August 17, 2016 Strategic Budget meeting

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August 17, 2016 Strategic Budget meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:32 pm


A joint meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee (StBC), Board of Selectmen (BOS), School Committee and Finance Committee was held on Wednesday August 17, 2016 at the High School. Mr. Cortese called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM.

PRESENT: Dave Cortese (Chairman), Brett Argall (Vice Chairman), Hal Davis, Tim Bonin, Pamela Holmes
NON-VOTING: Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), Cortney Keegan (School Business and Operations Manager), Norm Yvon (Superintendent of Schools)
ABSENT: Jay Sartori, Michael Hughes, Sherry Zetlan
BOARD OF SELECTMEN: Kevin Morse (Chairman), David Cortese, Hal Davis, Tim Bonin
FINANCE COMMITTEE: Pam Holmes (Chairman), Brett Argall, Michael Hutnak, Cindy Shurick
STRATEGIC BUDGET COMMITTEE: David Cortese (Chairman), Brett Argall, Pam Holmes
SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Scott Yacino (Chair), Jillian Carneiro, Julie Finnegan

• Pledge of Allegiance

• Chairman’s Announcements
None of the Chairmen had announcements.

1. General Discussion-FY17 & FY18 Budgets and School/Municipal Operations
Mr. Guzinski passed out updated Cherry Sheets. The change in revenue from the original estimates done in the spring is an increase of $40,151 in the General Fund only. The only other change may be in New Growth. That number will be available in October.
Ms. Holmes clarified that Chapter 70 Funds for the schools increased by $49,175 (must be appropriated at the Fall Town Meeting) and School Choice Receiving Tuition increased by $41,436 (can be spent without appropriation), which Ms. Lovett did not include in the General Fund increase. Ms. Keegan cautioned that reconciliation will be done on the third quarter; therefore School Choice Receiving Tuition may change.
Mr. Guzinski stated that Michael Daley of Financial Advisory Associates will be coming to the BOS meeting on September 20, 2016 to give a presentation regarding his report on the PILOT program and how it affects the Town. Sen. Fattman and Rep. McKenna have been invited to attend. Ms. Holmes asked Mr. Guzinski to invite the FC and StBC. Mr. Guzinski encouraged the public to attend or watch the video. Mr. Yacino asked that September 20, 2016 be posted as a School Committee meeting.
Mr. Morse asked the boards to start to look at FY2018 budgets and start assessing want vs. need. He would like a game plan for the Fall Town Meeting to be prepared if radical changes need to be made at the Annual Town Meeting.
Mr. Yacino stated that the State mandated that Douglas spend a minimum of $100/student, yet Chapter 70 Funds increased by only $30/student. He spoke about the extra-curricular activities that are in danger of being lost.
Mr. Yacino, Superintendent Yvon and Ms. Keegan explained how the school budgeting process works. By mid-September, the school will have a good idea of what their salary structure will be, but nothing beyond that. Ms. Holmes would like to see budgets driven by revenues, not by expenses.
Ms. Holmes stressed economic development. Mr. Guzinski stated that the Town is currently working with the Worcester Business Development Corp. (WBDC).
Discussions were held.
Mr. Yacino asked Superintendent Yvon to ask the Douglas Teachers Association if they can begin bargaining before January 1, 2017. For the next joint meeting, the SC will try to have a projection of the costs that they know will increase and what was budgeted for this year.
Ms. Holmes asked for a copy of net school spending for the FC and StBC. Ms. Keegan stated that those figures are not out yet. Ms. Keegan can provide an estimate.
Mr. Hutnak suggested asking the Town departments to change their budget approach. Instead of level funding the prior year’s budget, start the budget at zero. A lengthy discussion was held regarding how to approach budgets in a creative manner and what expenses are variable and which are unchangeable, both at the school and the municipal level.
It was decided to try to schedule another joint meeting for the second week of October. Mr. Guzinski will work on scheduling that.

2. Adjournment
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:08 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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