Voting on Municipal Budget by Departments
November 8, 2011
MUNICIPAL ADVISORY REFERENDUM QUESTION
QUESTION 9: Advisory Referendum Question
Do the voters of the Town of Lisbon wish to vote on an amendment to the Town Charter that, if enacted, would require voter approval at a referendum election for each annual Municipal Budget?
Ward 1 Ward 2 Total
YES 987 1038 2025
NO 228 286 514
December 3, Town Council Meeting Minutes
Councilor Bickford thanked voters for voting for him and putting him in office another term. Councilor Bickford referred to the referendum which was passed to allow the public to vote on the Town Budget and explained that in June voters will be voting on something proposed by David Bowie regarding voting on budgets. He mentioned that perhaps not everyone would be happy with it since it may not be strong enough, but he hoped most would like it.
At last night’s Town Council meeting, the question was asked when the Council was going to start on the wording of the Charter changes needed to allow the voters to vote on the Municipal budget since Councilor Bickford had stated on December 3rd that this would be on the June ballot. However, according to Councilor Bickford the only change is to lower the requirement on a people’s petition from 15% to 10% of voters in the last gubernatorial election.
I have included the November 8, 2011 referendum question as it was worded on the ballot. Nowhere in the referendum question does it mention lowering the requirements on a people’s petition. In fact, it does not mention having to file a people’s petition every year in the referendum question. Apparently, the Council cannot read English or they are purposely ignoring the taxpayers of Lisbon.
I was of the understanding that the voting process was the people’s way of expressing their feelings. The process is to reflect the desires and concerns of the people. By looking at the results of the voting, the people did not ask or want the Council to lower the requirements on a people’s petition. These Councilors are elected as our representatives and they have been delaying the people’s right to vote on the Municipal budget with numerous surveys and referendum questions. The people asked to vote on the Municipal budget back in 2009 and it took two years to get a referendum question on the ballot.
This is the exact reason we have such a low turnout at election time. Why waste your time voting if our representatives are going to totally ignore our wishes? The results of the referendum question were overwhelmingly clear and still our Councilors are playing games with the people.
This is not only disturbing but disgraceful.
Please call your Councilors and let them know how you feel.