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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bombs Away: Two Lawsuits Filed On Town of Lisbon For FOAA Violations


The Town Council, Town Manager and several other members of the Town of Lisbon management look at me as a crack-pot, rebel or trouble maker. The reason I am involved is because I love the Town of Lisbon. I am trying to point out, to management, issues which are not in the best interest of the Town of Lisbon. 
I lived in this town from April 1985 through January 2002. I raised three daughters in Lisbon, coached baseball in the Lisbon Junior Athletic League (LJAL) and loved every minute of it. From January 2002 to July 2007, I lived and worked in Germany for the Army. Upon my retirement, I decided to return to Lisbon because it had been a great town operated by individuals who used common sense and made decisions with the best interest of the town at heart. I did not realize at the time; the management of the town had changed.

After the giant tax increase, I became involved in the business of the town. It all started with Steve Eldridge claiming the tax commitment was valid and nothing could be done about it. When everything was over and done, the commitment was invalid and the town lowered the mill rate by $.60 per thousand. Since that town council meeting, Eldridge has continued to provide false information to the residents of the town. 
Every time I look into a situation, I find issues which are not in the best interest of the town of Lisbon. I have always notified the Town Council first to make them aware and provide the council an opportunity to correct a mistake. However, the council will not admit to anything being wrong. I do not know if it is an ego issue or these council members can not admit a mistake was made. However, it is blossomed to the point where they do not even listen to me. Watch the Town Council meeting on television and you will see what I am talking about. The council shows Mrs. Fitzgerald the same respect as they do me because she points out issues too.

In every case I have written to the Lisbon Reporter, I first brought it to the Town Council’s attention offering them an opportunity to correct a mistake. I never went behind anyone’s back. The members of the town council either have an ego problem or want to display their power. I believe the Town Council and Town Manager have clearly demonstrated they are not interested in what is best for this town but clearly want to reinforce their power. 
I believe the change in the Town of Lisbon began when Eldridge was hired as Town Manager. He has been manipulating the town council and hired his own staff to support him. Look at some of the individuals he has hired. Rosie Bradley was hired with a salary increase of 18 thousand dollars. Then, there was Dow the Tax Assessor who failed to prepare a valid commitment and cost the taxpayers over 10 thousand dollars to correct that mistake. The town government is supposedly transparent and the citizens should be able to get information on how their tax dollars are being spent. As of today, I have had to file two law suits, at my expense, for violation of the Maine Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) by Eldridge. In the end this will cost the taxpayers more money. I am not doing this to spend more of the taxpayer’s money but Eldridge could care less because it is not his money. I am doing this because I believe there is much deceit and deception going on which needs to be exposed to the residents of Lisbon. 
My goal for getting involved is to restore the Town of Lisbon back to the way it was when I left it. I want, once again, to be proud of the Town of Lisbon. It was once one of the greatest communities in Maine to live in and raise a family. Until we expose all the deceit and deception, this can never happen again.

It is apparent; this town council will not get rid of the basic problem, the town manager. On 8 November 2010, I provided the Town Council a letter outlining 12 or 13 violations of the town charter by Eldridge. The council took approximately 90 days to get the votes by the council to keep Eldridge as town manager. Until we get the majority of votes to get rid of the town manager we will continue to have deceit and deception in the town of Lisbon.

If the taxpayers agree with me, then let’s start by getting rid of the members of the Town Council who do not have the best interest of the town at heart come elect time, 8 November 2011. This year Roger Cote is up for reelection and he is the only member of the council with common sense and has the best interest of Lisbon at heart. Look at his voting record because it speaks for itself. However, next year the taxpayers get an opportunity to provide Cote with support to make a difference by getting rid of several members who do not have the best interest of the town at heart. Start now and monitor the voting records of other members of the council or check out their voting records. It will become very clear who has the best interest of the town and taxpayers at heart.

Larry A. Fillmore 
Concerned Citizen

Stay Tuned Folks, Much More To Come ! ! !
Happy Fourth Everyone ! ! !