“When you are up to your waist in alligators, remember that your objective is to drain the swamp.” -Anonymous.

Lane/Tommy: We wonder which direction the town of Windham is heading after the Nov. 13 (that should be ominous by itself) Windham council meeting. One discussion and vote that took place was the Maine Department of Transportation request to update the traffic signals in the North Windham business district to alleviate traffic congestion that exists there now.

Tommy: Councilor Warren was promised a workshop by council leadership so that there could be a discussion about MDOT installing horizontal traffic lights instead of vertical ones. Nothing is set in stone in a workshop but it does allow for a full and hopefully productive discussion that allows councilors to make an informed decision on how they might vote on a particular issue.

As there was no council workshop to my knowledge on horizontal traffic lights, discussion was limited to an agenda item that Tuesday night. Councilor Warren proposed an amendment to delay the vote on the MDOT proposal in favor of a workshop to discuss the benefits of horizontal traffic lights. Councilor Muir stated he was not confident about MDOT facts in the past and yet he voted against the amendment for a workshop. Councilor Wisecup stated she was worried about a problem getting replacement parts for the horizontal lights as the lights would be new to Maine. Councilor Waig stated she did not want the project delayed although I believe that the work on the traffic lights would not start until spring of 2008.

Lane: Councilor Warren’s proposed workshop on horizontal lighting could have enlightened councilors as to the benefits of installing a new design of traffic lights which could make North Windham more attractive for businesses and visitors alike. I cannot say how I would have voted as councilor but the information presented at a workshop would have certainly helped my decision if I was a councilor.

Lane/Tommy: It is obvious that the Windham Town Council should have scheduled a workshop about the new style of traffic lights. As a matter of fact, it makes sense that the council should schedule instructive and enlightening workshops for all items upon which they will vote in the future. In the case of horizontal lights for North Windham, Council Warren went out of his way to work with Senator Bill Diamond and the manufacturers of the lights so that other councilors could understand the benefits. We are not saying that everything must change but we must have a town government that can have a fair and open discussion on suggestions by any town councilor.

Tommy: Can any town afford to wait any longer for constructive changes? I think not. While other communities are marching forward into a new millennium, it appears that there are still dinosaurs wandering aimlessly through the halls of government in my town.

Lane and Tommy of Windham are still waiting for the answer to the question as to whom from the town of Windham negotiated with the developers of the Keddy Mill site in South Windham. This question has become more important now since the Portland Water District has stated that there are cost overruns with the sewer extension from Westbrook.

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