Friday, August 17, 2018

DIG DEEP!!! by Larry Fillmore

Friday, August 17, 2018

During the latest Town Council meeting, our Town Manager, Diane Barnes, informed the Town Council that the current mil rate is 24.84; our taxes will increase $1.64 per thousand which is a 7% increase. I hope you are not surprised since the people did NOT turn out to voice their concerns. Now it is too late!

This increase in our mil rate and taxes is significant for this small town. Those residents on a fixed income are going to suffer the most. This increase in our taxes every year is a trend that needs to be reversed. Our Town Manager does NOT work for the people, so she could care less.

The Town Manager is receiving a salary of $96,482.00 this year. This is an increase from last years’ salary of $95,047.00. According to my calculator that is a $1,435.00 pay raise in one year. It would appear that the Town Manager can afford a 7% increase in her taxes but can the rest of the residents? I do not know any job where you receive pay raises like this; I never did and I was one of the top individuals in my field.

This pay raise was disguised as a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) which was approved by the Town Council. Of course, Diane Barnes recommended this increase in HER budget. COLA was first created by the Federal government to offset a recession but the Town of Lisbon uses it to cover-up for wage increases. Wage increases, in my opinion, should be ONLY for those personnel who have done an outstanding job during the year and make less than $45,000.00. No management positions deserve wage increases because they are above the $45,000.00 threshold, in my opinion. We are paying individuals in management position plenty already and they do receive longevity pay.

The Town Manager and the Town Council have got to start looking for ways to save the taxpayer some money. At good start would be by closing the Lisbon Communication Center which is a duplication of services. The Androscoggin County Dispatch (911 services) could perform our dispatching services much more efficient than it is now. This would increase the response time of First Responder and make our community safer. By the way, the estimated cost savings was around $200,000.00 two years ago and has probably increased even more today. This figure was provided by two previous Councilors, I trust, and not me.

The elimination of COLA will save the town appropriately $70,000.00 per year and will eliminate Department Heads and the Town Manager from receiving salary increases in the thousands every year. They may very well be worth it but we cannot afford to pay them if it means increasing our taxes every year.

The people need to talk to the Town Manager and their Councilors and tell them how you feel.

Larry Fillmore

Thursday, August 16, 2018

WHO’S IN CHARGE???? by Larry Fillmore

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018


WAKE UP MAINERS - PART 2 by Larry Fillmore

As Mainers, we have a responsibility to support our President until he does something against the law. Mainers elect their representatives to speak for them in Congress. One of those individuals is Senator Angus King. I have downloaded the last four months of his voting record and it is below for everyone to see.
July 23 Nomination of Robert L. Wilkie to be secretary of veterans affairs (86-9) Voted – Yes

July 11 Nonbinding motion calling for congressional approval of national security tariffs (88-11) Voted - Yes
June 20 Rescinding previously approved but unspent funding (48-50) Voted - No
May 23 Expanding private care options for veterans (92-5) Voted - Yes
May 17 Nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA (54-45) Voted - No
May 16 Reinstating net neutrality rules (52-47) Voted - Yes
April 26 Nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state (57-42) Voted – Yes
April 18 Repeal of guidance to protect borrowers from discriminatory markups on auto loans Voted – No
Senator King also voted NO on the following nominations:

Britt Grant to 11th Circuit Court
Ryan Wesley to 9th Circuit Court
Andrew Oldham to 5th Circuit Court
Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
Mick Mulvaney to Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Steven Mnuchin to Secretary of the Treasury
Jeff Session to Attorney General
Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Education
As you can see, Senator King has voted “NO” the majority of the time when it comes to confirming candidates. In fact, Senator King has only voted 46.1% of the time to support the President’s agenda. I believe that this definitely reflects that Senator King does not vote the way Mainers he represents feels.

Senator King is up for reelection this year and I for one will not be voting for him. I believe that our representative in the Senate must support our President. I hope there are more Mainers that will follow my lead.

Larry Fillmore

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