On the Right Lane: What exactly is old Windham?

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“Not until just before dawn do people sleep best; not until people get old do they become wise.”

Chinese proverb

I am somewhat inquisitive, so I have to wonder what one Windham town councilor means when he uses the term “old Windham.” Does he mean there are a bunch of old fogies on the Town Council? Does it mean that the bloc of town councilors who seem to consistently vote the same have ancient roots in Windham? Or is the term of “old Windham” just an attempt at another political attack against those town councilors who are Republicans? I have mentioned in this column that council rules prohibit personal attacks, and yet that has happened several times in the recent past. I have to wonder why the Town Council as a whole hasn’t done anything about it, especially in a public meeting where it can be seen by all.

The shame here is that, in one particular instance, the vote to be taken was on nothing more than sending something to the Planning Board, so no immediate change would be forthcoming. What I am worried about is an attack against a private citizen who exercised her right in an attempt to receive what she feels is fair. OK, what the discussion was about was sending proposed amendments to the Planning Board with regard to construction services in what is known as the C-3 (Commercial-3) zone. I would have to believe it’s far from a done deal at this point, but according to at least one or two town councilors it appears to be. Rather, I look at this as addressing a citizen’s concerns about her property rights, so all the vote was about is sending the matter forward for even more discussion and hopefully public participation as well.

Maybe it is time to take out the informality of Windham town government in order to prevent or at least diminish the discord that seems to be getting louder between members of our government. Take for instance a member of the Planning Board labeling a female member of the council  a “young lady.” That is totally uncalled for, especially in today’s world of the Me Too movement. A town councilor has only one title when it comes to anyone else in government addressing that person, even in an email. Has Windham become way too informal? I believe so, and it’s beginning to show more and more. If anyone in an elected or appointed position disagrees, then the only thing that should happen is that they are gone, period. Sadly I now believe we have in Windham those who want to follow what is happening in national politics because, sadly again, they feel that they can get what they want.

What might be more interesting is if the state legislators pass a bill allowing municipalities to institute a local sales tax of 1 percent. I can bet after that, counties will want to do the same. What would the Windham town councilors do with this? You bet your wallet that some would state it would lower property taxes just like commercial real estate taxes did.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham wonders what happens when all of our money is gone. Government bailout?