January 8, 2013 Strategic Budget Committee

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January 8, 2013 Strategic Budget Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:26 am

STRATEGIC BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2013

A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Mr. Bonin called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM at the Douglas Municipal Center.

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

1. Review and Discuss Additional Financial Data.
Mr. Guzinski stated that the chart in the packet is an update from the last meeting, and it includes FY13 numbers. It also shows the average tax bill for a single family for the towns in the Blackstone Valley. That average tax bill is $4,571.60 for FY13. The information was reviewed and a discussion was held. Ms. Holmes asked for a plan for sustainability. Further cuts were presented and discussed.

2. Discuss and Vote upon Budget Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2014.
Mr. Bonin asked what amount of a tax override could the committee go to the taxpayers with to sustain and maintain the town. Ms. Holmes stated that they need something that will pass. Ms. Muscatell felt the committee should have a number and stand behind it. The townspeople should really understand what is at stake. Mr. Guzinski stated that the impact from the health insurance changes could not be determined at this time. A discussion was held.
Mr. Mitch Cohen gave input on his experience going before Town Meeting asking for tax increases for school building projects. Mr. Leonard Demers, 114 Yew Street, spoke in opposition to a tax increase. Ms. Donna Taylor, 36 Arch Street would like to see an itemization of what the town would get/lose with and without a certain amount of an override. Ms. Sonya Bouchard, 88 North Street echoed that statement.
Ms. Brouillette reiterated the need for a long-term plan.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to recommend a $1.4 million tax override to the Board of Selectmen at their meeting on January 8, 2013. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Ms. Holmes recommends the administrators come up with some proposals to maintain services long term with that amount of money. The need for commercial development was discussed.

3. Old/New Business
Mr. Guzinski stated that the presentation of the recommendation to the Board of Selectmen is the second item on their agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting. Also, the Board will be meeting with Rep. Fattman and Sen. Moore to discuss local aid.
Mr. Guzinski passed out a report from The Mass. Budget and Policy Center entitled Rise and Fall of Local Aid in Massachusetts.

4. Approve Minutes: December 11, 2012
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the December 11, 2012 minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee as presented. Mr. Bombara seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous, Ms. Holmes abstained.

5. Adjournment
Mr. Hughes made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:47 PM. Mr. Bombara seconded the motion. Vote-Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
 
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