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

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


NOTICE: Council Workshop March 13 Cancelled due to the storm

School Budget Presentation

Tormorrow night's Council Workshop for March 13 has been cancelled.  It has been rescheduled to March 21 at 7:00 PM.   

Monday, March 12, 2018


Public Hearing Notice

AMend Chapter 46 Streets, Sidewalks, & Other Public Places, Art I-In General And to Amend Chapter 34 Sewer Ordinance

Notice is hereby given that the Lisbon Town Council intends to hold a public hearing on March 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Town Office Public Meeting Room to hear comments on an amendment to Chapter 46, Streets, Sidewalks, and Other public places, Article 1 In General and to amend Chapter 34 Sewer Ordinance.  Copies are available at the Town Clerk's Office and on this website.  The public is invited to attend.
Twila Lycette, Lisbon Town Clerk

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Approximately three weeks ago, I could not find the Town Council agenda for the following Tuesday’s meeting.  I called the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, and asked her for the location.  She informed me that the Town had changed the location on the Town website.  I asked her why the website was only partly changed and she informed me that it was because a contract stopped and that the person who was responsible for the website was on vacation that week.
This just highlight the Administration of the Town of Lisbon is in serious trouble.  In my eyes the first rule of operating a website is to make it accessible for its users.  I believe in the KISS theory.  Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).  A website should always be designed with the Users in mind because it is for their use.  The Town website is not User friendly; in fact, it is totally confusion by having redundant ways to locate certain items.  I was always taught that redundancy is for saving/backing up data which is NOT the responsibility of the User. 
Simple ways to locate items eliminate confusion for the Users.  Users should be the primary focus when designing a website.  Right now, on the Town website there are at least two different paths to take to locate the Town Council agendas.  It is much easier to maintain and for the Users when there is one path to locate the Town Council agendas.  Also, if you follow the path of Town Council – Council Agenda & Minutes – Current Tuesday Agenda – Town Council – Agenda it takes you to the current Town Council agenda.  There is absolutely no need for the last two screens because the Town Council agenda should come up when you click on Current Tuesday Agenda.  The User should never have to go beyond that screen.  The current system is a waste of time and money to maintain and confuses Users.
Now if you go Minute and Agendas – Town Council – 2018 – Select the Town Council Agenda you are looking for.  This is less friendly to Users.  The Administration staff of the Town has absolutely no concept of what they are doing, in my eyes.  First of all, according to Mrs. Barnes there is only one individual that can make changes to the website.  I do not believe that I have to explain why this is not acceptable.  Because there are unnecessary screens that Users have to go through and the fact there are two different paths is a clear indication that very little planning when into the design of the website.  Clearly there is no oversight of this project.
Next, why was the changes implemented without making ALL the necessary changes to the website?  This is another indication of little to no oversight.  The Town Manager works for the Town Council who works for the people; so I ask again where is the oversight.  The Town Council needs to look into the Town website since they are overall responsible.  There needs to cross-training so that the town does not have to rely on just one individuals to maintain the website.
The residents of Lisbon deserve better.

Larry Fillmore

Saturday, February 10, 2018

WHERE IS THE MONEY?????????????

After review Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, I am wondering where the Town Council is going to find $127,884.46 for next year to bailout Lisbon Emergency, Inc.  The Town Council vote 6-0 to supplement the failing Lisbon Emergency, Inc. with taxpayer dollars.
It is truly amazing how easily the Town Council votes to appropriate $127,884.46 of our tax dollars without a bat of the eye.  The Town Council DID NOT look for all the alternatives available before coming to this decision.  A suggestion was made to have the Town contract the hospitals DIRECTly showing them the impact of losing Lisbon Emergency would have on the community.  The Town Council did not even look into this option.
This is a lot like when the Town Council had an opportunity to save the taxpayers roughly $200,000.00 of tax dollars by closing the Lisbon Communication Center.  So every year, taxpayers are paying roughly $200,000.00 tax dollars for keeping the Lisbon Communication Center open instead of letting Androscoggin Country Dispatch perform the same task.  Androscoggin Country Dispatch has the personnel to assign an Emergency Medical Code (EMC) telling Emergency Medical Technicians/Paramedics the situation before they arrive.  This ensures the EMT/Paramedics have everything they need to respond improving the chances of survival.
The members of the Town Council that approved spending our tax dollars when they did not have too were:   Allen Ward, Dale Crafts, Chris Brunelle and Norman Albert.  Dale Craft is no longer on the Town Council but Fern LaRochelle, who lobbied for keeping the Lisbon Communication Center open has taken his place.  However, Mr. LaRochelle should not be able to vote because he is a sub-contractor of the town directly working with the Lisbon Communication Center.  I do realize that in the Town of Lisbon there is no such thing as a “conflict of interest” so the taxpayers will continue to pay roughly $200,000.00 tax dollars when they do not have too.
So when you waste roughly $200,000.00 tax dollars and you add $127,884.46 for next year; how will this impact your taxes?
Larry Fillmore

Town Council Workshop - February 13, 2018


Workshop - Sewer Ordinance & MS4 Discussion

February 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Monday, February 5, 2018


On the Town Council agenda for Tuesday night is the Lisbon Emergency – Level Service/Funding.  The Town Council appointed Councilors Norm Albert and Mark Lunt to form a sub-committee to evaluate ALL options pertaining to Lisbon Emergency, Inc.
This sub-committee has met several times and the Town sent out a Request for Procurement (RFP).  However, this was only one option reviewed.  Other options were to supplement the failing Lisbon Emergency, Inc. with taxpayer’s dollars in the amounts below:
FY                      TOTAL CHARGES                LISBON SHARE       BOWDOIN SHARE

2018-2019        $162,152.78                       $127,884.46           $34,267.92

2019-2020        $187,762.90                        $149,172.84           $39,590.06

2020-2021         $251,354.03                        $199,245.74          $52,108.29
Other options presented was has Lisbon Fire Department take over this responsibility and not doing anything.
However, the sub-committee had another suggestion to review and ignored it completely.  The option was to ask the two hospital’s (St Mary and CMMC), who own United Ambulance, for assistance.  The option was for the TOWN to DIRECTLY communicate with the hospitals and this was ignored.  I do not understand how the Town Council can consider this agenda item without first having ALL options evaluated before a vote.
I also do not understand why this situation has NOT been brought to the attention of the people of Lisbon.  A situation this serious should have the input of all citizens and NOT just at a Public Hearing.  The Public Hearing will be the first time the people have been notified.  There are no videos of the sub-committee meetings so the people have no clue what is going on.  This is typical for the Town of Lisbon; asking the people to speak on issues without knowing all the fact first.  This is the method used to reduce town involvement by the people and to ensure the town gets the results they want.
At no time has anyone mentioned how they plan to pay to supplement Lisbon Emergency, Inc. 
Larry Fillmore

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Public Meeting Notice


Lisbon Emergency - Level of Service and Funding Discussion




Notice is hereby given that the Lisbon Town Council intends to open a public meeting segment at their regularly scheduled Council Meeting on February 6, 2018 at 7:00 PM to hear comments concerning level of service for Lisbon Emergency and funding.  This meeting will be held in the Town Office Public Meeting Room.   


The public is invited to attend.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Last Tuesday night, I attended the sub-committee meeting hosted by Councilor Norman Albert and Councilor Mark Lunt pertaining to the situation with Lisbon Emergency Services.  The purpose of the meeting was to update the members of the sub-committee on the changes Lisbon Emergency had made to their By-Laws.  The meeting was conducted with no microphones or handouts so the members of the audience could not heard a lot of what was said and without a handout could not follow along.

I have been complaining about this situation for years but our Town leadership treats citizens as second class citizens.  What I mean is they do not care if the Public hear what is going on during these Public meetings.  I listen to Councilors complain that not many citizens take an interest in what is going on in town.  Well, when you are treated in this manner it is hard to maintain an interest when you cannot hear and no one cares.  Also, I have attended numerous briefing during my forty years working for the government and I never sat through a briefing that I could not hear everything said and I always had a handout in which to follow along.  At the end of classified briefings, the handouts were gathers back up and destroyed.
I have complained to our leadership on numerous occasions and they really do not care if they are professional or not.  This is just one of several reasons; I do not attend Town Council meetings.  If our leadership is not interested in what I have to say, then I am wasting my time attending.  Most of every Town Council meeting has been decided the outcome before the meeting so it is only a formality any ways.
Now, some can say that the By-Laws of Lisbon Emergency belong to Lisbon Emergency’s.  However, if the Town of Lisbon is hosting the meeting and Lisbon Emergency is asking for the taxpayers to supplement Lisbon Emergency; the taxpayers have a right to see the documents being discussed.  Just call me old fashion!  It is my personal opinion, that if you conduct a meeting in the town office and invite the Public; they should have handouts available to follow along.  If you do not want the people to attend and if you do not care if they hear or know what is going on; then stay out of our pockets to.  In other words, the citizens of Lisbon are being asked to pay for something but do not have a right to see and know what they are being forced pay for.
When is our leadership going to start treating its citizens like people, again?
Larry Fillmore


Wednesday, December 27, 2017


On December 19, 2017, our loved Town Council performed yet another illegal Executive Session.  This is exactly the same way it was when Councilor LaRochelle was on the Town Council the last time.  At least they waited until the second meeting to start again.  I believe that before you can be a Councilor you must know how to read.  Since the oath of office they take, requires you to obey the laws of the State of Maine; each Councilor should know the law pertaining to Executive Sessions.  Maine Statue 405, Executive Sessions is only three pages long and outlines what can and cannot be discussed behind closed door.
Paragraph 6, Permitted deliberation, states “Deliberations on ONLY the following matters may be conducted during an executive session:”   It goes on to outline 8 sub-paragraphs for which an Executive Session is authorized.  Sub-paragraph C. reads “Discussion or consideration of the condition, acquisition or the use of real or personal property permanently attached to real property or interests therein or disposition of publicly held property or economic development ONLY IF PREMATURE DISCLOSURES OF THE INFORMATION WOULD PREJUDICE THE COMPETITIVES OR BARGAINING POSITION OF THE BODY OR AGENCY.”  The last portion of this provision is the most critical because it outlines when this sub-paragraph can be used for an Executive Session.
On December 19, 2017, the Town Council when into Executive Session under the above cited sub-paragraph and when they came out Councilor Kolbe read a prepared motion that read: “Move to loan $146,940.00 with a 10-year term at an interest rate of 5% to Jason LaVerdiere and Tyson LaVerdiere doing business as Flux Restaurant as followers:  $100,000.00 from the IRP fund and $46,940.00 from the Commercial Loan Fund.”  This was the only application for the Revolving Loan Fund program so where is the competition.  How is approval of the only application going to change the bargaining position or going to be changed if this information was released?  The loan application does NOT meet the criteria for Executive Session under the provisions of Maine Statue 405.  I support the approval of the loan application BUT not in the manner it was done.
This Town Council meeting is only Councilor LaRochelle’s second meeting.  It would appear that the community is in for three more years of back-door dealings and illegal Executive Sessions.
Call your Councilors and tell them to stop these illegal Executive Session and start complying with the law by discussing them in Public.
Larry Fillmore

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Tuesday night will begin the downfall of the community, again.  I am surprised it took until the second meeting with Fern LaRochelle to start.  On Tuesday agenda, there is an item under Executive Session, called Acquisition of Real Property or Economy Development.  Executive Session is where Fern LaRochelle does most of his wheeling and dealing because it is in SECRET.  No one can ever know what goes on behind closed doors.
Information put out in Executive Session pertaining to real property or anything that pertains to the bid process is restricted to ONLY Councilors.  I call this “insider information” because none of the other individuals that want to bid on the subject matter know what was discussed in Executive Session but Councilors are allowed to bid as private citizens.  Once again, there is no “conflict of interest” but ONLY in Lisbon.
No Councilor should be able to take part on anything discussed behind closed doors because it gives them an unfair advantage.  Fern LaRochelle has taken advantage of this in the pass when he purchased town property at a reduced price.  Having insider information provides Councilors with an advantage. 
I am shocked that the Chairman of the Town Council and the Town Manager waited until the second meeting to start this trend all over again.
Larry Fillmore




If you are wondering what “” is; it is the address for the Lisbon town website.  The purpose of this website is to keep the people informed as to what is going on in Lisbon, Maine.  It should be an attempt to provide transparency for our local government.  However, as Mr. Joe Hill noted in his great article titled “Lisbon Has An Ongoing Problem Notifying Residents” no matter how many times residents complain nothing gets changed.
This is a shame because the solution is quite simple.  All scheduled meeting must be posted to the “Event” calendar on the Home page. I am going to provide two solutions to the problem:
Option 1:  Make the Councilor, who is responsible for the Board/Committee, responsible for posting the meeting/cancellation to the “Event” calendar.
Option 2:  Make the Councilor, who is responsible for the Board/Committee, responsible to notify the Town Manager’s Administrative Assistant to all meetings/cancellations.  This will ensure they are posted to the “Event” calendar on the town website.
This simple change will ensure that citizens have one location to be informed about ALL meetings.  This way the people can choose which meetings they want to attend and have an interest in.  However, before the town can implement these changes; they must first post all the Boards/Committees/Sub-Committees on the town website under the section called “Boards/Committees”.  Currently, the website ONLY lists 9 of the 18 Boards/Committees listed under “Council Committee Assignments”.  The Town Manager needs to ensure that all Boards/Committees/Sub-Committees are listed under the section called “Board/Committees”.
These simple changes will ensure that the people of Lisbon are kept informed and will show transparency.  By the way, taxpayers are paying tax dollars for the town website so why are we NOT using the site for what it was intended to do.  By selectively posting just what management want the people to see; the town is censoring what the people can and cannot have for information. So why are we wasting tax dollars on a web site that is NOT providing what we need?
Call your Councilors and ask them why the town is wasting tax dollars?  Also ask your Councilors; “Who has oversight over the posting of the town website”?
Larry Fillmore




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lisbon Has An Ongoing Problem Notifying Residents.

Last week's article by Larry Fillmore reminded me of a frustrating incident I had last winter.

Last January or February after braving a rather nasty snow/sleet storm  I arrived at Town Hall to find the advertised Council Meeting had been canceled. This cancellation was not noted on the outside electronic board or on the Town Web Site.   

On the return two miles drive back to my home, I wondered if the Town of Lisbon could be held partially liable if someone had a serious accident driving to or from this canceled meeting.  Bartenders can be held liable if they give an inebriated person excessive alcohol that causes an accident. Could Lisbon be held liable if they are the reason an accident victim is driving to or from a canceled meeting.  -- Probably not---

In my humble opinion, Lisbon has a serious ongoing problem keeping residents apprised of  Town Meetings, Cancellations, Informational material for meetings as well as updated budget information.  It would only take a minute to update the Town's Website or send an E-mail to notify residents of any meetings or changes to meetings.

By not keeping the residents notified of ongoing town business the Council is speaking volumes about the way they view residents.

They are silently saying to each and every resident:
  •  We don't respect you enough to keep you informed.
  •  We tell you we want you at meetings but we really can't be bothered to actually do the work to notify you.

How many times since 2010 have you heard someone complain that all the documentation for the Council Meeting isn't available on the Website?  I have heard this complaint dozens of times. Usually, someone will post the information a few days later 
when the Council has already voted on the measure.

If Councilors can't be bothered to keep residents informed why should residents respect and help the Council?  This respect goes both ways.

Joe Hill

Monday, December 11, 2017

HE’ssssss BACK!!!!!!!

Well, the people have spoken and re-elected Fern LaRochelle to the Town Council, again.  I am NOT a fan of Fern LaRochelle and this article is my personal opinion.  It was not bad enough that when he was on the Town Council before; there were back door meetings, numerous actions was conducted in Executive Session and Fern conducted secret meetings with the Millers over the Worumbo Mill property.  I believe Fern also took advantage of his position on the Town Council to purchase town owned property at a reduced price.  I call this “insider information” but to everyone else he was legal as a citizen.
As you can tell, I believe that Fern is part of the problem and not the solution.  Take the Lisbon Communication Center as a prime example, Fern lobbied hard to keep it in Lisbon instead of closing it and utilizing the Androscoggin County Dispatch at a savings to the taxpayer of roughly $200,000.00.  This was strictly a political decision, instead of a sound logical decision, with the best interest of the community being first.  Currently, the Lisbon Communication Center cost the taxpayers of Lisbon over $300,000.00 a year; money that could be better used to improve the community.  Fern did this as a sub-contractor of the town for wrecker/vehicle recovery service.
Why do I bring this out, yet again, it is because the first thing Fern did was appoint himself as the Councilor to the Public Safety Committee. This means he has a say in the Lisbon Communication Center which dispatches wrecker/vehicle recovery service for the town.  I believe this would be concerned a “conflict of interest” anywhere else except Lisbon.
Also, it is my opinion the length of the Town Council meetings will increase two fold because Fern likes to hear himself talk.  He is always saying “At the end of the day”.  So for the next three years, I believe that Fern will be wheeling and dealing and costing the town more money than it needs to spend.  In my opinion, Fern LaRochelle is a primary member of the “good old boys network/political machine” of Lisbon.
This is my personal opinion but I believe that Fern LaRochelle has to screw his pants on in the morning.
Larry Fillmore