Friday, August 17, 2018
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
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 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
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
Monday, August 6, 2018
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?
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
$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.
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:
2017 None (Which I do not believe)
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.
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
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.
Monday, July 9, 2018
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.
the perimeter of the garden.
called the PW director and left a message, thanking him.
the solar lights, and, with the help of his son, put the them around
the perimeter of the garden.
lesson for his son.
He is my hero!
Bruce Poliquin – Republican
Angus King – Independent
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Route 196 Town Public Flower Garden.
perimeter of the garden, hopefully to prevent vehicles from crashing through it,
damaging shrubs, flowers, and the Worumbo Mill Wheels, again.
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.
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.
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
with only 3 or 4 still in the perimeter, the rest, missing.
because someone misses the curve and ploughs into the garden?
as a reminder of the our heritage.
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
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.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Thursday, June 14, 2018
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.
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
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.
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.
Perhaps it is time to stop wasting money on someone not available to render assistance, when it is needed.
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?