Monday, March 26, 2018

WHY?????????????????? --- by Larry Fillmore


When Mrs. Diane Barnes, Town Manager, first came to Lisbon and the people had an opportunity to meet her; I was very impressed with Mrs. Barnes. I thought she would be a good fit for the town and with her financial background would help taxpayers. Since that time, I have seen firsthand that this was all a front.

Since she has been our Town Manager; her budget has increased taxes every year. Mrs. Barnes has made absolutely no attempt to reduce the municipal budget; in fact, she has included a Cost-of-Living-Allowance (COLA) every year she has been here. The Federal government uses COLA to offset inflation but in Lisbon it is used to grant pay raises to ALL town employees. How does a person being paid over $90,000.00 a year need an increase of 2% ($1,800.00) every year disguised as COLA?

Now, the Town Manager is trying to replace the Public Works Director's position previously held by Ryan Leighton. This is a total waste of our tax dollars. Mr. Elwood “Button” Beal, who is still working for Public Works, was the director before Ryan Leighton and had an outstanding record. I remember when “Button” was the director of Public Works and there were nowhere near the problems we are experiencing today. Given “Button’s” track record, why is the Town Manager advertising for a Public Works Director? This is a total waste of our tax dollars and members of the Town Council should put a stop to this.

I noticed that there is NO advertising for a Superintendent of Sewer which Ryan Leighton was being paid for when he was never qualified for the position. The Sewer Department has Mr. Stephen Aievoli as the Operations Manager and the State of Maine has accepted his reports as far as the Environmental Protection Agency needs.

Mr. Marcel Obie has been operating the Transfer Station since Mr. Wayne Ricker retired. I believe that most residents of Lisbon would agree that Marcel has been doing an outstanding job and should continue as the Manager. This is another position Ryan Leighton claimed in his over $80,000.00 dollar salary annually.

The Town Manager needs to stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars and concentrate on reducing the operating cost of the town. This year’s budget, which is $1.9 MILLION more than the current budget, also included a COLA increase which will put the cost of wages and benefits at 49.6% of the entire municipal budget. Mrs. Barnes needs to put a stop to wasting tax dollars.
Larry Fillmore