Saturday, July 18, 2015


It used to be hard to distinguish between transparency and lip-service but in Lisbon it is easy to tell the difference.  Since, Lori Pomelow and Michael Bowie rewrote the Council Working Rules it is not hard to see which is which.  The Council Working Rules limit the people to speak on agenda items ONLY during Audience Participating.  This means that the people must address agenda items without the benefit of knowing why the sponsor has placed the item on the agenda and how each Councilors feels about the change.  In other words, the Council Working Rules compel the people to talk about agenda items before knowing why it is on the agenda.  This is like shooting in the dark.

On Tuesday’s agenda there are five agenda items that have no supporting documentation.  That means the people have absolutely no idea what is going to be discussed except for the title.  If you have supporting documentation, the people can review these documents and have an idea of what is going to be discussed.

So I emailed the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, and asked for documentation on agenda item 2015-210, DEP Consent Agreement.  Mrs. Barnes’ response was and I quote “Not at this time.”  So, if the DEP Consent Agreement is not available, why is this on the agenda?  No item should be placed on the agenda without the supporting documentation.  Nothing that goes on in the Town of Lisbon is classified as National Security.  This is a clear cut attempt to keep the people from reviewing this documents before the Council rules on it.  In other words; censorship!

I also asked Mrs. Barnes for a copy of the Revaluation Decision and received the following response “Nothing to provide at this time”.  If these agenda items are on the agenda and going to be voted on by the Council then the people have a right to review documentation in order to be able to address these items during Audience Participation.  There is no way; anyone can classify this as transparency in local government.

According to the Mission Statement of the Town of Lisbon, the Town is seeking the input of the people prior to making any decisions.  I guess it is time to change the Mission Statement because our Town Council and Town Manager do not want the people to have any input on what goes on in this community.

If there is no transparency that means the people are getting ONLY lip-service.  This needs to change so the people’s wishes and desires are partnered with the Town Council and Town Manager in the decision-making process.

Larry Fillmore