Monday, October 15, 2018

TRULY AMAZING --- by Larry Fillmore

It is truly amazing to me how Councilors on our Town Council can negotiate the purchase of property, the tax dollars being spent, environmental studies and more. Then turn around and purchase the property from the town for a song and turn around and make a profit. I call this abuse of their position. Currently, we have two Councilors that, I believe, fall into this category.

The first one is Councilor Chris Brunelle who purchased the town property at 385 Lisbon Street. Councilor Brunelle’s desire for the property is to renovate the building into a marijuana retail store. However, Councilor Brunelle is trying to strong arm our Code Enforcement Officer into getting out of having a structural engineer look at the building. Our Code Enforcement Officer is doing his job to ensure the building is structurally sound.

The second objection I have to this is that even though the zoning is commercial and Councilor Brunelle has a legal right to put a marijuana retail store in Lisbon Center it is located near three housing developments with families and kids.

Councilor Brunelle is currently fighting the emergency moratorium ordinance currently in place. This is an item on the agenda for October 16, 2018.

The next Councilor is Fern LaRochelle, who is on the Town Council for a second time. During the first time, he was on the council, he used the council and his position to purchase town property. According to the town lawyer, it is perfectly legal for councilors to purchase town property but he never addressed the negotiation by Councilor Fern LaRochelle leading up to the purchase.

During the Executive Session, which we are not allowed to see, the Town Council came up with purchasing the property at 1 Canal Street. This is the location of the old Worumbo Mill site. The Town Council agreed to purchase the property for $30,000.00 of tax dollars and have an environmental survey done.

This is the same property that is in a floodplain zone which runs to Davis Street. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has told the town about coal ash that is currently under the surface which is very toxic. I am sure that this idea was that of Councilor Fern LaRochelle directly or indirectly, because Councilor LaRochelle wants to put a garage on that site. This issue is going to come before the Conservation Commission on October 16, 2018, and I am not sure this commission is aware of the Environmental Protection Agency’s report. Trust me; I do not believe that Council LaRochelle will bring this to their attention.
The two Councilors have used their position on the Town Council for pure profit. I personally do not believe that this is legal. For years, I have complained about the “Good Old Boys” network and this is more of the same. Several years ago the Planning Board approved a Land Use Condition which was for a former Councilor. It was a “temporary” land use condition with no expiration date. How can you have a temporary condition without an expiration date? This situation is still in effect today.

In my opinion, these two Councilors have abused their position on our Town Council for their own agenda for a profit.

Larry Fillmore

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