Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TUESDAY’S WORKSHOP FEBRUARY



At last night’s workshop, Mr. William Van Tuenin, Tax Assessor, gave a bleak presentation of the town’s situation going into this year’s budget.  It was an excellent presentation outlining exactly where we are right now. 

However, Bowie asked Van Tuenin to project what the figures would look like if the town added $300,000 dollars more to the spending.  Van Tuenin computed it for them and when Van Tuenin showed how much it would raise the taxes Bowie and his followers broke out into a chorus of laughter.

THERE IS NO MAGIC FORMULA TO REDUCE TAXES.  THE ONLY WAY TO REDUCE TAXES IS TO CUT SPENDING!!!!  In the past, the Lisbon Reporter has asked its readership to submit possible ways to cut spending.  Below is the consolidated list:
Cost Savings

The biggest cost savings is to completely turn the Lisbon Communication Center over to the County lock, stock and barrel.  This would assist the County Commissioners with their dilemma and as Gina Mason stated “It is time for Lisbon to reach out to our neighbors and offer our help and service to them.”  This is a cost savings to the taxpayers of Lisbon of approximately $500,000 dollars.

Why not combine the Police and Fire Department forming the Public Safety Department?  Depending on how the town decides to combine these two departments, there is a cost savings of between $70,000 and $80,000 dollars.  It is only a matter of which department head you want to be the new head of the Public Safety Department, of course, if you let both current department heads go there would be additional savings.  Remember, Brooks has already retired once and Galipeau is not fully qualified for the position.

Reduce the salaries of the Town Engineer and the current Fire Chief in half.  This is an additional cost savings of approximately $70,000 dollars.  Both individuals were hired with the understanding they would obtain the necessary credentials and since both have breached their employment agreements there should be no problem reducing their salaries.  Neither of these individuals has obtained the required credentials and yet the taxpayers are paying them as if they are fully qualified.

Sell the equipment stored in the old Lisbon Emergency building.  There is no sense storing equipment not being utilized.  This building is being maintained at an unknown cost to the taxpayers.  Why do we need to store equipment not being utilized?  Why not sell this equipment and utilize that money to update some of the equipment we are utilizing. 

Cutting Lisbon’s department heads salaries to match that of Skowhegan would save the taxpayers approximately $160,539.  This would go a long way to reducing our tax bills.

Generate Revenue

Gina Mason suggested overnight camping at Beaver Park.  Why not?  We have a park ranger there 24/7 to supervise.  If it was controlled, it would generate additional revenue to the town.

If the town was to turn the Lisbon Communication Center over to the County and the County utilized the Lisbon town office space, then the town of Lisbon could charge the County rent on the space being occupied by the Androscoggin County Consolidated Communication Center (A4C), once again generating revenue for the town.

The above are my suggestions on how to cut spending in the Town of Lisbon.  Reducing spending is the ONLY method to lowering our tax bills. 

It is very apparent, by Bowie making the suggestion of adding $300,000 dollars of spending to last year’s budget, this council has absolutely no intentions of attempting to reduce spending.  Bowie and the puppets are trying to justify increasing your taxes this year.

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen