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Showing posts with label Finance Committee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Finance Committee. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lisbon's Former 'Special' Appointed Finance Committee Members Were Nothing More Than Brooks' Brown Nosers


Monday, March 23, 2015

Tonight's Scheduled Finance Committee Meeting Has Once Again Been Cancelled



They keep waiting and postponing  pretty soon budget season will be all over and the advisory in nature only financial advisers will have nothing to do!!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

So What Is The 'Holdup" Of The Town Council Appointing Finance Committee Members, Finances or ???


Why is the Town Council taking so long to approve appointments to the finance committee? by Joe Hill

Several years ago Lisbon gave up its elected "Budget Advisory Board" and formed a Council appointed "Finance Committee". 
At the time Councilors said the new Councilor appointed committee would better serve Lisbon's needs. This change was controversial because it came on the heels of a rather contentious budget season where the Councilors refused to take the advice of the elected Budget Advisory Board.

The last few years have seen this new committee's slots fill mostly with X Councilors that usually agree with the Council's budget ideas. 

A few weeks ago Community Activist " Larry Fillmore" was appointed to one of the vacant slots on this committee and shortly after his appointment two other civic minded people applied for positions on the committee.  These appointments, if made, will dramatically change the political makeup of the Finance Committee. 

Usually approving appointments to any committee is a formality that is routinely done at the Councils earliest opportunity, but this time I sense hesitation on the Council's part  to approve these qualified applicants.  I do not see any appointments scheduled for tonight's Council Meeting.  Could the Councilors be delaying approval in an effort to minimize opposition to their budget cut choices. I hope this isn't the case.

Call your Councilors and let them know you want these appointments approved tonight so the Finance Committee can start its work.

Respectfully
Joe Hill---LisbonMaine.Netla


    

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Recap Finance Committee Meeting


RECAP FINANCE COMMITTEE MEEETING – JANUARY 12TH 

Last night, the Finance Committee met to review the town and school’s financial situation.  According to the Town Manager, there are no problems and payments are on time for the year. 

Under the School Financials, Mr. Green asked to discuss the School’s Capital Reserve Fund and what this fund could be used for.  Mr. Green has several projects he would like approval to use these funds on.  They are:  (1) Upgrading wireless network at Lisbon Community School; (2) Upgrading district radio equipment; (3) Installing fuel pump security system; (4) paying finance legal fees.  This discussion lasted close to an hour with little decided.  Mr. Michael Bowie stated that he thought there needs to be a policy statement to support what these funds can be used for and each project should have its own line number.  Mrs. Norma Wells agreed in part with Mr. Bowie but thought the school could use these funds for these projects with the exception of paying finance legal fees.  The majority of the committee agreed with both Mrs. Wells and Mr. Bowie that paying legal fees should not be part of the Capital Reserve Fund. 

In the end, Mr. Green was to look up the state statue on Capital Reserve Funds to ensure the School Department is using these funds properly.  The entire committee agreed that Mr. Green’s plan was good and would save the taxpayers tax dollars.  They just wanted to ensure the School was using the Capital Reserve Fund properly.

 

Larry Fillmore

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Are You Kidding Me?‏



ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

Several years ago, the Town Council did a change to the Town Charter.  This change involved renaming the Budget Advisory Board/Committee to the Finance Committee.  With this change, the members were no longer elected by the people; instead appointed by the Town Council.  This was to ensure whatever Town Council budget proposal was brought forward they would get the approval of the Finance Committee.  Also to protect the Police Department budget, all but two members of the Finance Committee are former Councilors.



Mrs. Morgan-Alexander was the Chairman and Mrs. Norma Wells was the Secretary.  According to the town web site, there were no meetings held in 2013 because there are no agendas recorded.  However, there are only one set of minutes dated April 29, 2013 posted on the Town web site.  It would seem as though the Finance Committee did not want the taxpayers to know what they were doing.  

Where is the transparency in local government when you cannot depend on those appointed to do their jobs?   

Mrs. Wells took the notes for the meetings as Secretary and as Chairman, was Mrs. Morgan-Alexander to ensure it was posted to the town web site for the people to review.



However, in 2014 it got a little better.  There are eight (8) meeting agendas recorded and three minutes posted.  The latest minutes of the Finance Committee posted is for the meeting held on November 10, 2014.  The Finance Committee has NOT approved these minutes but they are posted anyway.  Apparently, the Finance Committee has a new Chairman in Mr. Fern LaRochelle and a new Secretary in Mrs. Jessica Maloy so the future looks a little brighter.



However all the meetings in 2013, and several in 2014, while Mrs. Wells was Secretary are lost forever?  These agendas and minutes, that are missing, reflect the values of the Finance Committee and the competency of its officers.   

Who is the biggest loser in this situation?  Naturally, the people will suffer the most because no one will ever know what took place at these meetings or will they?



Chairman LaRochelle has a true challenge on his hands to ensure the people of Lisbon are kept informed on the actions of the Finance Committee by making sure the agendas and minutes are posted in a timely manner to the Town web site.



Larry Fillmore   

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finance Committee of the Lack there of‏



FINANCE COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP OR THE LACK OF!!!

During the last Town Council Workshop, there were several members of the Finance Committee on hand.  During the discussion about the direction for the Finance Committee was to take, it came out that the minutes for the Finance Committee meetings were not being posted on the town web site with the exception of April 29, 2013 and February 10, 2014.  It also came out that there was a lot of chaos at these meetings.



The town website has been setup for the Finance Committee to post both their agendas and minutes.  In fact, under the agendas there are five (5) agendas posted.  They are March 10, 2014; March 31, 2014; April 14, 2014; April 28, 2014 and finally May 12, 2014.



Since Mrs. Norma Wells is responsible for recording the minutes and Mrs. Miriam Morgan-Alexander is the Chairman, one of these two individuals should be charged with posting both the agendas and the minutes to the meetings on the town web site.  However, it is the Chairman’s responsibility to ensure these items are posted to the town web site in a timely manner.  It is called leadership.  



The Chairman of the Finance Committee is Miriam Morgan-Alexander who claims to be an ex-Navy Captain.   The Navy does not promote their officers unless they possess great leadership skills.  After listening to the members of the Finance Committee and others who have attended these meetings, it is very apparent Mrs. Morgan-Alexander does not have any leadership skills.  Also, if you every notice her saluting the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, she does not know how to render a military hand salute.  These two military traits bring into question Mrs. Morgan-Alexander’s credentials as an ex-Navy Captain?



In my opinion, there is only one member of the Finance Committee who truly belongs on this critical committee and that is Chris Rugullies.  The other members have no business on the Finance Committee because these former councilors created the financial situation the town is in and they are there to protect themselves and the Police Department Budget.



Larry Fillmore

The Rational Behind the Finance Committee‏



THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE FINANCE COMMITTEE

At the last Town Council workshop, Mr. Fern LaRochelle shared with the group the rationale behind the formation of the Finance Committee.  According to Mr. LaRochelle it was on the recommendation of the Auditors.  However, this is not exactly what the Auditors recommended.  The Auditors noted the lack of any checks and balances; the lack of accountability and finally everyone was doing whatever they pleased.  The Auditors never gave instructions to form the Finance Committee.



In order to correct these deficiencies, the Town Council (Chairman Michael Bowie; Lori Pomelow and Fern LaRochelle) decided to disband the Budget Advisory Board and form the Finance Committee.  This required a Charter change and approval by the people during the November election.  By the way, each of these former councilors is now current members of the Finance Committee.   Each member of the Finance Committee was appointed by the Town Council and not elected by the people as was the case with the Budget Advisory Board.



The Budget Advisory Board was replaced by the Finance Committee instead of updating the mission of the Budget Advisory Board to include establishing checks and balances in order to provide more accountability.  The Budget Advisory Board had for the last two years of its existence voted NOT to support the proposed municipal budget.  These were honest citizens whose only purpose was to look out for the best interest of the community. 



This, the Town Council could not stand because it meant losing control of them doing whatever they pleased.  In order to prevent losing control, the Town Council dissolved the Budget Advisory Board and formed the Finance Committee and loaded it with former councilors.  This way they can continue their questionable behavior without anyone interfering with them.  This is the very reason this town is in the financial situation it is and clearly explains how these same councilors spent over two (2) million ($2,000,000.00) dollars of our Undesignated Fund without anyone knowing.  The former Town Councilors did not want anyone looking into their past procedures.



This explains why the Budget Advisory Board was eliminated instead of updating their mission to include establishing checks and balances in order to provide more accountability.  It also explains why the Finance Committee is loaded with former councilors. 



Larry Fillmore

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Come one Come all to the Lisbon Comedy Show‏



COME ONE, COME ALL TO THE LISBON COMEDY SHOW




Come one, come all and marvel as the Town Council goes through the motions of a workshop for the purpose of establishing the direction for the Finance Committee.  This waste of time will be held Tuesday August 26, 2014 at the town office at 07:00 PM



The history of the Finance Committee speaks for itself.  This committee is chaired by Miriam Morgan-Alexander; who does not pay real estate taxes in Lisbon.  The remaining committee members are ex-councilors with the exception of Christopher Rugullies.  The ex-councilors are Norma Wells, Charlie Smith, Lori Pomelow, Fern LaRochelle and Michael Bowie.  These five former councilors are the very reason this community is in the financial situation it is today.  Who better to create more problems for the town than the very people who created the situation in the first place!  It is like having the fox guard the hen house.



Last year during budget season, the town council asked the Chair for a recommendation on the proposed budget and the Chair stated that the committee was unprepared to provide a recommendation.  What exactly had they been doing all this time?  Finally, the Finance Committee supported the proposed budget.  The proposed budget increased the Police Department by over $78,000.00.  This increased the cost of the Police Department to over $1,300,000.00 for the coming year.  This community has over a million dollar police force.  This was after several citizens showed numerous areas where cuts to the Police Department could be made.  All of the Finance Committee members were appointed by Town Council and not elected by the people.  This was done, in my opinion to protect the police budget.  These former councilors have been protecting the police budget for years and are very comfortable covering up excessive spending by Chief Brooks.  This was very apparent during the vote on this years proposed budget.  There were no cuts made to the Police Department even when Councilor Lunt and Councilor Pesce made suggestions which were ignored by Chairwoman Ward.  Councilor Pesce was the only Councilor to vote against the budget.



There is no need for three secretaries, two detectives and nine vehicles in the Police Department.  Two secretaries are part-time and one is a full time Administrative Assistant who receives $10,000.00 more than any other Administrative Assistant.  A community of this size does not need two detectives. Also, two vehicles sit at the schools all day long.  The rationale behind these vehicles sitting idle all day is in case of an emergency.  Can anyone remember when Lisbon suffered an emergency that required calling these officers out of the schools?



Now let’s look at a Communication Center that cost the taxpayers close to $300,000.00 tax dollars a year plus the cost of the equipment.  This Communication Center is not even a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) which means absolutely no 911 calls come directly to the Communication Center.  All 911 calls come into the Androscoggin County Dispatch and are then relayed to our Communication Center.  This means that Chief Brooks is putting each and every one of us at risk because it takes time to relay information before first responders can be dispatched.  This precious time may mean the difference between life and death.  Are you willing to take that chance?



The Finance Committee and the Town Council are making it very difficult for our new Town Manager to make necessary changes to get Lisbon back on the right track.



Larry Fillmore

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.



Larry Fillmore

Editor's Note: This may take some thinking, but it is YOUR reality.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Recap Town Council Workshop Special Town Council meeting July 22nd, 2014


RECAP TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP   & SPECIAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
JULY 22, 2014

At last night’s Town Council Workshop there was little discussion about the budget.  There was a lecture by Chairwoman Ward about how much work the Finance Committee and others had put into the proposed budget.  The Town Manager cut $6,035.00 out of the Professional Development budget of the General Government.  Other than that, the Municipal Budget was penny for penny the same as the previously failed budget.

Councilor Bickford said that he felt it was an injustice to have any bonds on the June ballot and wanted an Ordinance prepared to limit bond issues to the November ballot.  The Workshop was adjourned without the people having an opportunity to speak which is normally done at the end of the Workshop.

Next, the Special Town Council meeting began with Council Orders, Resolutions & Ordinances.  The Municipal Budget passed by a vote of 5-1 with Councilor Pesce voting NO.  The Economic Development Budget passed by a vote of 6-0.  The Catering permit for Hi Style Catering was passed by a vote of 6-0.   And finally, the Community Planning Agreement for Professional Services was passed by a vote of 6-0.



Councilor Metivier was not present and excused.

There was no one to speak during Other Business or Audience Participation & Response.

The meeting was adjourned.

Larry Fillmore

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Difference Between A Budget Advisory Board And A Finance Committee in Lisbon, Explained!



BUDGET ADVISORY BOARD VERSUS FINANCE COMMITTEE

A couple of years ago, this town had a Budget Advisory Board elected by the people.  Being elected, these individuals were completely separate from the Town Council and could provide the Town Council with an objective review of the budget.  However, this Budget Advisory Board, for its last two years, did not support the Town Council’s Municipal Budget.  As a result of the Budget Advisory Board NOT recommending approval of the Municipal Budget they were replaced with the Finance Committee.



This Finance Committee was not elected by the people but appointed by the Town Council thus eliminating any objective review of the budget.  In order to ensure the Finance Committee always supported the Town Council’s Municipal Budget the Council loaded the seven members with five (5) previous councilors.
 

This has worked out well for the Town Council but has hurt taxpayers because there is no one to look out for them.  There is no separation between the Town Council and the budget process because the majority of the Finance Committee members are former councilors. 



In this year’s budget, the Finance Committee recommended a total of $65,650.00 tax dollars be spent on Professional Services.  This is in addition to Professional Development.  The Town Engineer alone will receive $53,600.00 tax dollars in Professional Services.  Look below for their recommended cuts:



INSURANCE - $25,000.00

ASSESSING - $22,000.00

FINANCE - $14,590.00

TAX COLLECTOR - $16,200.00

TOWN CLERK – $9,489.00

PUBLIC WORKS - $58,400.00

PARKS - $600.00

POLICE DEPARTMENT - $0.00



The Police Department has a $1,300,000.00 plus budget.  That’s right over $1.3 MILLION of our tax dollars and the Finance Committee could find no areas to cut.  I do not need to continue to repeat some of the areas I found with just a quick glance.  These former councilors have dedicated their time on the council protecting Chief Brooks' budget for numerous years and now they continue to do it.



It is imperative for this community to survive that there be a group of individuals, completely separate from the Town Council to ensure there is a check and balance system in place to protect the taxpayers.  This is NOT present at this time.



The Town Council needs to take action to reinstate the Budget Advisory Board ELECTED by the people.



Larry Fillmore

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Travesty Of Justice For Lisbon Taxpayers Plays Out Once Again This Year



A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE


Council Chair Lisa Ward


The Town Council met last Tuesday for a Workshop to find ways to reduce the tax burden on the people of Lisbon.  However, the Council’s efforts are being blocked by the Chairwoman Lisa Ward, who by the way pays NO Real Estate Taxes in this town.  Councilor Lunt suggested at the last council meeting to NOT replace any police vehicles this year.  Chair Ward passed the suggestion by without taking any action on it.  Chairwoman Ward’s primary mission is to approve the police budget without any cuts.



Roger Cote, during Tuesday’s workshop, asked why the department that costs the taxpayers the most was not asked to cut spending.  In fact, the Finance Committee did not recommend any cuts in the police budget.  Once again, the Chairwoman of the Finance Committee does not pay Real Estate taxes in this town.   



Finance Committee Chair Miriam Morgan-Alexander

Also, five of the committee members are former town councilors who for years supported Chief Brooks’ budget year in and year out.  Chairwoman Ward tried her best to cut Mr. Cote off during the workshop but Roger Cote held his ground wanting an answer which never came.  Instead, Chairwoman Ward order Mr. Cote to leave the workshop, never having to provide an answer to his question.

 Lisbon Chief of Police David T. Brooks



It is obvious that the police department could cut a minimum of $100,000.00 out of their budget with no impact.  Chairwoman Ward during the workshop asked Department Heads to try and help reduce their budget and Chief Brooks sat there like a bump on a log.  Chief Brooks has one full time Administrative Assistant, and two part-time secretaries; he also has two Detectives and has included over a 5% increase in pay for Dispatchers.  Chief Brooks wants to replace three vehicles this year; one had a new engine put in last year and does not need to be replaced and the other ones can wait a year.  There is no way Chief Brooks will allow any reduction in his police budget because he is not and has never been a team player.  He does not care about how much the taxes go up in Lisbon as long as he can retain his empire.



It was spot on when our four real councilors voted down the municipal budget but unfortunately I do not believe that they can make changes as long as Chairwoman Ward refused to listen to their recommendations.  Chair Ward has recommended approving the current budget, with no cuts to the police budget for this year and then the council will work on next year’s budget.  This is all well and good but it is the same every year and the police budget continues to grow and nothing is done about it and our taxes continue to rise every year.  Our four real councilors have the right idea.  The people have suffered enough and this is the year to put a stop to it.  I urge the council NOT to pass the budget until $100,000.00 dollars is cut in the police department’s budget.



A Public Office is a Public Trust!  Stick to your guns.



Larry Fillmore

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Council Agendas & Packet‏ For July 1, 2014

TO VIEW THE INFORMATION IN THE PACKET PLEASE CLICK HERE.(Then you can click on each highlighted element of the item in question and read more about the pertinent information, however, it did not work when we tried it. Good Luck)
Attached Document or FileCURRENT TUESDAY AGENDA  - Link to attachments are provided within this document. New agendas posted after 7PM on the Friday before the Council Meeting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AGENDA
TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014
LISBON TOWN OFFICE
6:30 - 7:15 P. M.


1. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO FEE SCHEDULE
2. ADJOURN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                       AGENDA
                                                         TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
                                                            TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014
                                                            LISBON TOWN OFFICE
                                                                         7:15 P.M.

1. CALL TO ORDER & PLEDGE TO FLAG

2. ROLL CALL
___Councilor Bickford
___ Councilor Brunelle
___ Councilor Garrison
___ Councilor Lunt
___Councilor Metivier
___ Councilor Pesce
___ Councilor Ward

Town Clerk reading of meeting rules

Town Manager's Oath of Office: Diane Barnes

3. GOOD NEWS & RECOGNITION

A. Lisbon Emergency Recognition of Sergeant Stewart & Officer McGee

4. PUBLIC HEARINGS

A. Renewal Special Entertainment Permit - Eileen Knight d/b/a Friends Lodge

B. Amendments to Fee Schedule

5. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION FOR AGENDA ITEMS

6. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION RESPONSE

7. CONSENT AGENDA

2014-114 ORDER − A. Renewal Liquor & Special Entertainment Permit - Eileen Knight d/b/a Friends Lodge

B. Minutes of June 24, 2014

8. COUNCIL ORDERS, RESOLUTIONS, & ORDINANCES

2014-115 ORDER− Amendment to Part II Town Council Rules, Regulations, and Policies Sec. 86-42

2014-116 ORDER − Name cemetery located on map R8 lot 9

2014-117 ORDER − Street closures for Moxie Festival

2014-118 ORDINANCES − Amendments to Fee Schedule

2014-119 ORDER − Ballots for Election to MMA's Legislative Policy Committee

2014-120 ORDER − To move forward with energy service contract

2014-121 ORDER − Striping Bids

9. OTHER BUSINESS

A. GPS Program for Alzheimer's patients and lost or stolen bicycles

10. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION NEW ITEMS

11. COUNCIL RESPONSE TO NEW ITEMS

12. APPOINTMENTS

2014-122 ORDER − Finance Committee Renewal (1) Term expiring June 30, 2017

2014-123 ORDER − Appoint Town Manager as the AVCOG General Assembly Representative

2014-124 ORDER − Appoint Town Manager as the AVCOG/ATRC Policy Committee Regular Member

13. COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS

14. EXECUTIVE SESSION

15. ADJOURNMENT

2014-125 ORDER − To Adjourn

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lisbon Lack Of Leadership: Tested and Proved to be a Mistake‏

TESTED AND PROVED TO BE A MISTAKE

At the last Town Council meeting, the School Department presented the 2014-2015 School Budget Warrant Articles.  This included 18 articles and the first 11 were consolidated and voted on.  Articles 12 through 18 were voted on one at a time.  The Finance Committee was required to provide a recommendation for each of these articles but failed to do so for the second year.  However, the Finance Committee did make a recommendation on just one article.

Miriam Morgan-Alexander

Vice Chair Dillon Pesce asked Finance Committee Chairwoman Miriam Morgan-Alexander why there was no recommendation from the Finance Committee.  Chairman Morgan-Alexander stated she could not get the Finance Committee to provide a recommendation.

According to Mrs. Morgan-Alexander, she was in the Navy as a Captain.  Having spent 40 years in the military, I can say that the military stresses leadership in its officers and that the mission comes first.  If Mrs. Morgan-Alexander was in the military, she should have been able to control and supervise the Finance Committee.  This lack of leadership brings into question exactly what Mrs. Morgan-Alexander’s experience really is.

We did not have this problem when we had the Budget Advisory Board elected by the people.  If you remember, Chairwoman Ward defended the appointing of former councilors to the Finance Committee because the former councilors were familiar with the budget process.  Michael Bowie, Lori Pomelow, Charlie Smith, Norma Wells and Fern LaRochelle are the former councilors and should have known that they were required to make a recommendation on each of the articles presented by the School Department.  This is the SECOND year they did not provide a recommendation.

Apparently, this Finance Committee is not working as planned and lacks leadership or motivation to accomplish their mission.  The former council that dreamed up this Finance Committee is now serving on this committee.  The former council was tired of the Budget Advisory Board not supporting the Municipal Budget as presented by the council.  If you do not get the answer you want, change the process so you will always get the answer you want to hear.

This Finance Committee is a failure and the council needs to rethink the situation and bring back the Budget Advisory Board elected by the people.

 
Larry Fillmore

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recap Town Council Meeting - May 20th, 2014

  

RECAP TOWN COUNCIL MEETING – MAY 20TH

At last night’s Town Council meeting, the following issues were discussed.  Vice-Chair Dillon Pesce was in charge and did his usual outstanding job.  The actual meeting lasted just about a hour.  There was no hemming or hawing, it was straight business.

Under Good News & Recognition – The Lisbon Emergency Recognition of Sergeant Stewart and Officer McGee was moved to another meeting.  This is the second time this has been rescheduled.

Under Public Hearings – No one spoke for the changes to the Finance Committee Ordinance.

Under Council Orders, Resolutions & Ordinances – The following items passed 6-0 because Chairman Ward was not present:  Dispatch Agreement with Lisbon Emergency; Garden Request – Faye Brown Letter and Amendment to Finance Committee Ordinance.  The Nomination to MMA’s Legislative Policy Committee was Councilor Mark Lunt and this nomination was approved by the council by a 6-0 vote.  The 2014 Spirit of America Tribute was awarded to the Moxie Festival Committee by a vote of 6-0.  Finally, The 2014-2015 School Budget Warrant Articles, all 18 articles, were approved by the council by a vote of 6-0.

Under Other Business – The Unitil Paving Proposal was tabled because of a lack of necessary information.

Under Audience Participation New Items – Mrs. Fitzgerald brought up the fact that the Swift Demolition (Knight-Celetex) area is a bad way to welcome people to our town.  The project, which was to take a year to complete, is now going on four years and is still not completed.  The cleanup of this area needs to be accelerated by the town and Swift Demolition needs to be provided yet another deadline and made to keep it or be fined.

Thanks to all the Councilors for moving the meeting along and not waste a lot of time.

 Larry Fillmore

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lisbon Town Council Agendas For May 19th and 20th, 2014

AGENDA
SPECIAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014
LISBON TOWN OFFICE
5:30 P.M.


1. CALL TO ORDER
 
2. ROLL CALL
 
___Councilor Bickford
___ Councilor Brunelle
___ Councilor Garrison
___ Councilor Lunt
___Councilor Metivier
___ Councilor Pesce
___ Councilor Ward

3. EXECUTIVE SESSION

2014-73 ORDER − 1 MRSA § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matters - Town Manager Search
 
4. ADJOURNMENT
 
2014-74 ORDER − To Adjourn


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AGENDA
TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014
LISBON TOWN OFFICE
7:00 P.M.
1. CALL TO ORDER & PLEDGE TO FLAG
 
2. ROLL CALL
 
___Councilor Bickford
___ Councilor Brunelle
___ Councilor Garrison
___ Councilor Lunt
___Councilor Metivier
___ Councilor Pesce
___ Councilor Ward
 
Town Clerk reading of meeting rules
 
3. EXECUTIVE SESSION
 
2014-75 ORDER − 1 MRSA § 405 (6) (D) Contract negotiations
 
4. GOOD NEWS & RECOGNITION
 
A. Lisbon Emergency Recognition of Sergeant Stewart & Officer McGee
 
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS
 
A. Amendments to the Finance Committee Ordinance
 
6. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION FOR AGENDA ITEMS
 
7. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION RESPONSE
 
8. CONSENT AGENDA
 
2014-76 ORDER − A. Minutes of May 6, 12, & 13, 2014
 
B. Renewal Victualer's Licenses
 
C. Pole Permit - Potter Rd.
 
9. COUNCIL ORDERS, RESOLUTIONS, & ORDINANCES
 
2014-77 ORDER − Dispatch Agreement with Lisbon Emergency
 
2014-78 ORDER − Garden Request - Faye Brown Letter
 
2014-79 ORDER − Nominations to MMA's Legislative Policy Committee
 
2014-80 RESOLUTION − 2014 Spirit of America Tribute
 
2014-81 ORDINANCE − Amendment to Finance Committee Ordinance (2nd Reading)
 
10. OTHER BUSINESS
 
A. Unitil Paving Proposal
 
11. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION NEW ITEMS
 
12. COUNCIL RESPONSE TO NEW ITEMS
 
13. APPOINTMENTS
 
2014-82 ORDER − Removal of Appeals Board member for non-residence
 
2014-83 ORDER − Appointment of New Town Manager
 
2014-84 ORDER − Appointment of Tax Collector
 
14. COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS
 
15. ADJOURNMENT
 
2014-85 ORDER − To Adjourn

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lisbon Finance Committee's Culture of Corruption Explained!!!



MORE PERTINENT INFORMATION!!




It is critical that someone take the time to look into how our tax dollars are being spent and why our taxes go up every year.  It is a sure bet that the Finance Committee will never find any of these abnormalities within the town because they are the ones that created them when they were councilors.



According to the 2012-2013 Annual Report, there are 227 residents who owe past taxes on Real Estate (Pages 30 – 33) and 60 businesses that owe past Personal Property (Page 34).  The total for Real Estate taxes is $398,125.83 and the total for Personal Property tax is $96,921.19.   This is a considerable amount of money and a clear indication of the economy, or is it?



I am struggling with the fact that on the Personal Property tax side the majority of unpaid taxes are possible members of the “Good Old Boy” network and have not paid their taxes for years without any repercussions.  I say this because there are some prominent businesses on this list.



I understand that the yearly raising of taxes has put a burden on many residents who are on a fixed income.  However, it is only fair that everyone pay their fair share of taxes.  Under the new management of the town and with the cooperation of the current Town Council, I am sure that arrangements can be made to collect these back taxes in smaller amounts.



Remember, former Chairman LaRochelle whose company owed back taxes due to a mistake supposedly made by the town but never recognized by LaRochelle Properties, Inc for over twelve (12) years.  Chairman LaRochelle only paid the back taxes and none of the Interest and Penalties owed to the town.  Rest assured, if you owe back taxes, the town will force you and I to pay both Interest and Penalties.



Our Undesignated Fund has been robbed by excessive and frivolous spending by members of our former Town Council, Chief Brooks and Stephen Eldridge to the tune of over $2,000,000.00 of our tax dollars.   These funds the people will never be able to recover, however, it is imperative that the current Town Council and the Interim Town Manager put an immediate stop to it and I believe they are doing just that.



People have said in the past that my reporting of discrepancies and abnormalities has hurt the town.  My only concern is to identify the problems and bring them to the attention of both the people and management.  It is the responsibility of the Town Council and the Interim Town Manager to correct these situations.



Who else will do the investigative research; the Finance Committee?



Larry Fillmore

What Good Is The Finance Committee Other Than To Support The Police Budget?

THE ROOT OF OUR PROBLEM AS I SEE IT!!!!

Several years ago, Mike Bowie recommended that the town do away with the elected Budget Advisory Committee.  This was presented as a Charter change to the people and the people bought into it.  This was done because the Elected Budget Advisory Committee had recommended NOT to accept the proposed Municipal budget.

Instead, the Town Council formed an appointed Finance Committee with the majority of the Committee members being former Councilors.  Chairwoman Ward said at a council meeting that the reason the council did this was because these former councilors understood the municipal budget.  This is a very accurate statement because for the past six years they have been doing nothing more than protecting the Police budget at any cost.  These former councilors raided our Undesignated Fund until it is below the Charter recommended level.

These former councilors are the real reason that the town is in the financial disaster it is in. These councilors Mike Bowie, Lori Pomelow, Charlie Smith, Fern LaRochelle and Norma Wells are responsible for depleting the Undesignated Fund from three (3) million dollars to just barely over one (1) million dollars.  These funds did not go into our roads or infrastructure; they went into the Police Department for “Toys for the Boys”; assault rifles to be used on Lisbon residents; and a communication center that costs the taxpayers approximately $500,000.00 a year.

I have clearly shown how this occurred on several occasions.  The Town Council did not want to be challenged by the Budget Advisory Committee so they dissolved this committee and installed a committee that will always support the Police Department instead of doing what is in the best interest of the community.  The Budget Advisory Committee was elected by the people and always had the best interest of the people at heart.

The real question is why I can find all these discrepancies in the system and the Finance Committee cannot.  Why is Chief Brooks allowed to request Police vehicles be “purchased” from the council and then “Lease to Purchase” the vehicles?  Once the funds have been appropriated they cannot be used for any other purpose without the council approval.  This approval has NEVER been obtained from the council.

What good is the Finance Committee other than to support the Police Budget?

Larry Fillmore

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BUDGET CHALLENGE‏

In this morning's Sun Journal, Tuesday April 15, the Auburn City Council is calling for $million$ in cuts to the city budget.


I challenge the town of Lisbon's Town Council and Finance Committee to do the same.


Ways to cut:


Town Engineer:

MDOT is asking for  a $5,500 Trail Match

plus a $20,000 Trail Match.


Those $$$$'s should have been built into the $1,200,000,

One Million Two Hundred Thousand, dollars,plus Lisbon's

matching funds of $320,000, for a grand total of $1,520,000.

ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

                         Savings $$25,500.


Savings could be realized if we had a Town Engineer that was actually a licensed Engineer.

Savings $$$ ?????.


Town Attorney:

Hire an attorney from Lisbon, Lewiston or Auburn instead of one who travels from Bath, some twenty plus miles each way @$150.00 per hour.

                       

Police/Public Safety:

The Police Department receives Forfeiture money that could be used to pay for assault rifles, document imaging, mobile radios.
The list goes on, But asks the taxpayers to pay for these items.
In a budget of $1.000,000, One Million $$$$$, the Town Council and Finance Committee should be able to find significant savings.


Redevelopment Department:

About 2 years ago former Town Manager hired a Town Planner to the tune of $20,000 per year, to develop a Route 196 Master Plan and Sign Standards, and to assist the Planning Board.

The Route 196 Master Plan and Sign Standards is almost

completed, just needs to be accepted by the Town Council.


Why continue to pay $20,000 for a Town Planner when we

have a highly qualified Codes Officer in Dennis Douglass?

The Planning Board has new direction, thanks to Town Planner, Amanda Bunker, and  we are paying over $55,000 a year for a Redevelopment Director, who also heads up the Moxie Festival.


This is a Duplication of Services. 

A savings of $20,000 or $55,000.


The town Council has asked the School Department to cut their budget.


The Library Department is already bare bones but is willing to cut hours of service, a savings of only pennies compared to the police department! ! ! !


Other savings ?? Readers, taxpayers?
          A Challenge ! ! ! ! ! !



Dot Fitzgerald

A Lisbon Concerned Citizen



TOWN REPORTS ARE OUT! ! ! !

And yes, my name is under unpaid taxes,

both real estate and personal property.

The real estate taxes have been paid.

I am struggling as are many others.