Latest Hard Metal Pricng

Showing posts with label Citizen Letters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Citizen Letters. Show all posts

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

WHO’S IN CHARGE????


 
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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

WAKE UP MAINERS - PART 2


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

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY

 
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

HOW TO LEGALLY SCREW REIDENTS OF LISBON

 
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
                                playground
                $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

 

WHY ARE WE PAYING SUCH HIGH TAXES?


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.

 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

WAKE UP MAINERS - PART 1

 
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 Chellie Pingree, District 1’s House Representative.  I have downloaded the last two months of her voting record and it is below for everyone to see.
 
July 25 Making changes to health savings accounts, including allowing them to be used for over-the-counter medications (277-142) Voted - Yes
 
July 25 Expanding eligibility for health savings accounts (242-176) Voted - No
 
July 24 Eliminating the medical device tax (283-132) Voted - No
 
July 19 Opposing a carbon tax (229-180) Voted - No
 
July 18 Expressing support for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and denouncing calls for its abolishment (244-35) Voted – Present (Which is no vote one way or the other)
 
June 27 Republican "compromise" immigration bill (121-301) Voted - No
 
June 22 Broad legislation to address the opioid crisis (396-14) Voted – Yes
 
June 21 The 2018 farm bill (House revote) (213-211) Voted - No
 
June 20 Changing privacy rules with regard to substance-abuse treatment (357-57) Voted -Yes
 
June 20 Allowing Medicaid to pay for adults with opioid use disorder to receive treatment in mental health facilities (261-155) Voted - No
 
June 15 Allowing the prohibition of certain synthetic drugs (239-142) Voted – No

June 14 Targeting imports of opioids through the international mail system (353-52) Voted – Yes

June 7 Rescinding previously approved but unspent funding (210-206) Voted – No

As you can see, Representative Pingree has voted “NO” the majority of the time.  In fact, Representative Pingree has only voted 17.2% of the time to support the President’s agenda.  I believe that this definitely reflects that Representative Pingree votes along party lines instead of what the Mainers she represents feels.
 
It is my opinion, based on her voting record; Representative Pingree is a puppet for Nancy Pelosi and the Resistance.   The President needs Mainers support to move this country forward and he is not getting it from Representative Pingree and the Mainers she represents.
 
On May 22, 2018, Representative Pingree voted “NO” on a bill to “Allow patients with terminal illnesses the right to try unapproved treatment”.  I think this is outrageous that terminal ill individuals are striped of any hope.  By not allowing terminal ill individuals to try unapproved treatments, you are sentencing them to sure death.  By allowing these individuals to try unapproved treatments, there is a chance to find cures.  The terminal ill individuals should have the right to choose.
 
Representative Pingree is in District 1, so I do not have the opportunity to vote her out but others do and I encourage all Mainers in District 1 to choose wisely when voting for whom they want to best represent them in Congress.
 
Larry Fillmore
Concerned Mainer

 

Monday, July 9, 2018

GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

 
An update to my previous letter on the Lisbon Reporter:
 
You probably remember that, at the June 26 Town Council meeting, my
remark that placing a solar light at the School Street/Route 196 Garden
might prevent vehicles from driving into the garden, and hopefully 
stopping the annual destruction of the garden and Worumbo Mill Wheels.
 
And to my surprise on Monday, July 2, there were solar lights around
the perimeter of the garden. 
 
I assumed that the town public works had placed them there. I even
called the PW director and left a message, thanking him.
 
I learned last night that it was actually Councilor Kris Cradford who purchased
the solar lights, and, with the help of his son, put the them around
the perimeter of the garden.
 
Kris, a member of the Town Council, decided it would be a good civic
lesson for his son. 
 
In my estimation, Councilor Kris went above and beyond Civic Duty by that 
unselfish act. 

He is my hero!

Dorothy Fitzgerald
Concerned Citizen

AS MAINE GOES, SO GOES THE NATION

 
From Civil War times to the Great Depression, Maine voters reliably sent Republicans to Congress while also backing GOP presidential hopefuls. Maine’s reputation as a bellwether for presidential elections gave rise to the once popular political slogan, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.”
 
Today, Maine’s delegation to Congress has a different look:
 
CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES
 
            Chellie Pingress – Democrat (Currently up for reelection)

            Bruce Poliquin – Republican
 
CONGRESSIONAL SENATORS
 
            Susan Collins – Republican (RINO Republican in Name Only)

            Angus King – Independent
 
These four individuals represent the State of Maine in Congress.  But not all of these individuals support our duly elected President Trump and his agenda.  Representative Pingress has voted against the President in everything proposed.  Representative Pingress has and is a puppet for Nancy Pelosi and tried to block everything President is trying to do. 
 
Senator Susan Collins has not always supported President Trump.  She has been acting like a Democrat on this selection for the Supreme Court.  The name is not known yet and but Mrs. Collins is already following the Democrats lead in opposing the candidate.  Mrs. Collins has clearly demonstrated that she is a RINO and a disgrace to all Mainers.
 
President Donald J. Trump has been in office for over a year and his record of accomplishment is massive even without the Democratic support.  President Trump has made great strides in making American Great again with his elimination of unnecessary regulations which has improved our economy.  He also provided everyone with a tax cut which has put more money in our pockets.  President Trump has done something no other President has done and that is; he has kept his campaign promises to the best of his ability.  The ones he has not kept have been blocked by Democrats.
 
Mainers have always been known for having a mind of their own and good common sense.  Our Democratic Representative does not have these qualities because her record indicates she only votes with Minority Leader Pelosi.  How can the President get anything done when the Democrats block him?  Some bills have absolutely no Democratic votes at all.  How is that possible when our elected officials are supposed to be voting the way their constitutes want instead of along party lines?
 
Mainers need to look closely in the way our elected officials are voting and if they are not supporting our President; then vote them out.  President Trump is doing a good job up to this point and until he fails; he deserves the full support of our elected officials.
 
Mainers should be supporting our President.
 
Larry Fillmore

 

 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

VANDALS STRIKE TOWN GARDEN

 
Sometime Monday night someone stole solar lights from the School Street/
Route 196 Town Public Flower Garden.
 
On Monday, Public Works placed solar lights in the ground around the outside
perimeter of the garden, hopefully to prevent vehicles from crashing through it,
damaging shrubs, flowers, and the Worumbo Mill Wheels, again.
 
This happens at least once a year. The tire marks are still there on the School
Street side, from the last time someone drove into the garden. A beautiful, large
bush was driven into, torn from it's roots and had to be removed, and the wheels
were damaged, again.
 
Several years ago a tree was planted in the garden in memory of Nancy Chizmar,
long time State of Maine Representative in Augusta. Someone ploughed into the
garden with enough force to almost uproot the tree.

Sadly the tree did not make it.
 
The solar lights was supposed to prevent that from happening.

They were an attractive addition to the Town Garden during the day,
and were beautiful at night. At least on Monday night, until vandals decided
different.
 
On Tuesday I noticed that some of the solar lights were placed in different spots,
with only 3 or 4 still in the perimeter, the rest, missing.
 
How many times does the town have to replant bushes that have been destroyed
because someone misses the curve and ploughs into the garden?
 
How many times can the Worumbo Mill Wheels be repaired before they are damaged
beyond repair?
 
Faye Brown first planted the garden, and the Green Thumb Gang was born.
 
Faye is also responsible for rescuing the Worumbo Mill Wheels, to be on display
as a reminder of the our heritage.  
 
It would be nice if the vandal or vandals who stole the lights have a change of heart
and leave them at the police station so they can be put back in the garden,
to be enjoyed by all.  

 
Dorothy B. Fitzgerald
A Concerned Lisbon Citizen

CONTROL OF THE MOXIE FESTIVAL

 
At the last Town Council meeting on June 26, 2018, the Town Council decided to hold a discussion on moving the responsibility of the Moxie Festival from the Economic Community Development Department to the Recreational and Parks Department.  As usual there was NO advance notice posted on the town website including the agenda posted for this meeting.  However, I am sure the agendas handed out at the meeting included this change.  This is the type of strategy the Town Manager, Diane Barnes uses to control the input from citizens.
 
Instead of having this discussion in a workshop, it was a last minute addition to the already full and published agenda.  Typical action by the Town Council and the Town Manager!  Such short notice does not provide citizens with adequate preparation prior to the meeting but this is there style.
 
Dorothy Fitzgerald offered the Town Council a different option and as usual it went in one ear and out the other of the Council.  Mrs. Fitzgerald suggested the Moxie Festival’s responsibility be moved to Positive Change Lisbon (PCL).  It was obvious the Council members where not aware of the history of the Moxie Festival.
 
The Moxie Festival started around 1982 by the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce.  It included businesses and citizen who volunteered every year.  The Moxie Festival grew and grew every year and prospered very well.  Because it was making so much money, Steve Eldridge, former Town Manager decided he wanted that money for the town and had the Town Council vote to take over responsibility of the Moxie Festival.
 
Now, we all know that Mark Stevens, Recreation and Parks Director, has his hands full.  Mark does an excellent job and the Town Council has added the responsibility for parks, gardens, cemeteries to his original duties at the Recreation Department.  Mark has done all this with a full-time staff of one besides himself and the Town Council added a full-time maintenance position this year.  Adding the Moxie Festival, would cause a major burden on Mr. Stevens and the Recreation and Parks Department.  Over the years, since the town took over the Moxie Festival and the number of volunteers has continually declined.
 
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.
 
Now to me, this sound like exactly what the original Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce was made up of.  Positive Change Lisbon appears to be the perfect place for the Moxie Festival responsibility.  If you review their website, you will see the majority of the businesses are members.  Councilor LaRochelle is the Secretary.  Positive Change Lisbon puts on numerous events throughout the year and this festival fits right in.  The Moxie Festival promotes the town of Lisbon and our many attributes.  I cannot think of a better organization to have the responsibility for the Moxie Festival.
 
I do realize that because Mrs. Fitzgerald suggested it and I agree with her; this will never happen because the Council will never admit this is the right thing to do and they did not think of it.
 
Larry Fillmore

Friday, June 22, 2018

PURE WASTE OF TIME

 
The Town Council’s agenda for June 26, 2018 is currently out.  It is important to note that it has a start time of 6:00 PM instead of 7:00 PM.  The early start time is because it includes a Public Hearing on the proposed 2018-2019 Municipal budget.  The Town Council wants you to believe that they want the people’s input prior to them voting on the budget.  This is only a myth.
 
Anytime you think this is not true, just go back to the results of the November 2011 election where the residents were asked on the ballot if they wanted to vote on the municipal budget.  The results were almost 3 to 1 in favor of voting on the municipal budget.  Did this ever happen?  The answer is the Town Council then had no intention of listening to the residents and that continues today.
 
Another more recent example is at the last Town Council meeting on June 5, 2018; Mrs. Dorothy Fitzgerald asked the Council why they are not looking for ways to reduce the operating cost of the town instead of increasing the spending.  Mrs. Fitzgerald went so far as to offer ways the town could save taxpayers money but not one councilor responded.  It went in one ear and out the other.  Watch the video of the meeting at 1:23 minutes into the meeting.
 
I use to attend every Town Council meeting for numerous years.  I offer suggestions on how to improve the community or save the taxpayers money.  Not one of the suggestions I offered was considered so I stopped wasting my time.  This Town Council, like others before them, is not going to take any suggestions from the people and they only do whatever they want.  The current Town Council waste been wasting over $200,000.00 a year for the past three years and they do not care.
 
The idea of holding Public Hearings is a legal requirement but nowhere in the law does it say the Town Council has to do anything but listen.  This is why it is important to elect ONLY those individuals to the Town Council that will listen to the people.  Once these individuals are elected, they no longer listen to the voice of the people.  This is disgraceful!
 
The Town Council meeting on June 26, 2018 will be the last chance to voice your opinions about the budget not that it will do any good.  The Council has already made up their minds to raise your taxes again without considering ways to cut taxes.  You will get much more out of staying home and watching “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS”.
 
I listened too many Councils complain about residents not attending council meeting.  These same councilors are the ones that totally ignore residents when they speak up at council meeting.  Why would anyone want to be ignored especially on TV? 
 
Elect Councilors who will listen to the people.
 
Larry Fillmore

Thursday, June 14, 2018

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DISCUSSION

During the June 5, 2018 Town Council meeting, there was a discussion on MUNIS.  MUNIS is the computer software used by the town to control the majority of its business.  This software package cost the taxpayers $680,000.00 for a period of 7 years.
 
Apparently, the town was sold a bill of goods because it is not working out the way it was advertised.  This is not surprising to me, because I remember the initial discussion about getting rid of TRIO.  The Town Manager made two mistakes with this purchase:
 
            The first mistake was taking advise from someone who had absolutely no credentials or certifications in the Information Technology field.  She never thought to professional advice first.
 
            The second mistake is pushing the Town Council into entering into a 7 year contract without first having the software installed and seeing how it would work for the town.
 
This is yet another example of the Town Manager duping the Town Council into getting her way.  On June 5th at the meeting, she did it again and no one realized it.  Instead of providing all the options and information, she left off a very important fact, “What is the cost of termination this contract?”  To me and the Council because they asked, this information would be critical to making a sound decision but neither the Finance Director nor the Town Manager had that information.  This is how she has always manipulated the Town Council. 
 
The Town Council voted to spend $5,000.00 tax dollars on an assessment verses terminating this contract and going with another software package.  Having the information on the penalty to terminate the contract early may have had an impact on the decision by the Town Council. 
 
Chairman Ward should have tabled any further discussion until the Town Manager was able to provide ALL information needed for the Council to make a sound and logical decision.  It should be a rule that if all the information is not available at the time of the discussion, the item will be tabled until all information is available to the Council.  Information needed to make decisions by the Town Council is conveniently not available.  This is how our Town Council is being forced to make decisions that the Town Manager wants.
 
The Town Manager is being paid over $90,000.00 yearly and should be providing better recommendations to our Town Council.
 
Larry Fillmore

 

 

GENERAL ASSISTANCE IN LISBON

At the Lisbon Town Office there is a door with the wording "General Assistance".
This morning, needing to contact someone at General Assistance, I went on the town's
website, clicked on "Departments", looking for the phone number so I could leave a
message.
 
I clicked on "Departments". No General Assistance listed under Departments.
I went to :Boards and Committees", no General Assistance listed there either. 
I than called the Town Clerk's office, asked how to find General Assistance.
 
No one there knew that General Assistance was not listed under Departments.
 
I was told that General Assistance could be found under the Department of Community Development.
 
I tried that, and guess what? General Assistance is not listed there either!!!!!. 
 
My question is; how does anyone in town, needing General Assistance, contact General Assistance?
 
General Assistance in Lisbon is a part-time position.

I asked Town Manager, Diane Barnes, why we do not have at least a part-time person in General Assistance?  She said that the only time anyone is in need of general assistance is in the winter.  This from a person making $95,000+ per year plus benefits. 
 
Judy Goddard, the Town of Lisbon's General Assistance director also works for the town of Brunswick.  She also works for the City of Bath. Is it any wonder she is not available for the citizens of the Town of Lisbon?
 
Our Town Council and Town Manager recently hired 2 addtional police officers.  They also approved a full time position, part-time for the front counter, part time for the Finance Department.  But they do not see any need to help those in town most in need of assistance.

Perhaps it is time to stop wasting money on someone not available to render assistance, when it is needed.

Dorothy Fitzgerald
Concerned Citizen 

EDITOR'S NOTE:  According to the latest proposed budget, under General Assistance 05-500 there is a line item 5211 Cell Phone which has a proposed budget of $363.00.  If this is the case, why is the cell phone NOT listed on the town web site.  When is the Town Council going to force the Town Manager to do her job? 



 

Monday, June 11, 2018

RESIDENT IGNORED BY LISBON TOWN COUNCIL

 
After reviewing the Town Council meeting of June 5, 2018, I remembered why I no longer attend the Town Council meetings.  For years, I was very faithful about attending the Town Council meetings, I tried to offer suggestions to the Town Council on improving our community.  No matter what I suggested, the Town Council ignored everything.  My suggestions went in one ear and out the other.  It was a total waste of my time.
 
Nothing has changed since I stopped going to these meetings.  If you go to the town website and click on Live Video Streaming and then click on June and Town Council meeting for June 5th.  Go into the video to approximately 1 hour and 23 minutes, you will see the Town Council ignoring Dorothy Fitzgerald.  Mrs. Fitzgerald tried to show the Town Council how they could save the taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars (250,000.00) and the council was not interested.  They asked no questions and totally ignored Mrs. Fitzgerald.
 
I cannot explain why the Town Council is not interested in saving tax dollars.  It appears they are more interested in spending our money than saving it.  This year’s municipal budget is going to increase roughly $660,806.00 which is a 8% increase according to the Town Manager, Diane Barnes.  Amazing as it may sound, Mrs. Barnes in proud of the increase.  The fact, that Mrs. Barnes and the Town Council are not looking for ways to either cut spending or lower our taxes in disgusting and not why the people elected them.  
 
Mrs. Barnes does not realize that the people pay her salary.  She works for the Town Council and not the people.  Mrs. Barnes, our Town Manager, includes a COLA increase every year in her budget which amounts to a salary increase of over $1,800.00 every year.  The town has substituted COLA for wage increase in order to fool the people.  Mrs. Barnes does not mind a $200.00 increase in her taxes when she has a $1,800.00 increase in her salary but those who are on a fixed income are left to suffer.  The residents of Lisbon cannot stand a tax increase every year especially when the town could be saving over a quarter of a million dollars (250,000.00) by eliminating COLA and transferring dispatch to Androscoggin County Dispatch. 
 
There is no recession so there is no need for a COLA.  The Lisbon Communication Center is a duplication of services and could be eliminated with no loss of service.  In fact, it would improve the response time of First Responder by eliminating the middle man in the process.  Four of our Councilors voted to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open for political reasons (Councilors Ward, Crafts, Brunelle and Albert).  This was a political decision interest of what was best for the community.
 
According to Mr. Fern LaRochelle, the town does not need to give up control of the communication center.  What he failed to tell everyone is that he a sub-contractor for the town and works directly with the communication center for vehicle recovery.  Mr. LaRochelle will be voting on the budget for the communication center because there is no such thing as “conflict of interest” in Lisbon.  He already has voted on Chief Hagan’s recommendation to promote a communication specialist to supervisor and to approve an Information Technology (IT) person for the Police Department.
 
The people need to vote in November, councilors who are going to stop spending; look for ways to save tax dollars and listen to residents.
 
Larry Fillmore