Thursday, June 19, 2014

BUDGETING 101 ---- by Larry Fillmore

I did not made the Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting because I did not realize there was a time change but I did make a great deal of the workshop.  The workshop dealt with the Municipal Budget.  Councilor Lunt tried to make a point but was immediately cut off by Chairwoman Ward who changed the subject.  Councilor Pesce tried to make a point but Chairwoman Ward cut him off and changed the subject.  Both councilors had idea’s to reduce the current proposed budget but were denied the right to be heard by the Chair.  Chairwoman Ward’s main mission is to protect Chief Brook’s police department budget.

When a normal person is looking to reduce their spending or to establish a budget in which they can live; the first place to look is what you are spending the most of your money on.  As in every year past, this town has been dumping their hard earned tax dollars into the Police Department because Chief Brooks has always controlled the Town Council.

The cost to operate our police department continues to grow every year:  2012-$1,335,545.00; 2013-$1,368,038.00 and finally 2014-$1,387,595.00.  If you want to know where we need to make cuts; look at the police department.  Chief Brooks has an Administrative Assistant ($40,657.88) which is paid $10,000.00 more than any other Administrative Assistance in town and has TWO part-time Secretaries (Salaries unknown).  These two part-time Secretaries work 20hrs per week to make one whole person.  The Communication Center is growing in cost and this year the Wages are going up 5.47%.  This town pays for TWO Detectives ($70,813.75 & $64,076.73); one who has already retired once like Chief Brooks ($72,159.70) and was rehired at the same salary like Chief Brooks the same day.  Towns normally have one detective and cities have more than one depending on the rate of crime.  Lisbon is a sleepy community and does not have enough crime to warrant two detectives.

As you can see there is plenty of savings in just what is obvious.  So why is it the Council cannot see the same thing?  I personally believe it is because Chief Brooks controls the Town Council.  Anyone can tell what is going on by watching Chairwoman Ward’s action when it comes to the Police Department; watch the way Councilors Bickford, Lunt and Garrison vote on police issues.  Chief Brooks has always been given everything he asks for by the council.  Chief Brooks has been building an empire at the taxpayers’ expense.

Chief Brooks’ years of service have cost this town way too much and it needs to stop.

Larry Fillmore

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