October 9, 2012 Strategic Budget Committee

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October 9, 2012 Strategic Budget Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:23 am


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Tuesday, October 9, 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), John Bombara, Pamela Holmes, Mike Hughes, Cortney Keegan, Nancy Lane, Gina Muscatell, Ray Whitehead, Scott Yacino, Michael Guzinski, Jeanne Lovett
ABSENT: Todd Bari

1. Review Preliminary FY14 Departmental Budget Submittals
Mr. Bonin stated that there is a $2.4 million budget shortfall. Mr. Guzinski stated that the town departments did submit FY14 budgets as requested. His department created a first draft revenue estimate. Ms. Lovett gave an overview of the FY14 revenue estimate and how it was prepared. Debts and refinancing of debts were discussed. Ms. Brouillette mentioned that the School Building Committee discussed having the balance for the debt of the project being on a much shorter scale since some of the items financed are consumables and will not have a 20-year life. Overlays were discussed.
On the expense side, the department heads put together a budget they felt would allow them to service the community. Mr. Guzinski reviewed the large increases. The Recreation budget was discussed, and the Committee asked for that department to come in. Health Insurance was discussed.
Ms. Holmes asked to see the budgets from FY09, 10 and 11. Mr. Guzinski will print those out. Ms. Keegan reviewed the School Department budget and it was discussed at length. Contracts have not yet been negotiated: there are a lot of unknowns, especially with the new school.
Ms. Lovett discussed Debt Services. The FY14 debt is less than FY13, even with borrowing $20 million for the school project.
Mr. Bombara asked Mr. Guzinski to suggest what could be cut from the budgets and where those cuts would be the least harmful. Mr. Guzinski stated that he would need to know the number he would need to get to. He will provide his opinions when the time comes.

2. Discuss Elements of FY14 Budget Message
Mr. Guzinski stated that he sends out a budget message to all the departments and committees and lets them know the financial situation of the town in order to give them guidance on how to submit their budgets. Prior to sending that message out, he needs some clarity as to where the committee is going with next year’s budget. The message should go out by early December.
Ms. Brouillette recommends going back and looking at revenues and looking at what has been used in past years, i.e. Chapter 70 and Free Cash. Ms. Lovett feels there will be some movement in New Growth. She will know better at the next meeting.

3. Discuss Budget Deficit/Solutions
Ms. Brouillette feels the committee needs to look at the impact of an override. Ms. Holmes would like to start a five-year plan. Mr. Yacino stated that salaries for collective bargaining agreements cannot be projected out five years, but trends can be projected.
Ms. Brouillette feels that more than half of the problem is not growing in the commercial area. She compared Douglas’ commercial property taxes with Sutton. She feels the five-year plan needs to focus on commercial growth.

4. Discuss Timeline
October 23, 2012 is the next meeting. November 13 is the special Town Meeting. November 14, 20 and 27, 2012 will be the meetings for November.

5. On the Table
Additional sources of revenue were discussed. Areas for reduction of expenses and potential savings were looked at and discussed. An operational override was discussed. If an override were proposed, the committee would need to be certain as to what services would be lost. An override would increase taxes by $800 for the average home.
Mr. Yacino stated that aligning the school days was done with the middle school and the lower level school. Doing so was able to save the cost of a gym teacher. If they were to align the high school with the intermediate school, there would not be enough capacity on the school buses. They could try to align the schools a different way.

6. Regionalization
Regionalization was discussed, i.e. IT, Board of Health, Professional Development, etc. Mr. Guzinski has not recently talked to the department heads about looking into opportunities to regionalize.

7. Approve Minutes: August 14, 2012, August 28, 2012, and September 11, 2012
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the August 14, 2012 minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee as presented. Mr. Yacino seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the August 28, 2012 minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee as presented. Ms. Brouillette seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Ms. Brouillette made a motion to approve the September 11, 2012 minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee as presented. Mr. Yacino seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

8. Old/New Business
Mr. Bonin will be speaking with the senior citizens on October 24, 2012 at the Senior Center at 11:00 AM. All are invited to attend.
Mr. Yacino described how to determine how much you are contributing to the state’s Chapter 70.

9. Adjournment
Mr. Bombara made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:36 PM. Mr. Hughes 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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