Monday, August 25, 2014

COME ONE, COME ALL TO THE LISBON COMEDY SHOW


Come one, come all and marvel as the Town Council goes through the motions of a workshop for the purpose of establishing the direction for the Finance Committee.  This waste of time will be held Tuesday August 26, 2014 at the town office at 07:00 PM.  

The history of the Finance Committee speaks for itself.  This committee is chaired by Miriam Morgan-Alexander; who does not pay real estate taxes in Lisbon.  The remaining committee members are ex-councilors with the exception of Christopher Rugullies.  The ex-councilors are Norma Wells, Charlie Smith, Lori Pomelow, Fern LaRochelle and Michael Bowie.  These five former councilors are the very reason this community is in the financial situation it is today.  Who better to create more problems for the town than the very people who created the situation in the first place?  It is like having the fox guard the hen house.

Last year during budget season, the town council asked the Chair for a recommendation on the proposed budget and the Chair stated that the committee was unprepared to provide a recommendation.  What exactly had they been doing all this time?  Finally, the Finance Committee supported the proposed budget.  The proposed budget increased the Police Department by over $78,000.00.  This increased the cost of the Police Department to over $1,300,000.00 for the coming year.  This community has over a million dollar police force.  This was after several citizens showed numerous areas where cuts to the Police Department could be made.  All of the Finance Committee members were appointed by Town Council and not elected by the people.  This was done, in my opinion to protect the police budget.  These former councilors have been protecting the police budget for years and are very comfortable covering up excessive spending by Chief Brooks.  This was very apparent during the vote on this years proposed budget.  There were no cuts made to the Police Department even when Councilor Lunt and Councilor Pesce made suggestions which were ignored by Chairwoman Ward.  Councilor Pesce was the only Councilor to vote against the budget.

There is no need for three secretaries, two detectives and nine vehicles in the Police Department.  Two secretaries are part-time and one is a full time Administrative Assistant who receives $10,000.00 more than any other Administrative Assistant.  A community of this size does not need two detectives. Also, two vehicles sit at the schools all day long.  The rationale behind these vehicles sitting idle all day is in case of an emergency.  Can anyone remember when Lisbon suffer an emergency that required to call these officers out of the schools?

Now let’s look at a Communication Center that cost the taxpayers close to $300,000.00 tax dollars a year plus the cost of the equipment.  This Communication Center is no even a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) which means absolutely no 911 calls come directly to the Communication Center.  All 911 calls come into the Androscoggin County Dispatch and relayed to our Communication Center.  This means that Chief Brooks is putting each and every one of us at risk because it takes time to relay information before first responders can be dispatched.  This precious time may mean the difference between life and death.  Are you willing to take that chance?

The Finance Committee and the Town Council are making it very difficult for our new Town Manager to make necessary changes to get Lisbon back on the right track.

Larry Fillmore





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