The Town Manager, Diane Barnes and the Town Council have started the 2016-2017 Municipal budget season last night. The initial municipal budget was presented last night for the first time to the Town Council. The budget has, according to my calculator, an increase of $677,373.00 over last years’ budget. However, keep in mind; this should change many many times before the municipal budget gets approved. So do not panic just yet.
However, in this budget is a 2% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for ALL town employees. These town employees have received a 2% increase for as many many years as I can remember. Sometimes it is called wages/salaries and other times it is called COLA. It has been going on for so many years it can be called automatic. Last year, there was no increase in Social Security for COLA. This means that the residents on fixed income did not receive a Social Security COLA increase but this was never taken into account by the leadership of this community. The current working class is greedy and wants as much money as they can get so this 2% is automatic for town employees. I am not saying that the majority of town employees do not deserve the increase but should everyone gets it. This includes individuals that have no credentials for their position and receiving inflated salaries to begin with. If everyone doesn’t get a COLA increase than no one should receive a COLA increase. When was the last time you received a COLA increase at your work?
Also included in this budget is filling a Police Patrol Officer position at approximately $62,000.00 if I understood the Town Manager correctly. I believe this cost is a little high since the Lieutenant is paid $63,514.88. This is the salary in the 2013-2014 Annual Report. Remember, he received a 2% increase last year so that is NOT what he is receiving today. This brings up another interesting report.
The town has reported that they offered a ridiculous retirement package to both Lieutenant Michele and Chief Brooks. I say ridiculous package because they are negotiating for the people of Lisbon to pay for three years health insurance instead of paying until they reach 65. Lieutenant Michele has a legitimate reason but Chief Brooks has none that I am aware of. But the issue is here is why the people of Lisbon should pay health insurance past the age of 65 when Medicare kicks in.
Now here is an excellent question; why are the people not being kept in the loop on what is going on with these negotiations each Town Council meeting? The two for one was supposedly going to offset the cost of the Patrol Officer but it looks like it was just a ploy to get an additional officer for the Police Department.
Also, why weren’t the people informed as to the current status of the revaluation and the latest date when the residents will be receiving their revaluation letters. I think it is vital that the people be kept informed by either the Town Council or the Town Manager, especially when it involved taxpayer’s dollars. I believe it is called transparency and the people have a right to know what is going on in their community.
It appears if you want to know what is going on in Lisbon you must call either the Town Manager or members of the Town Council. Waiting for them to do their job during council meetings does not appear to be working.