Thursday, August 4, 2016

Who is Working For The Residents of Lisbon?


Have you ever wondered who is looking out for the taxpayers of Lisbon?  After the latest tax information that was posted to the town web site it certainly is NOT the Town Manager or our Town Council.  This year the mil rate was raised almost $2.00 per $1,000.  Our taxes have gone up every year, except one, in the last nine years.  That is quite an accomplishment.

So how do we reverse this unacceptable trend?  The answer is very simple, the Town Manager and the Town Council have got to cut spending and increase revenue. I say it is simple but we all know that politics (Good Old Boys) controls this town and not honesty and integrity.

Take for example the Lisbon Communication Center!  Two years ago we had a Council that was looking for ways to cut spending.  They found out that by having the Androscoggin County Dispatch provide dispatch for Lisbon, it would save the town roughly $200,000.00 tax dollars.  They even went so far as to begin work with the County Dispatch to make this happen.  The project was moving along well but still had a few unanswered questions which is normal for a project of this size.  Former Chief Brooks sabotaged his work with Sheriff Samson and put on a dog and pony show for the Council in order to kill the project; which they did.  Chief Brooks lied and did not present true and accurate information to the Council in order for the Council to make a sound decision. 

Now instead of the new Councilors picking up and looking further into this project, they never looked into it again.  I have provided a lot of facts and figures showing this is a good idea but no one cares enough to look into itAll fourteen cities/towns in Androscoggin County are being serviced by one of the following Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP):  L/A 911 or Androscoggin County Dispatch with the exception of Fire for Durham. 

The 911 system (Emergency Response System) is being utilized all over the nation and parts of Europe with the exception of Lisbon, Maine.  The Council did not bother to look into the system even though it is the right thing to do.  How can the nation and parts of Europe ALL be wrong?  There is a cost effective proven system available to the residents of Lisbon and our Councilors are NOT even looking into saving approximately $200,000.00 tax dollars.  Our Councilors are told what to do instead of them trying to find ways to reduce our spending on their own.

Lisbon, Maine utilizes 353-2500 for emergency services which I understand is illegal instead of the 911 system provided to them.  353-2500 was designed for contacting the Lisbon Police Department for non-emergency situations.  I do not know why there is not an automatic record stating “If this is an emergency hang up and dial 911.”  This message is on most phones used by doctors and medical personnel.

The Lisbon Communication Center does not have any personnel currently qualified as an Emergency Medial Dispatcher or trained in the 911 system as of the last time I checked.  They cannot provide Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) with Emergency Medical Codes (EMC).  However, L/A 911 and Androscoggin County Dispatch can.  The EMC provides EMTs with a clear picture of what is going reducing the time to determine what service to provide the victim.  This time can be critical in saving someone’s life.
Currently, the Council has an agreement with Androscoggin County Dispatch to transfer information on 911 requests for emergency services to the Lisbon Communication Center before dispatching our First Responders.  The 911 system is designed to dispatch our First Responders immediately upon receipt of the phone call instead of having to contract the Lisbon Communication Center at 353-2500 and have them dispatch our First Responders.  If the County cannot get through to the Communication Center because the line is busy, there is an unnecessary time delay prior to dispatching our First Responders put people lives at risk.  The Lisbon Communication Center is a middle, and totally unnecessary, choke point. 

The entire County, state and nation are using the 911 system to save lives and Lisbon, Maine is living in the past, putting our lives at risk.  I do not care who provides our emergency services as long as when they receive the 911 call, they have the authority to dispatch our First Responders immediately instead of having to transfer the information.

Saving approximately $200,000.00 in tax dollars is an excellent start to reducing spending and our taxes.  That is provided the Town Manager and Town Council do not find another way to spend our money.

Larry Fillmore

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