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Showing posts with label Municipal Budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Municipal Budget. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

GreatFallsTV: Lisbon Town Council Meeting July 21st, 2015 Public Hearing with School Committee

Part One







Part Two


 






Part Three



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BETRAYAL of TRUST



By Peter Reuter Special to the Lisbon Reporter

The foundation of ANY relationship, be it friendships, marriage, mechanics, public servants, Priests, Police, or pets, is TRUST.  If for any reason that is broken a vast array of events occur that lead to nothing more easily verbalized as BETRAYAL.  Here are the words as defined by just about any dictionary standards.

BETRAYAL    


verb (used with object)

1.
to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty:
Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
2.
to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling:
to betray a trust.
3.
to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to:
to betray one's friends.
4.
to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence:
to betray a secret.
5.
to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal):
Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
6.
to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose:
an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
7.
to deceive, misguide, or corrupt:
a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.

TRUST    


noun

1.
reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2.
confident expectation of something; hope.
3.
confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit:
to sell merchandise on trust.
4.
a person on whom or thing on which one relies:
God is my trust.
5.
the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.
6.
the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed:
a position of trust.
7.
charge, custody, or care:
to leave valuables in someone's trust.

History has proof of this occurring multiple times in Lisbon.  To zero in on target let us not forget the public display of insubordination by Lisbon's Chief of Police, David T. Brooks at the Town Council meeting of February 17, 2009.  A complete staged verbal display of inaccurate facts, LIES.  Now more recently the reassessment process that has turned into a complete display of non-performance of a contract which was orchestrated by Lisbon's previous Town Manager, Stephen G. Eldridge.  And the entourage that not only hired him but protected him from the tasks that he was entrusted to handle.  Yet we have learned of significant discrepancies in his ability to present complete budgets to the Town Councilors and Citizens to approve.

Now we Lisbon residents find ourselves in another type of quandary dealing with the School Budget and Municipal Budgets.  Betrayal of Trust has already occurred when the citizens were asked, via the voting process, if they wanted to vote on the Municipal Budget much like they do already on the School Budget.  Except the Town Councilors at that moment in time betrayed the trust of the people by not proceeding with the wishes of the voters.  It was unanimous that people did in fact want to vote on the Municipal Budget.  But Councilors have played "pin the tail on the voters" and have broken the trust with the rules of the game.

The importance of this second "go around" of School Budget discussions is very significant and needs not to be taken lightly by the voters.  The power is still in the voters hands when it comes time to vote.  In the mean time we ALL must be informed of the facts and voice our concerns.  It is the last bit of Democracy this town has.

For the discussion process at Lisbon Community School, people need to first attend then speak up  about concerns no matter what they are.  The future of Lisbon lies in the youth of the community and the adults that have to pay taxes to provide a proper educational environment.  We all know there can be significant cuts in an already grossly over-financed Police budget that could ease the burden on taxpayers and save a lot of cuts that will occur if the School is forced to cut their budget.  Mr. Green and staff have done a remarkable job preparing and informing the citizens already.  It is time to hold the Town Councilors accountable to their "sworn duties" and principles that they were voted into office on.

Why do we need to have our own Communications Center?

Why do we need such a lavishly funded Police Department?

Lisbon is "a great place to live and do business."  And it could be so much better if TRUST could be regained for the people by their Public Servants.  Until then the voter's only control is on the vote for the School Budget.  If you don't like it vote it down again.

At least attend this Round 2 Public Hearing and learn first hand about the facts.

God Bless and Good Luck!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

RECAP TOWN COUNCIL MEETING – JUNE 30TH


The following is a summary of the Town Council meeting for June 30th, 2015.  The following agenda items were approved by a vote of 7-0:

1.      Town Manager’s Contract was approved.

2.     Banner Policy was approved.

3.     Award Paving Bid was awarded to Harry S. Crooker & Sons for $183,440.38.

4.     Striping Bid Award went to Lucas Striping for $16,380.12.

5.     Library Masonry Repair Bid Award was awarded to Knowles Industrial Services Corporation.

6.     2015-2016 Waste Water Treatment Plant Budget was approved.

7.     2015-2016 Municipal Budget was approved by departments with only one being approved by a vote of 6-1 and that was Public Works Department. (Lunt dissenting vote)

8.     Authorization to expend funds without approved School Budget was approved.

Agenda item 2015-187 was taken off the agenda because the Municipal budget was approved by the Council.

Under Other Business – Mr. Michael Pardue, from The Tideview Group provided the results of the Lisbon Police Department Staffing Assessment.  The Town Manager had no comments.  It was determined that the Gartley Street Property is not owned by the town but by the School Department so it was taken off the list of property to be sold.

Under Appointments – Mr. Richard Long resigned as an Associate Member of the Planning Board and was approved as a Regular Member of the Planning Board.  Mr. James Lemieux was approved as an Associate Member of the Planning Board.

 The Town Council meeting was adjourned to a workshop where the Council discussed two items:  Medical Marijuana Ordinance and Itinerant Vendor Ordinance (Mass Gathering).

Larry Fillmore

Additional Supplements To Go With Last Night's Town Council Meeting, June 30th, 2015

Note: We received these supplemental documents late yesterday.  Pay attention to the departments that get cuts and the ones that get increases. (Supplement B) Appears to be a more formal form of Creative Accounting for the Lisbon Taxpayers.
Some of the faces have changed but the 'tactics' continue to remain the same or worse.  Happy July First to everyone.




Thursday, June 25, 2015

AGENDA SPECIAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

AGENDA 
SPECIAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015
LISBON TOWN OFFICE 
7:00 P.M.

1. CALL TO ORDER & PLEDGE TO FLAG

2. ROLL CALL
___Councilor Bickford ___ Councilor Brunelle ___ Councilor Crafts ___ Councilor Garrison ___ Councilor Lunt ___Councilor Metivier ___ Councilor Pesce 
Town Clerk reading of meeting rules

3. GOOD NEWS & RECOGNITION

4. PUBLIC HEARINGS

5. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION & RESPONSE FOR AGENDA ITEMS

6. CONSENT AGENDA
2015-178 ORDER − A. Sewer Commitment

7. COUNCIL ORDERS, RESOLUTIONS, & ORDINANCES
2015-179 ORDER − Town Manager's Contract
2015-180 ORDER − Banner Policy
2015-181 ORDER − Award Paving Bid
2015-182 ORDER − Award Striping Bid
2015-183 ORDER − Award Library Masonry Repair Bids
2015-184 ORDER − 2015-2016 Waste Water Treatment Plant Budget
2015-185 RESOLUTION − 2015-2016 Municipal Budget
2015-186 ORDER − Authorization to expend funds without approved School Budget
2015-187 ORDER − Authorization to expend funds without approved Municipal Budget

8. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Police Study Presentation
B. Town Manager's Report
C. Gartley Street Property

9. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION & RESPONSE NEW ITEMS

10. APPOINTMENTS
2015-188 ORDER − Planning Board Resignation Associate Member
2015-189 ORDER − Planning Board Regular Member (Richard Long)
2015-190 ORDER − Planning Board Associate Member (James Lemieux)

11. COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS

12. EXECUTIVE SESSION

13. ADJOURNMENT
2015-191 ORDER - To Adjourn to workshop

14. WORKSHOP
A. Medical Marijuana Ordinance
B. Itinerant Vendor Ordinance (Mass Gathering)

15. ADJOURN WORKSHOP 



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Lisbon Citizen Writes In

I recently stumbled on the Lisbon Reporter and I'm already a big fan. It's quite refreshing to read the honest happenings of this town. 

My husband and I were both raised in Lisbon Falls and now we are raising our 3 young children here as well. There are so many things I truly love about Lisbon and it's those things that have kept me here. However, there are other attributes of Lisbon that I'm not so fond of and I see that many of the posts on this site mirror my own thoughts. 

My oldest child is a 7-year-old boy and he attends Lisbon Community School. Naturally, this fact has given me a renewed interest in the Lisbon School Department. As we all know, recently there was a vote pertaining to the school's budget. It was a topic that I had mixed emotions about. On one hand, I think the schools should have the money they need to provide the next generation of Lisbon citizens with the best possible education. On the other hand, my husband and I are in the process of finding our first home and we've learned how expensive Lisbon taxes already are and I certainly don't want to vote in favor of anything that will increase our already heavy tax burden. 

But I don't feel as though those two routes should be my only options. Why should I have to choose between voting for the schools to have the money they need or vote to keep the taxes from increasing? With the high tax rate we already endure, there is surely enough money for the schools to get what they need.. or at least there should be. 

This lead me to the question, where are our tax dollars going? The answer wasn't hard to find. It's quite obvious that the Lisbon PD is the biggest financial drain of our tax dollars. For years, Lisbon's excessive police force has been a joke. People say that we have one cop per family. They say not to drive down 196 through Lisbon unless you want to get pulled over. So on and so forth, everyone seems to agree that Lisbon has an overabundance of police officers. 

In a town this size, with a meager crime rate, there is no need for a force like ours. By cutting the PD budget, we could easily afford to give our schools the money they need and fund the things that really matter. What would we lose? The opportunity to fine every poor soul going 30 mph in 25 mph zone? 

Our schools and other departments are constantly asked to prove themselves and beg for every penny they get. In order to get what they deserve, there is tons of paperwork, meetings, and voting that must take place. And then once all the stars align, they may or may not receive their fair share of the tax dollars. What's ironic is that I never see or hear of any of this happening in regards to the police department. The citizens are never asked or given the opportunity to vote on whether or not we want to hire new officers, purchase new vehicles etc. My guess is it's because Chief Brooks already knows how that would turn out. 

My parents both live in Lisbon as well and my father recently compared Chief Brooks to Boss Hog in the Dukes of Hazzard. He said that Brooks is crooked, manipulative and an overgrown bully. In his opinion, the counsel is intimidated by Brooks and his tactics, which is why we are never given the opportunity to vote for PD-related topics and why everything Brooks wants, Brooks gets. 

It's time for the PD to be put in their place and for the money that is frivolously thrown about by Brooks to be fairly distributed to the school and other departments. 

I'm very close to some of the leaders in Lisbon, but clearly they aren't as concerned with our children as they are with placating Brooks. I want to be involved in the solution in whatever way possible. 

Thank you for continuing to share the truth to Lisbon's residents.

Submitted by: ' Anonymous'

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Simple Sample Of Lisbon VIA Outline Format



A.  Division between Town Council and School Department
       
1. should be working together.
             a. conveniently Town Council eliminates budget advisory committee
             b.  holds all power in the laps of 7 people now, instead of having  more "eyes" on budget
      
2. Controlling Police Chief pulling the council puppets strings (a perpetual problem)

B.  Future of Lisbon and this country lays in the youth being educated through actually learning material
      
1.  Common Core mandates testing, testing, and testing. To the point that all across the State and Country, students have expressed concerns of added stress and anxiety because they have no time to learn material before being tested
      2.  Employment opportunities for High School graduates to work in Lisbon extremely scarce.

C.  Those fortunate enough to further education find jobs elsewhere.
     
1.  Limited employers in town puts greater tax burden on residents to "maintain status quo" of services with less monies to finance them
2.  Forward thinking and planning are none existent except for "deck the poles"  festival & activities etc.



Here's a tip for those on the Town Council: Start treating the Lisbon taxpayers with the respect they deserve, listen to their concerns and adjust accordingly, represent their interests as stated by them, not what you want, and then, maybe someday the damage done by your self-serving interests will be fixed.  It is up to you.

Lisbon taxpayer's you should leave your "comfort zones" and get to the Town Council meeting tonight where you  can express your concerns directly to the council during Audience Participation.  There are two places, one to discuss items on the agenda and another for "New Items".  This is the process currently mandated by Lisbon's governing body.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I.T. is missing in Lisbon

 By: Peter Reuter, Special to The Lisbon Reporter


Integrity and Transparency are  not present in Lisbon.

At last Tuesday's Town Council meeting, Councilors proved beyond a reasonable doubt, that they wanted and now have absolute power to control ALL financial matters.  A panel of seven, without input from a Town Ordinance mandate of a Finance Committee, will now control the flow of monies.  Councilors may make changes to the Town Ordinances without consent of the residents.

They openly admitted to illegal discussions in Executive Session. The Town Councilors approve of a high salary for an unqualified Town Engineer and they are not looking out for the best interest of the citizens of Lisbon.

But for a few of us that have been actively monitoring their actions and attending Town Council meetings this comes as no surprise. The Lisbon Reporter has posted numerous articles pertaining to this aspect since day one of its inception.  Many of the Concerned Citizens have been trying to get the word out.


Now as to the legality of what the Town Council just did, that remains to be seen.  So what if it was illegal. Who polices the Town Council, Brooks?  No it is more like he is directing them.  Once again this year he will get his $2 Million Dollar Police Budget approved.  The Council will hold true to their demand order for the School Department to cut $600 Thousand Dollars from their budget. 

Here is the kicker.  The voters have the right to vote on the School Budget but not the Municipal Budget.  With that, voters should reject every proposed and approved for voter consent School Budget put forth by this council.

It costs over $3 Thousand Dollars per voting session per the Town Clerk.  The voters should send the budget back to the Town Council until they wake up and do what is right.  The Expense for each voting process will rest solely in the laps of Seven Councilors.  If it takes 2, 3, 4, or more times so be it.  This is the only say that, "we the people" have left. Use this power wisely.

Remember in November citizens, your only chance of getting some resemblance of control back, is to put forth some great candidates to uproot the evil empire that currently exists.  Tyranny reigns supreme in Lisbon currently.

Shame on this Town Council.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Resident Wants To 'Axe' Police Budget And Not The School

Cut the Tax Rate Without Cutting the School Budget 

 A few weeks ago I made a comparison between Lisbon and Standish budgets and Police Departments.


Town       Mil rate  Crime Index   PD Officers      Taxes  150K Home            Pop
Lisbon 20.98        65                  33                              $3120                8958
Standish   12.15        61     County supplied                      $1822                9800


Both of these towns have  similar populations, crime rates and both are close to other towns with higher crime rates.  

Lisbon  adjacent to Lewiston and Brunswick
Standish is close to Portland and Biddeford (5th most dangerous in Maine)

If you examine the budgets of these towns you will find Standish pays a fraction of the cost we pay for Police protection. They have a contract with Cumberland County Sheriffs Department. The savings from this contract enables them to have a much lower tax mil rate.

Here is a copy of their first contract with their County Sheriffs Dept.  Notice the drastic difference in public safety cost.





I know this contract is a few years old but the above contract will give you a rough indication of the savings we could realize if we follow Standish and contract with our county Sheriffs Department.





 Don't believe the people that tell you this change would cause a crime wave. This is another fact less claim.




If you look at the 11 communities, our size, on Maine's "50 most dangerous places in Maine" you will discover that 9 of these 11 communities have large police forces.




Large Police Forces don't necessarily reduce crime rates.



Why are we cutting  $600.000 from the School Department when we could switch to Androscoggin County Sheriffs Department and save more. And this change would not jeopardize our kids education?  




Our  Town Council should at least get a quote from Androscoggin County Sheriffs Dept..  




Call your Councilors and demand they listen to your needs. 




Respectfully


Joe Hill



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lisbon’s Financial Fiasco Follies





 Chief David T. Brooks


By Peter Reuter, Special to The Lisbon Reporter

Once again the time has arrived when we find ourselves in  undoubtedly the most reverent of seasons, Budget Season.  Every taxpayer already has a license to pursue the prey of choice, ie. Municipal department.  Taxes are levied on the people’s property, personal & estate, which afford the community to carry on with normal business as usual actions.  



But what happens when no one is ‘minding the fort’ and looking out for the best interests of the community, its people?  When the past management establishment elected and hired to do so were inflicted with a very contagious social and economical disease called GREED.  You get exactly what Lisbon is experiencing right now.   

Monies from the Federal and State levels have all but disappeared that were flowing into each municipality like spring thaw after a hearty winter of snow.  Those dollars, in most cases, were desperately counted on to balance the often over budgeted municipal balance sheets.  Now towns are struggling to manage with the same services they were afforded in past years. Change must occur to correct the deficit created by not making sound economic choices.



Through lack of financial fortitude Lisbon has had to dip into the Undesignated Fund account to make up the difference for a multiple of past years. Leaving it depleted to less than a favorable level.  Lately departments have had to make significant cuts to their operational budgets and employee rosters in order to keep the financial responsibility in somewhat of an order.  For that, infrastructural suffrage have occurred.  Roads, bridges, equipment and other items have not be improved or expanded as needed.



When you look hard into the Municipal Budget of Lisbon at all the departments that have had to make cuts, one department stands out like a black and blue eye where no cuts have been made.  In fact it has been increased each and every year.  But in order to ascertain that fact you just about need to have a PHD in forensic auditing. All because the TRUE and ACCURATE accounting of the POLICE DEPARTMENT has been spread out and hidden, on purpose to confuse the people.  This has permeated and promulgated the budget each year with significant protection of your duly elected officials.



It is REFRESHING to hear that the new Town Manager has recognized this and is in the process of correcting.  Once the taxpayers learn of the TRUE EXPENSE of the Police Department, then perhaps we all can hope for a change.  Maybe Lisbon could be a more affordable community for the retired residents and appeal to people to move in to make it their home.

Lisbon Town Manager, Mrs. Diane Barnes has made significant progress in the administration process and expenditures side of things. Namely digressing from one of the 'Good Ole Boys Club' members, the previous Town Attorney.  With the challenges that she is facing we all need to lend her support at meetings or whenever we see her.  Her intentions are honorable and admirable. Something Lisbon has been lacking in recent years.



The residents have spoken loud and clear when presented with the opportunity to improve things.  A couple of examples would be the vote on the addition to the High School Gymnasium, Track, and not purchasing Worumbo Mill. And let us not forget the opportunity to vote on the School Budget each year.



Isn’t it about time we have more of say on the Municipal side of the Budget?

Monday, February 9, 2015

LePage Budget Proposes Significant Tax Changes

By  on




On Friday, Governor Paul R. LePage released his biennial budget.  The highly anticipated budget includes significant changes to the state’s tax system, as well as changes to health care and general assistance spending.

Tax Reform

While many suspected that Gov. LePage would eliminate the income tax all together, his tax reform proposal is more modest.  Instead of eliminating the state income tax, the budget reduces the top individual income tax rate from 7.95% to 5.75%.  The state’s corporate tax rate is also reduced by over 24% to 6.75%.

Taxes on all pensions would be reduced, and taxes on military pensions would be eliminated entirely.  Likewise, Maine’s estate tax would be removed.

TO READ MORE: http://www.themainewire.com/2015/01/lepage-budget-proposes-significant-tax/

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The human face of Lisbon's failed budget policy's.


The following is a list of our friends, former neighbors, parents and grandparents that have lost their homes by foreclosure. Each one of these addresses represent a real person(s) that has had their hopes and dreams of home ownership taken away by Lisbon's government.

Unless we make drastic cuts to our record high taxes we will probably have another similar list of lost homes and dreams next year. How much of this are we willing to put up with before we demand our Councilors cut our bloated Police budget?

Mobile Home Foreclosure List  As of Feb. 2015

5 COLONIAL DRIVE                         10 GENDRON DRIVE
2 FAIRVIEW DRIVE                           1 WISPERING PINES
12 STANLEY DRIVE                         21 SABATTUS CREEK DRIVE
13 DONNA DRIVE                             21 ALMA DRIVE
7 DONNA DRIVE                                4 GENDRON DRIVE
31 FAIRVIEW DRIVE                       35 FAIRVIEW DRIVE
9 COUNTY ROAD                             96 BOWDOINHAM ROAD
12 GENDRON DRIVE
4 WHISPERING PINES DRIVE        12 TOWN AND COUNTRY DRIVE
22 SABATTUS CREEK DRIVE         3 LARRY DRIVE
32 SABATTUS CREEK                     10 WHISPERING PINES
9 GENDRON DRIVE                          4 LOWER DRIVE
9 MARC DRIVE                                  2 CLAIRE DRIVE
13 SABATTUS CREEK DRIVE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homes and Land Foreclosure as of Feb 2015

13 VINING ST.                                    14 DAVID ST.
29 FAITH ST.                                       3 PLEASANT ST.
65 MAIN ST.                                        19 WEBSTER ROAD
75 SUMMER ST.                                  9 VILLAGE
286 BOWDOINHAM ROAD              273 LISBON ST.
8 REID ST.                                           34 HUSTON ST. EXT.
2 AMALFI ST.                                     22 LISBON ST.
146 SUMMER ST.                               214 LISBON ST.
38 CROSMAN ST.                              384 LISBON ST.
615 LISBON ST.                                   1 SERENA ST.
276 FERRY ROAD

Our new Town Manager, Mrs. Barnes, is working with the people on this list trying to help where she can but she cant fix the underlying problem,  Lisbon's high taxes.

As we start the new year and another budget season lets remember the faces of the above people and not make the same mistakes this year that will ultimately create another list of foreclosures next year.

One thing you can do to stop this from happening again is to call your Councilors and demand they do the Police Personnel Study they promised they would do last year.

Call your Councilors and let them know how you feel about this tragedy.

Respectfully
Joe Hill  --  LisbonMaine,Net

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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Whom Shall The Blame Fall To‏ ?



WHOM DO WE THANK???

At the last Special Town Council meeting, five of the six Councilors present voted to approve the Municipal budget for 2014-2015.  Councilor Pesce was the ONLY councilor to vote NO.

In August/September, when the taxpayers of Lisbon receive their tax bills; who is to blame for the estimated 5% - 7% tax increase?  It would be unfair to place the entire blame on the Councilors.  Several of the Councilors asked for cuts to the approved budget but Chairwoman Ward would not bring the issue before the council.  Part of the problem is that the Councilors do not make the suggestions as motion to be put before the entire council.  Instead Chairwoman Ward asked for suggestions, instead of motions, and then totally ignored them because it was not presented as a motion.

Second, when the people made suggestions to the council no council member took it and put it in the form of a motion.  Because it was NOT made as a motion, there was no action taken on any suggestions by the people.  Remember, the people can only make suggestions and cannot make a motion.  Chairwoman Ward also ignored the suggestions by the people to reduce the Municipal budget.

Third, Chief Brooks made absolutely no attempt to keep his budget the same as last year.  In fact, Chief Brooks increased his budget by $78,268.00 which puts the Police Department’s budget at $1,376,120.00 this year.  That’s right the Police Department’s budget is over a MILLION tax dollars.  On top of that, Chief Brooks has included in his budget the replacement of three (3) vehicles; one which had a new engine installed last year.  Chief Brook’s budget includes two (2) Detectives; two (2) part-time secretaries and a full time Administrative Assistant.  The Police Department has two (2) vehicles that sit at the schools all day long.  The vehicle count right now is nine (9) and we only have a maximum of two (2) patrols at one time.  Chief Brooks stated that the small community of Lisbon normally uses one patrol; so why do we need all the vehicles?  A side note, Chief Brooks does not have a “life cycle management” program to replace fewer vehicles each year.  Last year we replaced two vehicles and this year we are replacing three vehicles.

As you can see, Chief Brooks made no attempt to help the taxpayers out this year.  Instead, he teamed up with Chairwoman Ward (who does not pay Real Estate taxes in Lisbon) to stick it to the people.  Chairwoman Ward even went so far as to not allow the people to speak prior to the vote on the Municipal budget at the Special Town Council meeting.  This is a gross abuse of her position.  How are the Councilors going to know how the people feel if the people are not allowed to voice their concerns?

Every time you see Chief Brooks and Chairwoman Lisa Ward thank them for the increase in your taxes.

Larry Fillmore

Great Falls TV: Lisbon Town Council Meeting July 22nd, 2014


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Taxpayers Lose Again



LISBON TAXPAYERS LOSE AGAIN!!!!


At last night’s Town Council Workshop and Special Town Council meeting, the taxpayers lost again.  The Town Council minus Councilor Dillon Pesce passed another budget that will raise our taxes for the fourth year in a row.



I want to commend Councilor Pesce for sticking to his beliefs and putting the taxpayers first.  The Municipal Budget was penny for penny the same with the exception of the Town Manager cutting $6,035.00 out of General Government.  Two Councilors who voted NO turned around and approved the budget last night.  So what changed??????????  Whatever took place behind the scenes worked.



Chairwoman Ward continued her pressure on Councilors and denied the people the opportunity to speak during the Workshop and the meeting prior to the vote.  This maneuver is typical when you are desperate to protect your mentor’s budget.  Councilor Lunt suggested not replacing any Police vehicles this year at a previous meeting and was totally ignored by Chairwoman Ward.  Other suggestions for making cuts in the budget were also ignored by Chairwoman Ward.  This action by Chairwoman Ward shows how far Chairwoman Ward would go to protect the Municipal Budget. 



Chairwoman Ward ordered that the Audience Participation portion of the meeting come after the vote on the budget.  Normally, Audience Participation comes prior to the voting portion of the meeting.  According to the Council Working Rules, the people have a right to speak on agenda item before the agenda item comes before the council for action.  Now it does say that the order of the agenda maybe changed by the Chair.  But denying the people the right to express their feelings to the council is wrong on so many levels.  The fact she refused to allow the people to speak prior to the vote on the budget is a violation of the town’s mission statement and is an injustice to the people who elected her.  The people have a right to participate in local government and to let their elected official know how they feel on issues before the council votes on them. 



This is an abuse of position and Chairwoman Ward should be immediately removed as Chairwoman of this council.



Larry Fillmore



P.S. I personally believe, after listening to the people, that the approved Municipal budget has approximately $465,000.00 of excessive spending in it.  This is an entire .mil rate.  Thank you Chief Brooks!