On February 21, 2017, our Town Council took a vote on whether or not to close the Lisbon Communication Center. The vote was 4-3 with Chairman Ward, Councilors Brunelle, Crafts and Albert voting to keep the communication center open and Councilors Lunt, Kolbe and Crawford opposed. So let’s take a look at this decision and see who is right.
The sole reason provided to keep the Communication Center open was to keep local control. In other words, the “Good Old Boys” must remain in total control of the town. Councilor Brunelle pushed the issue and called for a vote and Councilor Albert seconded the motion.
Now let’s look at the impact of their decision. The following is a listing of how this decision affects the community.
1. The Town had an opportunity to have the Androscoggin County Dispatch dispatch our First Responders instead of having to relay the information to Lisbon Communication Center to have them dispatch first responders. This would have enabled our First Responder to get to the emergency much quicker.
2. Lisbon Communication Center has no one qualified to establish an Emergency Medical Code (EMD) which is critical for the EMT’s. This EMC code tells the EMT’s the situation on the ground before they leave to respond and to make sure they have all the necessary medical equipment to provide the best service possible for the victim. This would have provided better medical service to our people in need.
3. According to the handout provided at the workshop, the cost saving was $191,095.00. This is a reduction of approximately $200,000.00 a year in the operating cost of the town. Now, the town still has this cost and is going to be asking for additional funding to support the operating of the town.
4. SGT Moore could return to the Police Department as a FULL time officer. Currently, SGT Moore is split between the Lisbon Communication Center and the Police Department. Won’t it be better to have additional officer to protect and serve the community?
5. By closing the Lisbon Communication Center, there would be a cost saving because you no longer would need Information Technology support.
6. By closing the Lisbon Communication Center, there is no longer a need to update the communication Center equipment. By the way, whom do you think will have to pay for the upgrades?
I believe that the four Councilors that voted to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open did NOT have the best interest of the community. Also, they did not gather all the information necessary to make a logical decision. During the workshop, Chairman Ward stated he wanted to see what LA 911 and Brunswick would offer the town and wanted to visit Androscoggin County Dispatch. He never did that but voted anyways. I guess this makes his word useless. Councilor Albert wanted to look into other sources and he did not; so guess what his word is good for. DID YOU KNOW THAT NOT ONE COUNCILOR VISITED THE ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY DISPATCH TO PERSONALLY REVIEW THE OPERATIONS! This should have been done prior to a vote. Of course if you have already been told how to vote, I guess it does not any difference and is a waste of your time.
Councilor Brunelle, in my opinion, has never had the interest of the town. Look back when he was in the middle of the dispute between the School Department and the Town Council over the budget a few years ago. That dispute cost the TAXPAYERS a great deal of tax dollars between the legal fee and the referendums. A Councilor is supposed to put the needs of the community before his friend and neighbors (Good Old Boys). This has never happened; if you don’t believe me check his voting record.
Councilor Crafts does whatever Councilor Brunelle tells him and Councilor Albert does whatever Chairman Ward wants. These are not Councilors; they are followers. These four individuals did not gather all necessary information prior to voting so how can they say that it is in the best interest of the community.
With this type of behavior, in three to five years, our taxes will triple.