Thursday, September 28, 2017
Auburn - On Thursday, November 2, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Peter Kowalski, will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Kowalski is the long-serving Executive Director of John F. Murphy Homes. Over nearly three decades he has worked with the board of directors, staff, stakeholders, and the surrounding communities to build an agency with the resources and expertise to be a premium provider of services to adults and children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kowalski’s commitment to service and advancements in practices led to leadership roles with state and national organizations. He served two terms as the president of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), a Washington, D.C.- based trade association with a membership of more than 800 agencies nationwide serving 385,000 people with disabilities. At the state-level he served as the president of the ANCOR Maine, which merged with another organization to form the Maine Association of Community Service Providers. Kowalski is a member, and past-president of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary and on the board at The Public Theatre. He graduated magnum cum laude from University of Maine with a B.A. in Psychology. He lives in Turner with his wife, Gail. Together they have two grown children and one grandchild. They enjoy hiking and camping, spending time every summer in and around Maine’s Baxter State Park. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Auburn - On Thursday, November 2, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Matt Leonard and Mark Cater, will be the featured guest speakers at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Leonard is the Founder & CEO of Military Talent Source, LLC. Military Talent Source is a specialized firm that conducts military recruiting and veteran employment consulting as a full focus; matching talent with opportunity. They provide a personalized service to both separating military service members and corporate clients in order to match talent to specific opportunities in the civilian corporate sector. He is a retired United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer with 21 years of service and former president & CEO of one of Maine’s largest chambers of commerce. Matt has a Master of Professional Studies in Political Management from George Washington University as well as several undergraduate degrees. Mark Cater is a new Veteran Employment Consultant of Military Talent Source (MTS), LLC. MTS is a specialized firm conducting military recruiting and veteran employment consulting as a full focus; matching talent with opportunity. MTS provides a personalized service to both separating military service members and corporate clients in order to match talent to specific opportunities in the civilian corporate sector. Cater’s experience includes affiliation with the Local Veterans Employment Representative, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program, the Maine Military Family Assistance Center, assisting military families of deployed service members and their families. Cater spent 26 years serving his country, being stationed at FT. Carson; Berlin, Germany and the Maine Army National Guard as an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) He retired as the State Recruiting Sergeant Major (SGM). Volunteer work includes serving as past President of the Augusta Area Military Association. He continues as a member of the VFW and American Legion. Cater holds a Master Level Human Resources Certificate; Bachelor of Science in Multi-Media Visual Communications; and an Associate Accreditation in Business. Cater is also a 2017 graduate of Dale Carnegie Maine “Skills for Success” Course. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Monica M. Millhime
Lewiston Auburn Rotary Club President
Auburn - On Thursday, November 30, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Victoria Stanton, will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Stanton is the Director of Development and Engagement at Safe Voices, the domestic violence resource center based in Lewiston. In her role, Victoria helps corporate partners and community members connect to Safe Voices in meaningful ways, including awareness-raising events, volunteerism, sponsorship, and philanthropy. Prior to Safe Voices she worked as Chief Advancement Officer for the YMCA of Auburn-Lewiston and was an advancement writer at Bates College. Victoria has been involved in anti-sexual assault and anti-domestic violence work for the last 11 years. She is a certified fundraising executive and received her bachelor’s degree from Williams College. She currently lives in Lewiston. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Monica M. Millhime
Auburn - On Thursday, November 16, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, James Parakilas will be the featured guest speakers at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Parakilas has recently retired as the James L. Moody, Jr. Family Professor of Performing Arts at Bates College, where he taught music for 37 years and where he served terms as chair of the Music Department and the Humanities Division. He regularly gives classical piano performances in the community and beyond, and he has written several books on music, including a cultural history of the piano, Piano Roles: 300 Years of Life with the Piano (2000), and an undergraduate textbook on opera, The Story of Opera (2012). In 2015 he joined the board of directors of L/A Arts; this past March he became chair of the board. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Monica M. Millhime
Monday, September 25, 2017
Photo pictured (l-r):
Members of the Lewiston Construction Training Program celebrated with graduates of the second cohort. Misty Parker, City of Lewiston; construction student graduates Emmanuel Musanganya and Christ Nikouzololo; Patti Saarinen, WMCA; back row: Michael Pleau, Northeast Painting; Monica Millhime, WMCA; Tim Hebert, Hebert Construction; John Ferland, Hahnel Bros.; Brian Demshar, H. E. Callahan Construction and Sara Gagne-Homes, Gorham Foundation. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Tiner, Lewiston Adult Education.
Lewiston – Tree Street Youth Center hosted a graduation ceremony on August 22 for two local students who successfully completed a construction training
WorkReady and Work Experience program. Emmanuel Musanganya and Christ Nilouzololo participated in the second Lewiston Construction Training Project completing a 12 week program consisting of 160 hours of classroom time, and a work experience with local contractors. The program was designed through the collaboration of local and regional agencies of Lewiston Adult Education, Western Maine Community Action (WMCA), Lewiston CareerCenter, John T. Gorman Foundation, City of Lewiston, Tree Street, Root Cellar and the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services. Area contractors, H. E. Callahan, Hahnel Bros., Hebert, Northeast Painting and Fortin joined the partnership providing hands-on construction site work experiences. The program initiative was designed to provide training and skills necessary for entry-level career paths in construction. Training included safety, an introduction to power and hand tools, construction math and terminology along with work readiness skills. Candidates earned a WorkReady, OSHA 10, Lead, Scissor Lift Training, and a Renovation, Repair, Painting (RRP) certifications. “These graduates represent dedication and are the result of a best practice model for train-to-work. Such a model brings business, education, and workforce development agencies in collaboration to provide training for a high wage, high growth career path,” shares Patti Saarinen, WMCA-Lewiston CareerCenter Site Coordinator. FMI on work-driven educational opportunities and partnerships, contact the nearest CareerCenter or call 753.9040.
Photo caption: Steven Johndro, Executive Director of Western Maine Community Action (left) and James Trundy, Program Manager, met to review the specifications of work to be performed as the new One-Stop Operator for the Central/Western Maine Workforce Development Board. Photo courtesy of Katherine Lary, WIC Program Manager.
Lewiston – Jeff Sneddon, Executive Director of the Central/Western Maine Workforce Development Board has announced the One-Stop Operator (OSO) for services in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford and Somerset counties has been awarded to Western Maine Community Action. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) calls for an integrated service delivery system requiring local area coordination of services for grants and sector-partnership programs. One of the primary goals of WIOA is to provide customers with access to high-quality one-stops that are customer-centered and provide access to a full range of partner services including adults, dislocated workers, Veterans, Job Corps, employment services, Vocational Services, Senior Community Services, career and technical education programs, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and employment and training programs. The one-stop operator is integral in the coordination of WIOA core and required partners for the delivery of their services on behalf of shared customers. In addition to the five county coverage, the Central Western Maine One-Stop delivery provides services in four full-service CareerCenters located in Lewiston, Augusta, Skowhegan and Wilton and two satellites in South Paris and Rumford.
John Ferland, Vice-President, General Manager of Hahnel Bros. shares, “Hahnel Bros. is proud to be one of the first companies to partner with WMCA, the Lewiston CareerCenter, and other community partners, in a construction training program to teach people entry-level construction skills along with work preparedness and safety. The first round of this project brought us three new employees. The staff from WMCA helped us navigate the various government funding systems that enabled us to learn about the trainees and reduce our initial new hire costs through on-the-job-training. They took time to learn our concerns and provided assistance customized to meet our challenges. Their understanding of the various services available through the CareerCenters and ability to make those services accessible make them a valuable asset to companies such as ours. We look forward to our continued relationship in putting people to work.”
The over-arching goal of the One-Stop operator is to ensure the coordination of services among the WIOA core and required partners so that applicable career services are available to system customers, regardless of whose door they enter. WMCA has operated job training programs in the tri-county area since 1981 and managed training contracts in the five county area for the past three years. Their work has afforded them the opportunity to form strong partnerships with One Stop partners as well as the business community.
FMI contact WMCA Executive Director, Steve Johndro, 860.4474, firstname.lastname@example.org or Program Manager, James Trundy, 743.7763, email@example.com or visit https://wmca.org/.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Auburn - On Thursday, October 12, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Betsy Sibley, will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Sibley is the Vice President of Marketing/ Business Development at Community Credit Union. She has been with the Credit Union for 5 years. She oversees the sales, marketing, advertising, community outreach, internal staff training and event planning for the Credit Union. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Thomas College, has been a licensed insurance agent since 2002 and has been working in the financial industry in various capacities since that time. Sibley is involved in the community serving as the Public Relations Committee Chair for the L-A Rotary Club, Secretary for the Turner Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club, the President of the Turner Parent Teacher Committee, Member of the Statewide Awareness Committee for the Maine Credit Union League as well as an Ambassador and Committee Member for the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce. Sibley has a passion for youth sports and volunteers as a coach for the Turner Athletic Association also. Some achievements include earning the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor in 2008, being recognized with a Paul Harris Fellow award from Rotary in 2015 and being a 2015 graduate of the Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute. Betsy was recently nominated in the “Creative Genius” category for Uplift LA’s 40 under 40. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Auburn - On Thursday, October 5, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Roger Theriault, will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Theriault was born in Lewiston. He graduated from St. Dominic’s Regional High School in 1970. He attended the University of Maine, graduating in 1975 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. In 1975 married his wife, Lorraine, and raised four children and now enjoying eight grandchildren. In addition to teaching, Theriault owned an automotive business, and owned/operated the Civic Center. Following the sale of the Civic Center, and retired from teaching, Theriault began working for The Fortin Group. He graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, and recently completed his apprenticeship and became a Licensed Funeral Director. Theriault is active in area hockey, a member of the Knights of Columbus, attends Prince of Peace Parish, and enjoys golf, travel, and wine. He was recently inducted into the St. Dominic’s High School Hall of Fame for his athletic and academic achievements. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Auburn - On Thursday, October 19, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Dr. Tara Coste, will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Dr. Coste is a Leadership and Organizational Studies professor at the University of Southern Maine and teaches courses in communication, group dynamics, and research methods, among others. Her research focusses on deliberate creativity and innovation in multicultural, multinational environments, with a particular emphasis on work in larger corporate enterprises and communities in Africa and Asia. Most recently, she is concentrating her attention on how ancestral belief systems drive modern behavior and The Montagu Project, the development of a multi-decade global leadership lab in South Africa. This work aims to refine the training processes that enhance creativity in teams and to provide professionals tools that will allow them to enhance their global leadership abilities. She has published numerous articles and presented her work at venues around the world. She is a Colleague of the Creative Education Foundation, a Visiting Scholar at Singapore Management University’s Wee Kim Wee Centre for Cultural Studies, and Past-President of the American Creativity Association. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Auburn - On Thursday, October 26, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Village Inn, 165 High Street, Auburn, Marcel Gagne, will be the featured guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club. Gagne is a Business Ownership Conversion Specialist with the Cooperative Development Institute, a New England non-profit. CDI assists and supports a Cooperative Economy with locally grown food, affordable housing/ownership, and business ownership solutions to existing businesses into co-ops through employee and community buy-outs. Business Ownership Services can assist with succession planning strategies, and/or business expansion solutions. CDI can also help with financial, feasibility, market, and business planning. He also has an extensive background in workforce development and worked in community & economic development for a decade with a nationally known organization, CEI. He has a training background in customer service, interviewing skills, supervisory implementation & coaching, as well as being a qualified Myers-Brigs’ Type Indicator facilitator. He also has a certification as a Continuous Improvement Practitioner through Bend the Curve. He is heavily involved in the Institute for Continuous Improvement (ICI) at the Univ. of So. Maine Lewiston/Auburn College and is serving as a technical advisor in an undergraduate Certificate Program on LEAN & Process Improvement. Reservations are not required at the luncheon. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com. Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
This all started when the Town Manager, Diane Barnes’, with the help of Lydia Colston, Finance Director, conned the Town Council into amending the Fund Balance Policy on March 7, 2017. This reduced the requirement to maintain an Unassigned Fund Balance on hand from $2.85 million to $1.74 million. This freed up approximately $1.11 million of our tax dollars.
This left Mrs. Barnes and the Town Council with a problem of what to do with our tax dollars. It did not take them long to decide to spend these dollars on things like replacing two new cruisers; upgrade the unnecessary communication center; purchase a wheeler; a paint spreader; a new trailer and a salt shed just to name a few items. All of these items are going to add to the amount of money it takes to operate this town. You do realize the tax dollars are determined by the amount of money it takes to operate the town. With these additions our taxes will continue to rise to cover these costs. However, the purchase will be made by the Unassigned Fund Balance for this year but on the years out taxpayers will have to cover the maintenance and operating cost with more tax dollars.
Here is a concept that Mrs. Barnes and at least four of the Town Council do not want to hear. Since these funds are our tax dollars, why not use them to reduce the current operating cost of the town and reduce our taxes for a change. Can anyone remember a year when our taxes did not go up? It certainly has been a while. We know that Councilors Ward, Brunelle, Crafts and Albert are not interested in reducing the operating cost of the town because they had a chance to save the taxpayers $200,000.00 this year by closing the communication center and did not. Saving taxpayer money is a concept these individuals cannot handle. This is our tax dollars so why not use it where it will help the taxpayers the most.
Reducing the operating cost would reduce the requirement for more tax dollars. Mrs. Barnes and these members of the Town Council cannot figure out; that you have to reduce spending to reduce the operating cost of the town. Their answer to everything is to spend, spend spend.
YOU JUST CANNOT FIX STUPID!!!!
For years now, I have been telling the community that E. Ryan Leighton has no credentials but receiving a very large salary. It is amazing that the Town Manager, Mrs. Barnes, has not assisted Mr. Leighton in obtaining the necessary training. Everyone, including the Town Council, has let Mr. Leighton slide on everything.
This goes back to when he was impersonating an Engineer. The state had to step in and tell the town that he was not a qualified Licensed Professional Engineer. Then there was the Environmental Protection Agency fining the town for several problems and one of these was the sewer department did not have Standard Operating Procedures. This is a basic action all professionals know to do when taking over a new job.
If you have ever watched a Town Council meeting, you should have noticed that almost every time Mr. Leighton presents anything there are more items unknown than known. However, the Town Council allows him to slide almost every time. You would think that someone would try and educate Mr. Leighton so it would improve the quality of the process. Look and see how Request for Procurements (RFP) is processed without controversy.
If the town is going to keep employing Mr. Leighton, it is only fair that he receive training. It is Mrs. Barnes’ responsibility to ensure your town employees are qualified to perform their duties. She has been allowing this shoddy work to continue without getting Mr. Leighton assistance.
If you doubt anything I am saying go to the Town Council video for April 11, 2017 and start a 2 hours and 31 minutes and listen to the dialog pertaining to the Salt Shed. Play close attention to how many questions Mr. Leighton cannot answer without the help of the Town Council. He is asking for $250,000.00 based on a guess because Lewiston salt shed cost $200,000.00 several years ago. I am sure that we do not use as much salt as Lewiston; so our requirements would be different. Also, try to find out where Mr. Leighton plans on locating it; the size, or even the size of the current salt shed. There are so many unknowns so how can anyone make a sound decision. The video is 3 hours and 12 minutes and the Council has more unanswered questions then answered.
Shouldn’t we expect a Department Head to know everything about an item when they are presenting them?
It is amazing that the Town Manager and the Town Council are working extremely hard to increase the operating cost of the town. This is why our taxes continue to go up.
The Town Manager and the four members (Ward, Brunelle, Crafts and Albert) of the Town Council refuse to try and lower the operating cost of the town. These individuals are devising ways to increase spending instead of looking for ways to lower our taxes.
There are so many example of this it is not funny. The first example is the Lisbon Communication Center. These people had a chance to save every year approximately $200,000.00 tax dollars a YEAR and did not. Another example is we have a Department Head who has NO credentials. He also has NO managerial skills or common sense. I am talking about E. Ryan Leighton our Public Works Director and Superintendent of Sewer.
There are so many examples of how very incompetent he truly is but I will so in a three part explanation. The first one is his excessive spending and how the taxpayers are force to pay for his lack training.
Remember when he had to have a 4-ton Asphalt Reclaimer (Hot Box). So the taxpayers purchased the equipment so that the town could improve our roads. How is that worked out for us? Our roads are a total disaster including the access way at the Public Works Garage. I do not remember having these kinds of problems when Button Beale was in charge of Public Works.
Another example is the chipper we purchased. During the last Town Council meeting the Town Council voted to approve a contract for an outside company to come in and do the trimming and chipping. The reason give is the volume was too much for Public Works to do and Public Works did not have the manpower to do it themselves. Why did we purchase it if we did not have the manpower? The same as the “Hot Box” required a Class A license and Public Works does not have enough Class A licensed individuals to operate the Hot Box”.
These are just two pieces of equipment sitting in the Public Works garage area the taxpayers purchased that are not being utilized as needed because Mr. Leighton has no managerial skills.
Also, since the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, arrived she has been covering for him. She encourages him to purchase more equipment and supports him with the Council. Mrs. Barnes has absolutely no desire to make Mr. Leighton get training or stop him from wasting our tax dollars.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Lewiston - On Thursday, May 4, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Laura Keller, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Keller joined Nestle Waters North America (NWNA) in February 2015. Keller moved to Maine in March 2010 from Wilmington, Delaware and quickly found that Maine is her “true home”. In 2014 Keller was recruited to join the NWNA Poland Spring Factory as the Human Resource Manager. She supports the Poland and Kingfield Plant Locations, which also includes Natural Resources and the Northeast Logistic Department. Prior to her joining NWNA, Keller was the Regional HR Manager for the East Division for TruGreen. She had been with the company supporting the operations from Maine through Virginia. Laura was instrumental in strategic planning of the operations, inclusive of executing and developing mentoring programs to assist in development of talent internally. She was the Business Partner supporting two Divisional VPs, and 4 Regional VPs. Prior to TruGreen Lawncare, Keller had worked for several “Big Box” retail chains including Target, Sports Authority and Office Depot as a Regional HR Manager in the Mid-Atlantic, and East Coast. She has a proven record to achieve results through human capital. She is known for her ability to identify gaps in recruitment, training, and retention in organizations and work with senior leadership to build strong plans on closing those gaps. Laura has a BS from Pennsylvania State University in Labor and Industrial Relations. She holds a SPHR and SHRM-SCP certification, and is a member of both SHRM and HRASM. Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Lewiston – Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club Program Chair and 100th Anniversary Committee co-chair, Monica Millhime (pictured left), and Secretary, Morgan Thorndike, represented L-A Rotary at a President-Elect Training Conference in St. Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec. The three-day event addressed goals for Rotary International in 2017-2018. Workshops included procedures and recommendations for global and district grant applications, recruitment, engagement, membership retention, budgeting, community service projects and more. L-A Rotary’s President-Elect, Millhime, an Employment and Training Business Specialist for Western Maine Community Action at the Lewiston CareerCenter, will representing L-A Rotary Club by attending the District 7790 May Conference in Saguenay, Quebec. Thorndike is the Finance Manager- Maine Campuses at Kaplan University. L-A Rotary meets Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston. FMI on programs and community partnerships email email@example.com or call 753.9040. Visit at https://www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/ or http://www.lewistonauburnrotary.org
Lewiston – Members of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club, Charter 291-District 7790, are busy finalizing plans for the Club’s 100th Anniversary gala event scheduled for Saturday, April 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn. Reception and social hour are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A seated dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m. with entertainment at 9:00 p.m. Entrée selections include lobster stuffed haddock, filet mignon or stuffed chicken breast. Tickets are $50 each with an RSVP deadline of April 14. Committee members (pictured l-r) Monica Millhime, Sylvia Plourde, Tom MacDonald and Jan Barrett met recently to confirm venue specifications and menu items. FMI and tickets contact Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Photo courtesy of Brett Bisson.
The town of Lisbon is stealing tax dollars in the name of COLA. What is a “Cost-of-Living Adjustment – COLA? An adjustment made to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income to counteract the effects of inflation. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are generally equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) for a specific period. This definition can be found at http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cola.asp
The Town Manager is responsible for establishing the percentage of COLA which has been paid to town employees for the past five to six years. However, her recommendation to the Town Council is illegal until the Town Council approves the budget and then it becomes legal. There has not been a 2% increase in the consumer price index in longer than six years. Also, instead of the adjustment being paid to wage earners and clerical workers; it is being paid to management too. It is also in the Town Manager’s contract that she gets any increase paid.
So now let’s take a look at Mrs. Barnes decision to pay COLA to ALL employees. Under the Federal system, the consumer price index is utilized to determine the percentage based on inflation. These past six years, there has been NO increase in inflation so why are the town employees being paid COLA. What can be the measuring device used to justify the payment of COLA?
1. Must be a town employee.
2. Must be breathing or at least have a pulse.
There is absolute no other justification for a COLA increase every year. So let’s look at the impact: an employee being paid $30,000.00 after five years of 2% COLA is now $33,123.42 and an employee being paid $90,000.00 after five years of 2% COLA is now $99,367.27. Remember, these are our tax dollars being spent by the Town Manager and our Town Council. So what is the town getting in return, nothing? Employees are being paid a salary to do their jobs; so what are these tax dollars being paid for with no inflation?
The Town Manager uses a lot of terms to confuse the Town Council. I will explain what I am talking about. The term “Undesignated Fund” is now “Unassigned Fund Balance”; “COLA” is being used instead of “wage increase” and in the Town’s Annual Report the Town Salary Report reports the “Salary” which is far from the truth. The “Salary” in the Annual Report is the amount paid to that individual during the year. This includes overtime and any additional payments so it is NOT a salary. This tactic is how the Town Manager keeps everyone confused. There are so many terms used in our town that has other title in other areas but they are the same. This is how the Town Manager gets things by the Town Council.
I love our employees and think they work hard for us for the most part but paying COLA for doing their job and being compensated very well. They also receive longevity pay also.
I think if you are receiving our tax dollars, the town should receive something in return. The Town Council should never have approved COLA for the past five or six years and they should not approve it now. To take tax dollars with no return is stealing.
Call your Councilors and voice your concerns because it is your tax dollars. You should have a right to voice how you want to spend it.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Are Larry Fillmore and Joe Hill the only ones' concerned about what is going on with the Town Office and the 2017 budget?
If all goes at Town Manager Diane Barnes and the Town Council plan, town expenses will increase by 19.2%! ! ! ! ! !
THIS 19.2 % INCREASE DOES NOT EVEN INCLUDE THE SCHOOL BUDGET! ! !
How many of you out there received a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase in your paycheck this year?
The U S Government did not think the Cost of Living increased this year so Social Security recipients did not get any.
Evidently the Town Manager and Town Council do not agree, so all town employees are set to be receiving one.
Most deserve it, but at what cost to homeowners that did not get one?
If Mrs Barnes and the Town Council deem it necessary that town employees receive a COLA they need to make serious cuts in the town budget elsewhere.
As Joe Hill said recently, with a 19.2 % budget increase, the town is "HEADED FOR BANKRUPCY".
Any wonder that the Town Council and Management do not want the citizens to vote on the town budget as we do on the school budget?
My fellow Citizens and taxpayers, attend town council meetings and budget workshops.
If you cannot attend, watch them on TV.
Meetings are aired on Channel 7 at 7 p.m. on the Fridays after each meeting.
Submitted By: Dot Fritzgerald
Lewiston - On Thursday, April 27, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Jenny Cowie, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Cowie graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2009. Having children delayed completion by several years. Jenny has been a part of St. Mary’s since 2001. Currently she is the Manager of Volunteer and Interpreter Services. Jenny is the chairperson for the St. Mary’s Commit to Get Fit Challenge, May 6, 2017, which will be the fourth annual event.. Jenny is pleased to be the featured guest speaker of the Lewiston Auburn Rotary on Thursday, April 27. Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com.
Lewiston - On Thursday, May 11, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Juliana L’Heurex, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. On May 23, 2017 the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC) on Westminister Street in Lewiston is hosting an exhibit and community presentation to highlight the contributions of veterans to our nation's wars and military campaigns. Juliana L'Heureux is an FAC Board member and chair of the May 23, veterans exhibit and program. She has written about Franco-Americans for 30 years through newspaper articles and published essays. Her on line blog on the Bangor Daily News website is titled "Franco-American News and Culture". She served on the Franco-American Task Force appointed by the Maine Legislature and was recognized in the Franco-American Hall of Fame. As a member of the Rotary Club of Portland and a Rotarian since 1998, she enjoys speaking to our colleagues about "Service Above Self" and supporting our role as Community Service leaders. A keynote presenter at the May 23 program is Colonel Donald Dubay, USA-Ret, a native of Lewiston who grew up in Auburn, now living with his family in North Carolina. Colonel Dubay will be the guest on May 23, to speak about his diplomatic career in the Middle East. Mrs. L'Heureux is a resident of Topsham. Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.