WATERVILLE — It appears at least two city councilors will oppose a plan by Mayor Nick Isgro and City Councilor Rick Foss, R-Ward 5, to send a letter to Gov. Janet Mills, offering to help identify ways to safely open more businesses.

The council Tuesday is scheduled to discuss the letter, drafted by Isgro and Foss, and then vote on a resolution asking whether they will send it.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. and the public may watch it by clicking on a link on the city’s website, waterville-me.gov.

The proposed letter says Isgro and councilors are writing to offer their assistance in the reopening of the city and state.

“Our concerns center around our community and its revitalization coupled with the safety of our own citizens,” it says. “We have worked hard to rebuild our city to become a destination of modern manufacturing, arts, entertainment and fine cuisine.”

Waterville had seen significant growth before COVID-19, but now, business owners are at risk of losing everything and not opening again, the letter says. It says councilors and the mayor believe that with a focused approach on safety at the local level, “more of the economic engine can be started without using a one-size-fits-all approach.”

“By focusing on working together to identify best practices in combating the spread of COVID-19 virus, we believe we can open our local economy and stem the tide of closures,” it says. “We would welcome open dialogue with your team, emphasizing a balanced approach of safety and economic prosperity in order to get hard working Mainers back to work and continue the economic growth we have experienced in Waterville and potentially the entire state.”

While Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, and Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, sent emails to councilors indicating they approve of the proposed letter, councilors Claude Francke, D-Ward 7, and Meg Smith, D-Ward 3, said they would not sign it.

Francke’s email says that the decision to reopen is not up to the council and no one on the council is qualified to make such a decision.

“Thus, your offer of dialogue with the state would necessarily be one sided, with the state telling Waterville when it is safe and how to safely reopen,” it says.

Smith’s email says she thinks it is a given that the council would communicate with Mills if Mills asked, and it doesn’t need to be said.

“Why would the governor stop everything, or her staff, to make time for a discussion with one city?” Smith’s email says. “I appreciate your hard work in crafting this letter, but please keep my name off it.”

Foss raised the idea of sending Mills a letter at a council meeting last week.

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