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Showing posts with label LisbonMaine.Net. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LisbonMaine.Net. Show all posts

Monday, December 23, 2013

LisbonMaine.net: We Should Pay Our Fine and Move On.

On May 25th 2012 when Lisbon employees were cleaning the Huston Street sewer line they observed a high level of wastewater backed up in a manhole. Upon investigation they determined that a blockage in the Houston Street cross-country sewer was causing untreated wastewater to overflow from a manhole on the cross-country sewer line and discharge to an adjacent small brook that flows to the Androscoggin River. This spill was in violation of Maine’s Water Pollution Control laws, 38 M.R.S.A. ss413(1).

Lisbon also is in violation of Special Condition H of the wastewater treatment permit because they don't have an O&M plan (operation and maintenance) that includes a systematic approach for proper operation and maintenance of the collection system.

On Nov. 5, 2012 another spill occurred  at the  route 196 pump station of approximately 550,000 gallons of untreated waste water. This spill ended up in the Sabattus River.  This may have been prevented if the alarms were working properly.


On Feb 25th 2013 the Enforcement section or the Bureau of land and water quality sent an updated proposed agreement to Lisbon’s Manager Eldridge that  contained a penalty payment of $22,307. 

According to the documentation I have seen there is little doubt that both of these spills occurred and they were in clear violation of our waste water license.

As of last week Lisbon hasn’t paid this fine or as far as I know even spoken with the Enforcement Division of the Bureau of Land and Water Quality. 


Ignoring this problem will only make matters worse. If this isn’t taken care of in a timely fashion we will probably end up in court with the State and we all know how much that will cost Lisbon.  Is it really worth spending Thousands of dollars in court costs to try to save a few dollars.

I think we should fix the problems with the wastewater system, pay our fine and call this a learning experience.



Documentation for this article: Click Here






Anyone in Huston Park with information on this sewage spill is invited to share that information with the public. Our email address is   admin@lisbonmaine.net

Respectfully
Joe Hill
lisbonmaine.net

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Town Councilors Were Acting Like Our Masters And Not Our Servants

Lisbon Councilors reluctantly postponed the public hearing on the Worumbo bond and will reschedule the hearing in a larger venue at a later date. 

Over one hundred sometimes vocal residents  attended the public hearing. The attendees filled the hearing room and overflowed into the hall where they were jockeying for  position to hear the speakers inside the chamber. Many people were forced to leave when they couldn’t find a parking space at Town Hall.

Councilor Larochelle recused himself due to  the conflict of interest that they said didn’t exist until this meeting. Councilor Ward presided over the meeting. 

Of the dozen or so people that spoke before the meeting was canceled, no one was in favor of floating the million dollar bond.  Many of the speakers complained about the already high taxes and diminishing services. Some also wondered why the Council wanted to have a special election for a single bond issue when we will be voting on a bond issue at the poles this November.

Lisbon residents were definitely unhappy with the Council’s plan to assume this potentially huge liability.  They felt the cleanup of this white elephant was the responsibility of Miller Industries and  questioned why the Council wanted to take on this burden when Miller Industries didn’t want to invest in the project themselves.

At one point a lady asked the Councilors what the projected profit from this project was and the Council didn’t have an answer for her. They admitted they haven't figured out the details yet. They want to buy the mill first and then try to make a profit from it.  Well I have news for them a number of developers have looked at the property and passed on the property.  What makes the Council think they can do what a professional developer can't?

I was personally surprised at the Councils smug attitude and refusal to acknowledge the peoples obvious disapproval with the bond. They acted as if the 100 or so angry voters in front of them didn’t represent Lisbon taxpayers.  They acted as if the hearing was a formality that they had to endure before they could vote their wishes.   I think they are hoping that by rescheduling the hearing some people will give up and stay home.  

It was clear this Council was not representing the wishes of Lisbon taxpayers, they had a different agenda. 

 They were acting as if they were our masters not our servants. 

Respectfully
Joe HIll -- LisbonMaine.net

Saturday, July 27, 2013

TIME TO "GET OFF THE COUCH", PUT DOWN THE REMOTE AND TAKE ACTION!!!!!





TIME TO PUT DOWN THE REMOTE AND TAKE ACTION!!!!!



It is important that the residents of Lisbon recognize the similarities of the past and not make the same mistakes.  Towns such as Chelsea and cities like Detroit have waited too long for the citizens to take action.  Remember the immortal words of Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”   Also the Reverend Charles F. Aked said “that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing”.  These leaders have just described the town of Lisbon.



The town of Lisbon has lost our freedom of speech and its voice during town council meetings.  This has opened the doors for our councilors to ignore the town’s charter and to perform illegal acts.  This is OUR town and it is time for the citizens of Lisbon to get off the couch, put down the remote and put a stop to this corruption.



Everyone is waiting for someone else to act but it is the responsibility of each of us to take action.  The Lisbon Reporter and LisbonMaine.net have worked hard to bring the truth to the residents.  Former councilors slammed both blogs for reporting false information in order to cause trouble in Lisbon.  So these blogs started proving town documents to back up the information providedAs it turns out all the information reported was true and these former councilors had been lying to the people all along.  Everything Councilor Cote said during his tenure on the Town Council is coming true. 



Chairman LaRochelle has voted to take individuals properties for back taxes which included interest and penalties.  However, when it came to LaRochelle Properties, LLC owing back taxes, interest and penalties, Chairman LaRochelle volunteered to pay ONLY the back taxes; in fact, the town Assessor did not compute any interest and penalties for the Chairman. 

 Everyone else who owes back taxes is forced to pay interest and penalties.    This situation was created by an administrative error by the town but for over ten years Chairman LaRochelle never reported the error; probably because it was in his favor.  As Chairman of the town council, he should have recognized the error immediately.



The latest contracts awarded by the town council were a clear violation of the Purchasing Policy of the town.  The contract for the removal of sludge never went out for bid.  The contract is for $80,000 tax dollars and is required to be put out for bid.  The road striping contract went out for bid and was awarded to a Massachusetts company over a Maine company.  There were no sealed bids provided at the council meeting and yet our town council took the word of the town manager and approved the contract knowing the Maine company had never received the RFP but wanted to bid on the contract.



For the past two years, citizens of Lisbon have suffered a tax increase.  Town documents have shown in the Transfers and Carry Forward that a tax increase was not necessary in 2012-2013.   

Town Manager Eldridge stated the budget includes $100,000 tax dollar inflation in the tax dollars allocated for the TIF payments.  The town does not need the latest police cars tricked out with the top of the line police packet in them.  The town does not need to pay $500,000 tax dollars for a Communication Center that is not a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).  This means that all 911 calls are relayed from the Androscoggin County Dispatch before anyone is dispatched to respond to the situation.  This is a totally unnecessary step putting OUR lives at risk.  The only reason the town suffered a tax increase this year is to support Chief Brooks’ police department and the communications center.  In the meantime, residents are struggling to pay their taxes.



It is time for all citizens to become active before Lisbon becomes a Chelsea or Detroit.  One thing that can be done is in November; we can vote out Fern LaRochelle; Roger Bickford and Gina Mason.  These three are members of the Good Old Boys network.



Start today by calling or emailing your councilors and let them know your feelings.  Their contacts are listed below:



Chairman Fern LaRochelle – 353-2329    flarochelle@lisbonme.org

Vice Chair Lisa Ward – 353-7307              lward@lisbonme.org

Councilor Garrison– 353-2547                 gregg,garrison@email.com

Councilor Bickford – 353-8946               rogginbic32@gmail.com

Councilor Mason – 353-9086                  gmason@lisbonme.org

Council Lunt – 353-9903                         mlunt@lisbonme.org

Councilor Pesce – 577-4222                    DND116@myfairpoint.net



I believe Joe Hill said it best in his article called “Councilors – Can you feel Lisbon’s Pain”.  This article is posted on both web sites.



Larry Fillmore

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Perspective That Cannot Be Ignored; LisbonMaine.Net: Councilors -- Can You Feel Lisbon's Pain‏

When we started LisbonMaine.Net we naively thought Lisbon Councilors as a whole cared about our little town and its people. We also thought the reason Councilors failed to act in the towns best interest was because they were unaware of the towns needs.  We thought our little blog could  highlight some of the major problems in town government and possibly offer a few humble solutions. 

This blog had its second birthday a few days ago and we hear the same remarks today that we heard back in the summer of 2011. The following is just one example of the many, mostly anonymous,  letters and comments we have received in those 2 years.  I picked these remarks because I think they best express the frustration I hear every day in Lisbon.  

 I can barely pay my property taxes, yet taxes keep climbing each year irregardless of whether I can afford them or not. At what point do we finally say that we can no longer afford these services and go from a local police force to a county sheriffs dept. This would save the town thousands of dollars including overhead costs. Furthermore, the Transfer & Recycling Center does not need to be open 40 hours a week. Maybe we should close the Public library or Beaver Park for a season so that the tax payer can have a break. I would also like to know who is paying for “Family Movie Nights in the Park” and “Concerts in the Park”. All of these programs are certainly wonderful but only if the town can afford them. Our schools have taken a beating as classes offered at the high school are down to the bare bones yet we are doing all kinds of renovations to the High School and fields. My child was unable to get any of the classes that he wanted with the exception of his English class .    Anonymous Sender

Councilors 

  • Can you hear the people in this town begging for relief from Lisbon’s high taxes.
  • Can you feel the anger every time you take a neighbors home for back taxes  then buy that home for yourself  for penny’s on the dollar.
  • Can you hear parents frustration with the School System.  If you feel you must levy these exorbitant taxes then at least spend them where it will do the most good.  We have an obligation to our children.


If you continue on the path you are now on there won't be a Lisbon in 10 years.  The only people that will be able to afford to live here will be the overpriced town employees. I am talking about  those paper pushers trying to justify taking 60,70 and 80 thousand a year from Towns people making 25 and 35 thousand.

I have lived in a dozen towns in Maine over the last 60plus years and through all those years I have never seen such a disconnect between the taxes levied by a town and the peoples ability to pay those taxes.

Twenty years from now your Lisbon neighbors won't remember you for that new state of the art "Police Comm Center"-- you built --- they will remember you and thank you for helping  them save their homes.

We are all in this together.  Lets help all of our neighbors through the coming tough financial times.  

Respectfully
LisbonMaine.Net
Joe Hill 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Questions Lisbon Councilors Need To Answer:

Have you ever wondered why the Lisbon Town Council fears questions from Mr. Fillmore and  Mrs. Fitzgerald?  Could they be afraid of what may become public knowledge?

Why do they spend so much time trying to discredit opposing views from the public? They should welcome input and use it in the decision making process..

Why do Lisbon taxpayers have to submit FOIA requests in order to obtain public information that other towns will supply to anyone calling their town hall? 
Many if not most of these FOIA requests can be answered in a couple simple sentences. Why waste the time and paper requiring formal FOIA requests?  I understand town officials have tried to discourage FOIA’s by suggesting the FOIA’s will cost hundreds of dollars for hours of work when in fact the answers can be readily available with a couple mouse clicks. WHY?

Why won’t our Councilors let us have a vote on the Municipal budget when it is clearly what the vast majority of voters want?  Will the town fall apart if taxpayers are allowed to say where their own money should be spent?  When there was a legal problem changing the charter to make it more difficult to remove a councilor, Councilors made all the necessary changes in minutes not years. Why ?

Why does the Council overlook the obvious? 

 I was talking with a lady at a restaurant the other day when she suggested we do away with the  Economic Development Position. She thought this move would instantly save more money that the position has generated in the last three years. I think she may be right.  Why doesn’t the Council see the obvious?


What I hear our Councilors saying is 'We want to represent you, but we don't want to hear from you.' We want control of the town but we don't want to listen to you.

Respectfully
LisbonMaine.net
Joe Hill

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lisbon Facing Life Threatening Decisions With Multi-Town Dispatch Center!


Problems With Turning Lisbon Dispatch Into a Multi town Dispatch.

At first thought many people may feel that turning Lisbon Dispatch Center into a Multi town dispatch point is a good Idea.  This move should afford the economies of scale that many consolidation’s accomplish and in some financial respects that analysis is true.

The problem arises when common dispatch problems enter into the equation.  The problems of police dispatch are also amplified and these troubles far outweigh any benefit gained by  consolidation.

For those of you not familiar with Emergency dispatching, resources are allocated by the dispatch equivalent of  medical triage.  Resources are dispatched according to a set of guidelines  adopted by the  management of the center. 

 For example: If there is only one patrol officer available in a town and there are several calls for assistance the most life threatening call is dispatched first regardless of the order of incoming calls.The rest of the calls are assigned a dispatch priority and wait in a “Q” (a dispatch limbo)  until someone is available to dispatch them. 

By adding more towns to the dispatch center we are downgrading the response times in our own town thus increasing the potential for problems. Major problems arise when there are emergencies like power failures, bad weather or a major disaster. During these Emergencies our dispatch will be overburdened with calls and the overworked dispatcher will be unable to handle the calls in a timely manor. This is the dirty little secret of dispatch.

Increasing dispatcher workload increases the chance for  mistakes, and  dispatch mistakes can and do have life threatening consequences.

Dispatchers tend to have a more intimate knowledge of their own town. This lack of local knowledge can be a problem when sending calls to adjacent towns.  The right questions may not be asked due to unfamiliarity of the neighboring towns. 

Do you want to be on the phone waiting for a dispatcher to send a medical unit for your Mother when  he is dispatching Medical assistance to some other town?   Don’t think this doesn’t happen it does quite frequently. And this delay can and does cost lives.

When (not if) a tragedy happens the town and Police will be looking for a scape goat and probably the hardworking dispatcher that was on duty will be blamed for something out of his control. If you could get an honest answer out of our dispatchers they would probably be against this consolidation.  They know they can only do one thing at a time.

And the Coupe de gras that makes this a bad decision is the additional  $18,000 we will now be charged as a multi town dispatch.

This is not only a bad decision it could be a life threatening decision.

Respectfully
LisbonMaine.net
Joe hill

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lisbon Town Council Wants Silence of Citizens to be Golden Rule, Well Hang On For That One!!! Free Speech quashed in Small Town America

  

When we think of lack of civil rights and free speech  we usually think of communist countries like Russia , China or North Korea.  What we don’t realize is “Small Town America” can be just as controlling and restrictive.

 Take Lisbon Maine for example. Last Tuesday the Lisbon Town Council eliminated all unapproved speech. If you want to bring up a topic not preapproved you need  to have an audience with a Councilor and convince them you should be allowed to speak. 

If you want to complain about pot holes on your street you must first get approval. If you want to compliment the Public Works Department for a job well done you need to get approval before the Meeting.

What prompted this drastic action?

The only answer I can come up with is desperation. Lisbon Councilors are desperate to keep a lid on the activities of local government.  Too many examples of questionable if not illegal behavior have come to light in the last few years.  The Council wants to go back to the good old days when they could do whatever they pleased without scrutiny from the public.


 Many of these revelations have come out due to the work of a  small but dedicated group of Lisbon residents who have formed a loose coalition of concerned citizens.  This group along with  help from the local blogs *** LisbonMaine.Net ***and*** TLR*** have brought many issues to light that were heretofore hidden from the public.  In doing so many of the Councilors past and present have become embarrassed by their own actions.
This speech restriction is but one in a long line of actions taken to eliminate free speech at Lisbon Council Meetings. The Council has also used Venue size as a speech limiting device as well as placing armed uniformed police directly behind the podium in an effort to intimidate Lisbon Residents.

I think The  Lisbon Council is beginning to realize Lisbon Residents will not be silenced. We have a right to be heard.  We will not be silenced with intimidation or unrealistic regulations.



Respectfully
LisbonMaine.net
Joe Hill

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tax problems for Larochelle LLC‏ ?



Tax Justice  for all

It has been almost three months since we discovered the illegal homestead deduction Larochelle LLC had been taking for the last 14 years.

During those months I have heard people ask several times whether  the LLC has paid back the several thousand dollars in back taxes .  The Town Council including Chairman Larochelle has been silent on this matter. They have not answered the inquiries  and have treated this as a private matter between the LLC and our Town.

We may have to remind the Council that tax matters including back taxes are public information.  There is a reason for this transparency.  It is to insure that  everyone is treated equally.

I am beginning to see a disturbing difference between the way the Lisbon Council is handling this debt as opposed to the way they collected the back taxes due on 233 Lisbon Street, Hill Street  or even the few dollars due by Mr. Cote on an excise tax mistake the town made.


I do not think for a moment that Larochelle LLC intentionally tried to defraud Lisbon by using this deduction. I think it is much more likely that this improper tax deduction was  initiated by a former tax person who wasn’t up on the requirements for the Homestead Deduction.

Regardless of  the cause of this infraction one fact remains.  Larochelle LLC OWES LISBON quite a substantial  sum of money.  This money must be paid back to the town of Lisbon ASAP.
 
All People in Lisbon must be treated equally.

Respectfully
Joe Hill - LisbonMaine.Net

Saturday, May 19, 2012

As The Councilors 'Flow' In Lisbon ! ! ! : Lisbon Belittles Private Citizen at Public Meeting



Mrs. Maloy’s stellar performance at last Tuesdays Council Meeting is still reverberating within the borders of Lisbon.

I personally have heard more comments from people utterly disgusted with this travesty than from any other Council event in recent history. Many people, especially women, are  really embarrassed by Mrs. Maloy’s use of the gender card.

This repulsion seems to span several normally polarized groups. Both lovers and skeptics of Mr Filmores views are solidly opposed to the  planned  character assignation that took place at Lisbon’s public podium.

The following remarks are just a few of the snippets  I have heard in the last week.


  •     A phone call I received stated: “It tells me that the Council only wants to hear from us if we agree with them. You wont catch me up there.You know we are paying her more than $50,000 to do this?”


  •     A  lady at the dump said “If what I heard is true she should be fired”.


  •     A man at a class I take said:  “I thought the council operating rules forbid that kind of stuff.”

  •     Another person reminded me that, she (Maloy) is in charge of our towns creative accounting system  and we shouldn’t be surprised with her coverup efforts.

I could go on and on with the comments but for brevities sake I will just tell you what  I feel is probably the most astute remark of all. An older gentleman that was at the Council Meeting said,  “She talked for 5 min. and didn’t answer his (Mr. Fillmore's) question,   Do we have less money in the account than we are supposed to have? I think  she was trying to skirt that question.”

 
With all the anger and confusion surrounding her speech the only thing that I am sure of is  Mrs. Maloy’s  reputation took a big hit Tuesday night .She shouldn’t have used this tactic to avoid answering a legitimate question by a concerned private citizen.

At the very least Mrs. Maloy owes Mr. Filmore a public apology.

 
Sadly
LisbonMaine.net
Joe Hill