'City of Sussex-Lisbon' to be Discussed Tuesday Night
This will be the third public forum Lisbon officials are holding to answer any questions and take comments from citizens regarding the Sussex-Lisbon merger.
Sussex and Lisbon-area residents are invited to the Hamilton Fine Arts Center on Town Line Road in Sussex on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for another public forum regarding the potential merger between the two municipalities.
This will be the third opportunity for citizens to talk with Town of Lisbon officials about the consolidation efforts by asking questions or giving comments. It's estimated that 300 people attended the last public forum, and the overwhelming majority of them opposed the merger.
In addition, some town officials are already predicting this effort to merge will fail. Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said that there would have to be an overwhelming backing from voters for the Town Board to continue backing the idea.
"There is going to have to be a strong indication of support for the board to proceed, Ryan and I might have a slight difference in how you define strong," said Gehrke during the latest Town Board Meeting.
Ryan Lippert, a town supervisor, mentioned he wouldn’t support the consolidation with Sussex even if Lisbon residents support it by a small margin votes. The town is slated to have an unofficial referendum on Aug. 14.
And while opposition from Lisbon decision makers may come as a sweet surprise to most Lisbon residents, Sussex Patch reader and Lisbon resident Arnold Jung agrees with Town Chairman Matt Gehrke, Libson's chief proponent of the merger.
Gehrke has outlined the many dangers residents face by not merging with Sussex, from a sharp increase in taxes to maintain current standards to a sharp decrease in services. And that's not to mention the annexation threat from neighboring communities. Yet most Lisbon residents continue to deeply focus on Sussex's laundry list of million-dollar development projects.
Jung has been one of the first to outline his suppot of the merger in Patch's comments after Sussex Patch reader Sarah advised people to vote the merger down to keep her taxes in Lisbon lower.
"I would like to keep my home in Lisbon but our taxes actually are going to skyrocket if there is not a merger of some kind."
"Sarah you obviously have not been paying attention to the fiscal issues that Lisbon is currently facing," Jung wrote in the comments. "The current elected officials are cutting and slashing the town budget anywhere they can to give you the illusion of us having low taxes. The current taxes we are paying are artificially low due to the mismanagement and neglect of base services that is taking place within the towns government.
"The fact that we pay only $3.09 in taxes is a direct result of this mismanagement not because of fiscal responsibility," Jung continued. "The day of reckoning is coming and our town board knows this. That is why they are trying to use the village as a bail out. I would like to keep my home in Lisbon but our taxes actually are going to skyrocket if there is not a merger of some kind. I would like to stay here, so bring on the merger. It will save us all taxes in the long run, and whether you like it or not, it is the right thing to do."
Other Lisbon residents popped out to agree, and for the first time, a two-sided argument about the merger began to arise regarding the highly controversial measure.
However, some readers like Rita Hahn couln't be convinced.
"Sarah is right," Hahn said. "Leave Sussex a village and Lisbon there town. I agree to vote it down!"
And a majority of the voices attending the public forum meeting agree with Hahn and Sarah, stating that they would rather stay known as the Town of Lisbon than merge with Sussex.