Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FAILED AGAIN!!!!!! ------ by Larry Fillmore

At last night’s Town Council meeting, Councilors Lunt and Pesce stuck to their guns and voted no on the Municipal Budget failing it again for the second time. Congratulations to these true Councilors for trying to help the citizens they represent.

During Audience Participation portion of the meeting, I spoke on the Municipal Budget and asked why Chairwoman Ward did not pass any guidance to the Town Manager on some of the suggestions offered by both Councilors and citizens during the previous Council meeting and workshop.

Councilor Lunt suggested not replacing any police vehicles this year saving approximately $10,000.00 dollars.

Councilor Pesce recommended a Personnel Assessment which could reduce manpower and save an undetermined amount.

Roger Cote asked why there were no cuts in the largest department in the budget. The Police Department continues to grow every year and is up to $1,387,595.00. That is correct over $1.3 million and no cuts!!!

I recommended cutting one Detective and at least one if not two of the three secretaries Chief Brooks has in the Police Budget. The two called Secretaries are part-time personnel but will save at least $20,000.00 (Chief Brooks will still have his Administrative Assistant) and the Detective will save between $60,000.00 and $75,000.00 more dollars.

I suggested eliminating Professional Service this year saving $65,000.00. Professional Development is still in the budget.

Richard Main recommended cutting the Legal budget by eliminating everyone calling the Town Attorney any time they feel like it. This could save as much as $20,000.00.

Just the known saving is roughly $170,000.00 and that is not counting all the unknowns. So every time Chairwoman Ward asks the questions asking for specifics here are some good ones.

Before any cuts can be made the Chairwoman has to tell the Town Manager how much to cut and areas to look into. However, when Chairwoman Ward asked the Councilors who failed the budget the first time Councilors Lunt and Pesce’s suggestions were ignored. Chairwoman Ward provided no guidance to the Town Manager after the previous Town Council meeting and provided no guidance to the Town Manager after the last Town Council Workshop. After last night’s failed budget Chairwoman Ward asked again and neither Councilor Lunt or Pesce said anything and I do not blame them; she did not hear them before so what makes anyone thing she would listen this time.

No cuts to the budget can be made unless the Council makes them or the Town Manager is directed to look into areas designated by the Chairwoman. Chairwoman Ward has failed to discuss any suggestions brought out by Councilors or citizens and has provided no direction for the Town Manager.

Chairwoman Ward has scheduled another workshop for July 22, 2014. I guarantee that any suggestions pertaining to the Police Department will be ignored by Chairwoman Ward because she will protect her mentor’s budget at all cost. The citizens should be outraged at this Municipal Budget and Chairwoman Ward’s lack of concern for the people who have to pay ever increasing taxes.

Chairwoman Ward is stalling until the Council has no choice but to pass the Municipal Budget thus protecting the Police Department Budget for another year and screwing the taxpayers again.

Larry Fillmore


  1. I am disgusted at the way Ms. Ward and Mr. Bickford handled themselves in the town council meeting. Mr. Bickford’s suggestion that both Mr. Pesce and Mr. Lunt explain themselves why they are voting down the budget is uncalled for and childish. If they really need an explanation, let me spell it out for them, “The Police Department needs to be cut in half”. If not, we should get rid of the police department altogether and join with Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Dept. I say to Mr. Bickford, Ms. Ward and anyone else who wants to pass this budget that they are the ones who ought to explain themselves to us as to why they are unwilling to take any suggestions and make any cuts to the town budget. It is quite obvious that Mr. Bickford wants to stick it to the people while Ms. Ward feels obliged to discipline anyone who is trying to stand up and make a change. It is time for Ms. Ward and Mr. Bickford to resign as they are not for the people but rather against them.

  2. All one needs to do is go to the town office and get a copy of the 2012 - 2013 Town Report. That is the latest and current one. On pages 30 - 33 you will find the names of over 200 who have not paid their taxes or taxes were paid too late to not be printed. That alone is enough to tell you that people have having a tough time. Heat your home or pay your real estate taxes. Lisa Ward, Chair of the Town Council does not own property in town, so does not pay real estate taxes. She will be up for re-election in November. With her lack of consideration for taxpayers, do we, really want her to serve another term on the town council? Higher taxes or responsible government. The choice will be yours.