The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday evening, November 13 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall in the Council Chambers room. The evening began with Linda Morrill, Town Clerk administering the oath of office to newly elected Town Councilor, Dave Nadeau as well as to Tim Nangle, who was re-elected to his West District seat. Nadeau fills the At Large position previously held by Dennis Welch. Both Nadeau and Nangle will carry three-year terms.
Public comment followed the oath ceremony. Windham resident, Karen Lougee expressed concerns regarding the unprecedented growth happening in Windham. She outlined certain points that included but are not limited to the following:
*Too many homes being built
*Too much growth on schools
*Tax increases due to the growth
*The stresses placed on town staff as well as on fire, rescue and police departments
*The growth's affect on the environment and wildlife habitat
*Infrastructure unable to support the growth.
*Reasonable planning is needed
It is for these reasons she requested a temporary 180-day moratorium on building residential properties.
Others in attendance spoke on their concerns about the town’s growth and the management of such. All concurred with Lougee’s request for a moratorium.
Councilors offered feedback on the subject of growth and the public’s request for a moratorium. Councilor Nangle would consider a moratorium but stated that he had concern regarding a town-wide restriction.
Councilor Jarrod Maxfield stated that it is best to be proactive rather than reactive in terms of growth and spoke in favor of bonds to provide funding to expand infrastructure to support the growth. He also pointed out that newly elected Councilor Nadeau (who has served as a Town Councilor in previous years) has been speaking about efforts toward growth management since 2011, as an example of being proactive.
|Nadeau and Nangle were sworn into office by Linda Morrill|
Councilor Nadeau stated that he hears from the Windham community that transparency and compromise is what is needed. He emphasized the need for compromise.
Councilor Robert Muir stated that the topic and concern surrounding the exceptional growth Windham is experiencing will be one of the major focuses for the Council this year.
Councilor Rebecca Cumming is not opposed to discussing the possibility of a moratorium and Councilor Donna Chapman believes wastewater and sewer infrastructure should be addressed to support the current growth.
Councilor Clayton Haskell stated that the ordinances changed when new people arrived in Windham. He does not believe in moratoriums and will never support them.
Other councilor comments included but were not limited to the following:
Councilor Maxfield congratulated Councilor Nadeau for winning the election, pointing out that he received 51% of the vote. He also stated that 60 percent of the registered voters came out to the polls on election day. Maxfield also thanked the VFW for inviting him to partake in the Veterans Day ceremonies.
Councilor Nangle congratulated Tony Plante for his new role with the Greater Portland Council of Government and also expressed his gratitude to the VWF for inviting him to the ceremony as well.
Councilor Nadeau thanked the voters for coming out on election day and for those who voted for him.
Upon completion of the public comment and councilor comment sessions, the Town Council members held their yearly elections for a new chair, vice chair and parliamentarian. Councilor Haskell and Councilor Nangle were recommended to replace Councilor Chapman. Councilor Haskell was voted to be the new chair with four votes for Haskell and three votes for Nangle.
Councilor Maxfield and Councilor Cummings were recommended for the Vice Chair positions with Cummings elected with four votes and Maxfield, three votes.
Councilor Muir was recommended to fill the parliamentarian position. He was elected with four votes for with three opposing votes.
For full details of the meeting and other agenda items discussed, go to the town website at . The meetings are also available to view on Facebook Live as well as recorded and broadcasted on channel 7.
*Councilor Cumming reached out to the Windham Eagle after the meeting to express her congratulations to David Nadeau on his election, Tim Nangle on his re-election and to Clayton Haskell on his appointment to Council Chair.