“The promises of yesterday are the taxes of today.” -William L.M. King

Lane/Tommy: Windham has applied for approximately $400,000 in federal grants to be used for a multitude of community projects such as a bus line between Portland, Windham and Bridgton and relocating the Family Resource Center. While we agree that Windham or any other municipality should apply for grants, one must remember that this money is generated from some sort of taxation. We have to ask if there will be any conditions such as matching funds or a long-term commitment of local tax dollars.

Lane: Running a bus from Bridgton through Windham to Portland or vice versa may be a beneficial enterprise but is it truly a financial option that will be cost-effective? Environmentally, it makes sound sense to have mass transit rather than one or two people per vehicle. But, I see several obstacles to having such a bus line be profitable and sustaining a large amount of passengers. Tommy used mass transit in New York City for many years including grade school so he’ll talk next about the infrastructure needed.

Tommy: Mass transit works well only when there is infrastructure to complement the operation of any public transportation system. Therein lies a problem for Windham and other towns. Having a bus or buses that only run on Route 302 begs this question: How will those who will supposedly ride this buses get to them? If they drive a car to take a bus, who will be responsible for parking lots? If you don’t drive and don’t live near Route 302, how will you get to the bus? Will we need to finance a shuttle system to pick up seniors and others in order to get them to the bus? It must answered before the first bus is purchased.

Lane: I have to ask would buses going to and from Bridgton and Portland pay for itself? Even Amtrak’s Downeaster from Portland to Boston is subsidized by tax dollars. How much can we afford to pay for every dream that our government has? I also question whether we have the population necessary for public transportation such as these buses. Maine is a rural state with an about 1.3 million people. We simply cannot afford to subsidize everyone’s pipe dreams in this state. It is time to draw the line in the sand.

Lane/Tommy: Even mass transit in large cities like New York is not self-sufficient. An example is paying a poll for a bridge or tunnel which in New York is collected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. These tolls not only pay for operating bridges and tunnels, they also support the cost of mass transportation. Maine has only one choice to help finance the cost of public transportation, and that is taxes.

Lane: So what other water pipe dreams do the magical leaders of Windham have? We hear that a majority of Windhamites want a national park system on Route 202 to include a dog park. I guess we should include a Space Camp where town management can float even more ludicrous proposals. Of course, that’s all contingent if you believe that 17 citizens are a majority in Windham.

Tommy: This park project is to be funded by impact fees, donations and other sources. I understand where donations come from but I certainly would love to know what is meant by “other sources.” Our wallets? I understand that impact fees come from building new homes. How many new homes are being built in Windham during this period of lackluster home sales?

Lane/Tommy: The voters of Windham supported the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It is time the management of Windham, just like the ostrich, take its head out of the sand and pay attention to its unhappy taxpayers. Maybe it is time for new management in this town.

After winning several Grammies for songs like “A Blue Moon Over The School Board,” Lane and Tommy, of Windham, will now shift emphasis on winning an Oscar for their new movie, “I Fought The Law Then Ran.”

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