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LISBON/LISBON FALLS, MAINE USA
Over the weekend, I had the
misfortune to review the Town Council meeting of October 16, 2018.The meeting lasted two hours and twelve
minutes.It should have taken an hour.Instead we have two Councilors trying to
outdo each other in stupidity.
Councilors LaRochelle and
Albert continued to make comments that we already explained.This is my personal opinion:(1) LaRochelle just likes to hear himself
talk because it makes his ego get bigger and (2) Albert talks to make people
believe that he is as smart as All Ward, which will never happen.
There was a lengthy
discussion between these two on what the towns’ marijuana policy is going to
discussion should have been held during the workshop but apparently was not.The Council should be united on each item before it is added to
the agenda so that the Public can express their concerns.
This marijuana policy is
being pushed through so very fast.I
believe that Councilor Brunelle is the one doing the pushing.This is because Brunelle want to corner the market when he opens
his marijuana retail store in Lisbon Center. He
is pushing this so he can open before Christmas.As it is going, I believe, that Lisbon will
be the pot capital of Maine.
Also, during the meeting it
was brought out there will be an environment inspection of the Worumbo Mill
property.The Town Manager acknowledged that the last
environmental inspection was done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
several years ago was on file.If I
remember correctly the report found coal ash and other toxics underground on
the property. Councilor
LaRochelle was quick to point out this is a different kind of environmental
inspection.I hope this is
performed prior to the town purchasing the property for $30,000.00 as agreed by
If you remember a few years
past when LaRochelle was last time on the Council, he pushed for the town to
purchase the Worumbo Mill from the Millers.This is when the EPA did their inspection and the people turned it
down.I believe that LaRochelle is back
on the Council to purchase the property now.
It was also brought out that the Lisbon Communication
Center will no longer be dispatching for Durham effective January 1, 2019.Durham, like
everyone else, is having Androscoggin Country Dispatch perform this task.If Lisbon chose to take advantage of Androscoggin Country
Dispatch, it would save the taxpayers over $200,000.00 yearly.This
will never happen because the Town Council is not interested in saving
taxpayers money instead spend, spend, spend and raise taxes.Lisbon has the second highest tax
rate in Androscoggin Country.We passed
Auburn this year and will be pushing to pass Lewiston in the years to come.
Also, it came out that the
town has now loaded the Accounts Payable module of MUNIS.This
has taken close to three years to accomplish load the first module.I predict that at the current rate, MUNIS
will not be fully functional by the end of the seven year contract.I personally believe this was major blunder,
that the Town Manager and Ryan Leighton, forced the Town Council to do.Now it will cost the people a large amount of
tax dollars to correct this mistake but putting this task on the Finance
Director is insane. I
have performed several conversion and they are extremely hard for a team of
professionals to do but impossible for someone to perform alone.
It is truly amazing to me how Councilors on our Town
Council can negotiate the purchase of property, the tax dollars being spent,
environmental studies and more.Then
turn around and purchase the property from the town for a song and turn around
and make a profit.I call this abuse of their position.Currently, we have two Councilors that, I
believe, fall into this category.
The first one is Councilor
Chris Brunelle who purchased the town property at 385 Lisbon Street.Councilor Brunelle’s desire for the property is to renovate
the building into a marijuana retail store. However,
Councilor Brunelle is trying to strong arm our Code Enforcement Officer into
getting out of having a structural engineer look at the building.Our Code Enforcement Officer is doing his job
to ensure the building is structurally sound.
The second objection I have to this is that even
though the zoning is commercial and Councilor Brunelle has a legal right to put
a marijuana retail store in Lisbon Center it is located near three housing
developments with families and kids.
Councilor Brunelle is currently fighting the emergency
moratorium ordinance currently in place.This is an items on the agenda for October 16, 2018.
The next Councilor is Fern
LaRochelle, who is on the Town Council for a second time.During the first time he was on the council,
he used the council and his position to purchase town property.According to the town lawyer, it is perfectly legal for
councilors to purchase town property but he never addressed the negotiation by
Councilor Fern LaRochelle leading up to the purchase.
During the Executive Session,
which we are not allowed to see, the Town Council came up with purchasing the property at 1 Canal Street.This is the location of the old Worumbo Mill site.The Town Council agreed to purchase the property for
$30,000.00 of tax dollars and have an environmental survey done.
This is the same property that is in a flood
plain zone which runs to Davis Street.The
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has told the town about coal ash that is
currently under the surface which is very toxic.I am sure
that this idea was that of Councilor Fern LaRochelle directly or indirectly, because
Councilor LaRochelle wants to put a garage on that site.This
issue is going to come before the Conservation Commission on October 16, 2018
and I am not sure this commission is aware of the Environmental Protection
Agency’s report.Trust me; I do
not believe that Council LaRochelle will bring this to their attention.
The two Councilors have used
their position on the Town Council for pure profit.I personally do not believe that this is
legal.For years, I have complained about the “Good
Old Boys” network and this is more of the same.Several years ago the Planning Board approved
a Land Use Condition which was for a former Councilor.It was a “temporary” land use condition with
no expiration date.How can you have a temporary condition
without an expiration date?This situation is still in effect
In my opinion, these two Councilors have abused their position on our
Town Council for their own agenda for a profit.
By now everyone has received
the information sheet published by the town pertaining to the bonds everyone
will be voting on November 6, 2018.Naturally, this information sheet was sent
out after some absentee ballots were issued.Kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think.
This is yet another example
of the town spending money.They have
absolutely no problems spending our tax dollars but you never see any councilor
trying to save our tax dollars by reducing the town’s operating cost.
If one was to pay attention
to documents associated with the Town Council agenda for October 16, 2018, they
would have noticed that the last paragraph of the Police Department’s report states that come January 2019, the Lisbon
Communication Center will no longer be performing dispatching for Durham.If I remember correctly, that leaves only
Lisbon performing dispatching for Lisbon.This
means the taxpayers have to pay for the entire Lisbon Communication Center
which was budgeted for $345,246.00.
Several years ago, Councilors Garrison and Pesce
conducted a survey and determined that by joining the Androscoggin County
Dispatch, the town could save at least $200,000.00 per year.However, the
Town Council voted 4-3 not to join Androscoggin County Dispatch and again the
following year the Town Council voted 4-3 not to join Androscoggin County
The reason provided was that the Town Council did not
want to give up control to Androscoggin County Dispatch.This effort both
times was spearheaded by Fern LaRochelle who neglected to inform everyone that
he was and is a subcontractor of the town who works directly with the Lisbon
Communication Center. In
my eyes, this was then and still is a conflict of interest that he should have
revealed at the time.Now that he is once again a Councilor, he
should recuse himself from any vote on this issue, if it ever came up again.
This is an excellent way for the town to save at least
$200,000.00 tax dollars and no one is willing to look into saving taxpayers any
money, just spending.It has been proven that letting Androscoggin County Dispatch
perform our 911 calls if a much more efficient and at a cost savings to
I can almost guarantee you
that this will never happen because it makes sense and it is the right thing to
one, from the Town Manager or the Town Council wants to do away with Chief
David Brooks’ legacy.This has nothing
to do with logic; it is strictly a political decision.Well, political decisions do not pay the
bills or provide for taxpayers’ family.
So tell me again, why is our Councilors NOT looking for
way to save our money?
The Lisbon Sewer
Department has contracted St. Laurent and Son Excavation to complete the
sewer main replacements on Whitney Street and then Madelyn Street with
work scheduled to begin the week of October 15th and continuing through
November. Please be patient as this work can cause delays.
have any questions or concerns before, during or after the project is
complete please contact the Sewer Superintendent Steve Aievoli at
353-3000 ext. 601.
Special Council Meeting on October 30, 2018 at 7PM for Public Hearing
Amendments to Emergency Marijuana
Moratorium & Chapter 70 Zoning, Article IV. Dist Regs, District 13.
Dist Uses, Section 70-530 Land Uses
Notice is hereby given
that the Lisbon Town Council intends to hold a Special Council Meeting
to hold a public hearing on October 30, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Town
Office Public Meeting Room to hear comments on amendments to the
Emergency Marijuana Moratorium and Chapter 70 Zoning, Article IV.
District Regulations, District 13 District Uses, Section 70-530 Land
Uses. The public is invited to attend.
Copies of these amendments may be viewed or obtained at the Town Clerk’s Office, 300 Lisbon Street, Lisbon or online at www.lisbonme.org.
Fact Sheet on Lisbon Referendum Questions for November 2018 Election
INFORMATION REGARDING LISBON ROUTE 196/125 ROAD RECONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
Town of Lisbon in conjunction with Maine Department of Transportation
(MDOT) and the Androscoggin Transportation Center (ATRC) is planning
improvements to our Downtown Infrastructure. This will involve
rebuilding Main Street and improving pedestrian access, including
sidewalk reconstruction. These projects are tentatively scheduled to be
advertised for bid in the spring of 2020. This mailer is being
distributed to inform residents of the need for the project and to
answer frequently asked questions. INFORMATION REGARDING NEW “PUMPER” FIRE ENGINE PURCHASE
Town of Lisbon is planning to replace a pumper fire engine to address
the aging and much needed repairs to the current fire apparatus. This
mailer is being distributed to inform residents of the need for the
project and to answer frequently asked questions.
Please see attached fact sheet for more information about these projects.
Notice is hereby given
that the Lisbon Town Council intends to hold a public hearing on October
16, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Town Office Public Meeting Room to hear
comments on amendments to the General Assistance Chapter 14 Appendix A
for Overall Maximums, B for Food Maximums, C for Housing, and D for
Utilities. The public is invited to attend. Copies of these amendments
may be viewed or obtained at the Town Clerks Office, 300 Lisbon Street,
Lisbon, Maine or online - see attachment.