Friday, October 16, 2015

LOYALTY TO WHOM by Larry Fillmore

Loyalty is a wonderful attribute to have when utilized properly.  On October 6, 2015, the Town Council held a meeting and on the agenda was the question of Dispatch Consolidation.  The question was should Lisbon give its support to Sheriff Samson to consolidate the Lisbon Communication Center with the Androscoggin County Dispatch.

This project was in the infant stage.  Nothing was final and no contracts had been signed.  However, Sheriff Samson had requested the County Commissioners approve a $225,000 budget for this project.  This project was moving very fast as all project do in the infant stage however there was no firm commitments being signed other than the town was supporting this project.

Here is the crux of the project:  Which situation provides the fastest and most efficiency method of dispatching?

A.     Emergency Calls (911) come to Androscoggin County Dispatch (PSAP) and Androscoggin County Dispatch dispatch the Lisbon’s First Responders.

B.      Emergency Calls (911) come to Androscoggin County Dispatch (PSAP) and Androscoggin County Dispatch relay the information to the Lisbon Communication Center to dispatch Lisbon’s First Responders.

Chief Brooks has been against this project from the beginning because he would lose half of this department.  He has tried to sabotage the project at every turn.  However, on October 6, 2015, Chief Brooks brought in numerous individuals, including three former Chairs of the Town Council and others in support of keeping dispatch just the antiquated way it is today.  Please do not get me wrong, Lisbon Dispatch does an outstanding and are an asset to the community.  These dispatchers would be transferred to Androscoggin County Dispatch to continue their great service.   

As it turned out, the Chairman Pesce and the Town Council voted to not only withdraw their support to the county; they voted to kill the project.  This goes to show that they, along with their former Chairs, choose Option B in response to the question above.  All of the individuals that chose Option B should ask a friend to check for a pulse because they are “BRAIN DEAD” on this issue.  If you cannot see the value in going ahead slowly with this project, then you too have no clue in life.

These individuals, I believe, voted and supported Chief Brooks out of loyalty to the Chief instead of loyalty to the community.  When you become a Councilor or a former Councilor, it is crucial that all decisions you make are in the best interest of the community and have nothing to do with your personal feelings.  You represent all the people and as such need to vote what is best for all.  This was not done in this case.

Please call your Councilors and the Town Manager, and voice your opinion on moving this project forward so the Town of Lisbon can get out of the dark ages and move forward.  If we want to grow as a community, it is critical we keep up with technology and use it to our advantage.

Support Consolidation of the Androscoggin County Dispatch and Lisbon Communication Center to improve our lives.

Larry Fillmore