On the Right Lane: Living in bondage

26

“Let us not bankrupt our todays by paying interest on the regrets of yesterday and by borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow.”

Ralph W. Sockman, senior pastor of Christ Church (United Methodist), New York City

Hi, my name isn’t James Bond, U.S. Savings Bond or U.S. Treasury Bond. I am what might just be the majority of Windham town councilors, who love your money more than you do. One of us recently stated that the taxpayers of Windham could easily pass bonds, if I am correct, of something like $255 million. Wow, imagine all of the Taj Mahals that Windham could have if that ever happened. Then all you taxpayers would have to do is pay for all the bills that we create. And we ain’t done yet. All we have to do is spend even more taxpayer money to convince all voters that all of our spending is necessary.

I wonder if anyone is asking our Windham town officials how much money they are in fact spending to get the bond issue passed for a new public works garage. Has the management of the town no shame in telling voters how they should vote? I did not notice any amount of funds being discussed by the town councilors for promoting this bond, but then again does anyone really have a clue how much the town is spending, and even more so what it is being spent on every day? It is my belief all of the funds being spent on telling us how to vote should be paid back by those who spent it, period. All I will add to that is that there needs to be some changes made on the Town Council.

What I also find interesting is that the councilors hopefully will have been bombarded by citizens during the town council meeting of 10 October. Lumped together at that meeting is the Highland Lake watershed moratorium, the ordinance on private roads and ways, the bond issue for a new public works facility (really wasted time) and the Property Tax Assistance Program Ordinance. One minor issue is spending almost another $200,000 but after the first million dollars who really cares. I really don’t want to waste column space once again explaining all of those items because so much time has been wasted just to get the councilors to vote on it. Although all of those issues scare the heck out of me, one bothers me and that is the proposed tax assistance program because I seriously doubt that it will have little or no town council oversight in the end.

It is unfortunate but in the past I was warned by numerous phone calls that by opposing the elimination of the Personal Property Tax (this happened over a decade ago), “someone” in Town Hall would get me. Those phone calls were almost 10 times the amount of calls supporting my fight to eliminate that tax. Having been successful eventually led me to writing this column because I realized then that there was a real problem in Windham. Some of those problems reared their ugly head once again during the past few years because of the Windham Code Enforcement Office. Hopefully that problem is now solved with the new director. I see the private roads and ways issues in the same light. Like I have stated before, one town councilor sued the town over that issue. Should he be allowed to vote for the restrictive ordinance or is there a genuine conflict of issue here? Should any town councilor have voted either for or against the ordinance especially since so many live on private roads?

Perhaps things would have been more mellow if recreational marijuana was already allowed. I have to guess that recreational marijuana became widespread once medical marijuana was approved. My god, don’t people realize that they reek of marijuana smell after smoking it? My only other comment on that is that at least the Joint Committee on Marijuana (oh, I love that title as it fits) in Augusta is making some excellent changes to the proposed law.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham says be happy.