Sometimes what goes around comes around and I was recently reminded of a column I wrote about four years ago about a Windham Town Council which blatantly proved it was already talking behind closed doors before its very first meeting. I predicted who would be the chairperson and vice chair before the meeting even happened. It might have seemed like just a good guess but it was much more than that. The first clue that citizens of Windham should have noticed was that the chair and vice chair were chosen without any discussion between town councilors and that could have only happened if they decided who was what before the meeting took place. Move forward to this month with another new council having its very first meeting, a meeting which sets who’s going to be placed in leadership positions for the next year. I saw nothing different from four years ago.

The citizens of Windham deserve much more than that. After all, if we can’t have a local government that operates in the open, what can we expect what happens in Augusta and Washington? Oops, sorry. We already know what is happening in those two cesspools. I know there are some agenda items that don’t need much, if any, discussion like the placement of telephone poles. Other agenda items may take weeks or months because of their complexity but that is understandable. Public discussion on agenda items lets the public know what is going on and how decisions are made based on the facts present. I urge the Windham town councilors to adhere to the rules instead of back-room deals.

I also urge the town councilors to let Tony Plante, the Windham Town Manager, do the day-to-day management of the town and if he has a problem or issue that needs further attention, let him come in front of the council so that all councilors are informed as to what’s going on. That reinforces what I stated previously about having notes taken during the leadership meetings between the council chair, vice-chair and town manager so that the council as a whole knows what’s being discussed. After all, shouldn’t that be a matter of public record?

I explored Windham’s new website and believe in the long run that it will be an improvement. I state that because I am technology-challenged but over time I will be able to navigate it to find what I want. At least the Town Council list is up-to-date along with a few others as well. I viewed it last Sunday evening and it seemed to lack some data and it was somewhat slow. As I have RoadRunner I did expect it to be quicker but I know sometimes nothing seems to operate as it should. Maybe the millions of people trying to get on the ObamaCare website were misdirected to Windham (just kidding, wink, wink). I noticed that some committees seemed to be missing or maybe it was just that I didn’t know where to look on the website. I say that because I am interested in the direction the proposed North Windham sewer committee is going to head because it was purposely stacked in favor of creating some kind of sewerage treatment yet to be defined.

I also wonder why the Windham town manager is appointed to so many committees along with being on the board of ecomaine and other entities that charge Windham a fee to belong to. It’s time the Windham town councilors appoint someone else even if it is a member of the Town Council. I feel Windham already has a conflict of interest with the legal firm we pay for that represents other institutions that Windham deals with and pays our tax dollars to. It’s high time to open the doors so that there is no apparent conflict of interest on anyone’s part in our local government. I look at Windham’s lack of a transfer station as a perfect example of what I mean.

Lane Hiltunen, of Windham, wants a cat park…to park his cat.


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