Has anyone else besides me noticed that ever since Mrs. Lori Pomelow rewrote the Council Working Rules; the decisions made by the Council are poorer and poorer? It is very obvious and for the life of me, I have not been able to understand why this is. After this week’s Town Council meeting, I believe that I have figured it out.
According to the Council Working Rules, the audience can ONLY comment on agenda items during Audience Participation. This means that you have to address your concerns without the benefit of knowing why the sponsor wants to change the item. So when the agenda item comes up, the audience cannot comment on this item. A prime example of this is Agenda Item Zoning Amendment – Route 196 and Villages. The Council approved the first reading unanimously.
However, Mrs. Amanda Bunker addressed this item for the Planning Board and at no time did she mention when changing the zoning in Kelly Park to Village that this is right over the aquifer for our town water. She also failed to mention that if our water becomes contaminated that we will have to pay for pumping water from Lake Auburn. I believe that these are two facts that should have been mentioned to the Councilors prior to a vote because it might have an impact on their decision. Since citizens cannot speak during this time without begging the Chairman to speak, no one addressed these issues. There in is the problem.
Councilors are being asked to vote without knowing all the facts. These Councilors get there packets on Thursday night or just before the meeting and do not have sufficient time to do any research before they are asked to make a decision. This is the reason for the poor decision being made. Councilors need to have ALL the fact prior to making a decision. I know for a fact last October/November, four Councilors did not have all the fact prior to voting on Lisbon Communication Center. They just took Chief Brooks’ word for it. This was definitely a bad decision because it puts our residents at risk.
I have spent many long hours doing the research that these Councilors should have done prior to making the decision to stop working with Androscoggin County Dispatch and Sheriff Samson to consolidate the two units. As it stands right now, Androscoggin County Dispatch has to notify Lisbon Communication Center of an emergency situation in Lisbon or Durham when the right way to do this is to have Androscoggin County Dispatch notify OUR First Responders immediately upon receipt of a 911 situation. Second, Androscoggin County Dispatch has had problems notifying Lisbon Communication Center on 353-2500 because it is busy which causes a delay. Third, none of the dispatchers at Lisbon Communication Center are currently qualified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers and therefore are not able to render an Emergency Medical Code to the First Responders. This Emergency Medical Code is a gathering of medical information to provide quicker and better care to the victim. In an emergency, time is the most critical factor in a life or death situation. So having the dispatchers that receive the 911 call dispatch OUR first responders immediately, coupled with having Emergency Medical Dispatchers providing an Emergency Medical Code to the EMT enable a better chance of survival. The responsibility of the Town Council is to make sound decisions that are in the best interest of the community and NOT their friends.
I believe that the Council Working Rules were changed to keep citizens from providing vital information to the Council prior to a vote. This way the “Good Old Boys” network can control what they want for this community. I personally believe that Chief Brooks is very high up in the “Good Old Boys” network and this is why this communication center has lasted this long because as the previous Town Council estimated a cost saving to the town of approximately $190,000.00 tax dollars. Who, in their right mind, would not do everything in their power to save $190,000.00? So look closely at Chairman Bickford, Councilors Brunelle, Crafts, and Metivier and ask yourself why they are fighting so hard to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open. Whose side are they on?
Why is the Town Council NOT doing everything in their power to reduce our taxes? The answer is simple; they are controlled by the “Good Old Boys”.