Sunday, August 10, 2014
Are We Ever To Vote On The Municipal Budget ?
ARE WE EVER GOING TO VOTE ON THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET?
In November of 2011, the Town Council added a Referendum Question to the November ballot with the understanding that the council would abide by the wishes of the people. The question was “did the people want to vote on the Municipal Budget by departments”, or words to that effect. The results were over 2,000 voters voted YES and only a little over 500 voted NO. It is now 2014 and the people cannot vote on the Municipal budget by departments.
Previous Town Councils had a habit of not doing what they say and as a result the people have lost faith in our Town Council form of government. In order to preserve the Municipal budget, previous councilors like Mike Bowie and Fern LaRochelle have been placed on the Finance Committee. The other night at a town council meeting, the people were forced to listen to Mrs. Morgan- Alexander, Chairman of the Finance Committee and Fern LaRochelle tell them how hard they worked on the Municipal budget. As a result of this hard work, the Police Department was increased by $78,268.00 and Public Works was increased by $235,190.00. I do not have to repeat the excessive spending in the Police Department and the majority of the Public Works increase was for paving as I understand it.
This supports why the people need to vote on the Municipal budget. There is no reason in the world why Lisbon’s Police Department should cost this community $1,300,000.00 plus. There is no reason why Lisbon should maintain a Communication Center (Dispatch) when the county has an excellent Dispatch Center. Every second wasted in an emergency puts lives at risk and having to relay 911 calls does just that. Chief Brooks does no care if he puts our lives at risk as long as he can maintain his empire at the expense of the taxpayers.
The sole purpose of the Finance Committee is to provide support for the Municipal budget presented by the Town Council. This community needs Finance Committee members who are trying to do what is right for the community and not protect Chief Brooks’ budget. This is the exact reason the people want to vote on the Municipal budget because then and only then will Municipal budget be a budget by the people. Remember the Advisory Board was made up of elected officials but when they did not support the Municipal budget they were replaced by appointed members whom 5 out of 7 are previous councilors. Go figure!
In order to restore integrity and get out of the current financial situation and back on track, the people are going to have to vote on the Municipal budget. The last four years, the people have suffered an unnecessary tax increase. The creed of certain town employees coupled with councilors who have no spine have resulted in a situation in which taxpayers can no longer afford to reside in our community. We are losing too many good neighbors and friends because of outrageous Municipal budgets.
It is imperative that this town council do what is right and change the Charter to allow the people to vote on the Municipal budget by departments next June. The people asked for this almost three years ago. There is time now to do this if they want; look how fast it took them to get a Charter change to limit million dollars bonds only on the November ballot.
Now is the time to allow the people to vote on the Municipal Budget.