Monday, January 11, 2016

Transparency Lost In Lisbon

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Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed.  It has been defined simply as "the perceived quality of intentionally shared information from a sender.

On December 4, 2015, the Town Manager of Greene notified the Town Manager of Lisbon, that the Town of Greene was no longer requiring the services of Dispatching from Lisbon for Fire/EMS Departments.  This means the Town of Lisbon is losing Revenue in support of the Lisbon Communication Center.  The taxpayers of Lisbon are going to have to pay more to operate the Lisbon Communication Center.  Don’t you think that is important to the people?

One would think the people of Lisbon would be interested as to how their tax dollars are being spent or where they lose revenue in their budget.  Yet, neither the Town Council nor the Town Manager has taken the time to make this announcement at a Town Council meeting or workshop.  

Apparently, the Town Council and the Town Manager consider the people of Lisbon like mushrooms; kept in the dark and fed scrap.

Another example is the Town Council held another Executive that is NOT in compliance with Maine Statue 405 6(E).  When the Council came out of the Executive Session they made two motions both pertaining to legal action being taken on two properties.  The Maine Statue reads:  “Consultations between a body or agency and its attorney concerning the legal rights and duties of the body or agency, pending or contemplated litigation, settle offers and matters where the duties of the public body’s or agency’s counsel to the attorney’s client pursuant to the code of professional responsibility CLEARLY CONFLICT with this subchapter or where premature general public knowledge would CLEARLY PLACE the State, municipality or other public agency or person at a substantial disadvantage.”

This should have been discussed at the regular Town Council meeting in front of the Public.  There was no clear conflict and it did not clearly place the State, municipality or other agency or person at a substantial disadvantage.  Apparently, the Town Council does not want residents to know what they say behind closed doors.  This is wrong because they should be discussing town business in front of its residents.  The Town prints out a list of residents that owe back taxes for real estate, personal property, and sewer; so what’s the difference? 

The fact of the matter is the Town Council and the Town Manager is not keeping the people informed and are violating the Maine Statue on Executive Session in order to keep information from the residents.

There is no transparency in Lisbon.

Larry Fillmore

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