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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Are Our Tax Dollars Being Properly Used?‏

ARE OUR TAX DOLLARS BEING UTILIZED PROPERLY? 


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






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

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





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






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

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


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


Larry Fillmore 

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

Friday, June 5, 2015

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


PAVING REQUIREMENTS

E. Ryan Leighton Town Engineer
 

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





(click on the above to enlarge or print)

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

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

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


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








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


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


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


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


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

 Larry Fillmore

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I.T. is missing in Lisbon

 By: Peter Reuter, Special to The Lisbon Reporter


Integrity and Transparency are  not present in Lisbon.

At last Tuesday's Town Council meeting, Councilors proved beyond a reasonable doubt, that they wanted and now have absolute power to control ALL financial matters.  A panel of seven, without input from a Town Ordinance mandate of a Finance Committee, will now control the flow of monies.  Councilors may make changes to the Town Ordinances without consent of the residents.

They openly admitted to illegal discussions in Executive Session. The Town Councilors approve of a high salary for an unqualified Town Engineer and they are not looking out for the best interest of the citizens of Lisbon.

But for a few of us that have been actively monitoring their actions and attending Town Council meetings this comes as no surprise. The Lisbon Reporter has posted numerous articles pertaining to this aspect since day one of its inception.  Many of the Concerned Citizens have been trying to get the word out.


Now as to the legality of what the Town Council just did, that remains to be seen.  So what if it was illegal. Who polices the Town Council, Brooks?  No it is more like he is directing them.  Once again this year he will get his $2 Million Dollar Police Budget approved.  The Council will hold true to their demand order for the School Department to cut $600 Thousand Dollars from their budget. 

Here is the kicker.  The voters have the right to vote on the School Budget but not the Municipal Budget.  With that, voters should reject every proposed and approved for voter consent School Budget put forth by this council.

It costs over $3 Thousand Dollars per voting session per the Town Clerk.  The voters should send the budget back to the Town Council until they wake up and do what is right.  The Expense for each voting process will rest solely in the laps of Seven Councilors.  If it takes 2, 3, 4, or more times so be it.  This is the only say that, "we the people" have left. Use this power wisely.

Remember in November citizens, your only chance of getting some resemblance of control back, is to put forth some great candidates to uproot the evil empire that currently exists.  Tyranny reigns supreme in Lisbon currently.

Shame on this Town Council.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

WHY IS A TOXIC BOSS ALLOWED TO BULLY OUR EMPLOYEES?


The former Town Manager, Stephen Eldridge, cared nothing for this community and made decisions with the Council’s approval that has hurt the community.  These decisions were NOT in the best interest of the town. 

One of these decisions was to assign Mr. Leighton as the Director of Public Works.  Prior to this assignment, Mr. Leighton had never supervised anyone.  He was the Town Engineer and worked alone.  This lack of experience leading individuals has caused him to become a “toxic boss”.  For a definition of a toxic boss, please see attached.

 



Public Works had been operating with Button Beal as the Director.  During the time Mr. Beal was in charge, the employees worked as a family. They were a cohesive working group with little to no problems.  The moral was extremely high and everything operated at a high level of efficiency.  Today, this is not the case and the department is suffering in efficiency and moral.

Call the Town Manager and your Councilors to get rid of this toxic boss and restore the efficiency and the moral to Public Works.
 
Larry Fillmore

WHY IS THE TOWN MANAGER PROTECTING HIM?


We have all seen the letter from the State of Maine stating Mr. Leighton cannot use the title as Town Engineer any longer because he is NOT an engineer.  Attached is the response from Town Manager. 




If you notice, Mr. Leighton was not relieved as the Town Engineer, only that the Engineer was taken out of his title.  He was never relieved as Town Engineer and will continue to receive the same salary even though he is not qualified.  This is $20,270.00 tax dollars plus benefits that could be saved.

I cannot comprehend how Mr. Leighton can remain in the position as Town Engineer when he is clearly not qualified and is paid with our tax dollars when the state acknowledges Mr. Leighton is not an engineer.

Also, did you know that Mr. Leighton is currently the Director of the Treatment Plant drawing $20,270.00 of our tax dollars?  This is significant because our Treatment Plant is rated by the state as a Grade Four plant and Mr. Leighton has only a Grade Two certification.  What this means is that Mr. Leighton cannot operate the treatment facility.  In fact, he cannot sign any of the reports going to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or any other state agency.  All our reports going to the state are signed by the Treatment Plant Operations Manager.  So why are we wasting another $20,270.00 of our tax dollars?

But the bigger question is, why is the town hiring personnel who do not have the credentials to do the job?  I understand that Mrs. Barnes has only been here a short time, but this town needs to put a stop to this hiring practice and recoup our tax dollars from the unqualified.  The Town Manager and the Town Council needs to keep a closer eye on our tax dollars.  Wasting our tax dollars on individuals whom do not have the credentials for the position should never occur.

Please contact your Town Manager and Town Councilors and let them know that this is unacceptable.  In this case alone, the Town Manager and the Town Council could save the town over $40,000.00 of our tax dollars.

Larry Fillmore

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Great Impostor?



THE GREAT IMPOSTOR?




  E. Ryan Leighton

In April 2001, E. Ryan Leighton, was hired as the Town Engineer even though he was not a Licensed Professional Engineer.  His salary was the same as a Licensed Professional Engineer would have normal received as starting pay.  Mr. Leighton continued this ruse until the State of Maine notified him and the town this was in violation of 32 M.R.S.A. Statute 1351 (emphasis added)  (see letter attached).






Since April 2001, Mr. Leighton’s salary has increased to the point it is currently $81,080.00.  This however, is divided by four because he has been appointed as the Director of Public Works, Director of Solid Waste and Director of Treatment Plant also.  This includes the 2% Cost of Living Allowance across the board that is in the current budget.



Any project costing the town more than $100,000.00 had to have a Licensed Professional Engineer perform the engineering duties.  This means two things:  (1) the Town Council and the Town Manager at the time were aware that Mr. Leighton was not qualified as an engineer and (2) this added an additional expense to the town by having a Licensed Professional Engineer perform the Engineering duties.



Mr. Leighton has been impersonating and receiving compensation as an Engineer since April 2001.   He did this knowing that he was receiving money from the taxpayers for a job he was not qualified to perform.  Webster has a word for this and it is “Embezzlement”.  I believe that Mr. Leighton should have to reimburse the taxpayers of this community for the monies he received as an Engineer.



I know that the town has taken his name off the web site as the Town Engineer.  This is a good first step and the $20,270.00 currently in the proposed budget should also be eliminated because he is no longer the Town Engineer and will not be in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.



It is time that the current Town Council and Town Manager take direct action with Mr. Leighton for years of impersonating an Engineer and deceiving the taxpayers.



Larry Fillmore


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Just A Taxpayer



I'm sure most of the citizens in lisbon are unaware of just how wasteful this town is. For example public works, at the time when the council made Ryan Leighton public works director Elwood Beals was filling that position.  Mr Beals was director and he had his forman along with the rest of the crew. So what happen to mr beals when they made Mr Leighton the new director? The council decided to make a new position for Mr Beals . Operations manager.  No cut in pay . So now we have a new position making roughly 60,000 plus a year and we gave Mr Leighton 10 more grand on top of his soaring salary to be what Mr Beals was already doing. So Mr Leighton is now your town engineer , public works director, sewer treatment plant director. What's next make him police chief. Don't worry Brooks I'm sure the council will create a new position for you also . Think about this when you open your tax bill in September with the new revaluation numbers.  Like Paul le page said they're sticking it to us without providing any vasiline.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Resident of Lisbon Speaks Out

It has come to my attention that there is a committee formed of non lisbon property tax paying paying citizens of Lisbon to look into selling the transfer station 2 pine tree waste this way yet turn into another tax on Lisbon residents. It is understood that pine tree will charge per bag on top of all the taxes that we already pay . I understand lewiston has adopted this method and is now charging for recyclables. I hope the townspeople will have a vote on this in this doesn't a backroom deal . Lisbon residents please take notice.

Submitted Anonymously

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Where Oh Where Was Ryan Leighton?‏



WHERE OH WHERE WAS RYAN LEIGHTON????

Last week, Unitil began the project to bring natural gas to the MTM Center and Campus Commons.  On Thursday the horror show began.  Unitil dug up Route 196 on the School Street side.   Once they completed their work they filled in the trench to about 4 to 6 inches from the top.  According to the contract, the town is responsible for preparing the trench for paving and then paving.

Thursday night Unitil finished their part of the contract but the town failed to prepare the trench for paving and do the paving.  Instead of doing anything, the trench was left open with a 4 to 6 inch gap in the pavement.  No signs were put up and there was no warning to drivers of a safety hazard.

Several residents reported the safety hazard to the Lisbon Communication Center and finally at approximately 08:30 PM Thursday night a member(s) of Public Works filled in the trench with dirt but did not pave the area.  The following day nothing was done to correct the problem and the dirt had left the trench as a result of no warning to drivers being posted.  Once again, residents reported the trench to the Lisbon Communication Center and Public Works personnel came and filled in the trench at approximately 6:00 PM Friday night with more dirt but no paving.  Saturday morning at approximately 09:00 AM the trench was again filled in with dirt but this time Public Works personnel paved the trench and posted warning signs.  I understand this was a direct result of Councilor Bickford directing 'Buttons' Beale to handle the situation.

If you remember correctly, 'Buttons' Beale was the previous Public Works Director and under him there were never situations like this.  Ryan Leighton was appointed Public Works Director and issued a town owned vehicle in case of emergencies.  As I understand it, Ryan Leighton was nowhere to be found but he has the town owned vehicle with him.  Why didn’t Mr. Leighton ensure that this situation was properly taken care of before he left on Thursday night?  Taxpayers are paying Mr. Leighton over $70,000.00 so that this does not happen.  Several vehicles traveled over this trench and bottomed out; I was one of them.  Mr. Leighton has no managerial skills or this would never have occurred.  In my opinion, Mr. Leighton is a prime example of fraud, waste and abuse in the town of Lisbon.

Another question that has to be asked and answered is where were the police during all of this?  Tell me again, why residents have to report this situation on a major access road.  This is Route 196 and not a back road but the police did not recognize the safety hazard and the damage it was causing to vehicles.  The Police Department costs the taxpayers over $1,300,000.00 and what is the return on investment?  Apparently, the taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from the Police Department.

I have included some pictures of the trench filled in and paved.  I also included the sign that was put up there on Saturday morning.





Larry Fillmore

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why Submitting FOAA Requests Have Been Necessary In Lisbon!

WHAT IS THE UNDERLYING PROBLEM?

 When I filed to have my Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) fees waived, I knew that this request would be denied; not because it wasn’t right but because it would  set a precedent.  The reaction from the Councilors was what I was really interested in seeing.  The majority of the Councilors were seriously concerned about the problem but did not want to set a precedent and I do not blame them.  Had I been in their shoes, I too would have voted to deny the waiver.

Even today, I doubt that anyone understands what really created this situation.  You see, Maine law states that the people have a valid right to submit, as many Freedom of Access Acts (FOAA) as necessary, to understand how the government is spending our tax dollars; whether it is local, state or federal.  The term used is “Transparency in Government”.  The Town Attorney, Roger Therriault, stated in his legal opinion, “…the imposition of costs is the only control that the Town has where request for voluminous and require significant staff time and effort.” 

This legal opinion is false and undermines the law.  The correct and proper way to control Freedom of Access Acts (FOAA) is for government to ensure that all the facts are presented to the people.  This is called transparency.  There would never be a need for anyone to submit a FOAA if all the facts were presented.  The only need for a FOAA is to fill in missing information or as Mrs. Barry stated any of the 5 “W” is missing.  The five “W” are:

    Who’s involved and what are their responsibilities?
    What’s going too happened?
    When is it going to happen?
    Where is it going to take place?
    Why is it going to take place?
    How much is it going to cost each party involved?

As you can see, I added a “How” because the taxpayers need to know how much the project is going to cost them.

During Ryan Leighton’s presentation, he only provided a one page memorandum.  The council was told this was a UNITIL project but there was no UNITIL proposal and no representative to brief it.  When I submitted a FOAA to answer the above cited questions, I was told there were over 200 pages pertaining to this project.

My father use to tell me “The spoken word is like the wind, everywhere, but the written word is here to stay.”  This to me is solid advice.

TOTAL TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT ELIMINATES THE NEED FOR FOAA’S, NOT COST!!!!!!!


Larry Fillmore

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Unitil Project Passed‏ !!!

THE UNITIL PROJECT PASSED!!!

At last night’s Special Town Council meeting, four of the Councilors voted to approve this project.  These Councilors were Roger Bickford, Eric Metivier, Mark Lunt and Gregg Garrison.  Councilors Dillon Pesce and Chris Brunelle voted against the project.

Prior to the vote was a lengthy discussion starting with Mr. Leighton providing a small briefing followed by question and answer period by the Councilors?   Mr.  Leighton stated first that Public Works personnel would not be doing the trenching and later stated that Public Works personnel would be preparing the trench for paving.    According to Mr. Leighton, Unitil will be responsible for the trenching and laying the gas line.  However, it is unclear as to why the Public Works personnel and backhoe would have to be on a standby mode.

Another curious point was, if this is a Unitil project, why was there no one from Unitil there to clarify any points, and there were numerous unanswered questions?  One would be why Unitil is doing the trenching but does not have to complete the work to satisfy the final trench so it can be paved without Public Works personnel having to ensure the work is done right.  Also, why is there no written Unitil proposal detailing the project and who is responsible for what? 

Also, there was no documentation from the Brunswick Housing Authority as to what they are responsible for.  It was stated that the Brunswick Housing Area was to pay half of the cost for paving but did not mention if the Public Works personnel are required to prepare the trench for paving if the Brunswick Housing Authority would split the cost with the town.  In other words, the Town could end up paying for preparing the trench for paving and then split the cost of paving with the town.  If this is the case, the taxpayers are getting screwed again.

Mr. Leighton was unable to answer all the questions asked by both the Council and the Public.  Mr. Leighton changed his story several times.  The Council will still have to go out for bid on the paving because it is over $5,000.00 which is required by the town Purchasing Policy.

I cannot explain why these four Councilors voted the way they did other than this project will provide a cost savings on heating the MTM Center, once completed.  I support the project but I am against approving a project when there are so many questions that remain unanswered.   I will submit a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) for the documentation from Unitil and the Brunswick Housing Authority which should provide the answers to these questions.  I want to know who is responsible for what.

Larry Fillmore

Monday, May 26, 2014

Is Our Town Council Going To Make A Decision Without All The Facts‏

IS OUR TOWN COUNCIL GOING TO    MAKE A DECISION WITHOUT ALL        THE FACTS?

Attached is the Memorandum provided to the Town Council for consideration, subject:  Unitil Paving Proposal.  This memorandum is from Ryan Leighton and NOT Unitil; so where is the paving proposal from Unitil?


There are so many unanswered questions NOT provided by Mr. Leighton.  I am going to try and list questions that need to be answered before the council votes on this issue.
1.   Where is the paving proposal from Unitil?
2.  Where is the map detailing the route of this project?
3.  What are the distances from Route 196 to the main to connect the MTM Center and then on to the Brunswick Housing Authority (BHA).
4.  If Public Works is going to be doing the trenching, what is this going to cost the Town (labor and material)?
5.  If the Town is doing all the trenching, why should the Town pay for any of the paving?
6.  If the cost of paving is $13,000.00, why is this not going out to bid as required by the Town’s Purchasing Policy?
7.   What is the Brunswick Housing Authority’s part in this project?
8.  If there is not a hook-up fee, what is the $1,852.00 for?
9.  If Unitil stated they were going to do the project at no cost to the Town, why is the town going to be doing the trenching and required to pay half of the paving?

As you can see there are numerous questions that are still unanswered.  This is a very shoddy proposal coming from a Department Head receiving a salary of over $78,000.00 from the taxpayers of Lisbon.  But what else would you expect from a person with absolutely no credentials.

I am shocked that this incomplete proposal was even placed on the agenda with so many unanswered questions.  I hope the council does not push this item through without having all the facts present and discussed by both the council and the people.  At Tuesday night’s meeting, there is no Audience Participation portion so the people will have no say on this agenda item.

If this agenda item is pushed through on Tuesday night, someone should be looking to see who is receiving a kick-back on this project.

Larry Fillmore

IS SUMPTHIN' FISHY IN LISBON?‏

Why do I feel that the Public Works Director and the Town Council are trying to put something over on the Town of Lisbon taxpayers?

 

At the May 20, 2014 Town Council meeting, in Other Business is an article:

"                             "Unitil paving proposal"

                                

With it is an attachment from Public Works Director Ryan Leighton stating "in order for the project to move forward the Town and Brunswick Housing Authority would each need to pay $1,852 up front and split the cost of paving the trench following the gas extension installation."

 

The memorandum does not state what the $1,852 is for.

 

Earlier this year Unitil had a public meeting at LES. At that meeting they said they intend to install a gas line from Route 196, across School Street, up Berry Avenue to Campus Avenue,

         AT NO COST TO THE TOWN OF LISBON.

They also said that there would be no fee to connect to said gas line!

 

So, my question, what will the $1,852 pay for?

A connection fee to Unitil?

There is no explanation in Mr.. Leighton's Memorandum.  

 

The Memorandum further reads that the cost to prepare and

pave the trench ,materials would be approximately $6,000 and labor to be around $7,000.

 

Yet we were told at said  May 20 council meeting that Lisbon Public Works would be doing the trenching.

 

Who would we, the taxpayers of the Town of Lisbon, be paying to dig the trench, when we, public works,  would be digging the trench?

 

Mr. Leighton "anticipates" "Brunswick Housing Authority will agree to split the cost of the materials and labor to pave the trench".  Evidently there is agreement with BHA, so why is Mr.. Leighton and our town council rushing into this?  

 

Note: This is a Memorandum from Ryan Leighton, and not a copy of Unitil's proposal.

 

I think the residents and taxpayers of the Town of Lisbon are entitled to see Unitil's proposal prior to the council's vote to accept. Extending the gas line would benefit both the Town of Lisbon and BHA as the MTM Center and Campus Commons could convert to natural gas, thus resulting in savings in heating costs.

 

The Town Council will be voting on this issue at a Special Town Council meeting Tuesday May 27, 2014. The meeting is schedule for 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., a quickie, with no audience participation
 
You, members of the present Town Council, are better than that!
Please consider all aspects of Unitil's proposal, BHA's participation, and Ryan Leighton's proposal before voting on this issue.
 

We need to remember that a former town manager, and previous town council sold the old high school on Campus Avenue to the Brunswick Housing Authority for ONE DOLLAR!

 And  with it, a historical Grant of over One Million Dollars.

 

Dot Fitzgerald

A Very Concerned Lisbon Citizen

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lisbon Taxpayers Pay For Incompetency, But Why?

WHY ARE WE PAYING FOR INCOMPETENCY??

At the last Town Council meeting, there was an agenda item under Other Business called “Unitil Paving Proposal”.  This proposal was submitted by the Town Engineer, Ryan Leighton (See Attached). 






The proposal lacks several items such as a map of the route, distances and who was going to be doing the trenching.  During the discussion by the Council and the Interim Town Manager, it came out that Public Works would be doing all the trenching.  A minor detail left off the original request.  This agenda item was tabled until next week during the Special Town Council meeting.

On the agenda for May 27, 2014, there is no “Audience Participation” so the people will not have a chance to speak on this subject.  I do not believe that even if the people could speak would it be heard.  I believe this has already been decided and the council will approve this proposal.  The fact that Public Works will be doing the trenching, at no cost to either Unitil or the Brunswick Housing Authority, and the people are going to be forced to pay an additional amount for paving is crazy.  Why isn’t the trenching by Public Works not sufficient payment for this project by the taxpayers.

Most of you do not know this but a former council sold Brunswick Housing Authority 4 Campus Avenue for $1.00 and with it went over a MILLION dollar grant for the renovation of the building by Federal Grant.  The property at the time was valued at $265,050.00.  I understand that the Brunswick Housing Authority is a non-profit organization but the Town of Lisbon is not.  The Town should not be making concessions like this and now the Town is willing to do all the trenching and then pay for half of the paving even though there is no benefit to the town from the MTM center to 4 Campus Avenue.  Why should the taxpayers be forced to pay anything for this project?

Please review this proposal by Mr. Leighton and tell me if you believe that this inept performance is worth the $78,000.00 plus Mr. Leighton receives as a salary from the town.  This is exactly what you get from an individual that has absolutely no credentials for the position. 

So why does the Interim Town Manager and the Town Council accept a proposal that is incomplete and does not present ALL the facts in order for the Council to make a competent decision?

Larry Fillmore

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BUDGET CHALLENGE‏

In this morning's Sun Journal, Tuesday April 15, the Auburn City Council is calling for $million$ in cuts to the city budget.


I challenge the town of Lisbon's Town Council and Finance Committee to do the same.


Ways to cut:


Town Engineer:

MDOT is asking for  a $5,500 Trail Match

plus a $20,000 Trail Match.


Those $$$$'s should have been built into the $1,200,000,

One Million Two Hundred Thousand, dollars,plus Lisbon's

matching funds of $320,000, for a grand total of $1,520,000.

ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

                         Savings $$25,500.


Savings could be realized if we had a Town Engineer that was actually a licensed Engineer.

Savings $$$ ?????.


Town Attorney:

Hire an attorney from Lisbon, Lewiston or Auburn instead of one who travels from Bath, some twenty plus miles each way @$150.00 per hour.

                       

Police/Public Safety:

The Police Department receives Forfeiture money that could be used to pay for assault rifles, document imaging, mobile radios.
The list goes on, But asks the taxpayers to pay for these items.
In a budget of $1.000,000, One Million $$$$$, the Town Council and Finance Committee should be able to find significant savings.


Redevelopment Department:

About 2 years ago former Town Manager hired a Town Planner to the tune of $20,000 per year, to develop a Route 196 Master Plan and Sign Standards, and to assist the Planning Board.

The Route 196 Master Plan and Sign Standards is almost

completed, just needs to be accepted by the Town Council.


Why continue to pay $20,000 for a Town Planner when we

have a highly qualified Codes Officer in Dennis Douglass?

The Planning Board has new direction, thanks to Town Planner, Amanda Bunker, and  we are paying over $55,000 a year for a Redevelopment Director, who also heads up the Moxie Festival.


This is a Duplication of Services. 

A savings of $20,000 or $55,000.


The town Council has asked the School Department to cut their budget.


The Library Department is already bare bones but is willing to cut hours of service, a savings of only pennies compared to the police department! ! ! !


Other savings ?? Readers, taxpayers?
          A Challenge ! ! ! ! ! !



Dot Fitzgerald

A Lisbon Concerned Citizen



TOWN REPORTS ARE OUT! ! ! !

And yes, my name is under unpaid taxes,

both real estate and personal property.

The real estate taxes have been paid.

I am struggling as are many others.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More Information Concealed from the People‏

                           MORE INFORMATION CONCEALED FROM THE PEOPLE!
 


 Lisbon Town Engineer E. Ryan Leighton

A former employee of the Town of Lisbon filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission and on April 1, 2014 and this complaint was settled out of court.  The Maine Human Rights Commission filed a complaint against E. Ryan Leighton, Town Engineer and the Town of Lisbon. 

The complaint alleged that Respondents Town of Lisbon and Ryan Leighton subjected the former employee to unlawful discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment due to his disability when it classified his vacation as medical leave, threatened termination of his employment and ordered him to submit to a medical examination.  The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that the Complaint ant was subjected to disability discrimination when the Town of Lisbon and Ryan Leighton required him to undergo an independent medical examination.

Our Interim Town Manager, Dale Olmstead, negotiated an out of court settlement.  The terms of the agreement are that neither the Town of Lisbon nor Ryan Leighton is admitting to doing any wrong doing.  However, the town agreed to provide the Commission Compliance Manager with a copy of the current policies relating to disability discrimination, medical inquiries and medical examinations, and any proposed changes to those policies.

Within 120 days of the effective date of the agreement, the town will provide mandatory training for all of its employees, managers and supervisors regarding the requirements of the revised policies related to disability discrimination, medical inquires and medical requests.  The dates when the training was performed, an overview of the training provided and the name and credentials of the trainers will be provided to the Commission Compliance Manager.

Not part of the agreement, the Town Insurance Company agreed to pay and indeed did pay our former employee $16,500.00 to drop the Maine Human Rights Complaint and any further legal action.  This does not include legal fees for the town.

Once again, monies are being paid to settle yet another suit on behalf of Ryan Leighton.  This time the taxpayers did not have to suffer directly but will when our insurance premiums go up because of Mr. Leighton’s total lack of managerial skills and his inability to deal with people.  This is the second time Mr. Leighton’s incompetency has been identified.  The first was when the Department of Environmental Protection agency fined the town $22,307.00 for violations.  Mr. Leighton is neither a qualified Licensed Professional Engineer, qualified as the Superintendent of Sewer (only Grade 2 and should be Grade 4) nor qualified to manage people.  Keep in mind that Mr. Leighton cannot sign documents/reports required by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection agency and yet he receives a salary close to $80,000.00 of our tax dollars. 

Talk about fraud, waste and abuse of our tax dollars.


Larry Fillmore

Thursday, March 27, 2014

RECAP TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP – MARCH 25TH 2014

RECAP TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP – MARCH 25TH

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.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recap Town Council Workshop Meeting - February 11th ‏ 2014

                       RECAP TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP – FEBRUARY 11TH

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, December 9, 2013

Eldridge Is At It Again!

                            WASTED TIME BY TOWN COUNCIL

Tomorrow night the Town Council, after their orientation, will be reviewing “Discontinuing Roads”.  If I remember correctly, this is the third time Town Engineer, Ryan Leighton, and the Town Manager, Stephen Eldridge, has brought this before a Town Council.  The last two times the Town Attorney, Roger Therriault, told the council there are liability issues attached to the discontinuing of roads.  Once this was brought out, the issue of discontinuing roads was never brought up again.

However, Mr. Leighton and Mr. Eldridge continue to waste the council’s time by presenting the issue to the new council.  If I remember correctly, Mr. Leighton and Mr. Eldridge will provide documentation that is over 6 years old and this listing will have all the roads in town to confuse the issue.  The council will be asked to find all these roads as Mr. Leighton and Mr. Eldridge give a presentation.  Of course, the correct method of presenting an issue is not to clutter it up with unnecessary information.  The listing presented to the council should be ONLY the roads being considered for discontinuation. 

Providing unnecessary information and deliberately confusing the issue, is not the proper method in which to present issues before the council.  It is unfortunate for the council that they rely heavy on the Town Manager for guidance.  This Town Manager has done nothing more than to provide previous councils with false information or only half truths.  The end result is poor decisions by previous councils.  Hopefully, this council will be able to see through this deception.

Going over issues that were not approved by previous councils is a pure waste of time.
Larry Fillmore

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Will The Two New Members To Lisbon's Town Council Do The Right Thing Or Shall It Be More Of The Past?



HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!

Lisbon Town Manager Stephen G. Eldridge

At the last Town Council meeting, the council went into Executive Session under the provisions of 1 M.R.S.A. Statute 405 (6) (E) Consultations with legal counsel regarding Sewer Department fines from DEP.  I fail to understand how the Sewer Department fine from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) qualifies as an Executive Session.

On April 16, 2013, the Town Engineer, Ryan Leighton briefed the council and the Public on what took place to warrant the fine of $22,307.00 dollars from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Attached to the agenda item was the Administrative Consent Agreement issued to the Town of Lisbon.  This matter was clearly discussed in a Public forum and should have been updated in a Public forum and not behind closed doors. 

 Lisbon Town Engineer Ryan Leighton

I am sure the town has been in contact with DEP to try and work out a solution.  However, it is important that the people of Lisbon be updated on what is going on with this situation.  Hiding behind closed doors is inappropriate and unethical.  The statute states that “…premature general public knowledge would clearly place the State, municipality or other public agency or person at a substantial disadvantage.”  I do not believe updating the status of this situation and how much the town of Lisbon will have to pay, falls under this statue. 

The town manager determines what qualifies in accordance with Maine Statute 405 for an Executive Session and limited privilege.  Numerous dealings have been conducted behind closed doors and later determined not to have qualified for the Executive Session privilege.  This appears to fall into this category.

The people have a right to know what is going on with this situation and our tax dollars and since it was first brought out in a Public meeting all updates should be provided to the people in a Public forum.   These behind closed door sessions, which are illegal, must stop.  The Town Manager must provide better guidance to the council instead of always leading the council down the wrong path.

I will submit on Monday a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) for the final decision of the DEP.  Once, I have secured the documents; I will update the community on what is going on.

I hope and pray the new council will restore transparency in local government.

Larry Fillmore