Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LISBON TOWN COUNCIL TURNS BACK ON RESIDENTS by Larry Fillmore

I just reviewed the Police Department’s 2018-2019 proposed budget during the May 8th Town Council Workshop and Special meeting. Every citizen of Lisbon should review this portion of the meeting starting a 1:42 of the Live Stream Video.
Chief Hagan outlined his department’s need for the upcoming year. Chief Hagan made a very important statement and that was the majority of towns are being sued because of the lack of training and direct supervision. I agree totally with Chief Hagan, it is critical that the Town of Lisbon reduce its liability.

Police Department needs:


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. Cost is $1,040.00 to $4,800.00.

3. Hired two additional Patrol Officers. Cost $69,000.00 each.

These current requirements a and b can be eliminated; had the Town Council voted two years ago to close the Lisbon Communication Center by utilizing the Androscoggin County Dispatch. According to two former Councilors; the cost savings to the taxpayers would be roughly $200,000.00 per year. However, this did not happen.

Last year, this same subject came up and was again voted done by Councilors Ward, Brunnelle, Crafts and Albert. The major reason was the town did not want to lose control of dispatching. Mr. Fern LaRochelle fought extremely hard to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open. What Mr. LaRochelle failed to tell everyone is that he is and was an Independent Contractor working directly with the Lisbon Communication Center. I guarantee you that id this issue comes before Council, Mr. LaRochelle (now a councilor) will vote on this issue because there is absolutely no “Conflict of Interest” on anything in Lisbon.

The option to save taxpayer dollars is still available but our Town Council has no interest in saving the residents money instead they had rather raise taxes. This Council is not looking to cut taxes but to increase our taxes. This, to me, is the wrong approach. Is it NOT a wise decision to put an additional burden on taxpayers when there is an opportunity to save taxpayers money?

This year, the Town Council voted to bail-out Lisbon Emergency Inc. at a price to taxpayers of $127,885.00 for the budget 2018-2019. I do not know where all this additional money is going to be coming from other than the taxpayers. Add all the additional requirements to the Town Manager’s already increase of $1,900,000.00 this year so what’s going to happen to your taxes. But do not worry, according to the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, the Council has reduced her budget proposal by roughly $75,000.00. What impact do you think this is going to have on our tax bills this year?

The people of Lisbon elected our Town Councilors to look out for the best interest of the community. I do not feel we are getting this from our Town Council when a “political” decision takes priority over a “sound financial” decision. What is in the best interest of the community and its people should be the ONLY determining factor when making decisions.

Call your Councilor and tell them to stop wasting our tax dollars and start looking for ways to reduce our taxes.

Larry Fillmore