November 20, 2014 Strategic Budget Committee

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November 20, 2014 Strategic Budget Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:41 pm


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 in the Municipal Center. Mr. Guzinski called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM.

PRESENT: Paula Brouillette, Dave Cortese, Pamela Holmes, Cortney Keegan, Melissa Morrison, Nancy Spitulnik, Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director)
ABSENT: Kevin Morse (Excused), Scott Yacino (Alternate-Excused)

1. Organization
Ms. Holmes nominated Paula Brouillette as Chair of the Strategic Budget Committee. Ms. Brouillette accepted the nomination. Vote: Unanimous.
Ms. Brouillette took over as Chair of the meeting. The members of the committee introduced themselves.
Ms. Holmes nominated Dave Cortese as Vice Chair of the Strategic Budget Committee. Mr. Cortese accepted the nomination. Vote: Unanimous.

2. Discussion: Goals
Ms. Brouillette gave the background on the reasons for forming this committee. She reviewed the charges of the committee. One suggestion was to look at other communities that have financial plans in place.
A discussion was held regarding how the policy issue relates to the School Department. Ms. Spitulnik and Ms. Keegan discussed five-year plans they helped create in other school districts. Ms. Keegan stressed that a five-year School Dept. plan is a fluid document.

3. Review of Budget Documents
Ms. Lovett presented a revenue history, including estimated local receipts, school choice funds and Chapter 70 Funds. Ms. Brouillette would like Local Property Tax Receipts to be added to the information, with regard to new commercial and industrial development. Douglas is 93% residential. She would also like to see the official statements that go out when the Town seeks to bond money.
Ms. Brouillette asked the committee to keep in mind when making recommendations, who owns the responsibility for the items discussed and who can make a change, for example the School Committee would be primarily responsible for communication back to the State regarding Chapter 70 Funds. Ms. Spitulnik stated that a Foundation Budget Review Commission has been formed and is holding public hearings.
In the next few years, the only debt will be for the school project and wastewater facility plant. A borrowing was approved for major repairs for the municipal building. A discussion was held regarding Douglas’ excluded debt and the value of unexcluded debt.
A discussion was held regarding what kind of vision the committee will present. Mr. Guzinski feels that the Board of Selectmen want a realistic plan, not a service-based vision.

4. Timeline
It was decided that the next meetings will be December 4 and December 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM.

5. Old/New Business
Old Business: Ms. Keegan stated that she did not recall that the Town departments had been asked to prepare five-year plans during the last seating of this committee.
New Business: A discussion was held regarding attendance and quorums. Ms. Brouillette and Mr. Guzinski will work on the agendas for the next couple of meetings.

6. Adjournment
Ms. Holmes made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 2:59 PM. Mr. Cortese 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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