Sunday, March 8, 2015


I am going to start this article with praise for the Town Council and our Councilors up to this point.  I firmly believe that this Council has done more for this community than any other Town Council in at least six or more years.  Their decisions have always had the best interest of the community at heart.  That is why it is so hard for me to write this article.

At the last Town Council meeting, Mr. Green presented the School Budget to the Town Council.  In doing so, the budget was nowhere near the $600,000.00 the Town Council directed the School Department to cut.  Mr. Green explained the situation and even read the excerpt from the Town Charter which states the Town Council has the right to amend the total amount of the budget.  It does not state the Town Council can dictate where the School Department MUST makes the cuts, line item by line item, as the Town Council wants to do.  Mr. Green and his people are very knowledgeable about the EPS requirements and what is required by state law.  There is absolutely no need for the Town Council to interfere with their process.

This is even more evident when you think about how the Town Council has never reduced the Police Budget.  I and Mr. Dennis Campana have requested that the Town Council direct the Town Manager to look into having the County Sheriff’s Department take over the policing and dispatch duties in the community.  I realize that there is a manpower study going on right now but what we are talking about is having the County take over complete operations of our police department.  Currently, the cost of operating the Police Department is close to $1.3 to $1.7 million dollars.  I believe the County will provide the same service we are receiving now for approximately $750,000.00 tax dollars or less.

Regardless of what it will cost the town, it certainly is worth looking into; however, the Town Council is refusing to make any attempt to contact the County for a quote.  Every year, the town goes through the budget season cutting every department with the exception of the Police Department.  In fact the Police Department was increased approximately $78,000.00 tax dollars and replaced two vehicles costing the taxpayers an additional $53,000.00 plus.

Since, I have been involved in local government here in Lisbon, the Town Council and its councilors have done everything in their power to protect the Police Department budget and in most years increased its operating cost.  Based on the current track record of caring for the community, I was praying this Council would make every effort to bring the Police Department’s budget in line.  These Councilors are going to do everything in their power to protect the Police budget again this year.

So here is the big question; why is the Town Council trying to micromanage the School Department’s budget?  Is it possible this is a diversion to keep from doing what is right with the Police Department budget?

Larry Fillmore

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