Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Lewiston - On Thursday, April 20, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Betsy Sibley, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Betsy Sibley is the Vice President of Marketing/ Business Development at Community Credit Union. She has been with the Credit Union for 5 years. She oversees the sales, marketing, advertising, community outreach, internal staff training and event planning for the Credit Union. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Thomas College, has been a licensed insurance agent since 2002 and has been working in the financial industry in various capacities since that time. Betsy is involved in the community serving as the Public Relations Committee Chair for the L-A Rotary Club, Secretary for the Turner Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club, the President of the Turner Parent Teacher Committee, Member of the Statewide Awareness Committee for the Maine Credit Union League as well as an Ambassador and Committee Member for the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce. Betsy has a passion for youth sports and volunteers as a coach for the Turner Athletic Association also. Some achievements include earning the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor in 2008, being recognized with a Paul Harris Fellow award from Rotary in 2015 and being a 2015 graduate of the Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute. Betsy was recently nominated in the “Creative Genius” category for Uplift LA’s 40 under 40.
Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com.
Lewiston - On Thursday, April 13, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Christopher Chekouras, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Chekouras joined St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston of October 2015. Previously he served as Senior VP of Post-Acute and Community-Based Services at Virtua, a comprehensive Marlton, New Jersey healthcare system with three hospitals. Prior to his work at Virtua, Chris held several senior leadership positions at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the MedStar Health System, a 10 hospital health system in the Washington, DC and Maryland region. Before joining MedStar, Chris spent 14 years with the bio-medical division of the American Red Cross in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD areas. Chris has broad leadership skills, including strategic planning, business development, physician and board relations, philanthropy, marketing, finance and operations. He has a proven history of achieving desired results through effective collaboration, transparent communication, and personal accountability. Chris received his Bachelor of Science degree in child and adolescent development from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. He earned a Master of Business Administration at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland. Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lewiston - On Thursday, April 27, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Jenny Cowie, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Jenny Cowie graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2009. Having children delayed completion by several years. Jenny has been a part of St. Mary’s since 2001. Currently she is the Manager of Volunteer and Interpreter Services. Jenny is the chairperson for the St. Mary’s Commit to Get Fit Challenge, May 6, 2017, which will be the fourth annual event.. Jenny is pleased to be the featured guest speaker of the Lewiston Auburn Rotary on Thursday, April 27. Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Lewiston - On Thursday, April 6, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Taysir Jama, will be the featured guest speaker at the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Jama plays two roles in the Lewiston Community. She is a Health Promotion Coordinator at Healthy Androscoggin responsible for building awareness about lead poisoning and educating our community about lead hazards and prevention methods. Lead is a poison that affects virtually every system in the human body, and is particularly harmful to the developing brain and nervous system of fetuses and young children. The effects of Lead Poisoning are irreversible and L-A has the highest rate of childhood lead poisoning in the State of Maine. Taysir is also a Community Outreach Specialist at YWCA of Central Maine promoting the single gender women’s swim class. The program was developed by the YWCA is called PEACE. PEACE (Positive Ethnic and Cultural Exchange) is a growing initiative working to build community among women at the YWCA emphasizing a cross cultural exchange. During the winter months PEACE offers twice monthly meet-ups for any women in the community around diverse activities ranging from exercise, crafts, cooking, and discussion groups. Reservations are not required to attend the Rotary meeting. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Lewiston - On Thursday, March 23, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Peter Garrett, will be the featured guest speaker of the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Garrett has lived in Maine half his life, though he doesn’t sound like it (he’s British). An earth scientist by training, and a hydrogeologist by profession, he is now very involved as the northern New England coordinator of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteers. CCL volunteers (50,000 nationwide) meet with every Member of Congress regarding a revenue-neutral plan that can serve as a Reagan-like “insurance policy” against the perceived threats of the changing climate. It is called Carbon Fee & Dividend. It will level the playing field for energy sources to power our every need, speeding the new industrial revolution already underway towards renewables. It is fair to all, adds new jobs, builds the economy, improves health and does not increase the size of government. No kidding! Peter is a past president of the Waterville Rotary Club and past Assistant District Governor. No reservation is required to attend. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com.
Monday, March 13, 2017
I have reviewed the video of the Town Council video for the meeting on March 7, 2017 and have several concerns about this new policy change that was not mentioned during the discussion.
1. The first concern is that under the new policy the School Budget is not utilized to compute the 12.5% requirement. This is the crutch of the amendment. If we have an emergency that the town needs to utilize these Undesignated Funds, what is going to happen to the School side? Who is going to be responsible for the School side? The Town needs to remember that the State has a history of never paying the full 55% they are obligated to pay.
2. Next, there was no mention of our Debt Services and Lease pay account in computing the 12.5%. If the town is forced to use the Undesignated Funds and these account are not considered; we could be facing defaulting on our bonds and leased requirements. This would affect our credit rating and we would lose the ability to borrow money to recover.
3. According to the Sun Journal and the Finance Director, this amendment reduces the amount of tax dollars the town must keep in reserve by $1.11 million dollars. If that is the case, what is the town planning on doing with these funds?
This appears on the surface to be “Creative Accounting”. Manipulating figures means that you are playing “Russian Roulette” with taxpayer’s dollars. So let’s say, this scheme goes south, who is going to have to save the day; the taxpayers are going to be hurt the most.
Are we really going to put them in that position?
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
I was always taught, in order to extend the life of your equipment, to perform timely routine maintenance. I think most people now a day understand the value in this; that is with the exception of our Public Works Director, E. Ryan Leighton and our Town Manager, Diane Barnes.
Let’s take a simple case of the Asphalt Reclaimer the people purchased to take care of potholes in the winter. This piece of equipment cost the people $31,490.00 back in September 2, 2014. The Asphalt Reclaimer arrived on or about January 23, 2015. For two years and one month, the town has NOT performed any maintenance on this piece of equipment. After two requests for the maintenance record, the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, notified me that the Asphalt Reclaimer was going to have maintenance performed on it on or about Monday, January 30, 2017.
Since July 1, 2016 until March 1, 2017 the Asphalt Reclaimer has 45 hours of use on it. Does anyone still wonder why the town of Lisbon is full of potholes? Anyone with common sense would start with roads/streets or access ways that are heavily traveled to repair first. I do not know of any road/street/access way traveled more that the access way at the Public works Garage because almost everyone utilizes the Transfer Station.
So every year, we go through the same situation with potholes throughout the access way. What’s more, neither E. Ryan Leighton nor Diane Barnes has the common sense to put warning devices to warn drivers of these potholes until they can be repaired. Think about this; how far does the Asphalt Reclaimer have to travel to repair the access way?
This Asphalt Reclaimer was purchased to resolve the town’s problem of potholes and has it been utilized to do this. I think NOT. How many other devices that should require timely routine maintenance are receiving timely maintenance? How long are we going to be able to keep these devices operational before we have to replace it? E Ryan Leighton does not live in town and does not have to pay for replacing these devices. He is quick to want to replace worn out equipment but will do nothing to prolong the life of these devices.
What do you expect when you have an individual with no credentials in charge of Public Works? We never had this problem with Button Beale was the Public Works Director.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Auburn - Katy Grondin, will be the featured guest speaker of the LA Breakfast Rotary from 7AM to 8AM, Wednesday, March 22 at the United Methodist Church,439 Park Ave., Auburn.
Katy is the superintendent of Schools for the City of Auburn. She moved from Connecticut to Maine with my family in 1979 and graduated from Edward Little High School in 1982.
Katy started her career in education following graduation from University of Southern Maine in 1986. Since then, Katy has attained a Certificate of Advanced Study from the University of Maine.
As an educator, she taught first and second grade for 10 years, was a building administrator for 11 years at Sherwood Heights School and been a part of Central Office for 9.5 years. This is Katy’s sixth year as Superintendent.
In 2007, Katy was named National Distinguished Principal of the Year for the state of Maine.
Katy have been married to a handsome Blue Devil for 29 years and have two amazing adult children, Daisy 27 and Richard 23.
Reservations are not required to attend. Breakfast is $10.00. FMI Pete Preble at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Until further notice, I will no longer waste my time attending Town Council meeting/workshops. I am going to enjoy watching NCIS like the rest of you.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Lewiston - On Thursday, March 16, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Donald Grant, of Grant’s Bakery, will be the featured guest speaker at LA Rotary. Grant has been working at the bakery since age 9, when the bakery was located just a two floors below his bedroom. Grant, has his hands in most parts of the business. Most frequently one will see Grant upstairs in the store--decorating cakes or making pastries. Grant has been an active Rotarian since April 1978. He holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from UMA, 1976. Grant served as Rotary President from 1995 to 1996 and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He has served on numerous committees and participated in the Rotary Haiti Mission Trip in 2012. His assistance with the Maine State Parade, Balloon Festival, auctions, Christmas tree sales, and more, speak to his Service Above Self. Most recently, Grant has an active behind the scenes contributor and proofreader of the 100th Anniversary program of events for the Club’s gala celebration scheduled for Saturday, April 22. Grant’s Bakery will be providing guests celebrating the milestone a culinary cake masterpiece, designed exclusively for 100th Anniversary event.
Reservations are not required to attend. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
On February 21, 2017, our Town Council took a vote on whether or not to close the Lisbon Communication Center. The vote was 4-3 with Chairman Ward, Councilors Brunelle, Crafts and Albert voting to keep the communication center open and Councilors Lunt, Kolbe and Crawford opposed. So let’s take a look at this decision and see who is right.
The sole reason provided to keep the Communication Center open was to keep local control. In other words, the “Good Old Boys” must remain in total control of the town. Councilor Brunelle pushed the issue and called for a vote and Councilor Albert seconded the motion.
Now let’s look at the impact of their decision. The following is a listing of how this decision affects the community.
1. The Town had an opportunity to have the Androscoggin County Dispatch dispatch our First Responders instead of having to relay the information to Lisbon Communication Center to have them dispatch first responders. This would have enabled our First Responder to get to the emergency much quicker.
2. Lisbon Communication Center has no one qualified to establish an Emergency Medical Code (EMD) which is critical for the EMT’s. This EMC code tells the EMT’s the situation on the ground before they leave to respond and to make sure they have all the necessary medical equipment to provide the best service possible for the victim. This would have provided better medical service to our people in need.
3. According to the handout provided at the workshop, the cost saving was $191,095.00. This is a reduction of approximately $200,000.00 a year in the operating cost of the town. Now, the town still has this cost and is going to be asking for additional funding to support the operating of the town.
4. SGT Moore could return to the Police Department as a FULL time officer. Currently, SGT Moore is split between the Lisbon Communication Center and the Police Department. Won’t it be better to have additional officer to protect and serve the community?
5. By closing the Lisbon Communication Center, there would be a cost saving because you no longer would need Information Technology support.
6. By closing the Lisbon Communication Center, there is no longer a need to update the communication Center equipment. By the way, whom do you think will have to pay for the upgrades?
I believe that the four Councilors that voted to keep the Lisbon Communication Center open did NOT have the best interest of the community. Also, they did not gather all the information necessary to make a logical decision. During the workshop, Chairman Ward stated he wanted to see what LA 911 and Brunswick would offer the town and wanted to visit Androscoggin County Dispatch. He never did that but voted anyways. I guess this makes his word useless. Councilor Albert wanted to look into other sources and he did not; so guess what his word is good for. DID YOU KNOW THAT NOT ONE COUNCILOR VISITED THE ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY DISPATCH TO PERSONALLY REVIEW THE OPERATIONS! This should have been done prior to a vote. Of course if you have already been told how to vote, I guess it does not any difference and is a waste of your time.
Councilor Brunelle, in my opinion, has never had the interest of the town. Look back when he was in the middle of the dispute between the School Department and the Town Council over the budget a few years ago. That dispute cost the TAXPAYERS a great deal of tax dollars between the legal fee and the referendums. A Councilor is supposed to put the needs of the community before his friend and neighbors (Good Old Boys). This has never happened; if you don’t believe me check his voting record.
Councilor Crafts does whatever Councilor Brunelle tells him and Councilor Albert does whatever Chairman Ward wants. These are not Councilors; they are followers. These four individuals did not gather all necessary information prior to voting so how can they say that it is in the best interest of the community.
With this type of behavior, in three to five years, our taxes will triple.
Photo caption: Pictured (l-r): front row – Development instructor, Kathleen Lewia; Classroom instructor, Chris Miller, R.N.; Shannon Lockwood, Administrator; Desiree Knowles, R. N. Clinical instructor; Megan Stiles, Administrator; and Tami Thibodeau, Public Relations/Marketing. Second row (l-r): Students Chelsea George; Courtney Fraser; Alexandria Hansen; Patty Shuck, R.N. Director of Nursing; Zachary Fontana-Howe; Darren Gilbert; and Gloria Weeks. Photo courtesy of Monica Millhime.
Waterville – Six local students graduated as Certified Nurses’ Aides at a ceremony held at Thomas College in Waterville on Wednesday, January 18. Patty Shuck, R.N., Director of Nursing at Lakewood Continuing Care Center, welcomed administrators, staff, residents, family, friends, teachers and community partners to the pinning ceremony and presentation of certificates. Commencement remarks were shared by instructors Chris Miller and Desiree Knowles; Administrators, Megan Stiles and Shannon Lockwood; WMCA/CareerCenter Employment & Training Business Specialist, Monica Millhime; Waterville Adult Education Director, Hannah Bard and Professional Development Instructor, Kathleen Lewia.
Students successfully completed a collaborative program of Work Ready provided by Waterville Adult Education and an On-the-Job Training Program (OJT) through grant funding provided by Augusta/Lewiston Career Centers and Western Maine Community Action. OJT is an incentive-based program providing 50% of a trainee’s wages during the duration of the program. The curriculum empowers students with the skills and knowledge essential to the specific job field.
“This is grant funding was very well spent. Our new team members are vibrant and so well prepared” shares Shannon Lockwood, Lakewood Administrator. “Each person made a very important life decision when they committed to this program. We are so proud of them and can’t wait to see what they accomplish!”
An Orientation for the next Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training will be held on Tuesday, February 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Lakewood Continuing Care Center, 220 Kennedy Drive, Waterville. Maine citizens who are unemployed or under-employed may qualify for a Work Ready training offered through the Augusta and Skowhegan CareerCenters in partnership with Lakewood, Waterville Adult Education, and Western Maine Community Action. Work Ready offers a customized, paid, on-the-job training upon successful completion leading to employment as a CNA for evening, weekends and every other weekend and some holidays shifts. Register online at http://midmaine.maineadulted.org or call 873.5754. FYI on work-driven educational training opportunities and partnerships, contact the nearest CareerCenter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lewiston – Members of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club, Charter 291-District 7790, are proud to announce a formal celebration of the Club’s 100th Anniversary will be held on Saturday, April 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn. Reception and social hour are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A seated dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m. with entertainment at 9:00 p.m. Entrée selections include lobster stuffed haddock, filet mignon or stuffed chicken breast. Tickets are $50 each with an RSVP deadline of April 1. Committee members (pictured l-r) Peter Kowalski, Monica Millhime, Monique Roy, Sylvia Plourde and Chip Morrison met recently to approve the flower arrangements, cake designs and program for the gala event. Committee members not available for photo, Jan Barrett, John Belisle and Shawn Wright. FMI and tickets contact Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email email@example.com. Photo courtesy of Betsy Sibley.
Monica M. Millhime
Employment & Training Business Specialist
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
This is a brief summary of Town Council meeting held on February 21, 2017. I believe this Council meeting was critical for the future of Lisbon and I encourage each and every member of this community to review the meeting on Friday at 07:00 PM. Also, it is available on the town web site.
Under Good News & Recognition:
1. Lisbon Cheerleaders Proclamation – The Town Council recognized the Lisbon Cheerleading Squad for winning the Maine State Competition.
2. Spirit of America Award – The Council awarded this to the Route 196 Master Plan Subcommittee.
3. Presentation to Outgoing Councilor Metivier – Chairman Ward gave a present to Former Councilor Eric Metivier for his service to the community.
Under Public Hearing - ECD Director provided a slide presentation outlining the Amendment to the already approved Kelly Park TIF.
Under Council Orders, Resolutions & Ordinances –
1. Healthy Androscoggin Grant Award – The Council approve by a vote of 7-0 to accept $600.00 grant.
2. Kelly Park TIF District – The Council tabled this action under everything could be ironed out.
3. USDA Rural Development Funding Application – The Council approve by a vote of 7-0 to apply for this funding.
4. Dispatch Consolidation Discussion – The Council voted by a vote of 4-3 to retain the Lisbon Communication Center. Please review the video for specifics.
5. ATRC Project – The Council approved this project by a vote of 7-0.
Under Appointments – Mr. James Lemieux was appointed Water Commissioner to replace the late Mr. Bill Bauer.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice President & CEO, Kenneth Albert, Featured Guest Speaker March 2 at LA Rotary
Lewiston - On Thursday, March 2, at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Ken Albert, will be the featured guest speaker of the LA Rotary from noon to 1 p.m. Kenneth (Ken) Albert is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice. Prior to his appointment in June of 2016, Ken served as the Director and Chief Operating Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Director of the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Department). Before joining the Department in March 2012, Ken practiced law for several years in Lewiston specializing in health law, professional licensing, and regulatory and compliance law. Albert’s background is rich in medical experience, including seventeen years of clinical practice in emergency and intensive care settings. In that time, Ken served as Director of Emergency Services at Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC), as the Administrator of the Occupational Health Center affiliated with CMMC, and as the Lewiston Site Manager for Life Flight of Maine. Additionally, Albert spent five years as a traveling critical care nurse working in metropolitan, rural and tribal communities across the United States. He also served for several years as an adjunct faculty member at New England College where he taught Legal Issues in Health Care Administration. A graduate of the CMMC School of Nursing, Ken moved on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at the University of Southern Maine, Magna Cum Laude, and a degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law with honors in health law. Ken is excited about ensuring that the 124 communities served by Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice will have high quality post-acute and hospice services available to its citizens. It will be important for AHCH to collaborate with hospitals and primary care providers to manage the delivery of health care services in homes and community based settings. Reservations are not required to attend. Lunch is available for $10 in the Fusion Restaurant at the Ramada. FMI on future Rotary speakers, contact President-Elect and Program Chair, Monica Millhime, 753.9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The Lisbon Communication Center has been a topic of discussion for many many years. I have kept up with all of these discussions and in each case I thought I understood the situation and had answers for all the excuses used to explain why the taxpayers are paying over $350,000.00 yearly uselessly when a cost saving of approximately $250,000.00 tax dollars can be had. This closing of the Lisbon Communication Center would improve the quality of life for all citizens in Lisbon.
After hearing the discussion at the Town Council workshop, I was truly struck by the fact that the closing of the Lisbon Communication Center rested on the loss of local control. This was clearly stated by Mr. Fern LaRochelle and shared by a couple of our Councilors. To me, putting the loss of local control over the loss of life is ridiculous. However, it does explain a lot to me. This just goes to show how the “Good Old Boys” network values the lives of citizens.
The current system used by Lisbon does not provide the best possible protection to the people. This was identified in last Town Council workshop on this to issue. Please review the following two scenarios:
1. According to the EMT from Lisbon Emergency, when calls are received using 353-2500, and the Lisbon Communication Center dispatch them; they cannot and do not provide an Emergency Medical Code EMC) which is crucial for EMTs to ensure they are prepared prior to arriving on the scene. According to the EMT, this Emergency Medical Code (EMC) greatly improves the patient’s chances of survival. Again, Lisbon Communication Center cannot provide this EMC; only the 911 operator can provide this code.
2. All 911 calls currently are received by the Androscoggin County Dispatcher as directed by the Maine State Public Safety Director. These 911 operators are mandated, by the Town of Lisbon, to relay the information to the Lisbon Communication Center to have OUR First Responders dispatched to the scene. It certainly would be more efficient and effective to have the 911 operator dispatch OUR First Responders immediately upon receiving the call thus reducing the time it takes OUR First Responders to get to the scene and provide emergency medical services. As everyone can see there is a time delay when you have to relay information and what happens when 911 operators cannot get a response from the Lisbon Communication Center right away. When I visited the Androscoggin County Dispatch, I asked the two operators on duty what their problems were with Lisbon and was told that numerous times they cannot reach anyone on 353-2500. Think about the delay at that point, and imagine you or a loved one is the patient waiting for emergency medical services.
So the real question is do the “Good Old Boys” network give up local control or improve the quality of life of our residents. To me, there is no choice and that is to give up local control. I say this because a single life of one of our own or a love one is more important than local control.
There are many towns in Maine who have faced this same situation and it was not a choice for them because they gave up local control and it is working well for them. In my mind, they made the right choice when they put the lives of their people ahead of local control.
What will our Town Council decide? Watch and see who votes to keep local control verses those Councilors who vote to save lives. This will show you which Councilors are member of the “Good Old Boy” network and which are willing to put the best interest of the community first.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
The following is a summary of the Town Council meeting held on February 8, 2017.
Under Council Orders, Resolutions, and Ordinances –
1. Fee Schedule Amendment (First Reading) – The Council decided that there were too many changes identified; so they postponed any action until February 21, 2017. This will give the Town Manager time to make the changes.
2. 2017 Speed Enforcement & Equipment Grant – The Council authorized the Police Chief to apply for grant by a vote of 6-0 with Councilor Albert excused. Lisbon has been pre-approved for $2,239.65 already.
3. Forfeited Assets – The Council approved $4,593.00 of forfeiture fund by a vote of 6-0 to be applied to the new cruiser. Casco Bay Ford raised the price of outfitting the new cruiser.
4. Authorization to Solicit Bids for Town Branding and Website Design – The Council voted 6-0 to authorize the Economic & Community Development Director to go out for bids on this project.
5. Authorization to Solicit Bids for the CDBG Downtown Revitalization Streetscape Project – The Council authorized the Economic & Community Development Director to solicit bids for this project by a vote of 6-0.
6. Lisbon Community Garden Ad-hoc Committee – The Council approved this committee by a vote of 6-0.
7. Dispatch Consolidation Discussion – The Council postponed this until February 21, 2017.
Under Other Business –
1. The Councilors provided a brief on department meetings attended.
2. The Town Manager announced a Sewer meeting on February 14, 2017.
3. Ryan Leighton briefed the Council on the first announcement by Siemen’s Energy Audit.
Under Appointments –
1. Heather Duley was appointed to the Recreation Committee by a vote of 6-0.
2. The following individuals were appointed to the Lisbon Development Committee by a vote of 6-0:
The Council then went into Executive Session.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Why is it always so hard to do the right thing? Our Town Council is going to discuss the Dispatch Consolidation on Tuesday’s agenda. At the workshop on this subject an individual asked why we have been discussing this very subject for the last five years. The answer is that the Town Council has NOT got it right yet.
A better question should be ‘Why is Lisbon the ONLY community, I know, that is not part of the E911 system? The E911 system is a proven system to save life and is utilized in every state in our country and overseas. So why is Lisbon not serviced by E911. It cannot be because of the cost; because the figures provided by the Androscoggin County Dispatch reflect approximately a $200,000.00 plus cost savings every year. This is a significant saving to the people. However, we all know that the Town Council will find ways to spend that money instead of returning it to the people by lowering taxes.
The current system used by Lisbon does not provide the best possible protection to the residents. This was identified in last Tuesday’s workshop. Please review the following two scenarios:
1. According to the EMT from Lisbon Emergency, when calls are received using 353-2500, and the Lisbon Communication Center dispatch them they cannot and do not provide an Emergency Medical Code EMC) which is crucial for EMTs to ensure they are prepared prior to arriving on the scene. According to the EMT, this Emergency Medical Code (EMC) greatly improves the patient’s chances of survival. Again, Lisbon Communication Center cannot provide this EMC; only the 911 operator can provide this code.2. All 911 calls currently are received by the Androscoggin County Dispatcher as directed by the Maine State Public Safety Director. These 911 operators are mandated, by the Town of Lisbon, to relay the information to the Lisbon Communication Center to have OUR First Responders dispatched to the scene. It certainly would be more efficient and effective to have the 911 operator dispatch OUR First Responders immediately upon receiving the call thus reducing the time it takes OUR First Responders to get to the scene and provide emergency medical services. As everyone can see there is a time delay when you have to relay information and what happens when 911 operators cannot get a response from the Lisbon Communication Center right away. When I visited the Androscoggin County Dispatch, I asked the two operators on duty what their problems were with Lisbon and was told that numerous times they cannot reach anyone on 353-2500. Think about the delay at that point, and imagine you or a loved one is the patient waiting for emergency medical services.
As you can see I have eliminated a financial reason and has not only identified two problem areas with the current system but also provided a solution to resolve both problem areas. So why is it that the Town Council is dragging their feet to provide the best quality of life solution to our people? The answer is simple; this is strictly political. If you do not believe this review the workshop video and watch two previous Town Councilors argue against doing what is best for the community. These two councilors are the very reason we are still talking about this situation.
It is time to correct this ugly mess! This Town Council needs to vote to join the rest of the country by providing the best possible emergency services to the community and become a member of the Maine State E911 system. Our people deserve the best possible emergency services and they are NOT getting it under the current system.