Monday, April 3, 2017

MUNICIPAL BUDGETING 101 --- by Larry Fillmore


It would appear that the Town Manager and the Town Council have forgotten their duties and responsibilities to the people they serve.  The people are looking for their tax dollars to be used wisely.  This means that the Town Manager and the Town Council should be looking for ways to reduce the operating cost of the Town in order to keep our taxes down.

The Town Manager has presented a Municipal Budget that has a 19.2 increase in spending.  This budget includes the wish lists for all departments.  Mrs. Barnes is using the Russian policy of two steps forward, one step back.  This means that she never had any hope of getting everything approved.  So, let’s look at what happens when the increase is final at 5% (this is just a number).  It means the Town Council is going to increase the cost of operating by 5%.  So how are they going to pay for this increase; by raising taxes or using our Unassigned Fund Balance?  Any way you look at it is going to increase town spending.  Mrs. Barnes will say, “Look how good we did reducing the 19.2% to 5%.”  This budget should never have been submitted at 19.2% in the first place.  The people expect a realistic budget not a fake one. 

The people want the Town Council to look at ways to reduce spending and increase revenue.  There is none of that in this fake budget.  Constitutes want the Town Council to find ways to get the most out of our tax dollars.  However, four members of this Council (Ward, Crafts, Brunelle and Albert) are not in the least interested in try to save money for the people.  These four Councilors voted to keep the Lisbon Communication Center operational instead of having Androscoggin County Dispatch perform the communities dispatch duties.  This had to be a political decision because closing the Lisbon Communication Center would have reduced the town’s operating cost by approximately $200,000.00 as a minimum annually. 

Are these four individuals really working for the community or do they have a different boss?  Councilors should only have one thing on their minds when they vote on issues and that is “What is the best course of action for the town?”  Any time you can reduce the spending, it has to be a good thing but to totally ignore over $200,000.00 saving is just irresponsibly on the part of these four Councilors. 

These four Councilors have turned their backs on this town.  Call these Councilors and let them know how you feel about losing over $200,000.00.