“You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go get and beat ya with until you realize who’s in ruttin’ command here.” Adam Baldwin, actor (Full Metal Jacket).
I find it interesting when most, if not all, members of a Town of Windham department show up at a council meeting. I am not here to say who is at fault, but I believe that since the formation of the town council/town manager form of government was implemented in Windham, some elected officials never imagined that councilors would have to intervene to stop or prevent personnel problems —especially those of poor leadership. A full chain of command is necessary. When problems occur at the lowest levels, someone at a higher level of command should be involved to solve those problems. I am sorry to report that Windham does not have a full chain of command, and I have serious thoughts as to why that has happened.
I am not privy as to everything that has happened at the department that attended the council meeting. They were obviously there about some kind of grievance; it could be a personal, personnel or leadership problem. My biggest grievance would be that the Windham town councilors had their hands tied by the regulations that they have to abide and couldn’t be involved in direct contact with those who work for the town.
I will admit I was in a military unit where the commanding officer was relieved of his duties. I was the last person asked by a higher ranking officer than my commander if that person should be relieved of his command. All I’ll say now is that he was relieved of his command. It certainly wasn’t a position I relished, but what had to be, you might say, had to be.
The problem with Windham seems to be that the Windham Town Charter and other documents protect the government much more than it protects those who not only work for the town but also the very citizens themselves.
I really hate to state this but if our government did a better job at protecting citizens, would we really have all of these school shootings? In Maine, would we have so many threats that shut down some schools for days and make students and parents nervous as well? Please think about it.
But back to my main point of this column which is, I have to be careful here, if an employee or department of the Town of Windham has a problem, and it is buried by either the head of the department or even someone higher such as the town manager, and the town councilors cannot be involved because it is considered a personnel problem, what will happen in the end?
Anyone who either works for or resides in the Town of Windham deserves to be heard by the town councilors, who are elected by the citizens of Windham. Especially when there is any problem that arises in our community that is not solved by an appointed or hired-member of our local government. If not, and I have no problem stating this, we do not have the right leaders running our town. To my understanding, at the present time, the town councilors cannot talk directly to anyone hired to work for the town because that would be construed as being involved in the day-to-day business of the town. What’s weird is that we have recently had at least one town councilor who obviously did exactly that and no complaints were ever made. I find that hard to understand.
Windham government needs a tough anti-bullying policy, and I mean a policy that is tougher on the government than the people. I searched on the town’s rather poorly constructed website and was not surprised to find absolutely nothing about bullying.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes Windham councilors have some council rules to immediately change.