House.

Through my time in central Maine, I am acutely aware of local issues such as labor shortages and an aging population. As the leader of our city, I hope Mayor Isgro helps Colby (and Thomas) students to feel at home and invested in Waterville. We need students to stay after they graduate, both in and beyond central Maine, and achieving that starts with encouraging students to be engaged citizens in a community where their vote counts.

Coming from a large city out of state, I love the local political scene of Waterville. I saw for the first time how a small group of people can make a huge difference. It is a shame for one person to actively work to discourage people from participating in city life and investing in the city’s future.

Noa Gutow-Ellis


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