Monday, November 16, 2015

SALARIES IN LISBON ---- by Larry Fillmore


Around the country, there is a debate about raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.  Lakecha Jackson is a fast food worker in Detroit who believes that she should receive the same wages as a paramedic.  Can you image the cost of a Big Mac or Whopper if the minimum wage is raised to $15.00 an hour? 

Everywhere else in the country, with the exception of Lisbon, Maine, an employee is compensated for the work they do.  In Lisbon, it is not necessary to honor “condition of employment” or to have credentials necessary for the position held.

In September 9, 2002, Chief Galipeau was offer a position of Lisbon Fire Chief and one of the conditions of employment reads and I quote “Continue progress towards an Associate Degree”.  It is now November 16, 2015 and Chief Galipeau has not completed his Associates Degree.  I am going out on a limb here and say from my prospective; Chief Galipeau has failed to meet this condition.  In thirteen years, Chief Galipeau has failed to obtain an Associate’s degree in Fire Science.  

Chief Galipeau has additional qualifications to maintain his firefighter status and it is my understanding that he has not kept up on these qualifications also.  It makes no difference in Lisbon if you have the credentials necessary for the position because the taxpayer are still paying Chief Galipeau $67,413.00 according to the 2015-2016 budget.

Talk about fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayers money, this is one of two prime examples.  The other is Ryan Leighton, Superintendent of the Sewer Department, who has a Grade 2 level qualification and the Waste Treatment Plant requires a Grade 4 to operate the plant.  Ryan Leighton needs to be a Grade 4 in order to operate the Waste Treatment Plant.  It is a fact there are qualified personnel doing the job but Ryan Leighton is the Superintendent and should be knowledgeable in order to supervise these individuals.  Ryan Leighton is receiving a salary over $80,000.00 plus for being the Superintendent and the Public Works Director.

The residents and taxpayers of this community deserve to have the best qualified individuals in the top positions such as department heads for their money.  These two individuals are both department heads and do not have the credentials to supervise and operate these departments.

The Town Manager can put these two on notice that they need to obtain necessary credentials; provide them a year to obtain them and if they do not obtain the credentials; then their salaries will be reduced accordingly.  

It is about time these salaries in this community are more in line with the jobs being performed.   Individuals should only be paid for the duties they perform.  Receiving pay for work not performed is fraud, waste, and abuse.  

The salary Ryan Leighton was receiving as Town Engineer was moved to Public Works instead of being reduced since the State of Maine told the town he was not a Licensed Professional Engineer.  The town eliminated the position but did not reduce his salary.

The town is facing a financial crisis and these outrageous salaries need to be adjusted according to only the work being performed.

Larry Fillmore