Thursday, September 22, 2016

IF WE ONLY HAD FOUR REAL COUNCILORS


In 2014, two REAL Town Councilors were looking into ways to reduce the operating cost of the town in order to reduce taxes for residents. What a novel idea? Two of the REAL Councilors estimated that the town could save the taxpayers approximately $190,000.00 by having Androscoggin County Dispatch provide our emergency services. They even went so far as to begin working with Sheriff Samson and his staff on how to go about it. However, the project was stopped by the Council because of a dog and pony show by former Chief of Police David T. Brooks. Chief Brooks provided false information to the people and the Council.

Instead of trying to iron out the differences, our current Town Council dropped the idea. Roger Bickford has been making excused for not trying to make it work. To me, saving taxpayers approximately $190,000.00 deserves a second look. I decided to look into it a little further to see where the disconnect really is. The most disturbing part of the current system is that all request for emergency services automatically go to Androscoggin County Dispatch. Androscoggin County Dispatch immediately dispatches First Responder upon receipt of the call for all towns they provide service for with the exception of Lisbon. Lisbon REQUIRES Androscoggin County Dispatch to notify Lisbon Communication Center at 353-2500 and Lisbon Communication Center is the ONLY ones authorized to dispatch our First Responders. What a useless system! I talked to the Emergency Medical Dispatchers/911 operators at the Androscoggin County Dispatch and they informed me that there have been several times that they could not get thru on 353-2500 which causes a time delay before First Responders are dispatched. This puts our live a risk every day. What this means is that we are paying over $360,000.00 a year to be put at risk.

The reason 353-2500 is so busy is because people do not understand this is for NON-EMERGENCY situations ONLY. There should be an automated message that states “If this is an emergency; hang up and dial 911”. I have mentioned this to the Town Manager several months ago and it still has not happened. The Town is getting a new phone system and maybe this message will be on 353-2500.

Rumor has it that the Town Council will be putting a Referendum question on the November ballot asking the people if they want to close the Lisbon
Communication Center or not. Of course, this will be NON-BINDING so what good is it? Also, the Town Council is NOT going to provide all the facts to the people in order to make a valid decision because they do not want the people to know what the facts are. If the people knew all the facts, there would be no need for the question. The Councilors are unaware of all the facts. You know how I know that is because if they knew all the facts they would have already reenergized the project in order to provide residents with quality emergency service instead of hanging them out to dry.

The four imposters are keeping this project from moving forward. This is just another example of their lack of concern for our community. Two of these imposters are coming up for election in November and I hope the people remember all the pain they have caused this community.

Larry Fillmore