April 20, 2016 Strategic Budget meeting

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April 20, 2016 Strategic Budget meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:30 pm


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee (StBC) was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in the Municipal Center. Mr. Cortese called the meeting to order at 7:08 PM.

PRESENT: Dave Cortese (Chairman), Brett Argall (Vice Chairman), Paula Brouillette, Pamela Holmes, Jay Sartori, Sherry Zetlan
NON-VOTING: Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director)

1. Prepare for April 26, 2016 Public Budget Presentation
Mr. Guzinski presented the information in the packet for next Tuesday’s presentation at 7:00 PM in the high school auditorium. Included in the packet is: a FY09-FY17 Revenue History Chart, a revised version of what was distributed by the StBC three years ago in relation to impacts of an override, and tax bill calculations.
The Board of Selectmen (BOS) expressed their general support of an override at their meeting last night. Several members said they would be at the meeting next Tuesday. Next week’s meeting is posted as a joint meeting with the BOS.
Also in the packet is information on FY17 expenses and revenues and a history of fixed costs and Town expenses from FY09-FY16. Mr. Argall presented this information, which he put together. He feels this information should follow the original presentation from a few years ago. Ms. Holmes feels that the public does not understand what it costs to run a town. They need in-depth explanations. Ms. Lovett feels a shared revenue page would help. Mr. Cortese feels if the presentation is too detailed, it will be too confusing. He feels the presentation should be made, and then the Committee be ready for questions. Mr. Sartori suggested separating out the school and the Town. Ms. Lovett suggested a slide showing the fixed costs by line item. Mr. Argall presented a new expense graph. Ms. Holmes asked it to be made clear that debt is excluded from the calculations.
Discussions were held regarding whether or not to present Revenues first, updating the Special Education numbers, updating FY17 expenses, and inviting the Senior Center to the April 26 meeting.
Mr. Guzinski included in the packet an informational sheet similar to what the StBC distributed three years ago to outline the facts and answer general questions. He recommended working to fill in the gaps in the sheet. Atty. Rich Bowen will review the sheet before it is posted on the Town’s website. Atty. Bowen did approve the original sheet three years ago.
Mr. Argall suggested re-running the September 19, 2015 meeting on cable. He discussed the points made at the Presentation Sub-Committee meeting. They felt there was not enough time before Town Meeting to give multiple presentations or to update some of the recommendations, such as economic development opportunities.
Mr. Argall will contact the director of the Senior Center about showing a video there. Ms. Lovett does not feel the public should be surprised. The message has been consistent over the years. A discussion was held.
Ms. Brouillette suggested summarizing the presentation by updating the projections from three years ago and last year to show the impacts. Ms. Brouillette and Mr. Argall will work together to present on April 26, 2016.
Mr. Guzinski will see if any of the State legislators are available for the meeting

2. Next Steps for the Committee
Ms. Brouillette suggested strongly supporting securing an economic development person/consultant. Mr. Guzinski stated that there is an article on the Town Meeting warrant.
For a future version of the presentation, Mr. Argall suggested a breakdown of the percentage of property taxes that goes to specific services.
Ms. Brouillette stated that the StBC needs to work on how to maintain a capital plan, fill holes in the Municipal side and develop a true five-year sustainable budget.

3. Minutes: March 29, 2016
Approval of the March 29, 2016 minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee was deferred to the next meeting.

4. Old/ New Business
Old Business: There was no discussion.
New Business: There was no discussion.

5. Adjournment
Ms. Brouillette made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:58 PM. Ms. Zetlan 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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