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Showing posts with label Town Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Town Council. Show all posts

Monday, July 9, 2018

GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

 
An update to my previous letter on the Lisbon Reporter:
 
You probably remember that, at the June 26 Town Council meeting, my
remark that placing a solar light at the School Street/Route 196 Garden
might prevent vehicles from driving into the garden, and hopefully 
stopping the annual destruction of the garden and Worumbo Mill Wheels.
 
And to my surprise on Monday, July 2, there were solar lights around
the perimeter of the garden. 
 
I assumed that the town public works had placed them there. I even
called the PW director and left a message, thanking him.
 
I learned last night that it was actually Councilor Kris Cradford who purchased
the solar lights, and, with the help of his son, put the them around
the perimeter of the garden.
 
Kris, a member of the Town Council, decided it would be a good civic
lesson for his son. 
 
In my estimation, Councilor Kris went above and beyond Civic Duty by that 
unselfish act. 

He is my hero!

Dorothy Fitzgerald
Concerned Citizen

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

VANDALS STRIKE TOWN GARDEN

 
Sometime Monday night someone stole solar lights from the School Street/
Route 196 Town Public Flower Garden.
 
On Monday, Public Works placed solar lights in the ground around the outside
perimeter of the garden, hopefully to prevent vehicles from crashing through it,
damaging shrubs, flowers, and the Worumbo Mill Wheels, again.
 
This happens at least once a year. The tire marks are still there on the School
Street side, from the last time someone drove into the garden. A beautiful, large
bush was driven into, torn from it's roots and had to be removed, and the wheels
were damaged, again.
 
Several years ago a tree was planted in the garden in memory of Nancy Chizmar,
long time State of Maine Representative in Augusta. Someone ploughed into the
garden with enough force to almost uproot the tree.

Sadly the tree did not make it.
 
The solar lights was supposed to prevent that from happening.

They were an attractive addition to the Town Garden during the day,
and were beautiful at night. At least on Monday night, until vandals decided
different.
 
On Tuesday I noticed that some of the solar lights were placed in different spots,
with only 3 or 4 still in the perimeter, the rest, missing.
 
How many times does the town have to replant bushes that have been destroyed
because someone misses the curve and ploughs into the garden?
 
How many times can the Worumbo Mill Wheels be repaired before they are damaged
beyond repair?
 
Faye Brown first planted the garden, and the Green Thumb Gang was born.
 
Faye is also responsible for rescuing the Worumbo Mill Wheels, to be on display
as a reminder of the our heritage.  
 
It would be nice if the vandal or vandals who stole the lights have a change of heart
and leave them at the police station so they can be put back in the garden,
to be enjoyed by all.  

 
Dorothy B. Fitzgerald
A Concerned Lisbon Citizen

CONTROL OF THE MOXIE FESTIVAL

 
At the last Town Council meeting on June 26, 2018, the Town Council decided to hold a discussion on moving the responsibility of the Moxie Festival from the Economic Community Development Department to the Recreational and Parks Department.  As usual there was NO advance notice posted on the town website including the agenda posted for this meeting.  However, I am sure the agendas handed out at the meeting included this change.  This is the type of strategy the Town Manager, Diane Barnes uses to control the input from citizens.
 
Instead of having this discussion in a workshop, it was a last minute addition to the already full and published agenda.  Typical action by the Town Council and the Town Manager!  Such short notice does not provide citizens with adequate preparation prior to the meeting but this is there style.
 
Dorothy Fitzgerald offered the Town Council a different option and as usual it went in one ear and out the other of the Council.  Mrs. Fitzgerald suggested the Moxie Festival’s responsibility be moved to Positive Change Lisbon (PCL).  It was obvious the Council members where not aware of the history of the Moxie Festival.
 
The Moxie Festival started around 1982 by the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce.  It included businesses and citizen who volunteered every year.  The Moxie Festival grew and grew every year and prospered very well.  Because it was making so much money, Steve Eldridge, former Town Manager decided he wanted that money for the town and had the Town Council vote to take over responsibility of the Moxie Festival.
 
Now, we all know that Mark Stevens, Recreation and Parks Director, has his hands full.  Mark does an excellent job and the Town Council has added the responsibility for parks, gardens, cemeteries to his original duties at the Recreation Department.  Mark has done all this with a full-time staff of one besides himself and the Town Council added a full-time maintenance position this year.  Adding the Moxie Festival, would cause a major burden on Mr. Stevens and the Recreation and Parks Department.  Over the years, since the town took over the Moxie Festival and the number of volunteers has continually declined.
 
POSITIVE CHANGE LISBON MISSION STATEMENT

To bring together the resources of Business people, local Government and Citizens, partnering together in a positive environment, to improve the image of our community. Through the efforts of a group of highly motivated individuals guided by a clear vision of our future, we aim to build on the favorable attributes of our Town and make Lisbon a more attractive place to live, recreate and to conduct business.
 
Now to me, this sound like exactly what the original Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce was made up of.  Positive Change Lisbon appears to be the perfect place for the Moxie Festival responsibility.  If you review their website, you will see the majority of the businesses are members.  Councilor LaRochelle is the Secretary.  Positive Change Lisbon puts on numerous events throughout the year and this festival fits right in.  The Moxie Festival promotes the town of Lisbon and our many attributes.  I cannot think of a better organization to have the responsibility for the Moxie Festival.
 
I do realize that because Mrs. Fitzgerald suggested it and I agree with her; this will never happen because the Council will never admit this is the right thing to do and they did not think of it.
 
Larry Fillmore

Friday, June 22, 2018

PURE WASTE OF TIME

 
The Town Council’s agenda for June 26, 2018 is currently out.  It is important to note that it has a start time of 6:00 PM instead of 7:00 PM.  The early start time is because it includes a Public Hearing on the proposed 2018-2019 Municipal budget.  The Town Council wants you to believe that they want the people’s input prior to them voting on the budget.  This is only a myth.
 
Anytime you think this is not true, just go back to the results of the November 2011 election where the residents were asked on the ballot if they wanted to vote on the municipal budget.  The results were almost 3 to 1 in favor of voting on the municipal budget.  Did this ever happen?  The answer is the Town Council then had no intention of listening to the residents and that continues today.
 
Another more recent example is at the last Town Council meeting on June 5, 2018; Mrs. Dorothy Fitzgerald asked the Council why they are not looking for ways to reduce the operating cost of the town instead of increasing the spending.  Mrs. Fitzgerald went so far as to offer ways the town could save taxpayers money but not one councilor responded.  It went in one ear and out the other.  Watch the video of the meeting at 1:23 minutes into the meeting.
 
I use to attend every Town Council meeting for numerous years.  I offer suggestions on how to improve the community or save the taxpayers money.  Not one of the suggestions I offered was considered so I stopped wasting my time.  This Town Council, like others before them, is not going to take any suggestions from the people and they only do whatever they want.  The current Town Council waste been wasting over $200,000.00 a year for the past three years and they do not care.
 
The idea of holding Public Hearings is a legal requirement but nowhere in the law does it say the Town Council has to do anything but listen.  This is why it is important to elect ONLY those individuals to the Town Council that will listen to the people.  Once these individuals are elected, they no longer listen to the voice of the people.  This is disgraceful!
 
The Town Council meeting on June 26, 2018 will be the last chance to voice your opinions about the budget not that it will do any good.  The Council has already made up their minds to raise your taxes again without considering ways to cut taxes.  You will get much more out of staying home and watching “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS”.
 
I listened too many Councils complain about residents not attending council meeting.  These same councilors are the ones that totally ignore residents when they speak up at council meeting.  Why would anyone want to be ignored especially on TV? 
 
Elect Councilors who will listen to the people.
 
Larry Fillmore

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL AGENDA - JUNE 26, 2018


Thursday, June 14, 2018

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DISCUSSION

During the June 5, 2018 Town Council meeting, there was a discussion on MUNIS.  MUNIS is the computer software used by the town to control the majority of its business.  This software package cost the taxpayers $680,000.00 for a period of 7 years.
 
Apparently, the town was sold a bill of goods because it is not working out the way it was advertised.  This is not surprising to me, because I remember the initial discussion about getting rid of TRIO.  The Town Manager made two mistakes with this purchase:
 
            The first mistake was taking advise from someone who had absolutely no credentials or certifications in the Information Technology field.  She never thought to professional advice first.
 
            The second mistake is pushing the Town Council into entering into a 7 year contract without first having the software installed and seeing how it would work for the town.
 
This is yet another example of the Town Manager duping the Town Council into getting her way.  On June 5th at the meeting, she did it again and no one realized it.  Instead of providing all the options and information, she left off a very important fact, “What is the cost of termination this contract?”  To me and the Council because they asked, this information would be critical to making a sound decision but neither the Finance Director nor the Town Manager had that information.  This is how she has always manipulated the Town Council. 
 
The Town Council voted to spend $5,000.00 tax dollars on an assessment verses terminating this contract and going with another software package.  Having the information on the penalty to terminate the contract early may have had an impact on the decision by the Town Council. 
 
Chairman Ward should have tabled any further discussion until the Town Manager was able to provide ALL information needed for the Council to make a sound and logical decision.  It should be a rule that if all the information is not available at the time of the discussion, the item will be tabled until all information is available to the Council.  Information needed to make decisions by the Town Council is conveniently not available.  This is how our Town Council is being forced to make decisions that the Town Manager wants.
 
The Town Manager is being paid over $90,000.00 yearly and should be providing better recommendations to our Town Council.
 
Larry Fillmore

 

 

GENERAL ASSISTANCE IN LISBON

At the Lisbon Town Office there is a door with the wording "General Assistance".
This morning, needing to contact someone at General Assistance, I went on the town's
website, clicked on "Departments", looking for the phone number so I could leave a
message.
 
I clicked on "Departments". No General Assistance listed under Departments.
I went to :Boards and Committees", no General Assistance listed there either. 
I than called the Town Clerk's office, asked how to find General Assistance.
 
No one there knew that General Assistance was not listed under Departments.
 
I was told that General Assistance could be found under the Department of Community Development.
 
I tried that, and guess what? General Assistance is not listed there either!!!!!. 
 
My question is; how does anyone in town, needing General Assistance, contact General Assistance?
 
General Assistance in Lisbon is a part-time position.

I asked Town Manager, Diane Barnes, why we do not have at least a part-time person in General Assistance?  She said that the only time anyone is in need of general assistance is in the winter.  This from a person making $95,000+ per year plus benefits. 
 
Judy Goddard, the Town of Lisbon's General Assistance director also works for the town of Brunswick.  She also works for the City of Bath. Is it any wonder she is not available for the citizens of the Town of Lisbon?
 
Our Town Council and Town Manager recently hired 2 addtional police officers.  They also approved a full time position, part-time for the front counter, part time for the Finance Department.  But they do not see any need to help those in town most in need of assistance.

Perhaps it is time to stop wasting money on someone not available to render assistance, when it is needed.

Dorothy Fitzgerald
Concerned Citizen 

EDITOR'S NOTE:  According to the latest proposed budget, under General Assistance 05-500 there is a line item 5211 Cell Phone which has a proposed budget of $363.00.  If this is the case, why is the cell phone NOT listed on the town web site.  When is the Town Council going to force the Town Manager to do her job? 



 

Monday, June 11, 2018

RESIDENT IGNORED BY LISBON TOWN COUNCIL

 
After reviewing the Town Council meeting of June 5, 2018, I remembered why I no longer attend the Town Council meetings.  For years, I was very faithful about attending the Town Council meetings, I tried to offer suggestions to the Town Council on improving our community.  No matter what I suggested, the Town Council ignored everything.  My suggestions went in one ear and out the other.  It was a total waste of my time.
 
Nothing has changed since I stopped going to these meetings.  If you go to the town website and click on Live Video Streaming and then click on June and Town Council meeting for June 5th.  Go into the video to approximately 1 hour and 23 minutes, you will see the Town Council ignoring Dorothy Fitzgerald.  Mrs. Fitzgerald tried to show the Town Council how they could save the taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars (250,000.00) and the council was not interested.  They asked no questions and totally ignored Mrs. Fitzgerald.
 
I cannot explain why the Town Council is not interested in saving tax dollars.  It appears they are more interested in spending our money than saving it.  This year’s municipal budget is going to increase roughly $660,806.00 which is a 8% increase according to the Town Manager, Diane Barnes.  Amazing as it may sound, Mrs. Barnes in proud of the increase.  The fact, that Mrs. Barnes and the Town Council are not looking for ways to either cut spending or lower our taxes in disgusting and not why the people elected them.  
 
Mrs. Barnes does not realize that the people pay her salary.  She works for the Town Council and not the people.  Mrs. Barnes, our Town Manager, includes a COLA increase every year in her budget which amounts to a salary increase of over $1,800.00 every year.  The town has substituted COLA for wage increase in order to fool the people.  Mrs. Barnes does not mind a $200.00 increase in her taxes when she has a $1,800.00 increase in her salary but those who are on a fixed income are left to suffer.  The residents of Lisbon cannot stand a tax increase every year especially when the town could be saving over a quarter of a million dollars (250,000.00) by eliminating COLA and transferring dispatch to Androscoggin County Dispatch. 
 
There is no recession so there is no need for a COLA.  The Lisbon Communication Center is a duplication of services and could be eliminated with no loss of service.  In fact, it would improve the response time of First Responder by eliminating the middle man in the process.  Four of our Councilors voted to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open for political reasons (Councilors Ward, Crafts, Brunelle and Albert).  This was a political decision interest of what was best for the community.
 
According to Mr. Fern LaRochelle, the town does not need to give up control of the communication center.  What he failed to tell everyone is that he a sub-contractor for the town and works directly with the communication center for vehicle recovery.  Mr. LaRochelle will be voting on the budget for the communication center because there is no such thing as “conflict of interest” in Lisbon.  He already has voted on Chief Hagan’s recommendation to promote a communication specialist to supervisor and to approve an Information Technology (IT) person for the Police Department.
 
The people need to vote in November, councilors who are going to stop spending; look for ways to save tax dollars and listen to residents.
 
Larry Fillmore

 

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL PUSHED THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD!

 
During recent budget meeting, our Town Council was presented with a unique problem with the Police Department.  Chief Hagan described the major reasons towns are getting sued and that was lack of training and lack of direct supervisor.  These two items create a liability for Lisbon.  In order to help eliminate this liability, Chief Hagan offered the following:
 
1.                           Add a part-time Information Technology position in the Lisbon
Communication Center; so that the Patrol Sergeant currently performing these duties can return to Patrol.  Cost is approximately $1,600.00 to $4,000.00.

2.                   Promote a Communication specialist to a Communication Supervisory. 
 Costing between $1,040.00 to $4,800.00

3.                   Hired two additional Patrol Officers.  Costing between $69,000.00-
                   $81,000.00 each
 
Four members of our Town Council support this plan to throw more money at the problem instead of trying to eliminate the liability.  These members are Allen Ward, Chris Brunelle, Norman Albert and Fern LaRochelle.  I believe that three of these individuals are supporting this plan by throwing more of our tax dollars at it because of misguided loyalty and the four is for personal agenda. 
 
When you are trying to solve a problem, it is crucial that you look at eliminating the liability.  Trying to eliminate the core liability; will always be the best solution.  This will reduces the risk management to the town and, will to a great deal, to reducing the chances of being sued.  These four individuals have overlooked the obvious answer to the problem.  Instead of throwing our tax dollars at the problem; just eliminate the problem all together.  So how do we eliminate this liability?
 
The basic solution is to transfer dispatching to Androscoggin County Dispatch.  With this transfer goes all the liability for this operation.  It will eliminate the need for an additional Information Technology position saving approximately $1,600.00 to $4,000.00 tax dollars.   There will no longer be a need to promote anyone because Androscoggin Country Dispatch will have this responsibility.  This will save the town between $1,040.00 and $4,800.00 tax dollars.  SGT Moore will be returned full-time to directly supervisor Patrol which is really his assigned duty.
 
It has been verified by two former Councilors that transferring the Lisbon Communication Center duties to Androscoggin County Dispatch would save the town approximately $200,000.00 per year.  This cost saving would be more than enough to pay for the two additional officers needed to meet the 2015 manpower survey of fourteen officers.  The town currently has twelve officers.  Utilizing the cost savings will eliminate a need to raise our taxes to cover this expense.
 
The bottom line is that these four individuals need to step up and do what is right for the community instead of wasting more tax dollars.  Throwing money at any problem is never the answer when you can eliminate the problem.
 
Problem solved at no additional cost to the taxpayers.  Try using common sense!
 
Call these four individuals and tell them to put what is best for the community first and help our people out.

 
Larry Fillmore

NEEDY OR GREEDY – YOU BE THE JUDGE


Back in early 2015, our Town Council terminated the contract on the previous Town Manager and rightfully so.  However, that left a critical vacancy and needed to be filled quickly.  In the Town Council’s hurry to fill this critical position; the Town Council allowed Diane Barnes to include paragraph 5F under Section 5 Salary and Fringe Benefits which states and I quote “The Manager shall also receive any benefits as the Town provides to its other employees.”

 
This minor item has raised Mrs. Barnes’s starting salary of $87,000.00 per year to last year’s salary of $95,047.00 in just 3 years.  So how is this possible?  It is possible because Mrs. Barnes is misusing the Federal government Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) program to fill her pockets.  Below is the purpose, the program was intended to be utilized for:  

PURPOSE AS DEFINED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:

A cost-of-living adjustment is made to social security and supplemental security income to counteract the effects of inflation. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are typically equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) for a specific period.
 
However, in Lisbon it has taken on an entirely new meaning.  There is no inflation in the current economy and the town is not using the consumer index to determine any COLA adjustments needed.  The Town Manager, Diane Barnes includes a 2% COLA allowance every year in her proposed budget and our Town Council approves it every year.  This means that every year, Mrs. Barnes receives a $1,900 PLUS salary increase every year.  Have any of you every received such a salary increase?
 
Lisbon is a small community with a tax base made up of mostly residents.  This means that our taxes are always going to go up every year to offset this COLA give away.  I always believed this allowance with to be given to the “Blue Collar” workers instead of those in management positions.  So let’s look to the impact of a Blue Collar employee making $40,000.00 per year.  2% increase is $800.00 which is still a good pay increase every year but not as substantial as $1,900.00 received by the Town Manager.   I believe,Mrs. Barnes is trying to make people believe that she is looking out for the rank-in-file when she is actually lining her pockets with our tax dollars.  It takes a very special type of person, in my opinion, to make money off the backs of her employees.
 
So how do we correct this injustice to the people?  It comes in two parts”

 
A.     The Town Council must immediately re-negotiate the Town Managers’ contract and eliminate paragraph 5F of Section 5 Salaries and Fringe Benefits.  This will eliminate these massive salary increases to the Town Manager.  Mrs. Barnes should be able to live comfortable on $95,000.00 yearly in Lisbon.

B.     The Town Council must restrict any salary increase to ONLY those in Blue Collar positions.  Those individuals in management positions make enough money off the taxpayers.  Let’s look at the three recent hires”
 
1.      Sewer Director was hired for approximately $80,000.00 per year.  If you filter in the COLA this salary increases roughly $1,600.00 per year.

2.     This is the same with the new Public Works Director hired for $80,000.00 per year.  The COLA is the same.

3.     Now, let’s look at the new Fire Chief who was hired for $70,000 per year.  The COLA on this is roughly $1,400.00 per year.  Also, the previous Fire Chief received $69,284.80, according to the 2016-2017 Annual Report.  This was after several years on the job, so what was his starting salary?
 
The people in this town need to get a handle on the mismanagement of our tax dollars before it is too later.  Start calling the Town Council, and tell them to stop spending and start looking for ways to save residents tax dollars.
 
Larry Fillmore
 
NOTE:  I believe that every employee of the Town of Lisbon should continue to receive “longevity compensation”.  As of July 1 of each year and commencing with five years of continuous employment with the town, all permanent employees shall be credited with longevity compensation at the rate of $5.00 per month up to and including a maximum of 180 months.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

Council Meeting

05-01-2018 Meeting Minutes

SUBMITTED BY:  TOWN OF LISBON

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL TURNS BACK ON RESIDENTS

 
I just reviewed the Police Department’s 2018-2019 proposed budget during the May 8th Town Council Workshop and Special meeting.  Every citizen of Lisbon should review this portion of the meeting starting a 1:42 of the Live Stream Video.
 
Chief Hagan outlined his department’s need for the upcoming year.  Chief Hagan made a very important statement and that was the majority of towns are being sued because the lack of training and direct supervision.  I agree totally with Chief Hagan, it is critical that the Town of Lisbon reduce its liability.
 
Police Department needs:

 
1.      Add a part-time Information Technology position in the Lisbon Communication Center; so that the Patrol Sergeant currently performing these duties can return to Patrol.  Cost is approximately $1,600.00 to $4,000.00.

2.     Promote a Communication specialist to a Communication Supervisory.  Cost is $1,040.00 to $4,800.00.

3.     Hired two additional Patrol Officers.  Cost $69,000.00 each.
 
These current requirements a and b can be eliminated; had the Town Council voted two years ago to close the Lisbon Communication Center by utilizing the Androscoggin County Dispatch.  According to two former Councilors; the cost savings to the taxpayers would be roughly $200,000.00 per year.  However, this did not happen. 
 
Last year, this same subject came up and was again voted done by Councilors Ward, Brunnelle, Crafts and Albert.  The major reason was the town did not want to lose control of dispatching.  Mr. Fern LaRochelle fought extremely hard to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open.  What Mr. LaRochelle failed to tell everyone is that he is and was an Independent Contractor working directly with the Lisbon Communication Center.  I guarantee you that id this issue comes before Council, Mr. LaRochelle (now a councilor) will vote on this issue because there is absolutely no “Conflict of Interest” on anything in Lisbon.
 
The option to save taxpayer dollars is still available but our Town Council has no interest in saving the residents money instead they had rather raise taxes.  This Council is not looking to cut taxes but to increase our taxes.  This, to me, is the wrong approach.  Is it NOT a wise decision to put an additional burden on taxpayers when there is an opportunity to save taxpayers money?
 
This year, the Town Council voted to bail-out Lisbon Emergency Inc. at a price to taxpayers of $127,885.00 for the budget 2018-2019.  I do not know where all this additional money is going to be coming from other than the taxpayers.  Add all the additional requirements to the Town Manager’s already increase of $1,900,000.00 this year so what’s going to happen to your taxes.  But do not worry, according to the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, the Council has reduced her budget proposal by roughly $75,000.00.  What impact do you think this is going to have on our tax bills this year?
 
The people of Lisbon elected our Town Councilors to look out for the best interest of the community.  I do not feel we are getting this from our Town Council when a “political” decision takes priority over a “sound financial” decision.  What is in the best interest of the community and its people should be the ONLY determining factor when making decisions.
 
Call your Councilor and tell them to stop wasting our tax dollars and start looking for ways to reduce our taxes. 
 
Larry Fillmore

 

 

Friday, April 27, 2018

WHOSE LOOKING OUT FOR THE LISBON TAXPAYERS?


I just finished watching the April 24, 2018, Town Council Budget Workshop and I first want to thank, Mr. Fern LaRochelle.  This budget meeting was almost two hours long and Mr. LaRochelle asked very important questions WITHOUT any dissertations.  It was very informative and refreshing.  Great job! Mr. LaRochelle.
 
I recommend that EVERY taxpayer in Lisbon review this budget meeting using the town web site.  The Town Council is review the 1.9 million dollar increase the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, is proposing for this year.   Keep in mind:
 
TOWN                                   .MIL RATE                            GROWTH SINCE 2010

Auburn                                      $21.23                                          8.21%

Lewiston                                   $23.42                                          16.06%

Lisbon                                        $20.35                                          18.11%
 
No matter what the Town Manager proposes, the Town Council is responsible for spending our tax dollars.  The residents of Lisbon ELECT these members to be financially responsible to ensure our tax dollars are spent efficiency.  I do not call having our taxes go up every year responsible when the Town Council is NOT looking for ways to reducing the operating cost of the town.  The Town Council could save over $200,000.00 a year by eliminating the Lisbon Communication Center and let the Androscoggin County Dispatch take over dispatching responsibilities.  Yet, instead of doing what is financially responsible for the community; they had rather raise our taxes without looking to save tax dollars.
 
I believe that the Town Council should direct the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, to reduce the operating cost by at least 10% yearly.  Doing this will reduce or even eliminate the yearly tax increases.  Look at how many foreclosures have been processed since Diane Barnes has been here.  Disgraceful!  This is a community with little to no large businesses like L.L. Beans to help our tax base instead the majority is based on residences.
 
At our current rate of 18.11% increase in our mil rate, Lisbon should over take Lewiston in the next year or two.  While other towns are looking to reduce their operating cost, Lisbon is looking for ways to spend more tax dollars.  These tax dollars that come from taxpayers. 
 
Another way to reduce the operating cost is by not allowing Department Heads a Cost-of-Living-Allowance (COLA).  The majority, like the Town Manager, make more than $80,000.00 annually.  A 2% COLA increase is a raise of over $1,600.00 per year.  A prime example is the Town Manager was hired at $87,000.00 back in June 2015 and today with her proposed COLA increase will receive a salary of $96,482.00.  This is because the Town Council approved her contract with a clause in it that states and I quote:  “The Manager shall also receive any other benefits as the Town provides to its other employees.”  This means that every time the WORKERS receive an increase the Town Manager must receive the same.  The Town Council should not allow individuals in management positions to receive benefits the workers need.  A cap should be established for all individuals in management positions and definitely those in Department Head positions.
 
Lisbon is a community that does not have a very large tax base such as Auburn or Lewiston and so these costs are passed on to the taxpayers. 
 
Shame on the Town Council for not being able to recognize this!
 
Call your Councilors today because once they approved the budget it will be too late.  Please do not let them snow you with the excuse this is only a proposal.
 
Larry Fillmore

 

 

     

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL AGENDA - MAY 1, 2018


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WASTED TIME


I just review the Town Council Workshop conducted on April 10, 2018 and was very upset over the length of the workshop.  Councilor Fern LaRochelle, I believe, is incapable of asking a simple question.  Mr. LaRochelle has to go into a dissertation on EVERY question.  I do not know if Mr. LaRochelle is really that dumb or he just likes to hear himself talk.  I have known Mr. LaRochelle for several years and do not find him to be stupid so I guess he just likes to hear himself talk.  I believe he thinks the more he talks the more important he is.
 
The meeting lasted for one hour and thirty-three minutes and if you eliminated all the dissertations the meeting could have been reduced by approximately forty-five minutes, if not more.  Mr. LaRochelle has some great ideas but he need to eliminate all the dissertations on every comment. 
 
I do not know about your time but my time is precious to me and to listen to Mr. LaRochelle repeat everything or babble on and on, just waste my time.
 
Mr. LaRochelle, please continue to ask all the right questions but without the dissertation.
 
Larry Fillmore