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Showing posts with label Public Works. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Works. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

WHY CAN’T WE TAKE CARE OF OUR ROADS/STREETS/ACCESS WAYS?


I was always taught, in order to extend the life of your equipment, to perform timely routine maintenance.  I think most people now a day understand the value in this; that is with the exception of our Public Works Director, E. Ryan Leighton and our Town Manager, Diane Barnes. 

Let’s take a simple case of the Asphalt Reclaimer the people purchased to take care of potholes in the winter.  This piece of equipment cost the people $31,490.00 back in September 2, 2014.  The Asphalt Reclaimer arrived on or about January 23, 2015.  For two years and one month, the town has NOT performed any maintenance on this piece of equipment.  After two requests for the maintenance record, the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, notified me that the Asphalt Reclaimer was going to have maintenance performed on it on or about Monday, January 30, 2017.

Since July 1, 2016 until March 1, 2017 the Asphalt Reclaimer has 45 hours of use on it.  Does anyone still wonder why the town of Lisbon is full of potholes?  Anyone with common sense would start with roads/streets or access ways that are heavily traveled to repair first.  I do not know of any road/street/access way traveled more that the access way at the Public works Garage because almost everyone utilizes the Transfer Station. 

So every year, we go through the same situation with potholes throughout the access way.  What’s more, neither E. Ryan Leighton nor Diane Barnes has the common sense to put warning devices to warn drivers of these potholes until they can be repaired.  Think about this; how far does the Asphalt Reclaimer have to travel to repair the access way?

This Asphalt Reclaimer was purchased to resolve the town’s problem of potholes and has it been utilized to do this.  I think NOT.  How many other devices that should require timely routine maintenance are receiving timely maintenance?  How long are we going to be able to keep these devices operational before we have to replace it?  E Ryan Leighton does not live in town and does not have to pay for replacing these devices.  He is quick to want to replace worn out equipment but will do nothing to prolong the life of these devices.

What do you expect when you have an individual with no credentials in charge of Public Works?  We never had this problem with Button Beale was the Public Works Director.

Larry Fillmore

Sunday, September 4, 2016

YOU MAKE THE CALL!!!!!!

The question is, “Are members of the Town Council making the best business decisions when spending our tax dollars”.  So let’s take a look at the purchase of the 2012 Bandit 990 Chipper from Hammond Tractor Company for $31,999.00.

 In order to know if this is a good purchase or not; we need to review the history of the town’s usage of a chipper.  So I asked the town in a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) and the following is what I was provided.

 Fiscal Year                           Money Spent

2012-2013                           Purchase Order 1634 - $7,200.00

2013-2014                           "There were no Purchase Orders 
                                               indicating a chipper had been rented.    
                                               Before we started renting a chipper on a
                                               regular basis the crew would cut the
                                               brush, load it on a truck and bring it to
                                               the Transfer Station and dump it on the
                                               ground.  Then the Transfer Station staff
                                               would load it into a big trailer and haul it
                                               off for disposal.  This was a tremendous
                                               waste of resources.”

2014-2015                 “There were no Purchase Orders indicating a chipper had been rented.  Before we started renting a chipper on a regular basis the crew would cut the brush, load it on a truck and bring it to the Transfer Station and dump it on the ground.  Then the Transfer Station staff would load it into a big trailer and haul it off for disposal.  This was a tremendous waste of resources.”

2015-2016                  Purchase Order 12163 - $1,324.58

                                      Purchase Order 13630 - $191.25

                                      Purchase Order 13691 - $573.75

                                      Purchase Order 13796 – $212.50

                                                                   TOTAL:  $2,302.08

 Now that we have the history for the past 4 years, it is time to
determine if this purchase was for convenience or a necessity.  In
4 years, the cost totaled was$9,502.08.  This is an average of
$2,375.52 per year.  Does this justify purchasing a chipper for
$31,999.00?  Remember for two year the town did not rent a
chipper.

This Town Council should be looking for ways to reduce the cost
of operating this town instead of reckless spending.  I personally
do not feel this was a justifiable purchase.  If you agree with me,
call your Councilors and asked them to stop wasting our tax
dollars.

 The Public Works Director is going out for bids on 5 more
purchases/projects.  At the next council meeting, the Town
Council will vote on these items.  What are your feelings?

It appears to me that the Council does not understand they have
reduce spending and find ways to increase revenue in order to
reduce taxes.  Their primary mission should be to operate this
 town safely and to reduce our taxes.  They do not appear to be
trying to reduce our taxes.

 Was this a good business decision or fraud waste and abuse? 

 Larry Fillmore

 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Reason # 6 Why PAYT Trash Program Is Bad For Lisbon



Reason #6 ------------Job Loss
Image result for job loss
                                      
 If we institute a PAYT program  and dismantle our existing waste system we will have to layoff the transfer station staff.
PAYT will also have an adverse effect on the private businesses in Lisbon that haul trash.
 
We pay tens of thousands of dollars to our Economic Development Department each year in the hopes of attracting jobs to Lisbon, we should be creating jobs for Lisbon residents not eliminating them. 
 
Respectfully
LisbonMaine.Net
Joe Hill

Thursday, November 26, 2015

CAN YOU PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE PROBLEM IN LISBON???


I have tried for years to find out where the problem lies in Lisbon.  At first, I thought it was because our Councilors were brain-dead but I was wrong.  After performing an analysis of voting by the Councilors, I have determined that the Councilors are not being provided all the information necessary to make a solid decision on numerous issues.  I have narrowed it down to two Departments – Police and Public Works.

The Department Heads in these two departments do not provide the Council with complete information.  These department heads only provide the Council with information to arrive at ONLY the decision the department head wants.  These Councilors cannot come to any other conclusion based on the information provided. 

The Town Manager and the Town Council must insist these department heads present ALL the facts on the issue so that the Councilors can make an educated decision instead of getting only half of the truth.   A prime example of this is the Solid Waste Committee, Ryan Leighton, briefing the Council on the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) option for the Transfer Station.  As you can see, by the postings on lisbonmaine.net and the Lisbon Reporter; there were many many issues left out of the briefing.  The lack of information can cause a good decision to turn bad.

Another example is the Town Council voting down the consolidation of the Lisbon Communication Center with the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) located at the Androscoggin County Dispatch.  There was no mention that this program is part of a 6100 primary and secondary PSAPs located in the United States.  The PSAP is part of the emergency services where the PSAP Dispatches First Responders in order to expedite response time.  However, this information has never been released to the Council or the people of this community.  The Lisbon Communication Center is an unnecessary additional procedure that delays response time.  This delay puts the lives of every person in Lisbon, Durham, Sabattus and Greene at risk.  This is another factor that is not known by the Council or the people of these communities.

The LisbonMaine.net and the Lisbon Reporter are dedicated to educating the community on issues.  These issues are normally brought to the Councils attention without providing ALL the information to the Councilors and the people.  In some cases, the people are asked to vote on issues without having all the information.   Councilor Garrison made a comment about only one option was presented and I agree but both Joe Hill and I have seen subjects being voted on without having all the facts.  Since our blog sites are dedicated solely to bringing ALL the information to the people, we will continue to provide facts to the community so when it comes before the Council for a vote, they and the people will have more information in which to make the right decision for the community.

It does not hurt for the people and the Town Council to be educated with ALL the facts available.

Larry Fillmore

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reason #5 Why PAYT trash program a Bad Idea For Lisbon

 

              Reason #5  Economic Fairness
                       Home trash compactor

One of the selling points for PAYT (pay as you throw) trash programs is economic fairness.   Why should you pay for other peoples wasteful ways.

In reality its more like you can have other people pay for your trash if you can afford a trash compactor. 

Most modern compactors have a compaction rate of 80% .They will enable you to take five bags of trash and fit it into one neat little bag. 

Don't think this won't be an issue if we go to PAYT.  This method of circumvention is so common that a term for it was coined in Seattle a few decades ago, its called "The Seattle Stomp".  

Respectfully
LisbonMaine.Net
Joe Hill

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reason #4 Why PAYT Trash Program is a bad Idea For Lisbon

                                          Reason # 4 ------  Geo Tagging
Image result for TRASH CONTAINER RFID CHIPS

Many if not all of the PAYT trash containers are  Geo Tagged. A small RFID chip is added to the containers that can identify your address and with the aid of cameras on the trucks will ID your trash in case you don't use proper bags for your trash.
This technology over time can be used to keep track of  recycling habits and could theoretically be used to fine us if we don't recycle enough trash.
Here is a link for more info
 

 

Friday, November 20, 2015

-------- Peoples will --------

I agree with Mr. Fillmore, the will of the people is not being followed in Lisbon. Another fine example of this is the proposed "pay per bag" system that was recently brought up again at a recent Council Workshop.

 I was under the impression Lisbon had already examined and rejected this system but it looks like those in favor of "Pay Per Bag" are trying again to ram it down our throats.  How many times do we have to tell our leaders that we don't want a new trash system? The recycling center works well and doesn't need to replaced with something that will cost us more money and be less convenient.

The studies clearly state that when a town institutes this system the total amount of trash collected goes down.  As we all know the trash has to go somewhere and most of that lost trash ends up either burnt in trash barrels, thrown in illegal roadside dumps, or buried or stored on the property of those that can't afford the extra money for trash bags. 

The trash/recycling center is one of the Town's departments that actually works well. The recycling returns money to partially pay for our trash removal .

 Lets not screw up something that works.

Respectfully

LisbonMaine.net

Joe Hill

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NON COMPLIANCE WITH STATE E 9-1-1 GUIDELINES


I submitted a request to name the “internal access way” in front of the Public Works garage through the Transfer Station and back to Capital Avenue as “Ricker Circle”.  This request was denied by the town because of following reasons:


1       This is NOT a road/street; it is an internal access way.


2        The town ordinance requires two addresses on the same road/street.


Come to find out, the Public Works building and the Transfer Station have the same address (14 Capital Avenue).  How can this be when there are two different buildings, two different phone numbers and two different internal access ways? 



In 1988, Maine voters approved the statewide deployment of Enhanced 9-1-1 service.  In 1994, the Emergency Services Communication Bureau was created as an agency within the Maine Department of Public Safety to oversee the development and implementation of statewide Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) service.  See the page taken from E9-1-1 guidelines.
(Click on above information to print for easier reading)

Now, I know that the Town Manager, Diane Barnes and Chairman Pesce are going to say that the town does not have to comply because this is just a guideline.  But the first line of the second paragraph says it all.  I quote “To provide the location of a caller, a telephone number must be linked to a physical address that clearly identifies the location of that telephone.”  The whole purpose of E9-1-1 is to provide an exact location for First Responders in an emergency. 


Having the Public Works building and the Transfer Station having two different buildings; two different telephone numbers and two different internal access ways, defeats the purpose and the intent of E9-1-1.  This is a minor problem that could be resolved in short order, provided the Town Manager and the Town Council can get over themselves and do what is right for the residents of Lisbon. 


Compliance with E9-1-1 will not cost the taxpayers any money.


The “internal access way” is the official traffic pattern for the entire town to utilize to get to the Transfer Station.  This situation has been over looked for years and now is the time to correct this problem and eliminate two problem areas that have now surfaced.


The town leadership has now been notified of the deplorable situation leading to the Transfer Station and the non-compliance with E9-1-1.  This notification now makes the Town liable.


Larry Fillmore

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Are Our Tax Dollars Being Properly Used?‏

ARE OUR TAX DOLLARS BEING UTILIZED PROPERLY? 


Apparently, I opened a can of worms the other day at a Town Council meeting when I asked why the Public Works Drive-way was not being paved this year. The Public Works Director had a listing of roads/street to be paved this year and it was not on it. The criteria for selecting which roads/streets should receive the highest priority are the ones with the worst condition and the most heavily traveled. Since the Public Works Director has no credentials, he cannot be held accountable for not using this measuring stick. 






However, according to several of our Councilors I have learned several interesting facts I am sure the people are not aware of.

1. The paved surface in front of the Public Works garage is NOT a road or street.
2. This is classified as an internal access-way on Town property.
3. Since it is an internal access-way it does not have a name.
4. It is not built to the standards of a public road.
5. According to a Councilor, it needs to be closed whenever the Transfer Station is closed.
6. The town will not build a proper road until the property that the buses park on is purchased by the town. What one has to do with the other escapes me?
7. This internal access-way is the current traffic pattern for the following:
a. Residents use to get to the Transfer Station.
b. Town owned vehicles use this to refuel.
c. Used by the buses to get to the Middle and High Schools.
d. Used by the Public to get to the parking lot to watch sporting events. 





The Town Council is content to let this situation remain as it is until they purchase the property the buses park on. The problem is that this internal access-way is currently in a very deplorable state and is causing damage to everyone’s vehicles. Please review the pictures in this article again.






The citizens of Lisbon deserve better treatment from local government especially since the people have been paying such high taxes. It is not unreasonable to demand better service from town officials. 

I believe this is a major problem right now that requires immediate attention by the Town Council, Town Manager, and the Public Works Director.


If the Town does not want to take immediate action to correct this situation, please provide information as to where to send the bills for vehicle repairs.


Larry Fillmore 

[Editor's note: If the 'town officials' are not part of the solutions then they are part of the problems.]

Friday, June 5, 2015

To Pave or Not To Pave, A Hot Topic That Needs Smoothing Over


PAVING REQUIREMENTS

E. Ryan Leighton Town Engineer
 

At the last Town Council meeting on June 2, 2015, Mr. Ryan Leighton requested the Council approve to go out for bids on paving the 18 roads/streets on the list below:





(click on the above to enlarge or print)

As we all know the selection criteria for which roads/streets should be paved is determined by the following: 

1. The condition of the current road/street. The worst should always be repaired first.
2. The number of residents affected by this paving.

I suggested to the Council the road/street from Capital Avenue to the Transfer Station and in front of the Public Works garage be the first one paved. This road/street is in the worst condition of any road/street in town and is traveled by more residents than any other road/street in Lisbon. 


The majority of citizens utilize the Transfer Station, when it is open. The School Department uses this road/street for buses to get to the schools. All town vehicles use this road/street to refuel. Based on this, it is easy to determine which road/street affects the most residents. 








However, when Mr. Ryan Leighton was questioned why it was not on the list his response was “it was not budgeted”. Well this is about the dumbest answer possible but what can you expect. Conditions change and it is necessary to adjust accordingly. The Council accepted Mr. Leighton’s response. The Council had the power to order Mr. Leighton to make the necessary adjustments in order to pave this area but did not. I cannot comprehend any scenario why the Council would not order the road/street to be given the highest priority in order to save wear and tear on every ones vehicle. 


You may be wondering why I refer to this area as road/street instead of identifying it by name. The reason is simple; it has no name. Can you imagine a heavily traveled road/street not having a name? This is probably another reason why it does not make the paving list because they do not know how to identify it.


One of the Councilors asked why Public Works does not use the Asphalt Reclaimer to repave this area and according to Mr. Leighton they tried and it did not work. I know that on October 21, 2014 the Council approved the purchase of the Asphalt Reclaimer which cost the taxpayers approximately $31,490.00. This is a considerable amount of tax dollars wasted if this Asphalt Reclaimer does not work. 


How much more of Ryan Leighton’s lack of credentials do the taxpayers have to put up with before the town returns to Mr. Buttons Beal as the Public Works Director? The town never suffered any of these setbacks when Buttons was in charge. Also, the Public Works Department has lost three employees in the last few months. Are we going to have sufficient employees to support winter snow removal? 


I believe that the first priority for paving should be the area in front of the Public Works garage to the entrance of the Transfer Station. If you agree, contact the Town Manager and your Councilors. 

 Larry Fillmore

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

RECAP TOWN COUNCIL MEETING/WORKSHOP –APRIL 14TH


Last night the Town Council started off with a meeting followed by a budget workshop.  The purpose of the meeting was too approved the minutes of the last meeting so it could be included with the CDBG Application which has to be submitted by Friday.  Also, the Town Manager updated the budget schedule which moved the Public Hearing from April 21st to May 5th.  This was also approved by the Council.

Next they moved into a budget workshop.  During this session, the Council reviewed the following department’s budgets:  Finance, Tax/Town Clerk, Town Manager, Codes, Assessing, Economic Development, Town Building, Technology, Sewer Department and all other Miscellaneous Departments.  The Council made several adjustments during these discussions.

After the Council had finish going through all the departments they returned to the Police Department and Public Works Department.  The Council directed the Town Manager to cut both of these budgets by $100,000.00. 

The Council reviewed the letters they had received from L/A 911 and Androscoggin County Dispatch pertaining to taking over the Lisbon Communication Center.  L/A 911 had to check with their upper management and Androscoggin County Dispatch said they could take over our Communication Center.  However, Chief Brooks stated that this is not possible.  Chairman Pesce and the Council questions Chief Brooks for a short time because Chairman Pesce said that the potential saving for the town would be approximately $191,000.00 which is a significant savings.  Chairman Pesce said the Town Manager to get clarification on the miscommunications between the two PSAP’s (L/A 911 and Androscoggin County Dispatch).

The workshop was then adjourned.

Larry Fillmore  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Recap Town Council Meeting - March 3 , 2015



RECAP TOWN COUNCIL MEETING – MARCH 3, 2015

Last night the Town Council met and the council chambers were filled. Even a TV had been setup in the hallway with chairs and there were not enough to seat everyone who was there.  The citizens turned out to protest the council requiring the School Department to cut $600,000.00 out of the 2015-2016 school budget.



Before Superintendent Green presented the school budget, the council conducted their normal business.  The following agenda items were approved by a vote of 6-0 because Councilor Lunt was excused:



1.      Public Works Addition – The Council approved and gave permission to go forward on  the 25x80 addition to the current garage.

2.     FY 2013 Homeland Security Supplemental Funds – The Council approved Chief Brooks to use $5,666.61 of forfeiture funds for the Voter Repeater System and $9,234.00 of forfeiture funds for two (2) mobile computers (MDTs) for the two new cruisers.    This leaves approximately $19,930.51 of forfeiture funds available.


3.     Downtown Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District Development Program – This was a conditional TIF and the Council approved it.


4.     Non-Storm Water Discharge Ordinance (First Reading) – Was approved as provided.


5.     Post-Construction Storm Water Management Ordinance (First Reading) – Was approved as provided.


6.     Section 47-4 Street Excavation Amendment (First Reading) – Was approved as provided.



Under Other Business – The Town Manager asked the council to hold off on replacing the Parks Director until April to give her time to look at all the options.  The Council agreed.  The Town Manager’s report revealed that there is a listing of unclaimed properties on the town web site under the Town Clerk’s section.  Also, the Police Department study will begin next week and will take 30-90 days.


Superintendent Green presented a preliminary 2015/2016 budget to the council.


This budget did not include the $600,000.00 cut directed by the Council.



During Audience Participation, approximately 25 citizens spoke in support of Mr. Green and the school budget against the cuts.  This lasted until approximately 09:20 PM. 



The final order of business was that Mr. Edward Karass was appointed as the new Finance Director for the town of Lisbon.



Larry Fillmore

Thursday, February 26, 2015

AGENDA TOWN COUNCIL TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2015




AGENDA
TOWN COUNCIL

TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 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
A. Special Entertainment Permit for Sandra Harkins d/b/a Railroad Diner
B. Downtown Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District Development Program

5.  AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION & RESPONSE FOR AGENDA ITEMS

6.   CONSENT AGENDA
      2015-53   ORDER −  A. Minutes of February 17, 2015
                                      B. Special Entertainment Permit & Liquor License for Sandra Harkins d/b/a Railroad Diner

7.   COUNCIL ORDERS, RESOLUTIONS, & ORDINANCES
      
 2015-54    ORDER − Public Works Addition
     
 2015-55    ORDER − FY 2013 Homeland Security Supplemental Funds
     
 2015-56    RESOLUTION − Downtown Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District Development Program
       
2015-57    ORDINANCES − Non-Storm Water Discharge Ordinance (First Reading)
     
 2015-58    ORDINANCES − Post-Construction Stormwater Management Ordinance (First Reading)
     
 2015-59    ORDINANCES − Section 47-4 Street Excavations Amendment (First Reading)

8.   OTHER BUSINESS
      A.  Parks Director Vacancy Discussion
      B.   Town Manager's Report
      C.  School Budget Presentation

9. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION & RESPONSE NEW ITEMS

10. APPOINTMENTS
      2015-60   ORDER − Appoint Finance Director

11. COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS

12. EXECUTIVE SESSION
      2015-61   ORDER − 1 MRSA § 405 (6)(A) Personnel matters - Finance Director

13. ADJOURNMENT
      2015-62   ORDER - To Adjourn





SUMMARY OF LISBON COUNCIL MEETING RULES

This summary is provided for guidance only.  The complete council working rules may be found on the town website www.lisbonme.org on the Town Officials, Town Council page.

The meeting agenda is available from the town website under Council Agendas and Minutes.
1.   Please note the order that agenda items may be acted upon by the Council, however, if necessary, the Council may elect to change the order of the agenda.
2.   The Council Chairman presides over the meeting.  When the Chairman is not present, the Vice Chairman serves that function.  The chair shall preserve decorum and decide all questions of order and procedure subject to appeal to the town council.
3.   Public comment is not typically allowed during Council workshops.  There may be occasions where public comment may be recruited, but normally, workshops are reserved for Council members to discuss and educate themselves on a variety of issues facing the Town.  Prior to the conclusion of a workshop, if time permits, the chair may allow questions from the public. 
4.   During audience participation, anyone wishing to address council will wait to be recognized by the chair before beginning any remarks.  Audience members will move to the lectern to address council, and shall provide name and address prior to addressing the council.
5.   Note that “Consent Agenda” items (if there are any) are acted upon first, voted upon as a group, and will most often be voted on without discussion as these items often involve “housekeeping” issues (such as minor parking changes).  On occasion “Consent Agenda” items are separated out as stand-alone action items by the Council to allow for more discussion.
6.   Public comment on agenda items.  General comments on agenda items should be made during audience participation.  After introduction of an agenda item, appropriate motions, and time for explanation and council questions, the public may be allowed to comment on that agenda item at the discretion of the chair.  During that period of time, the public comment shall address only the agenda item before council. 
7.   Action on agenda items.  As each item on the agenda for any meeting is brought to the floor for discussion:
      a. The town clerk reads the agenda item and the action being requested of council.
       b. The sponsor of each item or, if there is no council sponsor, the town manager, or town staff, shall first be                                                      allowed to present their initial comments for consideration by the public and councilors. 
            c. Following this introduction of the issue, there will be time devoted to any questions of the sponsor or the town                       manager or staff regarding the agenda item which any councilor may have which would help to clarify the                       question presented by the agenda item.  The chair may allow questions from the public during this time                       however; no debate or discussion of collateral issues shall be permitted. 
            d. When authorized by the chair, any additional public comment shall be no longer than two minutes per person             and must be to request or furnish new or undisclosed information or viewpoints only. 
            e. Once an agenda item has been explained and clarified by any questioning, the discussion on the specific                    agenda item will remain with the council.  Additional public comment, prior to final council vote; will only be                  allowed at the chairman's discretion. 
8.   New business is for the council to receive input on town matters not on the agenda for that meeting.  It is not intended, nor shall it be construed as an opportunity for debate of previous agenda items or reinforcement of a point made by another speaker.  Comments shall be to furnish new or undisclosed information or viewpoints and limited to a time period of two minutes or less and shall be directed through the chair.
9.   If an “Executive Session” is conducted by the Council, State Statute prohibits public attendance for any discussion of the action to be addressed by the Council. Any action taken by the Council on any “Executive Session” matter must be acted upon in a public meeting, and may occur at the end of the “Executive Session” (which has no time element relative to the length of the discussion involved in the “session”).