Can anyone tell me what has to be done for Councilor Bowie to comply with the Town Council Working rules; Town Charter and the Town Ethics Panel? Going all the way back to September 2008, Bowie has been violating the conflict of interest section of the Town Charter. Bowie violated the same conflict of interest portion of the Town Charter in June 2009 and was sanctioned by the Town Ethics Panel. Now, September 27, 2011 at the last Town Council Workshop, Bowie again violated the same conflict of interest rule of the charter and the Town Ethics Panel's ruling.
At the workshop, Bowie explained to the council he had been attending meetings of the Lewiston/Auburn 911 Communications Consolidation Project for the Town of Lisbon. Mrs. Bowie is a substitute dispatcher and is a dispatch trainer according to her job description. Bowie was ranting and raving about how the council needs to reject this project. Since the project has a direct impact on his wife’s employment, there certainly is a conflict of interest.
Bowie is a strong advocate for the Police Department maintaining their inflated and extremely high budget. Bowie is trying desperately to keep the Police Department the highest budget in the town. Bowie wants to protect Chief Brook’s budget in order to keep his wife employed. This is a prime example of the “good old boys” protecting one of their own.
Bowie interrupted Mrs. Fitzgerald at the last workshop after the Chair had recognized her. This is a violation of Vice-Chair Pomelow’s council working rules on decorum. Bowie had no right to override Chairman Lunt’s decision to allow Mrs. Fitzgerald to contribute to the discussion or to interrupt Mrs. Fitzgerald once she had the floor.
How is it Bowie can disregard the council working rules, town charter and the ethics panel and the Chair? There are several possibilities: (1) Bowie feels he is above these rules; (2) Bowie is so sure the rest of the council will do nothing to stop him; (3) Bowie realizes it would take two Priests, a Nun, a Rabbi and the Pope to get enough votes to recall him since you need 30% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. This has already been tried and failed; not because the voters who came out did not vote to recall him but because there was not 30% turnout. This is the problem with the charter. There is absolutely no way anyone can be recalled because the 30% is unrealistic and can never be obtained.
The only way a councilor can be removed by the council is with six (6) votes and because Bowie is the puppet master; this will never happen. I have sent a letter to the Ethics Panel and will go to the town office and take out a petition to have this conflict of interest brought before the town’s Ethics Panel. I will be in front of Rite Aid on Monday and at the Transfer Station on Tuesday until I get the 25 necessary signatures. Citizens of Lisbon; please come out and support this petition.
Larry A. Fillmore