February 25, 2020
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City won’t provide free office space to ‘special interest group,’ Waterville mayor says

Michael G. Seamans | The Central Maine Morning Sentinel via AP
Michael G. Seamans | The Central Maine Morning Sentinel via AP
Waterville Mayor, Nick Isgro, shaking hands with voters as they enter the Alfond Athletic Center at Thomas College during primary voting, June 12, 2018.

A central Maine environmental group will move out of its space in Waterville City Hall after Mayor Nick Isgro complained that it is a “special interest group.”

The Waterville Morning Sentinel reports that Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition has operated out of a space on the first floor of City Hall for several years. But on Tuesday, Isgro in a long Facebook post called on City Manager Mike Roy to inform the group that Waterville can no longer give it free office space in City Hall.

“Groups such as [Sustain Mid-Maine] who work to influence elections, city policy, and local ordinances should not be given a free base of operations inside the very institution they are trying to influence,” Isgro, a Republican, wrote in the Facebook post.

Sustain Mid-Maine promotes energy saving, recycling and other sustainability efforts, according to the Sentinel.

The group also supported a referendum to prohibit businesses 10,000 square feet or larger in size from handing out plastic bags to shoppers, a move Isgro opposed.

Voters approved that referendum 3,052-2,906 in November, but Isgro challenged the results, saying the results were skewed by Colby College students. The subsequent recount overturned the results, with 2,911 approving the ordinance to 2,918 disapproving.

The outcome of the plastic bag ban is far from resolved, and the challenge to the results has been appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, where a decision is likely weeks away, according to the Sentinel. The outcome will decide whether the city implements the ban.


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