“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.” Gautama Buddha
Another election has come and gone. I fully suspect that another successful people’s referendum will be contested by the governor once again and drag on for months, if not years. My only comment on the Medicaid expansion is, Maine did it in the past, the state failed to pay its hospital and other medical bills and that expansion was dropped. Another lesson in history has been forgotten again. Sad part is that we will be paying for free government money once again.
Other than that there were two big surprises for me and that was the defeat of two incumbent town councilors in Windham and the severe trouncing the casino proposal took by something like 83 to 17 percent.
I feel deeply that a significant and positive attitude adjustment will happen with the Windham town councilors once they elect their new officers and committee seats. Of course, only time will tell if that happens because sometimes things don’t work like one suspects it will. With the previous Town Vouncil I had the feeling that money was no object and spending our tax dollars would have spiraled out of control. For me it’s time to sit back, take a break from writing this column for a week or two and see how things develop within the Windham council chambers. I am real hopeful that changes take place. The fight over council leadership will really tell the story at the beginning. As far as the bond question that passed for a new public works facility, let’s see if the councilors can shave off some of the cost and not spend the full amount approved or end up going higher like the new South Windham fire station did.
Before I discuss Windham once more, I was surprised by the citizen initiative for rent and zoning control failing in Portland, but I see that enough residents came to the realization that a minority would have had control over the majority. It’s not that I agree with everything that is happening in Portland, because I use the Portland VA health clinic on Fore Street, which is becoming a huge concrete and asphalt jungle. I am sure most of the money comes from “away,” and I feel that the historic significance of Portland architecture is being lost. Maybe it started when Union Station was torn down and Windham should learn something from that.
So back to Windham, where there are wonderful plans like the 21st Century Downtown plan or whatever it is being called. Previously Windham instituted the Comprehensive Master Plan which the state of Maine didn’t approve. What I find amazing is that it never really changed development in North Windham that much. Many years ago someone at a council meeting stated North Windham shouldn’t look like Scarborough or Falmouth. Well now, those two towns have certainly gone overboard to change that while Windham continuously squeezes in a business or two here and there, which only adds to the clutter. Now it appears the same will happen down Route 302 towards Westbrook. Please let me make it perfectly clear that I don’t blame the businesses because they want to sell their products and marketing is a huge part of their profit margin.
I have to mention the next subject because it seems to be an ongoing problem in the town of Windham and I really wish I knew why, although I have my suspicions. I noticed that the agenda for the Nov. 14 council meeting scheduled the voting for new council leadership at the end instead of at the beginning. That’s bad because the two new town councilors will be voting on items before the new leadership is even set and it doesn’t make any sense at all. I am sure that council candidates receive packets before the election, but unless they have attended or watched the meetings from home they might not be fully informed. Change is hopefully coming soon for Windham.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes Windham should have an elected mayor.