LISBON — One of two departing town councilors ripped into blogger Larry Fillmore on Tuesday night, calling his Internet writings “ill-prepared and ignorantly written rants.”
Councilor Lori Pomelow, who with Councilor Michael Bowie, decided not to seek another three-year term, read a three-page statement describing how “almost immediately” after she was elected, she and her husband came under fire from Fillmore in his blog, called The Lisbon Reporter. Her statement came near the end of the council’s meeting, which was preceded by a 6 p.m. candidates forum.
Pomelow said Fillmore’s blog accused her of receiving “special protections” due to her position as a councilor, claimed she had violated her oath of office, and “made allegations of unethical and immoral conduct.”
In what she described as “disparaging entries,” Pomelow said they are written by “people who have nothing better to do than park themselves at a computer and pick others apart.
“These people chase conspiracy theories and waste the precious resources of our community at multiple levels. The small number of people behind these blogs is at the direction of their ringleader,” she said, referring to Fillmore.
“So I respond proudly for all to hear, I am not any of those negative things you said about me. I have not done wrong, and to the three or four of you who tried, you did not chase me off,” she said.
Noting that Fillmore routinely complains about wasting taxpayers’ money, Pomelow said about one-third of the town’s legal budget for the past fiscal year, about $12,000, “related to your chase of non-existent conspiracies and freedom of information requests.”
Earlier in the evening, three candidates who seek to fill Pomelow and Bowie’s seats on the council were asked to respond to questions posed by Town Clerk Twila Lycette and from members of the audience.
Eric Metivier and Gregg Garrison are seeking the at-large seat, although Garrison was not present for the candidates forum. Dillon Pesce and Tyler Golletti are vying for the District Two council seat.
Asked whether voters should be able to vote on each department’s proposed budget, instead of the entire town budget, Metivier, Pesce and Golletti all said they agreed this would give the voters more say in how money is spent.
In response to a question about whether the town is spending too much money on police, all three said they thought some cuts could be made. This prompted a comment by the School Committee’s Herbert Reed, who said, “as a former police officer, I can tell you it’s overstaffed and over budget, and should be cut back dramatically.”
The three council candidates also agreed that the public should not have to comment on agenda items before they are introduced by the councilor sponsoring the item.
On the fall ballot question asking voters if the town should take over the water department, Pesce said he is not in favor of it because things are running well, but Metivier and Golletti said they are in favor of the move.