Friday, September 21, 2018
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Saturday, September 15, 2018
(1) The Town Manager and the Town Council did not seek out anyone with conversion experience to get their input.
(2) All conversions need to have the installation and training included in the original contract.
(3) Never enter into a multiply year contract prior to having seen how well the software package is working for your organization. The Town Manager, Diane Barnes, recommended to the Town Council to accept the software owners’ proposal for multiply years.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
According to google, these are the mil rates and population for towns in Androscoggin County. What should stand out to everyone is the major discrepancy between the mil rates and the populations.
TOWNS MIL RATE POPULATION
Auburn 23.68 22,948
Sabattus 17.75 5,015
Lisbon 24.84 8,846
Lewiston 28.67 36,140
Durham 18.85 3,940
Wales 14.85 1,634
Greene 17.80 4,373
Poland 14.74 5,544
Minot 15.85 2,596
Livermore Falls 21.60 3,115
Turner 17.05 5,765
As you can see Lisbon has moved into second place in the county as far as the mil rate goes surpassing Auburn. These figures for population are from 2016. The reason for the discrepancy is because our Town Manager, Diane Barnes, compares populations when determining salaries instead of the tax base for the towns. As everyone knows Auburn has many more commercial businesses than Lisbon and yet our mil rate is higher.
There is no way that the salaries of Department Heads in Lisbon should be as high as they are starting out. We just do not have the tax base to support such high salaries and the Town Manager knew this from the start but used population to establish salaries without comparing tax bases and our Town Council believes everything the Town Manager says as gospel.
The Town Council needs to delay voting on spending issues until the Council can do adequate investigations. The Town Council needs to cut spending to include the Town Manager’s salary. The Department Heads are receiving between $1,200.00 and $1,800.00 annually and taxpayers in Lisbon cannot afford these increases. There is no way to reduce Department Heads salaries because the Town Manager, Diane Barnes has committed the taxpayers into paying these outrageous salaries.
Taxpayers and the Town Council have to pay more attention to the spending habits of the Town Manager and her Department Heads. We have to bring down our mil rate so that it is more in line with our population and other towns in the county.
Let’s put a halt to excessive spending and start comparing apple to apples instead of apples to oranges.
Monday, August 27, 2018
From the chatter this weekend on Lisbon Maine Community Information website, residents of Lisbon received their new tax bills. I found it amusing that residents were shocked their taxes had increased so much. The Lisbon Reporter and LisbonMaine.net have been warning residents for several months prior to the Town Council approval of the budget.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Friday, August 17, 2018
I just reviewed the latest Town Council video and was amazed. The video reflects that the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, ONLY feeds the Town Council information she wants them to know instead of presenting ALL the facts. The Town Council can never reach a sound decision unless they have all the information available on any subject matter. I will explain:
2018-152 Asset Forfeiture Funds – This item was on the agenda because during the budget prepared by Diane Barnes; she conned the Town Council into using taxpayer dollars from the Unassigned Fund Balance instead of using Asset Forfeiture funds available in the Police Department. According to the Recommendations, prepared by the Town Manager, Diane Bares, it says and I quote: “Staff did not recommend the use of forfeiture funds since there is uncertainty in replenishing these funds now and in the future. These assets have been used for matching grant funds for law enforcement equipment.”
The last time I checked, the people elected members of the Town Council to represent them when it comes to spending their money, not Diane Barnes or her staff. The option of using the forfeiture funds should have been presented, at the time of the budget discuss, for the Town Council to decide which way they wanted to go but instead this information was withheld from the Town Council. There is $6,786.04 in Federal funds and $13,972.30 in State funds available to be used for the purchase of the firearms at $7,800.00. The Town Council reversed their decision and is now using the forfeiture funds instead of the Unassigned Fund Balance. This is the right choice, as far as I am concerned.
This is a prime example of how the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, manipulates information she presents to the Town Council to get her way. At first, I blamed the Town Council for making, what I considered poor decisions, but when I started looking into it, I realized they were not getting ALL the information and therefore they could not make a logical and right decision. This has happened a lot and really needs to stop.
I thank the Town Council and especially Councilor Allen Ward, for getting this on the agenda and correcting this situation. Taxpayers are paying much more in taxes than they should and the Town Council must start looking for ways to cut spending.
Thank you Councilor Ward.Larry Fillmore
Friday, August 10, 2018
Monday, August 6, 2018
This is a FOAA request.
I am looking for the money taken out of the Undesignated Fund the last four years. Can you provide this information by years?
2016: $10,293.47 was taken from unassigned fund balance to cover charter requirements for maintaining a reserve funded by animal control fees
2017: N/A nothing was designated or spent from fund balance.
2018: The following amounts were designated and spent from fund balance:
$50,000 for computer server upgrade. $30,663 has been spent to date.
$20,000 has been designated for Generator pad and infrastructure
$30,000 was designated for Town clerk storage. $26,547 was spent an
the remainder put back into fund balance
$40,000 was designated and spent for Police radio upgrades
$35,000 was designated and spent for a Police cruiser
$75,000 was designated for the Fire Department Capital Improvements
$300,000 was designated for public works trucks. $275,445 was spent
and the remainder put back into fund balance
$20,000 was designated and spent for Recreation Department
$25,000 was designated for new flooring in various town buildings. The
money was not required and was put back into fund balance.
2019: The following amounts have been designated for use during the upcoming year:
$26,125 for an error in 2018 Technology budget
$50,000 to establish an accrued leave payout reserve
$10,000 for Book restorations in the clerks office
$7,800 for Police Department firearms upgrades
$50,000 for the Fire Department various equipment upgrades
$8,000 for carpeting in the Library
$323,274 to pay off outstanding debt service.
The taxpayers in Lisbon have had their taxes raised for the last four years and will probably experience an increase in taxes every year from here on out. This trend must stop if the taxpayers of Lisbon are going to stay out of bankruptcy. We have been over taxed for the last four years and I will explain it to you.
Take a look at the carry forward for this year and it is the same for the last four years:
I did not total all of the funds here but as you can see it is a large amount of your tax dollars. So where did all this money come from and why is it being carried forward? Was this money left over from previous year budget; if so, someone needs to explain why our taxes were raised if the town did not need our money? Personally, I would have been happy to keep my own money.
Now, let’s take a look at the Undesignated Fund expenditures for the last four years:
As you can see, the town spent a lot of money from the Undesignated Fund. Look at it by years:
2017 None (Which I do not believe)
Well, how did the town get so much money in the Undesignated Fund? Apparently, the tooth fairy blessed Lisbon. I have a better answer and that is the Town Manager, Diane Barnes has been padding her budget without the knowledge of the Town Council. The Town Council has been supporting the Town Manager instead of supporting us, the taxpayers. This is really ridiculous to have so much money left over every year and have so much money in the Undesignated Fund.
This is our tax dollars at work. This explains the high taxes and where our tax dollars are going. We need to tell the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, that we will not put up with this from now on. The Town Council has to start making the Town Manager accountable for her actions. I realize that she works for the Town Council and not the citizens of Lisbon; so it is the Town Council responsibility to see that this never happens again. Having over a half million dollars every year is ripping the taxpayers off every year.
It is time to hold both the Town Council and the Town Manager accountable for the way they spend our tax dollars.
PS The Town is charging me $75.00 for the Undesignated Fund information. Apparently, with two computer systems (MUNIS and TRIO) it took 6 hours to put this information together.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018
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.
the perimeter of the garden.
called the PW director and left a message, thanking him.
the solar lights, and, with the help of his son, put the them around
the perimeter of the garden.
lesson for his son.
He is my hero!