“It could be worse – it could be zombies.”
Well now, the long awaited Opus report on Windham has been released. Unfortunately a turn of events prevented me from reading a copy of it, but that’s OK, I can get it this week and really digest it. That is if it is digestible at all, and I fully suspect that it has been not only sanitized but somewhat whitewashed as well. That’s just my opinion, or is it? I do agree with the member of Windham Public Works that town employees who wanted to see the report should have received it before a reporter did (but thank God a reporter did get it). The multiple executive sessions by the Town Council tells me something else is going on as well.
Our country has seen tornadoes and firenadoes and the Sci Fi Channel has had a series of “Sharknado” movies. Now the Windham Town Council chambers have been upended – by personalities. It probably goes beyond personalities at this point and I see no end in sight. I have the strangest feeling that discord is being intertwined with the local elections this year. It’s an election that will even heighten the hate and discontent on the council if it swings a certain way. I shouldn’t have to tell people this because the evidence is clear if one watches Town Council meetings, if they can stand to watch them that is.
It’s a sad state of affairs when local politics is rapidly echoing politics at the state and federal levels. I would hate to think that Windham needs to shorten the length of elected officials’ terms because a minority of councilors think they are being smart. At the same time it seems even a minority of those wishing to speak to the councilors during public participation are getting nasty as well. If anyone running for an elected office in Windham does so, it goes to show how nasty the political climate in Windham has become. What’s really weird is that I suspect the reason for the increased hostility is not only the work of disgruntled voters but maybe the work of a town councilor or two. Yes, such things have happened in the past on a more minor scale, so it’s unfortunate that it is happening here to the point being disruptive.
What I find discouraging with the discourse at the local level in Windham is that other important issues are being put on the back burner because of the turmoil. However, having said that I cannot state that all of the blame lies with the town councilors, because there’s proof the blame lies somewhere else in town. It shouldn’t be hard to guess what I mean there. One of those important issues being neglected is the protection of watersheds. Windham lies in an area that has many different types of bodies of water and yet in many cases those watersheds have not been adequately protected for years. Sadly, that even occurred when Route 302 was rebuilt from Foster’s Corner to Westbrook and Windham wasn’t responsible for that. Water should be an important resource to attract visitors to the Windham area and yet there are endangered water sources listed with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
But there is hope. Today’s national and state politics dictate that the minority be vocal in order to create hate and discontent in order to obtain the outcome they desire. I believe it shouldn’t happen at the local level in Windham because political parties shouldn’t matter at this level. Only the citizens of Windham can rise up and prevent this nonsensical hatred from continuing. If they don’t it certainly can do nothing else but get far worse. The poisonous atmosphere in our nation’s capital is impossible for me to watch. Lives are being destroyed purely for political gain, which I find even more revolting. Just watch the United States Congress in action, especially the nomination for an open seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes he is an optimist, maybe.