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Friday, August 17, 2018

DIG DEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

During the latest Town Council meeting, our Town Manager, Diane Barnes, informed the Town Council that the current mil rate is 24.84; our taxes will increase $1.64 per thousand which is a 7% increase.  I hope you are not surprised since the people did NOT turn out to voice their concerns.  Now it is too late!
This increase in our mil rate and taxes is significant for this small town.  Those residents on a fixed income are going to suffer the most.  This increase in our taxes every year is a trend that needs to be reversed.  Our Town Manager does NOT work for the people, so she could care less.
The Town Manager is receiving a salary of $96,482.00 this year.  This is an increase from last years’ salary of $95,047.00.  According to my calculator that is a $1,435.00 pay raise in one year.  It would appear that the Town Manager can afford a 7% increase in her taxes but can the rest of the residents?  I do not know any job where you receive pay raises like this; I never did and I was one of the top individuals in my field.
This pay raise was disguised as a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) which was approved by the Town Council.  Of course, Diane Barnes recommended this increase in HER budget.  COLA was first created by the Federal government to offset a recession but the Town of Lisbon uses it to cover-up for wage increases.  Wage increases, in my opinion, should be ONLY for those personnel who have done an outstanding job during the year and make less than $45,000.00.  No management positions deserve wage increases because they are above the $45,000.00 threshold, in my opinion.  We are paying individuals in management position plenty already and they do receive longevity pay.
The Town Manager and the Town Council have got to start looking for ways to save the taxpayer some money.  At good start would be by closing the Lisbon Communication Center which is a duplication of services.  The Androscoggin County Dispatch (911 services) could perform our dispatching services much more efficient than it is now.  This would increase the response time of First Responder and make our community safer.  By the way, the estimated cost savings was around $200,000.00 two years ago and has probably increased even more today.  This figure was provided by two previous Councilors, I trust, and not me.
The elimination of COLA will save the town appropriately $70,000.00 per year and will eliminate Department Heads and the Town Manager from receiving salary increases in the thousands every year.  They may very well be worth it but we cannot afford to pay them if it means increasing our taxes every year.
The people need to talk to the Town Manager and their Councilors and tell them how you feel.
Larry Fillmore


I just reviewed the latest Town Council video and was amazed.  The video reflects that the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, ONLY feeds the Town Council information she wants them to know instead of presenting ALL the facts.  The Town Council can never reach a sound decision unless they have all the information available on any subject matter.  I will explain:
2018-152 Asset Forfeiture Funds – This item was on the agenda because during the budget prepared by Diane Barnes; she conned the Town Council into using taxpayer dollars from the Unassigned Fund Balance instead of using Asset Forfeiture funds available in the Police Department.  According to the Recommendations, prepared by the Town Manager, Diane Bares, it says and I quote:  “Staff did not recommend the use of forfeiture funds since there is uncertainty in replenishing these funds now and in the future.  These assets have been used for matching grant funds for law enforcement equipment.”
The last time I checked, the people elected members of the Town Council to represent them when it comes to spending their money, not Diane Barnes or her staff.  The option of using the forfeiture funds should have been presented, at the time of the budget discuss, for the Town Council to decide which way they wanted to go but instead this information was withheld from the Town Council.  There is $6,786.04 in Federal funds and $13,972.30 in State funds available to be used for the purchase of the firearms at $7,800.00.  The Town Council reversed their decision and is now using the forfeiture funds instead of the Unassigned Fund Balance.  This is the right choice, as far as I am concerned.
This is a prime example of how the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, manipulates information she presents to the Town Council to get her way.  At first, I blamed the Town Council for making, what I considered poor decisions, but when I started looking into it, I realized they were not getting ALL the information and therefore they could not make a logical and right decision.  This has happened a lot and really needs to stop. 
I thank the Town Council and especially Councilor Allen Ward, for getting this on the agenda and correcting this situation.  Taxpayers are paying much more in taxes than they should and the Town Council must start looking for ways to cut spending.
Thank you Councilor Ward.
Larry Fillmore


Council Meeting- Special

July 26, 2018 Minutes



Council Meeting

June 26, 2018 Minutes

Read more


Thursday, August 16, 2018

LISBON Nomination Papers Circulating

Nomination Papers Circulating

For Nov 6, 2018 Election Day

2018 Papers Out:
Town Council-At Large: Normand Roland Albert, Jr., 2 Cynthia Drive, Lisbon Falls
Town Council-District 1:  Kasie Lyn Kolbe, 32 Moody Road, Lisbon
Town Council-District 2: Allen Scott Ward, 17 Plummer Street, Lisbon Falls
School Committee-At Large:
  • Herbert Leslie "Pete" Reed, 385 Ridge Road, Lisbon Falls
  • Kimberly Ann Labbe-Poisson, 21 Cheryl Dee Ave., Lisbon Falls
  • Kathi Louise Yergin, 2 Highland Ave., Lisbon Falls
 Water Commission-At Large:  Marie Alvina Hale, 5 Larry Drive, Lisbon


Planning Board Minutes

07/12/2018 Minutes


LISBON Park Street Sewer Replacement Notification


The Lisbon Sewer Department has contracted St. Laurent and Son Excavation to complete the sewer main replacement on Park Street with work beginning the week of August 27 and continuing through the end of October.
Please be patient as this work can cause delays if you travel on Park Street. If possible, it is recommended that an alternate route be used for the duration of the project to avoid any delays.
If you have any questions/concerns before, during or after the project is complete, please contact the Sewer Superintendent at 353-3000 ext. 601.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


As Mainers, we have a responsibility to support our President until he does something against the law.  Mainers elect their representatives to speak for them in Congress.  One of those individuals is Senator Angus King.  I have downloaded the last four months of his voting record and it is below for everyone to see.
July 23 Nomination of Robert L. Wilkie to be secretary of veterans affairs (86-9) Voted – Yes
July 11 Nonbinding motion calling for congressional approval of national security tariffs (88-11) Voted - Yes
June 20 Rescinding previously approved but unspent funding (48-50) Voted - No
May 23 Expanding private care options for veterans (92-5) Voted - Yes
May 17 Nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA (54-45) Voted - No
May 16 Reinstating net neutrality rules (52-47) Voted - Yes
April 26 Nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state (57-42) Voted – Yes
April 18 Repeal of guidance to protect borrowers from discriminatory markups on auto loans Voted – No
Senator King also voted NO on the following nominations:
Britt Grant to 11th Circuit Court
Ryan Wesley to 9th Circuit Court
Andrew Oldham to 5th Circuit Court
Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
Mick Mulvaney to Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Steven Mnuchin to Secretary of the Treasury
Jeff Session to Attorney General
Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Education
As you can see, Senator King has voted “NO” the majority of the time when it comes to confirming candidates.  In fact, Senator King has only voted 46.1% of the time to support the President’s agenda.  I believe that this definitely reflects that Senator King does not vote the way Mainers he represents feels.

Senator King is up for reelection this year and I for one will not be voting for him.  I believe that our representative in the Senate must support our President.  I hope there are more Mainers that will follow my lead.

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Mainer



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Monday, August 6, 2018


As part of this year’s budget, the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, recommended to the Town Council that certain items be purchased using Undesignated Funds.  The Undesignated Fund is our tax dollars left over from previous years. 
The Town Manager uses this fund to purchase items not listed in the budget.  This fund is resupplied every year by the town raising our taxes.  It is basically a slush fund for the Town Manager to draw from every year.
In this years’ approved budget the Town Manager recommended and the Town Council approved the purchase of $7,800.00 for the Police Department upgrade their firearms.  I am not opposed to the Police Department upgrading their firearms but the Police Department has funds available in their Forfeiture Fund. 
The Forfeiture Fund is NOT tax dollars but dollars returned to the town from the state.  These funds, as far as I am concerned, should be used first when upgrading the Police Department needs.  Now, I understand there are some restrictions on the use of these funds but upgrading firearms is NOT one of them.  So tell me again why we are using tax dollars when these funds are available to cover this expense.
This is another prime example of the Town Council NOT holding the Town Manager accountable for all her recommendations.   It would appear that the Town Council approves anything the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, puts before them.
There has to be more accountability of our tax dollars if the town is going to raise our taxes every year.
Larry Fillmore


Today, I had the privilege of paying $75.00 to the town of Lisbon for information I never asked for.  When you ask for information under the Freedom of Access Act (FOAA), you are at the mercy of the town.  The town determines what information they want to provide to you and how long it will take them to gather the information.  The cost is determined by state law.  The first hour is free but all hours after the first; you have to pay $15.00 per hour.
My original FOAA request is below:
Mrs. Colston
This is a FOAA request.
I am looking for the money taken out of the Undesignated Fund the last four years.  Can you provide this information by years?
Thank you
I did not ask for any detail of what the money was used for; I ONLY asked for the amount taken out of the Undesignated Fund for the last four years.  What I received was:
 In response to Larry Filmore’s FOAA request:
2016:     $10,293.47 was taken from unassigned fund balance to cover charter requirements for maintaining a reserve funded by animal control fees
2017: N/A nothing was designated or spent from fund balance.
2018:  The following amounts were designated and spent from fund balance:
                $50,000 for computer server upgrade.  $30,663 has been spent to date.
                $20,000 has been designated for Generator pad and infrastructure
                $30,000 was designated for Town clerk storage.  $26,547 was spent an
                                the remainder put back into fund balance
                $40,000 was designated and spent for Police radio upgrades
                $35,000 was designated and spent for a Police cruiser
                $75,000 was designated for the Fire Department Capital Improvements
                $300,000 was designated for public works trucks.  $275,445 was spent
                                  and the remainder put back into fund balance
                $20,000 was designated and spent for Recreation Department
                $25,000 was designated for new flooring in various town buildings.  The
                                money was not required and was put back into fund balance.
2019:  The following amounts have been designated for use during the upcoming year:
                $26,125 for an error in 2018 Technology budget
                $50,000 to establish an accrued leave payout reserve
                $10,000 for Book restorations in the clerks office
                $7,800 for Police Department firearms upgrades
                $50,000 for the Fire Department various equipment upgrades
                $8,000 for carpeting in the Library          
                $323,274 to pay off outstanding debt service.
According to the town, I was billed for 5 hours to put this information together.  I cannot understand why it took so long to gather this information.   The Finance Director has, not one but two, computer system in which to extract this information which should have taken 15 minutes per year at the most. By the way, we taxpayers are paying for both systems to be operating at the same time.
Also, if you look the town did not provide what I ask for and that was the total amount per year.  Instead they provided some detail but I challenge this information because the town claims that NO funds were taken from the Undesignated Fund in 2017.  This has to be a mistake because the Town Council spends money like drunken sailors without accountability.
I personally believe that this is an attempt to discourage citizens from challenging the Town Manager, Diane Barnes’ budgeting actions and to punish those that do.  The Finance Director did not comply with the original request but provided information that was not requested; which is a violation of state law.
Residents beware when dealing with the town and especially the Town Manager.
Larry Fillmore



The taxpayers in Lisbon have had their taxes raised for the last four years and will probably experience an increase in taxes every year from here on out.  This trend must stop if the taxpayers of Lisbon are going to stay out of bankruptcy.  We have been over taxed for the last four years and I will explain it to you.
Take a look at the carry forward for this year and it is the same for the last four years:

I did not total all of the funds here but as you can see it is a large amount of your tax dollars.  So where did all this money come from and why is it being carried forward?  Was this money left over from previous year budget; if so, someone needs to explain why our taxes were raised if the town did not need our money?  Personally, I would have been happy to keep my own money.

Now, let’s take a look at the Undesignated Fund expenditures for the last four years:

As you can see, the town spent a lot of money from the Undesignated Fund.  Look at it by years:

2016  $10,293.47

2017 None (Which I do not believe)

2018 $595,000.00

2019 $475,199.00

Well, how did the town get so much money in the Undesignated Fund?  Apparently, the tooth fairy blessed Lisbon.  I have a better answer and that is the Town Manager, Diane Barnes has been padding her budget without the knowledge of the Town Council.  The Town Council has been supporting the Town Manager instead of supporting us, the taxpayers.  This is really ridiculous to have so much money left over every year and have so much money in the Undesignated Fund.

This is our tax dollars at work.  This explains the high taxes and where our tax dollars are going.  We need to tell the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, that we will not put up with this from now on.  The Town Council has to start making the Town Manager accountable for her actions.  I realize that she works for the Town Council and not the citizens of Lisbon; so it is the Town Council responsibility to see that this never happens again.  Having over a half million dollars every year is ripping the taxpayers off every year.

It is time to hold both the Town Council and the Town Manager accountable for the way they spend our tax dollars.

Larry Fillmore  

PS  The Town is charging me $75.00 for the Undesignated Fund information.  Apparently, with two computer systems (MUNIS and TRIO) it took 6 hours to put this information together.



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