In the discussion regarding whether Waterville City Council meetings should be held in the Colby College-owned space downtown, resident Julian Payne encourages people to consider the “perception” the location creates (“Some residents cite ability to bring guns to council meetings as reason to change venue,” Feb. 20).

I perceive the space to be symbolic of an exciting time in Waterville, when the city and the college are more connected than they have been in many years. Colby’s offer of the space for council meetings seems to me a good-faith gesture of cooperation, not a conflict of interest, underscored by the fact that there is no charge for use of the space.

The windows on Main Street, which Payne suggests expose people to some abstract threat, to me represent transparency and light. They showcase city government at work, and welcome residents to join in the process.

As for guns at a city council meeting, I don’t see where they fit in. The power of our words is what matters most in governing.

What is your perception?


Matthew Russ


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