Tuesday, August 28, 2018

CENSORSHIP IN LISBON --- by Larry Fillmore

Over the weekend and on Monday, there was a discussion of members of Lisbon pertaining to the increase in taxes. This discussion was started when Hank Frazier asked the question “Anybody else’s property tax go up significantly?” on the Lisbon Maine Community Information website. I believe that there are approximately 319 comments posted to this site. However, there are several more than were deleted from this website by the webmaster playing God.

I wrote a comment with my opinion and it was deleted so I cannot show you the post, however, I called a Councilor by name and the webmaster said I was too aggressive. Councilors are Public Officials and are fair game to the rest of the world but not this webmaster. However, below is a post that the webmaster let go through in which my name is clearly stated. This was NOT censored because the webmaster clearly has a double standard. You be the judge!

Normand Albert Larry Fillmore if you don’t like the direction the town is going, take out papers and run for council. Please come and earn $1400 a year to deal with some of these complex issues that require hours of reading and research to make an informed decision based on the best info available at that moment. All while balancing a full-time job and a family. Only to be second-guessed and vilified by a few. Don’t cry for me Larry, I have thick skin. I can take it. The town’s problems are systemic from years of a “kick the can down the road” mentality displayed for decades.All in the name of lower taxes. We had stagnant business and job growth. High dropout rates and a few shouting down many in a town meeting style of government. This lack of a comprehensive vision or goals had left our community in a place with very little hope of being anything more than a drive-through community. Infrastructure has been crumbling for DECADES and you have the gall to blame the current council for the latest tax increase? We are the first council not to bury our heads in the sand and pretend the problems don’t exist. These are complex issues, with large price tags to properly address them. We need to be forward thinking in our approach to address these issues and make sure we develop plans that will include clear strategies for routine maintenance of that infrastructure so we are NEVER in this position again. That’s not going to happen overnight. It will require some short-term pain for some long-term gain. If not for a change of attitude and focus of a few citizens that has now turned into many, the positive changes and the promise that they bring would have never happened. I know I was inspired by those few in the begining to take a more active role because of the concerns I had with the direction of our town. I ran for this seat because I believe the majority of the people in this community want to create a place to be proud of and a place their kids will stay and become the next generation to lead this community.Larry, I do not subscribe to your narrative that the current council is the problem. This council is not spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave. We are a committed group who are doing our very best to be as transparent as possible. We provide clear information to the people of this community regarding the decisions that we make and the impact it will have on the property taxes. So in closing, I understand that people will be upset about the increase in taxes. I used humor to lighten the mood when I saw a blatant falsehood regarding the supposed “slush fund” the town has. If you didn’t like the joke, just keep scrolling.

As you can tell I did not change or correct anything in the post. Since, I cannot answer this post on the Lisbon Maine Community Information website without being; I will try and answer Mr. Albert’s comments now.

First and foremost, I want to address why I do not run for the Town Council. I have served this country for 40 years in the Army and as a Department of Defense civilian. I am aging and in poor health and cannot attend meetings but as most of you know I write for the Lisbon Reporter and make my feelings known. Second, one vote does not count as we have seen from when Councilor Roger Cote was on the Council. Most votes were 6-1. Third, I have served my time and it is now time for young people to take the lead.

Now, I want to address some of Mr. Albert’s feeble attempt to justify the continued tax increases during his tenure. My first objection is that this Council was presented two ways to save money and they both were rejected. One was to close the Lisbon Communication Center which is a duplication of services and could save the taxpayers roughly $200,000.00 a year and second is the COLA increases every year to ALL employees; this would save the taxpayers approximately $100,000.00.

COLA is nothing more than a cover-up for wage increases. This means that if we have a bad employee; they get a wage increase every year. Wage increases should be given ONLY to the outstanding employees of the town and does NOT include management positions. Management Positions are normally salary employees and this should never apply. Because all employees get the COLA, the Town Manager received a $1,400.00 plus increase this year alone. Totally ridiculous; no one is worth that much increase every year.

Mr. Albert – until the Town Council start making an attempt to cut spending; I will continue to complain. In my opinion, you are an Allen Ward wannabee but you will never gain that status because he is much smarter and has more experience. Since you have been in office, you have voted with Mr. Ward on everything. As far as you doing research, tell me again why you voted to approve a 7 year contract for MINcompuctionUS. If you did any research before voting, it was very poor research.

I hope I have addressed all your points without being censored by a webmaster trying to playing GOD.

Larry Fillmore

Editors Note:  Councilors have rules about conduct when speaking about them at council meetings but it appears they have no compunction when it comes to denigrating their constituents.   Good one Normie...  :(

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