Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lisbon’s Financial Fiasco Follies ------ By Peter Ruter TLR

 Chief David T. Brooks

By Peter Reuter, Special to The Lisbon Reporter 

Once again the time has arrived when we find ourselves in  undoubtedly the most reverent of seasons, Budget Season.  Every taxpayer already has a license to pursue the prey of choice, ie. Municipal department.  Taxes are levied on the people’s property, personal & estate, which afford the community to carry on with normal business as usual actions.  

But what happens when no one is ‘minding the fort’ and looking out for the best interests of the community, its people?  When the past management establishment elected and hired to do so were inflicted with a very contagious social and economical disease called GREED.  You get exactly what Lisbon is experiencing right now.   

Monies from the Federal and State levels have all but disappeared that were flowing into each municipality like spring thaw after a hearty winter of snow.  Those dollars, in most cases, were desperately counted on to balance the often over budgeted municipal balance sheets.  Now towns are struggling to manage with the same services they were afforded in past years. Change must occur to correct the deficit created by not making sound economic choices.

Through lack of financial fortitude Lisbon has had to dip into the Undesignated Fund account to make up the difference for a multiple of past years. Leaving it depleted to less than a favorable level.  Lately departments have had to make significant cuts to their operational budgets and employee rosters in order to keep the financial responsibility in somewhat of an order.  For that, infrastructural suffrage have occurred.  Roads, bridges, equipment and other items have not be improved or expanded as needed.

When you look hard into the Municipal Budget of Lisbon at all the departments that have had to make cuts, one department stands out like a black and blue eye where no cuts have been made.  In fact it has been increased each and every year.  But in order to ascertain that fact you just about need to have a PHD in forensic auditing. All because the TRUE and ACCURATE accounting of the POLICE DEPARTMENT has been spread out and hidden, on purpose to confuse the people.  This has permeated and promulgated the budget each year with significant protection of your duly elected officials.

It is REFRESHING to hear that the new Town Manager has recognized this and is in the process of correcting.  Once the taxpayers learn of the TRUE EXPENSE of the Police Department, then perhaps we all can hope for a change.  Maybe Lisbon could be a more affordable community for the retired residents and appeal to people to move in to make it their home.

Lisbon Town Manager, Mrs. Diane Barnes has made significant progress in the administration process and expenditures side of things. Namely digressing from one of the 'Good Ole Boys Club' members, the previous Town Attorney.  With the challenges that she is facing we all need to lend her support at meetings or whenever we see her.  Her intentions are honorable and admirable. Something Lisbon has been lacking in recent years

The residents have spoken loud and clear when presented with the opportunity to improve things.  A couple of examples would be the vote on the addition to the High School Gymnasium, Track, and not purchasing Worumbo Mill. And let us not forget the opportunity to vote on the School Budget each year.

Isn’t it about time we have more of say on the Municipal side of the Budget?

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