Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?????

I am going to show you how the “Good Old Boys” network; control our Town Council.  All decisions made are political and not in the best interest of the community.  This is how the network uses their buddies, they elected, to remain in control at all times.  Here are prime examples:
   
1.     The following is the approximate salary of the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Police Lieutenant.  Police Chief is close to $80,000.00; Fire Chief is close to $70,000.00 and Police Lieutenant is close to $70,000.00.  This is a combined total of $220,000.00.  Now instead of going out and getting a Chief of Police; why not advertise for a “Public Safety Director”?  If you can negotiate a starting salary of $70,000.00 the cost saving would be around $150,000.00 tax dollars. This would provide the community with a Public Safety professional for both the Police and Fire Department and would provide better service to our people.  Also, the Public Safety Director could take over the Fire Control Vehicle and we can get rid of one police vehicle.  Keep in mind; that our current Fire Chief has been working on an Associate’s Degree for over twelve year unsuccessfully.

2.    The idea of eliminating the Lisbon Communication Center and going with the Androscoggin County Dispatch for emergency service would save the town approximately $190,000.00, according to the Town Council.  The Town Manager estimated a cost saving of about $165,000.00 and I estimated it to be around $265,000.00.  Did it happen, no because of politics?  The range of $190,000.00 to $265,000.00 is in tax dollars and to me it is not chicken feed.  So what is the right decision for the community?  Keep in mind; there is no Dispatchers in the Lisbon Communication Center qualified to issue an Emergency Medical Code (EMC) to the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) to assist in the life savings process.  Why do First Responders have to wait for a relay from the Androscoggin County Dispatcher before they are dispatched by Lisbon Communication Center?  Doesn’t it make more sense to have Androscoggin County Dispatchers dispatch OUR First Responder immediately upon receiving a request for emergency services?

3.    The town has two Department Heads with no credentials in their fields being paid exorbitant salaries (OUR tax dollars).  The first is Ryan Leighton is the Superintendent of Sewer.  The state says that you need to be at least a Grade 4 to operate the facility and he is a Grade 2, last time I checked.  This means that the Plant Manager does the work/reports and Mr. Leighton gets paid (annual salary of close to $90,000.00) for it.  What is wrong with this picture?  Also, Sean Galipeau, Fire Chief, was hired with the understanding he would continue with his Associate Degree in Public Safety.  Twelve years later and he still does not have his Associate’s Degree but is drawing a salary of roughly $70,000.00.  

These cases, I have presented are not rocket science to figure out what is in the best interest of the community.  The real challenge is to figure out why the Town Council is not doing them.  The answer is simple.  These decisions are all politically made by the Council in support of the “Good Old Boys” network to ensure these prominent citizens do not lose “Control” of the town.  It is all about “Control” and NOT what is in the best interest of the Town.

I know everyone remembers the “goat rope” the community went through last year with the School Departments budget.  This was forced by Councilors Bickford, Metivier, Brunelle and Crafts.  Councilor Metivier is pushing for more cuts this year and as a result the School Department is cutting seven positions.  Now, I am fine with the decision of the School Department with the exception of three of those positions are teachers.  I cannot understand why we are getting rid of three qualified teachers and retaining two Department Heads that have no credentials.  This makes absolutely no sense to me.  If they have no credentials, then they should be let go first regardless if they are on the School or Municipality side.  I believe it is our tax dollars that operate both sides.

Does any of this make sense to anyone?  Is the Town Council really trying to save the taxpayers some money or pacify the “Good Old Boys”?  So please tell me; “What is wrong with this picture?”
Larry Fillmore