Call of the whine

87

“All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down.”

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I hope that no one watched the Windham Town Council meeting held on Jan. 30. I have heard that someone once stated small town politics was the worst. Windham is no longer a small town but that meeting proved to me, at least, that small town politics still exist and that’s really sad. As usual I am not going to name names because all one has to do is either attend council meetings or watch them either on cable or internet. Now there is no doubt that our Town Council has become fractured and it is not up to me to state what the cause of all the ugliness is really about except that it has turned ugly – really ugly, actually.

However, one can easily reach a conclusion as to why this has happened and it did so over quite a long period of time. The illusion of power can do funny things to brain cells of elected and appointed officials, which is something I have witnessed even more since moving to Windham. Some can deal it, with others it consumes them to the max. After all, shouldn’t it be the goal that all town councilors work together for the common good of the citizens of Windham? So what if they have differences, Windham residents deserve something better than the swearing and temper tantrums that have erupted as of late. Actually, this has been building up and I hope everyone can agree to disagree without having a hissy fit.

What started all of the commotion during this particular council meeting was the failure of appointing a former town councilor to a couple of town committees. Although I have never seen this happen in Windham’s past, and it may very well have happened, things turned nasty as well. Let’s make it perfectly clear, town councilors don’t have to explain why they voted the way they did, so it tells me at least one town councilor took to bullying another town councilor and blaming that councilor for that vote. That tells me a couple of different things, one of which is how divided this Town Council has become and it’s sad that Windham residents are the real losers in the end. And when a town councilor becomes a bully, that town councilor has to go.

And what might be even sadder is when the Town Council chairperson had to remind town councilors that motions have to be seconded and so forth, and after a couple of motions were read, it took some time for a motion to be made and here’s what I think. Town councilors should be paying full attention to what’s happening during the council meeting and yet on our local access station (on Spectrum cable) it is easy to spot at least one town councilor pounding away on his cellphone. Seems like he was posting to Facebook, so maybe it was to Windham’s live Facebook page, but it is obvious he wasn’t paying attention to anything else, at least that’s how it appeared. If someone is monitoring Windham’s Facebook page that’s fine, but it’s my belief that nobody representing Windham residents at a council meeting should be online. Hell, if they are going to do that why not have all the town councilors on Facebook and forget about the cost of having a local access station?

It is my hope that the MeToo movement makes it to Windham, including our local government. Every town councilor is given a packet which outlines their ethics code and so forth. When they don’t understand what their responsibilities entail then it is obvious they don’t care. I often hold back on some information either discovered by me or given to me because someone is disgusted. I don’t like airing dirty underwear and, sadly, there’s way too much of that. Local politics shouldn’t resemble national politics.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes the Windham councilors should and can remove the problems they have through cooperation.