When Nick Isgro was elected vice chairman of the Maine Republican party last month, I thought, “That’s the best news for Maine Democrats since last November, when Janet Mills, Chellie Pingree, Jared Golden, and many others rode a blue wave that was wider and deeper than in any other state.”

Turns out Isgro, who is also Waterville’s mayor, is a gift that keeps on giving. This week he was quoted as saying he worried about his safety in the new City Council meeting space because citizens were not allowed to carry guns (“Waterville debate raises lingering questions about guns at public meetings,” Feb. 23). A room full of concealed weapons in the old council meeting space “made me feel a lot safer,” he said, ”when people were threatening me.”

Quite frankly, and with all due respect, that’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard from a Maine elected official. And, with the recent exit of Paul LePage, that’s saying a lot.

Isgro and his minions continue their effort to bring Trumpism to Waterville by stoking unfounded fears and anxiety. First, it was “outsiders” and “dark money”; now it’s feeling so threatened by fellow citizens — in a council meeting, of all places — that being protected by armed vigilantes is the only solution.

We don’t need leaders who are fearmongers — locally or nationally. We need true leaders, courageous, compassionate leaders who aren’t afraid of public dialogue and disagreement.

Check your guns at the door, boys, and enter city council meetings with an open mind and a willingness to engage in good, honest, healthy debate.


Mark Tappan


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