A former Waterville mayor and several other residents have launched a petition drive to recall Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro.

Isgro has been under fire for his comments on social media, including a tweet he made last week about Parkland school shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg.

Isgro tweeted “Eat it, Hogg” after Hogg called on advertisers to boycott Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show when she ridiculed him for not getting into several colleges.

Waterville resident Jim Chiddix says Isgro’s tweet is an embarrassment to the people of Waterville.

“That is unacceptable and inappropriate behavior for any public official, especially when made to a boy that just escaped with his life in a school shooting,” he says.

Chiddix says there may not be much for residents to do about incivility at the state and federal level, but he thinks they can do something at the local level.

Isgro also has a record on social media of attacking immigrants, especially Muslims, and spreading false conspiracy theories. Former Mayor Karen Heck says she hopes he will resign.

“The job of the Waterville mayor is to promote Waterville as an exceptional place to live, work and recreate. It is not to bully children or to sow the seeds of discord,” she says.

Heck says she endorsed Isgro during his first run for mayor in 2014, but since then she says she has come to see from his social media posts that he no longer believes treating others with respect is necessary.

Supporters of the effort have until May 1 to gather 857 signatures to force a recall vote.

In a written statement, Isgro called himself a tireless advocate for the people of Waterville.

“Our record of success speaks for itself. The well-connected and wealthy political elites have a very different agenda for our city and they seek to roll-back our accomplishments we achieved together,” he said. “This effort they have started with their friends in the media and dark money funded outsiders who do not live in our city is not simply an attack on me, it is an attack on all of us.”

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.