Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hope For Lisbon ------- By Joe Hill


At last nights Council Meeting Lisbon Councilors gave us hope.   They appeared to be genuinely concerned about the excessive taxes levied on Lisbon's homeowners.


Lisbon's proposed budgets are voted on by section. All sections must pass in order for the new budget  to pass. If any one section is defeated the entire budget is rejected. At last nights budget vote the very first section of the proposed budget failed to  get a majority vote and thus the entire budget was rejected by a 4 to 2 vote. (Councilors Ward and Bickford voted for this excessive budget)(Councilor Garrison was absent)


The budget rejection does not mean Lisbon is operating without a budget. We are doing business as usual under a "Managers Budget" as explained by Manager Ohmstead. The bills are being paid and employees are still getting their checks. 


Mr Bickford stated that both he and Chairman Ward were ready to pass this bloated (my word not his) budget as is. His willingness to subject Lisbon taxpayers to another year of even higher taxes reminded me of the previous Councils that created our financial mess.  


Interim Manager Olmstead informed the Council that just rejecting the budget wasn't that helpful. He asked them for specific areas that they wanted changed or cut.  This request was answered by several of the Councilors that gave their concerns about the taxpayers inability to pay higher taxes.  Mr. Lunt didn't want to spend $10.000 dollars of taxpayers money for a new Police Cruiser when the Police Department  could pay for the cruiser out of confiscated drug money from the Federal Government.


The most insightful suggestion came from Vice Chairman Pesce. He asked if there was a way for the Council to compare the number of Lisbon Town Employees to that of other communities of similar size.  This comparison if done would undoubtedly emphasize the excessive size of our Police Department. and should put pressure on the Councilors to reduce our PD. I hope the Councilors have the courage to follow through with Councilor Pesce's request.


The reality is that even with deep cuts in our proposed budget we will experience a major tax increase this year, mainly due to the passing of our school bonds.  


Councilors Pesce, Lunt, Metivier and Brunelle are trying to bring our spending under control and give us a budget that we can live with.  I urge you to call them and give them your suggestions and support.  



Respectfully
Joe Hill

3 comments:

  1. It appears to me that Mr. Bickford's and Ms. Ward's support for passing the budget is purely a vindictive move rather what is best for our town. It is my opinion that they want the town people to suffer. They are no longer being an effective and impartial public servant as it is quite obvious that they have a chip on their shoulder. Time will only tell whether they have the town’s best interest in mind or whether they are in bed with the town staff.

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  2. Joe is absolutely right on point. The next problem is to get Chief Brooks to make the right cuts. As a Department Head, has the final say on where he wants to make cuts. Chief Brooks needs to cut two secretaries; needs to reduce wages in the Communication Center; cut one Detective and forget about the taxpayers paying for new vehicles this year. These are just a few obvious needs to be taken for the good of the community. The real question is does Chief Brooks have a conscience and will he do what is fight for the town.

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  3. Let's see if Chief Brooks is man enough to do what is right for the town and taxpayers of Lisbon.
    This will be interesting.
    Stay tuned! ! ! ! ! !

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