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Showing posts with label Solid Waste Department. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Solid Waste Department. Show all posts

Thursday, March 27, 2014



This is the recap of Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.  It started off with the Interim Town Manager briefing everyone on the negotiations with the insurance company pertaining to the fire at the Public Works building.

Truck – The town and insurance company have reached an agreement on compensation for the burned truck.  The insurance will pay $48,000.00 to the town and the town will keep the burned truck.  There are parts on the truck that were not damaged by the fire and the town can reuse them.  It will cost the taxpayers an additional $25,000.00 – 30,000.00 for the purchase of a new truck.

Building – There is no final agreement between the town and the insurance company but the insurance has offered $300,000.00 for the repair of the building.  The insurance company is also going to pay three months rental.  Currently, the town is paying $4,500.00 a month to Longchamps & Sons, Inc. for rental space.  The Town council will have to make a decision as to how to proceed forward from this point.  Mr. Olmstead presented four options to the council.  This will be added to next week’s agenda for more discussion and hopefully a decision.

The Council spent over 2 hours going over the four parts of the Public Works budget with Ryan Leighton.  These four are Town Engineer, Public Works Department, Winter Public Works and finally Solid Waste Department.

This was followed by the Parks Department budget with Verla Brooks, Park Ranger; then Mark Stevens with the Recreational budget.  These two budgets took less than a half hour. 

I personally believe there are three budgets that should be left alone.  They are the Recreational and Parks budget because they generate revenue for the town and they provide various services to all ages from Senior Citizens to the very young.  These two department heads never ask for anything that is not necessary.

The other department is the Library.  The Library has the Job Program and many many more programs for all ages.  Their summer reading program is excellent for our young people especially since the town closed the teen center.  The town does not provide any place for our teenagers to go for the past few years.  At least, these three departments provide some relief for our young people.

Larry Fillmore

Editor's Note:  It is unconscionable to see such a display of unprofessional decorum by the reigning council chairman for not have taken the initiative to provide a microphone for the interim Town Manager to use so that the taxpayers sitting at home watching could hear what is being said.  

GreatFallsTV: Lisbon Town Council Workshop March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Town Council Workshop Agenda‏ March 25, 2014 with SUMMARY OF LISBON COUNCIL MEETING RULES

7:00 P.M.


a. Public Works
b. Solid Waste
c. Parks
d. Recreation

This summary is provided for guidance only. The complete council working rules may be found on the town website 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”). 
Current as of December 31, 2013

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recap Town Council Workshop Meeting - February 11th ‏ 2014


At last night's Town Council Workshop, there was a presentation by Mr. Ryan Leighton.  Mr. Leighton outlined the responsibilities of the Public Works Department, Solid Waste, Sewer Department, Technology Department and finally the Town Engineer’s office.  This presentation was informative and very well done by Mr. Leighton.

One of the highlights of the presentation was when Mr. Leighton announced that the replacement of the Police Department servers was not charged to the Police Department budget.  Instead, this cost was charged to the Technology Department.  I am sure this was done to reduce the amount taxpayers are forced to pay for the enormous Police Department.  There are several other costs that are not in the Police Department that are solely used by the Police Department.  

How can anyone tell how much it costs the taxpayers to operate any department when all costs are not charged to that department?
Next, the Council had a discussion on which of the three organizations, which had provided presentations, as to what they will do for the town in search of a new Town Manager.  The majority of the councilors chose Eaton Peabody Consulting with Municipal Resources coming second and no one really voicing their support of the Maine Municipal Association (MMA).  There were some unanswered questions pertaining to the total cost by each organization and timelines.  The Interim Town Manager, Mr. Dale Olmstead was asked to contact each organization and seek the missing information prior to Tuesday’s Town council meeting.  The Council will vote on the issue at that time.

Larry Fillmore

[Originally published on 02-12-2014 4:57am]

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lisbon Town Council Workshop Agenda February 11, 2014

7:00 P.M.


___Councilor Bickford
___ Councilor Brunelle
___ Councilor Garrison
___ Councilor Lunt
___Councilor Metivier
___ Councilor Pesce
___ Councilor Ward

Town Clerk reading of meeting rules

• Public Works, Solid Waste, Waste Water Treatment Plant Department Presentations





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Maine Wire: “Maine GOP Points Up Dangers, Unforeseen Consequences of MaineCare Expansion” plus 1 more

Maine GOP Points Up Dangers, Unforeseen Consequences of MaineCare Expansion
Posted: 02 Apr 2013 07:25 PM PDT
AUGUSTA – Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services gathered in Cross Office building Tuesday for a packed public hearing on a bill that would expand Maine’s Medicaid program – also known as MaineCare – to include individuals eligible under the federal Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare. “This [...]

Survey Ranks Maine 40th Business Friendly State
Posted: 02 Apr 2013 07:47 AM PDT
Well, at least we’re not dead last. A survey of 8,000 small businesses across the country published by on the regulatory, tax and economic climate of all 50 states has placed Maine 40th in terms of the state’s friendliness to small business. If that sounds like progress since Forbes published a similar study placing Maine 50th, guess again. According [...]

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Town Council Agenda Tuesday August 7, 2012

7:00 P.M.


___Councilor Bickford
___ Councilor Bowie
___ Councilor Larochelle
___ Councilor Lunt
___Councilor Mason
___ Councilor Pomelow
___ Councilor Ward

Town Clerk reading of meeting rules





2012-110 ORDER −
A. Minutes of July 17, 2012


2012-111 ORDER −
Library Air Conditioner Bids

2012-112 ORDER −
Solid Waste Wood Trailer Bids

2012-113 ORDER −
MMA Annual Election – Vice President & Executive Committee Members


A. County Charter Presentation

B. 2012-13 Road Paving Schedule


2012-114 ORDER −
Planning Board (2) Associate Members (Lunt, Paradis)




2012-115 ORDER −
To Adjourn


A. Davis Cemetery

B. Charter Amendments

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Budget Advisory Member Recounts Last Nights Workshop

 Dot Fitzgerald "Founding member of Lisbon Concerned Citizens" pictured with Frank Anicetti "The Original MoxieMan"

A friend recently told me not to write a letter to TLR or act when you are angry or upset.

Right now I am ignoring that advice.

Attending the April 24, 2012 Overview of Budget Workshop with Budget Advisory Board were Town Manager Steve Eldridge and Town Councilors, acting-chair Lori Pomelow, Mark Lunt, Mike Bowie, Gina Mason and Roger Bickford.

I was the only member of the Advisory Board to attend.

Two members of the Advisory Board were noticeably absent, a "silent protest" as the Advisory Board is advisory in name only. Advice, suggestions, are ignored.

Questions asked are answered and explained as though one were a little child.

Departments on the agenda were the Library, Town Engineer, Town Buildings, Technology, Solid Waste, Finance and Town Clerk.

Town Manager and Council are considering cutting $10,000 from the Library, already bare bones, budget. That would mean eliminating the pre-school, head-start and summer reading programs.

The Town Building budget includes $15,000 for new roofing and $4,000 to replace the windows at the E.T. Smith fire station In Lisbon village.

The fire station has 9 windows, 3 are very small. I have been informed that the cost of roofing materials have, like, gone through the roof.

But, $15,000 for a plain pitched roof with no dormers or valleys seems a little excessive.

A friend said he just replaced 13 windows in his older home for under $3,000.

Yet, $4,000 for nine windows?

Town Engineer said the Public works roof is leaking. The E.T.Smith Co. roof is NOT leaking.

Why are they replacing the non-leaking roof, instead if the one that is leaking?

These will go out to bid, and if bids are lower the extra will go into the town's undesignated funds account. Another word for a slush fund! ! ! ! ! !

I asked why Town Engineer, also head of Public Works, Solid Waste and Sewerage Treatment Plant has unlimited use of a town owned vehicle?

In case of an emergency I was told.

Putting mileage, wear and tear, tires, town employees doing the maintenance, for his personal use?

And guess who will have to pay when the vehicle needs to be replaced due to high mileage, etc?

You guessed it! ! !

Deputy Fire Chiefs for Lisbon and Lisbon Falls use their own vehicles in the event of an emergency.

Why can't the Town Engineer do the same?

The cost for all town employees to receive a 2% wage increase, or as Eldridge puts it, a one-time bonus, plus step/longevity increases is a whopping $174,657.
(One Hundred Seventy Four Thousand Six Hundred Fifty Seven Dollars).

I'm sure they are entitled to raises, but can the taxpayers afford it?

We all are paying more for gas, heating oil, groceries. with no big pay increases

The Town Manager and Town Council living in a fantasy land. Are acting like Lisbon Taxpayers have money trees growing in their back yards!!!!!

And still we are not allowed to vote on the town budget. Wonder Why??????

Dot Fitzgerald
A Very Fed Up Concerned Citizen

Friday, April 20, 2012

Town Council Workshop April 24th

7:00 P.M.

1. Overview of Budget with School Committee *If Needed

2. Workshop with Budget Advisory Board
a. Library
b. Town Engineer, Town Buildings, Technology, and Solid Waste
c. Finance
d. Town Clerk

If you want to see how your taxes are being spent you may attend this workshop but remember you as a member of the public are not allowed to speak at these workshops. You may observe, listen and learn.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Ineptness Of Lisbon's Town Leadership Is Staggering: RECAP TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP APRIL 10TH – PART 2


Now, we have the layout of the budget identified. Let’s get into the meat of the workshop. The town council had requested the town manager reconsider the municipal budget. At Tuesday’s workshop, Eldridge presented several empty gestures such as cutting children’s story time and summer reading programs at the library. 

The other one I loved was cutting the Police Patrol hours or cut a Public Safety Officer and an Officer Safety. I have no idea what the difference is with these two positions because they are not listed on the police web site. Both of these gestures are empty.

In the proposed budget, Eldridge wants to award a 2% bonus to every employee of the town at a cost of $49,280 dollars. If you eliminate the department heads from this bonus, there would be sufficient funds to keep the children’s story time and summer reading programs in the budget. 

So the big question is do we fund children’s story time and the summer reading program plus keep the same hours at the Library or provide a 2% bonus to all the department heads? Keep in mind, the department heads in Lisbon’s salaries are $166,000 dollars more than their counterparts in Skowhegan.

Also, Eldridge has $55, 925 dollars for Professional Development in this municipal budget. This means the taxpayers of Lisbon are going to provide funds for employees to obtain degrees such as paralegal. Of course, there is no position for a paralegal in the town of Lisbon. Why are we wasting so much money on education and receiving no return on investment? 

Ryan Leighton is not a Licensed Professional Engineer and Sean Galipeau does not have his Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety. Neither of these two are fully qualified for their positions as department heads but the taxpayer’s are paying those individuals top dollars. If our pay scale was more in line with Skowhegan, we would have sufficient funds to reduce our capital improvements by paving roads and repairing town buildings without raising taxes.

Anyone who wants to review the proposed municipal budget can do so by going to the town web site and on the home page go down and click on the budget

 I really encourage each of you to do so and you will be shocked by the gross negligence of the town manager in proposing such a budget. Almost every page of the budget contains increases in the 2012-2013 budgets and yet the town has not utilized all the funds appropriated for last year. 

Here is the test, pick any page and look at only 2012 Budget; 2012 YTD and 2013 Manager. The first item is what the town budgeted for this year; the second one is how much of the budgeted amount have we spent and finally what Eldridge has proposed for next year. The explanation is you must always have a fudge factor as a safety measure. I agree with this concept except if you do not spend all of the money you budgeted you do not need this fudge factor; you simply budget the same amount you budgeted the year before. 

 However, since 2008 (when Eldridge came to Lisbon) this fudge factor has been increased every year whether you spend the funds or not so now we are really out of whack.

Taxpayers have to choose if they want to continue overpaying our department heads or adjust their salaries to a reasonable figure more in line with our town economy or to raise taxes every year. In the past, Eldridge stated the increases were due to loss of state revenue but this year we have an increase from $830,000 to $895,000 dollars. So why are they increasing taxes this year?

Now I am going to provide you with the town’s vision of the tax increase for this year.

Valuation      1 mil increase  Cost per month     2 mil increase    Cost per month
$100,000   $100.00    $8.00              $200.00          $17.00
$150,000   $150.00    $13.00            $300.00          $25.00
$200,000   $200.00    $17.00            $400.00          $33.00
$250,000   $250.00    $21.00            $500.00          $42.00
$300,000   $300.00    $25.00            $600.00          $50.00

*These figures were provided by Eldridge.

The town council is trying to keep the increase between 1 & 2 mil. Management of the Town of Lisbon does not understand how to hold taxes. There is no magic formula. It is simple to hold the line by (1) increase revenue and (2) reduce spending. Management or mismanagement of the town of Lisbon cannot grasp this concept.

Taxpayers have to decide how much more they are going to take before we put a stop to this insanity. Come to the Town Council meeting and speak out against this year’s budget before it is too late since the taxpayers are NOT going to have an opportunity to vote on the municipal budget this year.

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lisbon's fiscal Mismanagement.‏

February brings cold temperatures and thoughts of next years budget.

It has come to my attention, thanks to Mr. Filmore's research, that Lisbon is paying over 160 thousand dollars in excessive salaries for just 8 of our department heads when compared to Skowhegan's pay scale. (A town of similar size)

Finance Director --------------$11,748  more than Skowhegan
Town Manager-----------------$23,749  
Code Enforcement
Transfer Station----------------$20,637
Economic Development------$11,367
Police Chief----------------------$7,521
Fire Chief-------------------------$3,180
Wastewater Supv.--------------$11,614
Town Engineer------------------$70,723
                               Total-----$160,539 more than Skowhegan

If you  apply this to the FY11's total tax levy of $9,654,000,  we are paying approx. 40 cents of our Mil rate for these excessive salaries.  That's about $60 dollars for the average $150,000
dollar house.

Now keep in mind this is just 8 employees.. If you go through our entire budget I am confident you will find this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Last Nov. we went to the ballot box and told our council we want to vote on the Town budget. This vote was a resounding Mandate of over 80% . 

Despite this mandate  last weeks council meeting  saw the foundation being set to deny us our vote on the Town Budget. Several of the founders of  our charter were requested to speak to give their reasons for not letting the taxpayers vote on the budget.

The Councilors still don’t “get it”   WE WANT TO VOTE ON THE BUDGET.  There is no room for interpretation.    WE WANT TO VOTE.....

What is keeping our councilors from respecting the will of the people.  Do they have some financial or other reason for snubbing their noses at the electorate?

I have heard rumors of town corruption and mismanagement for years.  Most of these I have taken  with a grain of salt but after this  obvious disregard for the publics wishes I am not so sure that the rumors don’t have a basis in truth.

It is time to pull our heads out of the sand and fix our fiscal problems. Ignoring them will only make matters worse.

We may need a forensic audit to uncover the full extent of this mismanagement.

Joe Hill

Friday, February 17, 2012


 Dot Fitzgerald

Larry Fillmore's article (see below) is a prime example of why the Town of Lisbon's taxes are so high;
Putting a non-qualified person in charge of four (4) departments when he is barely qualified to head the
ones  (two) he was already in charge of.
It's too bad the workshops are not taped and aired on TV. Viewers would have seen Ryan Leighton
red-faced and stammering about the difficulties at the Public Works and Transfer Station.
Councilor Ward may have been on the right track when she mentioned that perhaps the employees
at those two departments need training. Or is it Department Head Ryan Leighton that needs the
Management Training?
It would seem that Town Manager Steve Eldridge is the one most in need of management training.
To put an untrained, unqualified person in charge of Solid Waste, plus Public Works and the Transfer
Station, in addition to the Engineering Department is, simply put, pure insanity and irresponsible.  
Dot Fitzgerald
A Very Concerned Lisbon Citizen

In Lisbon The Beat Goes On - A Pure Waste


Last year’s budget included an 8.5% pay increase to the town engineer because the town manager decided to consolidate Public Works, Solid Waste, and Sewer Department under the town engineer.   Remember, the town engineer has never had more than one individual to supervise in the past twelve years and now he has approximately 16 full time; 4 part time and 2 summer personnel to directly supervise with absolutely no managerial training or experience.   According to the town, Leighton has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UM; 16 additional credits in Civil Engineering; a Grade 2 Waste Water Operations License and is a certified Code Enforcement Officer. 


 Councilor Bowie

At last Tuesday’s Workshop, Councilor Bowie asked Leighton how the consolidation was working out and Leighton replied there were problems.  During the discussion that followed it came out, Leighton was having issues with personnel not complying with his guidance.  Councilor Ward also asked questions pertaining to why there were so many issues.  Town Manager Eldridge tried to rescue the situation by informing everyone that department heads are receiving managerial training.  If the department heads do not have managerial skills; what in the world qualifies these individuals to be hired as department heads with these inflated salaries, in this case $70,000.  This clearly demonstrates the incompetency of the town manager and also show’s a complete lack of respect for the individuals who had previously held these positions such as Wayne Ricker, now retired, Button Beale, and Gerald Kamke.

Councilor Ward
The most important aspect of this whole situation is Ryan Leighton is not a Licensed Professional Engineer and therefore cannot legally perform duties as an Engineer on any project over $100,000 dollars.  On the handout provided, it states under his Brief Description of Responsibilities “Prepare RFP’s, plan and supervise all major capital projects including computer upgrade, trails projects, public works road work, equipment replacement, etc.”  This statement is an outright lie because in the previous workshop Leighton himself stated the town will have to hire a Licensed Professional Engineer to supervise the trails project because it exceeds $100,000.  So, why are we wasting $70,000 a year to an individual who does not possess the required credentials to supervise our projects?  The town will have to hire an additional engineer who is a Licensed Professional Engineer  for all projects over $100,000.

The Solid Waste and Public Works Departments have always received outstanding comments from the Public and dedicated years of professional service under their respective department heads; so why change it.  If it is not broken why fix it!!!!!   The Waste Water Treatment Plant is rated as Class 4 by the State of Maine.  Leighton is only a Class 2 Operator and technically cannot be at the plant unless supervised by a Class 4 or 5 individual.  So, the real question is “If the State of Maine is holding our Class 4 & 5 personnel responsibility for the Waste Water Treatment Plant, how can Leighton be the Superintendent of Sewer?  What possible managerial skills does he bring to the table and how can he tell these two Class 4 & 5 personnel what to do when he is not qualified himself?” 

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the stupid of consolidation under an individual who has never supervised personnel and who has absolutely no managerial training or experience.   This consolidation was done to justify Leighton receiving an 8.5% increase in his already inflated salary.  The real crime here is the town manager making a move like this which resulted in absolute no cost saving to the taxpayer of Lisbon because all of the previous department heads received the same salary and Leighton received a pay raise.  The town manager has no respect for the dedication and professionalism the town employees have devoted to this town.  Again, an individual (town manager) who does not understand good management practices. 

How much longer does the town of Lisbon have to put up with this mismanagement of town employees and the waste of our tax dollars?

 Town manager Eldridge

 The town manager’s evaluation is being reviewed by the town council and the council will approve keeping the town manager but the only way to stop this injustice is by getting rid of the cause.  Eldridge makes all decisions on town employees so he is responsible for this situation.  Lisbon cannot begin to heal without getting rid of the cancer in this town, Eldridge.

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where's Our Money Going? Curious Of Your Tax Dollars,,,,Maybe A Lil'Bit?


Below is a comparison of Department Head salaries between the thriving community of Skowhegan and the Town of Lisbon.  Can you tell why Lisbon’s taxes are so high or does a rock have to fall on your head?

Former Councilor Roger Cote has been preaching about the inflation of salaries and no one wanted to listen but here it is in black and white.   It is outrageous the cronyism and collusion going on with the Town Council and Town Manager.  In this economic crisis, it is a crime against the people of Lisbon to force them to pay these inflated salaries.

 Look at all the businesses forced to close in Lisbon.  The combination of the economy and taxes are driving them away.  This unfortunate situation cannot be turned around until the people take charge of the spending in this town.  The facts are the Town of Lisbon has to cut these inflated salaries and to reduce spending in order to reduce taxes.  There is no other way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Finance Director                   $39,483.                                     $51,231.

Assistant Assessor                $35,652.                                     $27,861.*
Town Manager                     $63,000.                                      $86,749.
Code Enforcement/Land
fill Supervisor                      $62,334.           $36,628.**CodeEnf.
Economic & Community
Development Director         $45,633.                                      $57,000. ***
Police Chief                         $60,586.                                      $68,107.
Fire Chief                            $50,229.                                      $53,403.
General Assistance 
Case Worker                       $12,610.                                      None Listed
Health Officer                    $1200.                                          None Listed
Waste Water Treatment
Plant Supervisor                 $56,756.                                        $68570.
Road Commissioner           $60,926.                                        $58,742.
Parks $ Recreation
Director                         $47,074.                        $39,462.Recreation
                                                                                  $35.354.  Parks
Town Engineer                    None                                             $70.723.                          

*Partial Year
** Lisbon’s Code Enforcement Officer has nothing to do with the Transfer Station.
*** Was hired in 2010 for $57,000 but only paid $3,173 for 2010.

Skowhegan’s Salary is as of Municipal Budget for Fiscal Year 2012.
Lisbon’s Salary is as of the Annual Report for 2009-2010.  Employees received a 1.75% increase for 2011; the Town Engineer received an 8.5% increase; and the Recreation and Fire Chief received a $10,000 increase in their pay for 2011.

 Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Study Shows Reduction in Public-Sector Union Enrollment Would Save Maine Taxpayers $263 Million Per Year‏

STUDY: Reduction in Public-Sector Union Enrollment Would Save Maine Taxpayers $263 Million Per Year 
Bloated State Employee Wages More Than Double the Amount
Needed to Fill the DHHS Budget Shortfall
PORTLAND – A study released this week by the Goldwater Institute details the crippling financial impact of public-sector unionization, and shows that a 50% reduction in Maine’s public-sector union membership would save taxpayers $263 million a year. This savings would more than double the amount needed to fill the current shortfall in the Health and Human Services budget.
The Goldwater study cites information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows state employee wages are 44% higher than private sector wages. Further study shows that unionized state employees nationwide earn 42% more than state employees that don’t belong to a union. A 50% decrease in union membership across the nation is estimated to save taxpayers over $49 billion annually, and $263 million in Maine alone.
The study also notes a study from the Kennedy School at Harvard University, showing an increase in interest cost to states with high public-sector union membership:

“The study’s authors note that union strength in a particular level of government…can indicate to bond markets that those governments may not be able to overcome the political pressure to implement budget-conscious measures when necessary.
“Those states with a more heavily unionized government sector tended to have higher borrowing costs relative to other states with a less unionized government sector."
“This study reinforces what Franklin Roosevelt told us more than 70 years ago – that the concept of public-sector unions is ‘unthinkable and intolerable’,” said Lance Dutson, Chief Executive Officer of The Maine Heritage Policy Center. “Maine taxpayers have been squeezed dry by public-sector unions. The very money that is taken from the pockets of working Mainers is used to reinforce their political stature in government, which allows them to squeeze more money from taxpayers. All of this is untenable, especially in light of recent budget developments."
“The taxpayers of Maine have a strong willingness to help the least-fortunate among us, but state workers are not our least fortunate,” Dutson continued. “With the threat of cuts to our social safety net, the travesty of bloated union wages is especially poignant. It’s time to face the facts: public-sector unions drain precious resources away from Maine’s sick, elderly, and poor. Allowing this to continue in Maine is unacceptable, and we hope the legislature will take appropriate action to correct this terrible imbalance of priorities.”

Another Lisbon Citizen Questions Use Of Town Funds

Now that the FIREHOUSE CAFE is closed. There are strong rumors that TOWN ECONOMIC  money$$$ was given or loan to them. How much money was given to them? In the past ten years HOW MUCH money has been given to FAILED BUSINESSES?? THIS is your and my $$ BUT we are told  this is PRIVILEGED info? Last year 2010  there was Maria store in the village who business model was unclear, This was another Economic Development  investment. Where is the accountability for decisions giving away our MONEY?
      Please let me know??!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are The Citizens In Lisbon In A Coma About The Illegalities Of Their Town Management?


During the last Town Council meeting, the Town Engineer Ryan Leighton requested the town council award a contract to a local contractor for the Route 196 Sewer Main Replacement project.  The original request was submitted through Eldridge and included on the council agenda. 

The cost of this project was well over $5,000.00 and required a “Formal Bidding” which was totally ignored.  The Town of Lisbon Ordinance demands any project in excess of $5,000.00 shall be in accordance with Section 86-34 Formal Bidding of the Lisbon purchasing policy.  This requires a Notice of Invitation to bid and should be published in a newspaper providing local coverage or mailed to a qualified bidders list.  Instead, Leighton only communicated with local contractors directly.  This is in violations of this section by not allowing, out of town qualified bidders, to submit a bid on this project.

The Town Charters allows local contractors to receive preference on all contracts.  It reads “provided all other factors are equal, a bidder having its place of business located within the town shall be awarded the contract if its bid is less than two percent higher than the low bidder.” or “If more than one bidder having its place of business located within the town is less than two percent higher than the low bidder, the contract shall be awarded to the lowest local bidder.” per Section 86-36.  This exception enables local venders to compete on local projects.

Let us not forget the April 19th Town Council meeting, Eldridge asked the council to allow Chief Galipeau to present an issue to the council.  This request was for $5,700.00 to move a building.  This request was not on the AGENDA but pushed through by the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Lisbon.  The council voted to approve (5-2 Cote and Lunt voted not to approve) the appropriation of $5,700 to FCI.  Sorry, but this violated the Lisbon Purchasing Policy Section 86-34 because it exceeds the $5,000.00 limitation and required a formal bid.  I hope no one tries to tell me this was an emergency situation because the building collapsed and was never moved. This illegal Purchase Order is still in effect and next week we will be into October.  The Town Council can approve up to $100,000.00 but must go through the Purchasing Policy.  This clearly demonstrates a complete disregard for the town charter by Bowie (puppet master) and the puppets.  I include Eldridge as one of the puppeteers.  This illegal Purchase Order needs to be immediately cancelled.

The residents of the Town of Lisbon have entrusted Ryan Leighton and the Chief Administrative Officer Stephen Eldridge to be familiar and adhere with the provisions of the town Charter.  The process utilized by Leighton and Eldridge is in direct violation to the Purchasing Policy.  It was exciting to see the Town Council recognized this violation and instructed Ryan Leighton to redo it properly.  This is not the responsibility of the Town Council but the Chief Administrative Officer.  At what point, are the citizens of the Town of Lisbon going to force the Town Manager to perform the duties he is receiving a salary (taxpayer dollars) of $80,000.00 plus.  Also, why do the residents have to put up with incompetence by Department Heads?  Ryan Leighton has clearly demonstrated he is not qualified to perform the duties as Town Engineer, Director of Public Works and Transfer Station or the Superintendent of Sewer.  Leighton receives a salary (taxpayers dollars) of $70,000.00 plus.

There is no wonder the taxes are so high in the Town of Lisbon when the taxpayers are forced to pay these enormous salary’s to individuals who are not qualified nor are performing the duties required by their position.  It is simple math; if you cut spending you cut taxes.  This has nothing to do with cutting service provided to the residents.  Until the citizens of Lisbon demand the Town Council reduce spending, your taxes will continue grow at a rate impossible to keep up with.  The Federal government has not raised the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) in several years but this has not stopped the Town of Lisbon from raising taxes to cover the excessive spending.

Larry A. Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here's Why Recycling Is So Important To Our Future, If Only It Worked For Politicians

Win Win: Use Of Recycled Plastic
Waste Not Technologies in Pennsylvania is a company that turns plastic jugs into sturdy, attractive fences that will outlast a wooden fence by many years.

Not only are they made out of "garbage" but the equipment to make it was all recycled from other companies. Some of it was even reclaimed from junkyards and put back into working condition.

Since plastic does not biodegrade, it's really win- win when it can be re-manufactured into a product that will stay in place and be useful for a long time.

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by WNEP's Home and Backyard Show

Friday, July 29, 2011


To The Lisbon Reporter

Does no one but Mr. Fillmore and me find the letter written and sent by Lisbon Town Manager Steve Eldridge to Ryan Leighton, head of Public Works, who forwarded it to Mr. Elwood (Button) Beals, former head of Public Works, find it unacceptable behavior for a town manager?

Mr. Beals, former head of the Town of Lisbon Public Works Department has always done an excellent job, is liked and respected by the workers. Why didn’t Mr. Eldridge call public works and ask why there were 2 employees on the street sweeper, instead of calling an employee an idiot? And then, there is Mr. Leighton, head of public works, instead of going to or calling public works to find out what was going on, forwarded the letter to Button Beals.

If there were 2 employees running the sweeper that day, I’m sure there was a good reason for it. Mr. Beals knows his job, and does it well. To disrespect him the way Town Manager Eldridge did is totally unacceptable!

Mr. Ryan Leighton, Lisbon Town engineer and head of the Sewerage Treatment Plant, this year was also given the additional duties as head of Public Works and Solid Waste, along with a considerable increase in his salary.

At the Tuesday July 5, 2011 town council meeting, #6 - Orders, Resolutions and Ordinances, 2011 Order – Public Works Truck and Body Bids, Mr. Leighton said the lowest bid for a stainless steel truck body $27,175 and $2,200 for painting and installation. When asked by Councilor Bowie if the amount requested included both the purchase and installation, Mr. Leighton hesitated, and said he did not know. He was totally unprepared! And this is someone our town manager and town council, all but one dissenting vote, hired to be in charge of the public works, plus gave him a generous raise ! ? ! ?

Sounds to me like he has so many duties he can’t keep track of them all.


Dorothy B. Fitzgerald
A Very Concerned Lisbon Citizen

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Insight on the Lisbon Government


Is it mismanagement and /or misappropriation to pay an individual taxpayer’s dollars when they are not qualified (Watch the July 5, 2011 Town Council meeting)? I believe this is cronyism. Cronyism is the practice of appointing friends to high-level, especially political, posts regardless of their suitability or the practice of favoring one's close friends, especially in political appointments. Adding an additional layer to management cost the taxpayer’s money without a significant return on investment. This additional layer is costing the taxpayer’s $34,655.00 a year. As Eldridge states in his letter; this has been going on for five years which has cost the taxpayers $34,655.00 times 5 equals $173,275.00.

Now the town council approved an 8% pay increase to Leighton to be the Director of Public Works and Transfer Station. Again, I believe this is a prime example of cronyism. This additional layer will cost the taxpayer’s $35,209.00 per year. The town council and town manager should be looking at ways to reduce spending instead of increasing it. This year, the town council approved an increase in spending of .09% over last year’s budget.

What do you think? Is it mismanagement and/or misappropriations? I believe the town council and town manager are mismanaging the town of Lisbon by adding additional unnecessary layer of management (cronyism) and definitely misappropriating our tax dollars. If you agree with me, please contact your town councilor and voice your opinion or send your comments to the Lisbon Reporter.

Larry A. Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

Larry to Town Manager on Sewer-2
Steve Letter on Sewer