Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lisbon Council Pushed The Can Down The Road

During recent budget meeting, our Town Council was presented with a unique problem with the Police Department.  Chief Hagan described the major reasons towns are getting sued and that was lack of training and lack of direct supervisor.  These two items create a liability for Lisbon.  In order to help eliminate this liability, Chief Hagan offered the following:
1.                           Add a part-time Information Technology position in the Lisbon
Communication Center; so that the Patrol Sergeant currently performing these duties can return to Patrol.  Cost is approximately $1,600.00 to $4,000.00.

2.                   Promote a Communication specialist to a Communication Supervisory. 
 Costing between $1,040.00 to $4,800.00

3.                   Hired two additional Patrol Officers.  Costing between $69,000.00-
                   $81,000.00 each
Four members of our Town Council support this plan to throw more money at the problem instead of trying to eliminate the liability.  These members are Allen Ward, Chris Brunelle, Norman Albert and Fern LaRochelle.  I believe that three of these individuals are supporting this plan by throwing more of our tax dollars at it because of misguided loyalty and the four is for personal agenda. 
When you are trying to solve a problem, it is crucial that you look at eliminating the liability.  Trying to eliminate the core liability; will always be the best solution.  This will reduces the risk management to the town and, will to a great deal, to reducing the chances of being sued.  These four individuals have overlooked the obvious answer to the problem.  Instead of throwing our tax dollars at the problem; just eliminate the problem all together.  So how do we eliminate this liability?
The basic solution is to transfer dispatching to Androscoggin County Dispatch.  With this transfer goes all the liability for this operation.  It will eliminate the need for an additional Information Technology position saving approximately $1,600.00 to $4,000.00 tax dollars.   There will no longer be a need to promote anyone because Androscoggin Country Dispatch will have this responsibility.  This will save the town between $1,040.00 and $4,800.00 tax dollars.  SGT Moore will be returned full-time to directly supervisor Patrol which is really his assigned duty.
It has been verified by two former Councilors that transferring the Lisbon Communication Center duties to Androscoggin County Dispatch would save the town approximately $200,000.00 per year.  This cost saving would be more than enough to pay for the two additional officers needed to meet the 2015 manpower survey of fourteen officers.  The town currently has twelve officers.  Utilizing the cost savings will eliminate a need to raise our taxes to cover this expense.
The bottom line is that these four individuals need to step up and do what is right for the community instead of wasting more tax dollars.  Throwing money at any problem is never the answer when you can eliminate the problem.
Problem solved at no additional cost to the taxpayers.  Try using common sense!
Call these four individuals and tell them to put what is best for the community first and help our people out.

Larry Fillmore

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