Saturday, February 13, 2016

RECAP TOWN COUNCIL WORKSHOP – FEBRUARY 11TH


Last night’s Town Council Workshop was extremely entertaining to say the least.  Chairman Bickford turned the workshop over to Chief Brooks who provided a presentation he liked to call “Two for One”.  The idea was for both Chief Brooks and Lt Michele to retire under a onetime offer by the Town to pay their health insurance for three years.  I really do not understand this because both officers are either going to be 62 this year or they are 62 and the three years would provide compensation until they reach 65 and Medicare kicks in. Chief Brooks does not want the Town to pay health care for the officers and their family until they reach 65 but a flat three years.  

Nowhere in this presentation did Chief Brooks notify the Town Council, Town Manager or the people that he had already retired in March 2003 with a Maine State retirement account of roughly 1.7 MILLION dollars; that’s right 1.7 MILLION dollars.  Chief Brooks also has a second retirement account with International City/County Management Association – Retirement Corporation (ICMA-RA) of which I do not know how much is in that account.  According to the slide presentation, LT Michele will be paying into Maine Retirement System in 2017-$6,277; 2018-$6,403 & 2019-$6,531.  So how did Chief Brooks accumulate $1.7 MILLON in just 29 year?  Great question!!!!!!!

Chief Brooks wants to have both he and LT Michele take an early retirement and save the Town according to Chief Brooks figures a total savings of $177,000 for three years which is different than the Town Finance Director figures.  Also, and totally separate the Town would hire an additional Patrol Officer.  Chief Brooks and Chairman Bickford stressed that this was a completely separate action.  I am sure the taxpayers will agree 100% when it comes to spending their tax dollars.

Chief Brooks pointed out throughout his presentation that the Town was not cooperating with them; in fact, he stated that it was adversarial at times to the point Chief Brooks and LT Michele hired a lawyer to assist them.  Chief Brooks made a special point of calling it “them verses us” on numerous occasions.  Apparently, if you do not march to Chief Brooks drum when he speaks; you are adversarial.

All through this presentation, I never hear any suggestion of a proposed retirement date for either officer.  I believe it would be important to have a proposed date in order to more actually compute the cost savings to the Town.  However, I got the impression that Chief Brooks was not going to provide that information.  LT Michele did not provide any input into discussion.

After Chief Brooks’ presentation, Chairman Bickford asked Councilors for their questions and Councilors Ward and Metivier asked a few. However, the audience was NOT allowed to speak.  According to Chairman Bickford, the audience could ask their questions at the next Town Council meeting, Tuesday night because this is on the agenda.

Larry Fillmore

P.S.  Remember Councilor Cote said that Chief Brooks had been sodomizing the community.  Could this be how he accumulated $1.7 MILLON in his Maine State Retirement Account in only 29 years?