BOS - June 24, 2008 Workshop

BOS - June 24, 2008 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:15 am

Board of Selectmen
Workshop Meeting Minutes
June 24, 2008
Approved July 1, 2008


• Call to Order:
Chairman Michael Hughes called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. In attendance: John Bombara, Paula Brouillette, Mitch Cohen, Scott Medeiros, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Other staff and citizens: Town Accountant Jeanne Lovett and Frank Biron CPA, President of Melanson Heath & Company, PC.

• Audit Exit Conference:
Attached to the minutes is a copy of Melanson Heath & Company’s “Annual Financial Statements for the Year Ended June 30, 2007” and the “Management Letter For the Year Ended June 30, 2007”. • Michael Guzinski reported that the town hired Melanson Heath & Company to do the audit – this was their first year.
• Annual Financial Statements: • Frank Biron summarized the annual financial statements. He stated that independent auditor’s opinion is to whether the town is in accordance with generally accepted accounting principals. Their opinion is a clean opinion with no exception – Douglas’ financial statements are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principals and the town should be commended. Mr. Biron went over the report – everything was positive. In the General Fund – everyone is paying their taxes. There is a strong Fund Balance and a strong Stabilization balance. There was a surplus for the year – budget versus actual the town was able to recoup through revenues and appropriation to make up for any free cash used. Both Enterprise funds have surpluses built in and had a profit.
• Management Letter: • Frank Biron summarized the management letter. He stated that the management letter is the byproduct of the audit. They are looking at process – how are things recorded and tracked through the town books. Areas they feel need improvement are included in the management letter. Mr. Biron explained what a Significant Deficiency is – a term used in generally accepted audit standards and defined under Statement Audit Standard 112 as a serious breakdown in internal controls. Those breakdowns could be errors or fraud that could occur and not be recognized by employees in a timely manner – those are the things they are pointing out. The management letter contained three Significant Deficiencies – Cash balances are not being reconciled in a timely manner; development of departmental receipts policies and procedures, and implementing internal control; Town Accountant doing internal audits. The last comment which was not a Significant Deficiency suggested having a more aggressive tax collection policy – leaning sooner. Jeanne Lovett reported that she is using the Management Letter as a tool and the Financial Departments are in the process of implementing changes. Mr. Biron reported the audit went well because of the personnel – they were corporative and had a good attitude. Took suggestion seriously and are implementing the recommendations. When asked to comment on appointed or elected financial positions Mr. Biron recommended appointed personnel – you don’t know who is going to get elected and there is less control over elected officials.

• Goals:
Attached to the minutes is the Executive Administrator – Goals and Objectives dated November 6, 2007. • Michael Guzinski recommended the Board step back to re-focus on two or three critical areas they feel are important for the community going forward. When asked if the Board was in agreement to keep Michael Guzinski focused as opposed to extending the number of goals, the Board felt that there wasn’t a problem having a number of goals but they need to be prioritized and have a way to measure them. Discussion on defining what is successful – setting benchmarks to measure success. There was discussion on Michael Guzinski’s review and the range in scores and providing feedback with comments. Suggestion that feedback for the last review, verbal or written be forwarded to Michael Guzinski, directly or through Michael Hughes and change the review process for next year. Consensus of the Board to forward evaluation feedback to Michael Hughes for Michael Guzinski.

Discussion on goals the Board feels are important.
• Government Study Report: Need to advance. Come up with a plan on how to get to end result – a process with a time-line. Michael Guzinski has been working on it and will have something in August. Create a Finance Department – what is it and what changes need to be made – develop a plan.
• Policies: Organize and clean up the Selectmen Policies – make sure none are outdated, make changes, continue to look at a Stabilization Policy, etc.
• Fire Department Needs: Plan on how to meet the personnel needs of the Fire Department before the next budget season.
• 5 Year Plan: The Board needs to plan and discuss what they want to do going forward in conjunction with the Building Study Report. How much maintenance do they want to do to keep up the assets they own? Recommendation for a future agenda item in August to go through the Building & Construction Committee’s Building Study Report.
• Continuation of Economic Development: Decide what they are trying to accomplish on the two expediting permit sites. Need a plan to supply utilities.
Michael Guzinski will take these thoughts and bring them down to a list of goals for the Selectmen to prioritize with benchmarks – schedule for July 1st meeting.
Suggestion that the Selectmen set goals for themselves.

• Adjournment:
Mitch Cohen made a motion at 7:40 pm to adjourn. Scott Medeiros seconded the motion. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted;


Suzanne Kane
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Suzanne Kane
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