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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

FACTS

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

MUNIS UPDATE

 
 
During the last Town Council meeting on September 4, 2018, the Finance Director, Lydia Colston, updated the council on the assessment of the MUNIS system.  If you remember in June, the council was trying to determine what to do with this software system.  They decided to hire someone to come in and evaluate where the conversions was and what to do next.
 
Apparently, the assessment was completed costing the taxpayers approximately $4,400.00.  According to Mrs. Colston, the conversion was going very slowly.  It seems after nearly two years; there are NO departments up and full operational.  However, Mrs. Colston believes she can have the financial services operational by October 1, 2018, payroll and licensing by next year and the financial piece, utility and tax billing by July 2019.
 
The firm that conducted the assessment offered the town to complete the installation for $186,000.00.  I have performed many conversions in my career and I can tell you this is a steal.  Without their assistance, I can almost guarantee you that by the end of the seven (7) contract this software package will not be FULLY operational.  I understand that this is a great deal of tax dollars but:  (1) it will be worth every penny and (2) it is unfair to saddle the installation and training of this software on our Finance Director; who has better things to do.  The installation and training of any software conversion is a full-time job and the individuals performing this task must be 100% dedicated to the job at hand. 

 
I can tell you from many years of experience, the town screwed this up from the beginning:

            (1) The Town Manager and the Town Council did not seek out   anyone with conversion experience to get their input.

(2) All conversions need to have the installation and training included in the original contract.

(3) Never enter into a multiply year contract prior to having seen how well the software package is working for your organization.  The Town Manager, Diane Barnes, recommended to the Town Council to accept the software owners’ proposal for multiply years.
 
 So how does the town recover from this self-infected mess?  I recommend the town spend the additional tax dollars to the firm that conduct the assessment or the firm that sold the software package to the town and get the installation and training done as quickly as possible.  The town is losing money every day this software is not fully operational.  Because the town has no way to perform simple tasks without this software, it will take longer to perform these tasks by hand.
 
I do not like the Town Council spending our tax dollars uselessly but I feel that this expenditure is up front money and will save a great deal of money long term.  Trying to have Mrs. Colston perform both the installation and training is absolutely crazy.  Mrs. Colston has more than enough on her plate as the Finance Director alone.
 
A fully operational installation of MUNIS will enable the town to terminate the use of TRIO, which is the current software used in some areas.  I believe by developing queries in MUNIS; it will eliminate the need to run two operating systems.  The town has to pay for running two software packages at the same time.  Eliminating the need for TRIO will save the town more money.  This is another great mistake, I believe, the town has made.
 
As much as I regret saying this but the town needs to spend the money to correct the mess the Town Manager and the Town Council created. 
 
Larry Fillmore

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP AGENDA


LISBON PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE

Public Hearing Notice - Bond Order MDOT Project - Route 125 from Route 196 to Huston St for $430,000

to be held on October 16 at 7:00 PM

The Municipal Officers of the Town of Lisbon have considered and approved in concept appropriating an amount not to exceed $430,000 to finance Lisbon’s 10% share of the cost of reconstructing State Route 125 from State Route 196 to Huston Street (the “Project”), and have determined that the most efficient way to finance that appropriation would be through the issuance of one or more bonds or notes of the Town in an amount not to exceed $430,000, and the acceptance of federal and state funding in an amount not to exceed $4,300,000 for the remaining portion.
Pursuant to the Charter of the Town of Lisbon (the “Charter”), approval of the financing of this Project requires that a public hearing be conducted prior to the enactment of an ordinance calling for a  referendum.  Therefore, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 8.21(b), and the requirements of Sections 6.09 and 8.11(b)(2) of the Charter, a public hearing shall be held on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. o’clock at the Town Office, 300 Lisbon Street, for the purpose of hearing public comment on the Ordinance providing for the issuance of such notes and bonds in an amount not to exceed $430,000 and securing the financing described above, intended to raise a total amount not to exceed $4,300,000 for the Project.
Copies of the proposed text may be viewed or obtained at the Town Clerk’s office, 300 Lisbon Street, Lisbon, or online at www.lisbonme.org.  The public is invited to attend.
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP

Council Workshop Agenda & Documents

Thursday, September 13 at 6:00 PM with the Planning Board

SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL MINUTES

  Council Meeting

MInutes of August 14, 2018

SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

LISBON PUBLIC NOTICE

Public Hearing Notice - Bond Order for Fire Truck for $675,000

to be held on October 16 at 7:00 PM

The Municipal Officers of the Town of Lisbon have considered and approved in concept appropriating an amount not to exceed $675,000 to finance the purchase of a “pumper” fire engine (the “Project”), and have determined that the most efficient way to finance that appropriation would be through the issuance of one or more bonds or notes of the Town in an amount not to exceed $675,000.
Pursuant to the Charter of the Town of Lisbon (the “Charter”), approval of the financing of this Project requires that a public hearing be conducted prior to the enactment of an ordinance calling for a referendum.  Therefore, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 8.21(b), and the requirements of Sections 6.09 and 8.11(b)(2) of the Charter, a public hearing shall be held on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Office, 300 Lisbon Street, for the purpose of hearing public comment on the Ordinance providing for the issuance of such notes and bonds in an amount not to exceed $675,000.
Copies of the proposed text may be viewed or obtained at the Town Clerk’s office, 300 Lisbon Street, Lisbon, or online at www.lisbonme.org.  The public is invited to attend. 
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Public Hearing Notice - Business Applications

 Special Entertainment Permit for Left Hand Club
Notice is hereby given that the Lisbon Town Council intends to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Town Office Public Meeting Room to hear comments on a renewal Special Entertainment Permit for the Left Hand Club, Left Hand Lane (End of Wagg Road), Lisbon, ME.  The public is invited to attend. 
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Public Hearing Notice - Bond Order MDOT Project

Public Hearing Notice - Bond Order MDOT Project - Route 125 from Huston St to Urban Compact Line for $294,000

to be held on October 16 at 7:00 PM

The Municipal Officers of the Town of Lisbon have considered and approved in concept appropriating an amount not to exceed $294,000 to finance Lisbon’s 10% share of the cost of reconstructing State Route 125 from Huston Street to the Urban Compact Line (the “Project”), and have determined that the most efficient way to finance that appropriation would be through the issuance of one or more bonds or notes of the Town in an amount not to exceed $294,000, and the acceptance of federal and state funding in an amount not to exceed $2,935,000 for the remaining portion.
Pursuant to the Charter of the Town of Lisbon (the “Charter”), approval of the financing of this Project requires that a public hearing be conducted prior to the enactment of an ordinance calling for a  referendum.  Therefore, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 8.21(b), and the requirements of Sections 6.09 and 8.11(b)(2) of the Charter, a public hearing shall be held on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. o’clock at the Town Office, 300 Lisbon Street, for the purpose of hearing public comment on the Ordinance providing for the issuance of such notes and bonds in an amount not to exceed $294,000 and securing the financing described above, intended to raise a total amount not to exceed $2,935,000 for the Project.
Copies of the proposed text may be viewed or obtained at the Town Clerk’s office, 300 Lisbon Street, Lisbon, or online at www.lisbonme.org. The public is invited to attend.
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

LISBON Charter Communications Notification

Charter Communications Notification - Effective October 1, 2018

Charter Communications, locally known as Spectrum, is making changes to our channel lineup for customers in your community.
Effective on or after October 1, 2018, Newsmax (HD) will be launching on the Digital Tier 1/Silver level of service.
For a current channel lineup, visit www.spectrum.com/channels.  To view this notice online, visit spectrum.net/programmingnotices.
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Maine Senior FarmShare has 1,000 more openings!

Maine Senior FarmShare has 1,000 more openings!

Seniors can get $50 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers
AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) announced today that it has received additional funding from USDA’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to support its Maine Senior FarmShare Program. These funds will provide $50 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables to an additional 1,000 Maine seniors for the duration of this growing season.
ELIGIBILITY: The program is for Maine seniors who are 60 and older and meet income eligibility guidelines.
DEADLINE:  Seniors must sign up with a farm by September 21, 2018.
Maine Senior FarmShare:
Maine’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, Maine Senior FarmShare, is managed by the Maine Department of Agriculture and supported by partner agencies throughout Maine. It utilizes a community-supported agriculture model to maximize benefits to local produce farmers and low-income seniors. During the 2017 season, participating farmers provided fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs directly to approximately 17,000 low-income seniors throughout Maine.
Maine’s program provides individual Maine seniors with $50 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables during the growing season. The program is designed to maximize direct support to farmers and low-income seniors, promote community relationships and provide nutrition education.
A “share” is $50 worth of fruits and vegetables delivered directly to seniors. Farmers may also have seniors come to their farm, a farmers’ market or other distribution sites where seniors can select what they want and “draw down” on their credit balance. Available fruits and vegetables vary from farm to farm, for September through November they may include: squash, corn, apples, beets, broccoli, eggplant, radishes, pumpkins and potatoes.
For additional information, contact: donna.murray@maine.gov or visit https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/senior_farm_share.shtml
Seniors can also reach out to their local Area Agency on Aging for assistance by calling the toll free number: 1-877-353-3771. 
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Public Health Advisory - West Nile Virus

 

Maine CDC confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in mosquitoes collected in the state. One mosquito pool (a collection which contains between 1-50 mosquitoes) tested positive for WNV at Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) on August 28th, 2018. The positive pool of Culex pipiens mosquitoes was collected on August 21st, 2018 in the town of Kittery in York county. This is the first positive mosquito test in Maine in 2018.
Click here for more information.
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Lisbon Town Offices Closed

Lisbon Town Offices Closed

In observance of Labor Day, the Lisbon Town Offices will be closed Monday, September 3, 2018.

SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?



According to google, these are the mil rates and population for towns in Androscoggin County.  What should stand out to everyone is the major discrepancy between the mil rates and the populations.

TOWNS                     MIL RATE                 POPULATION

Auburn                      23.68                         22,948 

Sabattus                    17.75                         5,015

Lisbon                       24.84                         8,846

Lewiston                   28.67                         36,140

Durham                    18.85                         3,940

Wales                         14.85                         1,634

Greene                      17.80                         4,373

Poland                       14.74                         5,544

Minot                         15.85                         2,596

Livermore Falls       21.60                         3,115

Turner                       17.05                         5,765

As you can see Lisbon has moved into second place in the county as far as the mil rate goes surpassing Auburn.  These figures for population are from 2016.  The reason for the discrepancy is because our Town Manager, Diane Barnes, compares populations when determining salaries instead of the tax base for the towns.  As everyone knows Auburn has many more commercial businesses than Lisbon and yet our mil rate is higher.
There is no way that the salaries of Department Heads in Lisbon should be as high as they are starting out.  We just do not have the tax base to support such high salaries and the Town Manager knew this from the start but used population to establish salaries without comparing tax bases and our Town Council believes everything the Town Manager says as gospel.
The Town Council needs to delay voting on spending issues until the Council can do adequate investigations.  The Town Council needs to cut spending to include the Town Manager’s salary.  The Department Heads are receiving between $1,200.00 and $1,800.00 annually and taxpayers in Lisbon cannot afford these increases.  There is no way to reduce Department Heads salaries because the Town Manager, Diane Barnes has committed the taxpayers into paying these outrageous salaries.
Taxpayers and the Town Council have to pay more attention to the spending habits of the Town Manager and her Department Heads.  We have to bring down our mil rate so that it is more in line with our population and other towns in the county.
Let’s put a halt to excessive spending and start comparing apple to apples instead of apples to oranges.
Larry Fillmore

 

CENSORSHIP IN LISBON

 
Over the weekend and on Monday, there was a discussion my members of Lisbon pertaining to the increase in taxes.  This discussion was started when Hank Frazier asked the question “Anybody else’s property tax go up significantly?” on the Lisbon Maine Community Information website.  I believe that there are approximately 319 comments posted to this site.  However, there are several more than were deleted from this website by the webmaster playing God.
 
I wrote a comment with my opinion and it was deleted so I cannot show you the post, however, I called a Councilor by name and the webmaster said I was too aggressive.  Councilors are Public Officials and are fair game to the rest of the world but not this webmaster.  However, below is a post that the webmaster let go through in which my name is clearly stated.  This was NOT censored because the webmaster clearly has a double standard.  You be the judge!
 
Normand Albert  Larry Fillmore if you don’t like the direction the town is going, take out papers and run for council. Please come earn $1400 a year to deal with some of these complex issues that require hours of reading and research to make an informed decision based on the best info available at that moment. All while balancing a full time job and a family. Only to be second guessed and vilified by a few. Don’t cry for me Larry, I have thick skin. I can take it.The town’s problems are systemic from years of a “kick the can down the road” mentality displayed for decades.All in the name of lower taxes. We had stagnant business and job growth. High dropout rates and a few shouting down many in a town meeting style of government. This lack of a comprehensive vision or goals had left our community in a place with very little hope of being anything more than a drive through community. Infrastructure has been crumbling for DECADES and you have the gall to blame the current council for the latest tax increase? We are the first council not to bury our heads in the sand and pretend the problems don’t exist. These are complex issues, with large price tags to properly address them. We need to be forward thinking in our approach to address these issues and make sure we develop plans that will include clear strategies for routine maintenance of that infrastructure so we are NEVER in this position again. That’s not going to happen overnight. It will require some short term pain for some long term gain. If not for a change of attitude and focus of a few citizens that has now turned into many, the positive changes and the promise that they bring would have never happened. I know I was inspired by those few in the begining to take a more active role because of the concerns I had with the direction of our town. I ran for this seat because I believe the majority of the people in this community want to create a place to be proud of and a place their kids will stay and become the next generation to lead this community.Larry, I do not subscribe to your narrative that the current council is the problem. This council is not spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave. We are a committed group who are doing our very best to be as transparent as possible. We provide clear information to the people of this community regarding the decisions that we make and the impact it will have on the property taxes. So in closing, I understand that people will be upset about the increase in taxes. I used humor to lighten the mood when I saw a blatant falsehood regarding the supposed “slush fund” the town has. If you didn’t like the joke, just keep scrolling.
 
As you can tell I did not change or correct anything in the post.  Since, I cannot answer this post on the Lisbon Maine Community Information website without being; I will try and answer Mr. Albert’s comments now. 
 
First and foremost, I want to address why I do not run for the Town Council.  I have served this country for 40 years in the Army and as a Department of Defense civilian.  I am aging and in poor health and cannot attend meetings but as most of you know I write for the Lisbon Reporter and make my feelings known.  Second, one vote does not count as we have seen from when Councilor Roger Cote was on the Council.  Most votes were 6-1.  Third, I have served my time and it is now time for young people to take the lead.
 
Now, I want to address some of Mr. Albert’s feeble attempt to justify the continued tax increases during his tenure.  My first objection is that this Council was presented two ways to save money and they both were rejected.  One was to close the Lisbon Communication Center which is a duplication of services and could save the taxpayers roughly $200,000.00 a year and second is the COLA increases every year to ALL employees; this would save the taxpayers approximately $100,000.00.       
 
COLA is nothing more than a cover-up for wage increases.  This means that if we have a bad employee; they get a wage increase every year.  Wage increases should be given ONLY to the outstanding employees of the town and does NOT include management positions.  Management Positions are normally salary employees and this should never apply.  Because all employees get the COLA, the Town Manager received a $1,400.00 plus increase this year alone.  Totally ridiculous; no one is worth that much increase every year.
 
Mr. Albert – until the Town Council start making an attempt to cut spending; I will continue to complain.  In my opinion, you are an Allen Ward wannabee but you will never gain that status because he is much smarter and has more experience.  Since you have been in office, you have voted with Mr. Ward on everything.  As far as you doing research, tell me again why you voted to approve a 7 year contract for MINUS.  If you did any research before voting, it was very poor research.
 
I hope I have addressed all your points without being censored by a webmaster trying to playing GOD.
 
Larry Fillmore

Monday, August 27, 2018

TAX BILLS




From the chatter this weekend on Lisbon Maine Community Information website, residents of Lisbon received their new tax bills.  I found it amusing that residents were shocked their taxes had increased so much.  The Lisbon Reporter and LisbonMaine.net have been warning residents for several months prior to the Town Council approval of the budget.
 
I have been trying to educate residents of Lisbon to exactly what is going on with our local government.  It would appear that the residents were not paying attention to my efforts.  Now, it is too late and the people are upset over the tax increases.
 
In my opinion, the problem is that the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, does not work for the people of Lisbon.  She works for and answers ONLY to the Town Council.  Mrs. Barnes and her staff have duped our Town Council in order to get the Town Council to vote their way.  She and her staff leave out important details on issues.  This neglect causes our Town Council to vote in their favor.  These decisions, by the Town Council, are good decisions based on the information provided to the Council, however, if the Council was provided ALL relevant information the vote may have been completely different.  In my opinion, the Town Council has too much faith in the Town Manager.
 
It was the Town Manager who presented a proposed municipal budget to the Town Council.  This proposed budget was almost accepted in its entirety.  Neither the Town Manager nor the Town Council is looking for ways to save money.  On numerous occasions Mrs. Dorothy Fitzgerald and I have offered suggestions on ways to save roughly $300,000.00.  Now to me, this is a significant amount of tax dollars, but the Town Council dismissed these suggestions.  These suggestions when in one ear and out the other.  It is nice to be ignored when you are trying to help.
 
Residents of Lisbon need to pay more attention to what is going on at these Town Council meetings.  The best and preferred way is to attend the meetings in person.  However, you can always go to the town website and watch the meetings.  It is critical the people of Lisbon start taken a more active role in our local government.  It is too late this year but please make your feelings known to the Town Council.
 
We, the people, need to take back our town and put an immediate stop to this outrageous spending. 
 
Larry Fillmore

 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

LIBON Mobile Home Replacement Initiative

 

MaineHousing is pleased to announce the re-opening of its Mobile Home Replacement Initiative which provides an opportunity for the owner/occupant of a Pre-1976 Mobile Home to remove and replace it with a new Energy Star certified manufactured home located on the same site.
SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

LISBON Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Facade Project Invitation to Bid

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Facade Project Invitation to Bid

SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

HOW MANY MORE AMERICANS HAVE TO DIE?

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

 
 
We need your input on a situation that is happening right now.  At the last Town Council meeting, the Council has decided to transfer the responsibility for the Moxie Festival from the Economic Community Development Department to the Recreational Department.  This decision, I believe is a poor decision by the Town Council.
 
Before the Town took over responsibility for the Moxie Festival, it was operated by the people of Lisbon.  The community did an excellent job running the Moxie Festival and it made money.  The Town Manager, at that time, decided he wanted to get some of this money and took over responsibility for the Moxie Festival.  Big mistake!
 
Now, the Town Council is trying to pass the responsibility on to the Recreational Department.  The Recreational Department is manned by three full-time individuals and has an enormous responsibility to this community already. 
 
However, it was brought to their attention that the responsibility should be passed to Positive Change Lisbon (PCL).  PCL is partially made up of business owners in Lisbon and is in their Mission Statement of the organization.
 
POSITIVE CHANGE LISBON MISSION STATEMENT:
 
To bring together the resources of Business people, local Government and Citizens, partnering together in a positive environment, to improve the image of our community. Through the efforts of a group of highly motivated individuals guided by a clear vision of our future, we aim to build on the favorable attributes of our Town and make Lisbon a more attractive place to live, recreate and to conduct business.
 
The Moxie Festival is a landmark of Lisbon.  It is conducted in Lisbon Falls business district and who better to have the responsibility of Moxie Festival than the business owners in Lisbon Falls.  Since this is part of their Mission Statement, who better than PCL to take over the responsibility for the Moxie Festival.  Who better to take this over responsibility than Ross Cunningham and Fern LaRochelle, the towns leading citizens?
 
I can appreciate the Council’s decision to turn the Moxie Festival over to the Recreational Department for their many successes but PCL is a much better fit.  Mark Stevens and his staff have done a super job supporting this community and providing activities for all.  I believe it is unfair to saddle the Moxie Festival on the Recreational Department when we have an organization and leadership in Positive Change Lisbon that this responsibility is in their Mission Statement to perform.
 
Tell me and your Town Council what you think.
 
Larry Fillmore