August 28, 2012 Strategic Budget Committee

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August 28, 2012 Strategic Budget Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:22 am


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. Mr. Bonin called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Douglas Municipal Center.

PRESENT: Tim Bonin (Chairman) Paula Brouillette (Vice-Chair), Todd Bari, John Bombara, Gina Muscatell, Pamela Holmes, Ray Whitehead
ABSENT: Mike Hughes, Cortney Keegan, Nancy Lane, Scott Yacino, Michael Guzinski, Jeanne Lovett

Mr. Whitehead suggested holding some public meetings at the Senior Center. He suggested soliciting the public’s feedback at these meetings after the problem has been defined. A discussion was held. Scenarios were discussed in an effort to define the problem, how to approach the problem and how to get the definition and possible solutions across to the townspeople. Mr. Bari suggested asking Ms. Lovett to compile the percentage of the tax rate that goes to each town department.
Mr. Bombara suggested sending a small number of people to the Senior Center to get feedback from the seniors. The majority of the committee would rather have the numbers together first and then approach the public.
Other groups to approach would be the PTA, the public safety departments and the scouts.

Mr. Bonin suggested looking at scenarios that take the budget down by percentages. Mr. Bari asked for information regarding the seasonality of the town departments and how much time is needed for each function. Different scenarios were discussed.
Ms. Muscatell stated that in Medfield, the hours of the high school and middle school have been matched up. In that situation, specialists can be shared between the schools.
Mr. Bari suggested promoting self-service, i.e. doing some things online instead of interacting with a town employee. Perhaps a fee could be attached to services the employees provide. Those services would need to be identified.
Ms. Brouillette suggested regionalizing professional services. Mr. Bonin presented an email regarding the Annual Regionalization Conference, which will be held on September 10, 2012 at the Hogan Center at Holy Cross. Impediments to regionalization were discussed. Mr. Bari suggested offering Douglas’ services to other towns for a fee.
Ms. Brouillette feels that nothing much is being done to make commercial development happen in town and that needs to change. A strategy needs to be developed. She suggested exploring agreements with businesses coming into the town to have them put in infrastructure.
Mr. Bari stated that a Proposition 2.5 override needs to be looked at.
It was suggested that a survey be sent out to the townspeople to gauge what is discretionary to the community.
A discussion was held regarding what type of investments could be made to reduce costs in the future. Consolidating the DPW was discussed.
Mr. Bonin suggested having the web company make a presentation on the services they provide. Technology can be a driver of savings. The committee should research what other communities are doing.
Ms. Holmes suggesting having a way for the public to drop off their ideas to the committee.
Ms. Brouillette stated that the committee would need to present the Board of Selectmen with a written statement about what the committee will be doing. She feels this committee needs to provide the Board of Selectmen with policies to maintain a 5-year sustainable budget for the town.

Mr. Whitehead made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:53 PM. Ms. Brouillette seconded the motion. Vote-Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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