February 12, 2015 Strategic Budget Meeting

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February 12, 2015 Strategic Budget Meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:16 pm


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Thursday, February 12, 2015 in the Municipal Center. Ms. Brouillette called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM.

PRESENT: Paula Brouillette (Chair), Pamela Holmes, Mike Hughes, Cortney Keegan (School Business Manager), Melissa Morrison, Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), Norm Yvon (School Superintendent)
ABSENT: Dave Cortese (Vice Chair-Excused), Scott Yacino (Alternate-Excused)

1. Review 4 Year Revenue/Expenditure History
The documents prepared by Ms. Lovett and Mr. Guzinski were reviewed. Rises in property taxes reflect the decrease in State Aid. Ms. Brouillette suggested charting the revenue sheets for presentation purposes.
Regarding state-owned land, Mr. Hughes stated that the Board of Selectmen (BOS) has begun conversations with DCR to look at how pilot payments have decreased over the years. Now DCR is looking to purchase more land. Ms. Holmes would like to see an assessment of how the state is valuating land and giving Douglas payments vs. valuing other state land. Ms. Holmes feels Douglas gets much less per acre than other surrounding communities.
Regarding the State’s Chapter 70 formula, Ms. Keegan feels that the State’s required minimum contribution and their formula for determining that contribution are not adequate. Ms. Brouillette would like to see what the local community should be funding vs. what the State should be funding. Local School Committees and Superintendents should take the lead. Ms. Morrison met with State Rep. Joe McKenna a few weeks ago to go over Chapter 70 funding.
Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovett will prepare a chart showing the shifting of revenues, similar to the one prepared by North Andover.
Ms. Lovett will work with Mr. Guzinski to track the trends for Tax Levy, Local Receipts, State Aid and Free Cash applied to the Operating Budget.
Departmental budgets were reviewed. The narrative of the presentation will go into detail on the expenses.

2. Review 5 Year Pro Forma Revenue/Expenditure Projection
Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovett spoke about how they came up with the assumptions presented for expenses. Ms. Brouillette would like the following unfunded/underfunded items added: Snow & Ice, Technology, Capital, and OPEB.
Ms. Keegan came up with projections for Norfolk Aggie and Blackstone Valley Regional Technical Vocational High School (BVT).
The 2.5% Tax Levy and the other Revenue projections were discussed. Free Cash was discussed.
For the next meeting, the Committee decided to present the assumptions as departmental totals and show the differential over each year going forward. The same level of detail will be used as was used on the summary on the last page. The items that are not funded and not included in the overall budget will be included in the notes.
A discussion was held about how to present the information to the public.

3. Minutes: January 8, 2015
Ms. Holmes made a motion to approve the January 8, 2015 meeting minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee meeting as presented. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

4. Old/New Business/Open Session
Old Business: None
New Business: The next meeting will be February 26, 2015 at 3:30 PM.

5. Adjournment
Mr. Yvon made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:53 PM. Ms. Holmes 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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