Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Excuses Excuses Excuses by Larry Fillmore

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 to its users.  I believe in the KISS theory.  Keep ISimple 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 administrative 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 were 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 individual to maintain the website.
The residents of Lisbon deserve better.

Larry Fillmore

Friday, February 16, 2018

Gender discrimination is alive and well at the Portland Trader Joe's.

Gender discrimination is alive and well at the Portland Trader Joe's. 

If you are a man you will not feel welcomed at this Trader Joe's.

Unlike the women's room, the men's restroom is under lock and key and if you need relief you will have to search the store for someone with the special code to unlock the men's bathroom.

I called the store and asked the manager (Kammie) about this blatant gender discrimination and she said it was for the safety of the shoppers as if Men are not shoppers at her store. She implied that men are nasty perpetrators that the real shoppers (women) need to be protected from.

If you are a man, a father or veteran I would not encourage you to put yourself through the discrimination you will find at the Portland Trader Joe's
Joe Hill

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Where is the Money ? by Larry Fillmore

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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

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lisbon Emergenciy INC.

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:


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

Monday, January 29, 2018

Maine Downtown Institute: Skill Builder Series

Date:  February 15, 2018
Time:  9:00 to 12:30 p.m.
Location:  Bath Savings Institute Community Room – 105 Front Street, Bath
The Maine Downtown Institute offers a variety of different programs and events throughout the year that are available to the Lisbon's Downtown Business Community.  Lisbon is a Networking Community, therefore those wishing to attend this seminar would qualify at the discount rate.
This is a great opportunity for businesses looking to get ideas for creating window displays with professional designer Rhonda Birkbeck.  Rhonda will take you on a tour of the successful retail window -- setting the stage to draw in more customers and signaling the vitality of your business. You don't need to be a world-class artist to design dynamic displays after Rhonda Birkbeck walks us through the elements of eye-catching windows and shares simple steps for making your storefront sell for you. Plus, three Main Street communities will present a design strategy that soared in their downtowns. Come steal like an artist!
To register online  click here.