BOS - May 11, 2005 Reorganization

Moderator: Suzanne Kane

BOS - May 11, 2005 Reorganization

Postby Suzanne Kane » Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:37 pm

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Agenda
May 11, 2005

1. Call to Order

• Reorganization

• Letter to the Editor

• Town Meeting / Budget

• Nedoroscik

• BOS Meeting at TM

2. Adjournment
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 11, 2005
June 21, 2005

1. Call to order:

Michael Guzinski called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. In attendance: Shirley Mosczynski, Rich Preston, Paula Brouillette, and David Furno. Edward Therrien was absent. Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane was also absent and took minutes from a audio tape.

 Reorganization: Michael Guzinski stated the Board of Selectmen need to reorganize and asked for nominations for Chair. Paula Brouillette nominated Shirley Mosczynski. David Furno seconded the motion. There were no other nominations. On the vote: All –aye. Michael Guzinski turned the meeting over to Shirley Mosczynski who thanked the Board for their confidence in her to do the job again. Shirley Mosczynski asked for nominations for Vice Chair. Rich Preston nominated Paula Brouillette. David Furno seconded the motion. There were no other nominations. On the vote: All – aye.

 Letter to the Editor: Michael Guzinski passed out a copy of a letter he wrote entitled, “An Open Letter to the Citizens of Douglas”. He stated, he was not in time for the Tribune and the Telegram and Gazette has a 250 word minimum. Michael Guzinski stated his letter has 1,000 words – he could not cut it down because he wants to provide all information. He stated he looked into putting the letter into the Finance Committee’s flyer – he called Shirley Mosczynski, Pamela Holmes, and Town Counsel to make sure there were no campaign / finance violations. Because of his position and the tone of the letter Town Counsel said there was no problem. Michael Guzinski stated that the ironic thing is that by putting the extra page into the flyer they reduced the price by $250.00. Shirley Mosczynski stated this is better since it will get mailed to every home. Michael Guzinski stated he had his numbers checked by a number of financial people and they are correct. Shirley Mosczynski stated she read the letter – she does not know how much clearer then this there is to get the information out. Paula Brouillette stated she thinks the letter is great and very understandable – she would like to have someone who doesn’t know what the Board knows to read it. Michael Guzinski stated he tried not to throw in to many numbers – he tried to explain with out going into too much detail: free cash and stabilization without boring people; trying to hit 5 or 6 key points.
 Town Meeting / Budget: Shirley Mosczynski updated the Board that Michael Guzinski held a meeting with David Furno, Town Accountant Rich Mathieu, and School Committee members Margaret Reed and Thomas Navaroli to go over what they had missed at the joint meeting. Michael Guzinski reported that they were not able to come up with a resolution but he came out of it with a better understanding of where they are coming from whether he agrees or not. He stated he feels they have to have a better understanding of the numbers and the situation they are in. Michael Guzinski stated that although they did not agree to change the budget, they have a firmer grasp of the stark fiscal reality that is facing Douglas. He stated that hopefully they will take that into consideration with their remarks on Town floor. He stated the big concern is that there may be some attempt by some one from the School or any one, to make a motion to boost the Schools budget to its original request. Michael Guzinski stated he is not sure who is going to be there or what the tone will be but he recommends if they are in a situation where the Town does pass the budget they should amend that by making it contingent upon an over ride It’s their only stop gap measure from falling into fiscal chaos. He stated he understands the concerns and agrees they shouldn’t given the lack of information, but they may be forced into a situation they will have to consider it. Michael Guzinski stated that if that were to happen and they were able to get the amendment to pass, it would prevent the School from spending the extra money or hiring added staff until the over ride gets a successful passage. If that doesn’t happen they don’t have access to that money. Michael Guzinski stated he prepared a motion and will bring it to the meeting in case that happens – that will be their last defense against fiscal disaster and even that gives no guarantee, the Towns people may not want it contingent upon an over ride. He stated if that happens they will be in real tough shape as far as what they do now. Michael Guzinski stated he doesn’t have good answers for that – they can stop the bleeding for one year by using the stabilization fund but after that it’s just going to make it worse for the next year. Shirley Mosczynski added, “and it’s gone”. Michael Guzinski stated he is hoping some financial reasoning would have the day. Shirley Mosczynski asked if the motion would be a separate motion. Michael Guzinski stated it wouldn’t have to but the moderator may require it to be. A copy was sent to Jerome Jussaume and Town Counsel. Town Counsel said it would be up to the moderator who may decide that it’s too complicated – he may require letting the first motion be discussed and if it passes then allowing the vote to make the motion to make it contingent on an over ride. Michael Guzinski stated the Town may vote that down – if that happens their options have pretty much run out. If that happens what the Town is saying is they want them to cut elsewhere in the budget. Shirley Mosczynski asked if anything was said at their meeting with Margaret Reed and Thomas Navaroli about what Shirley Downs said about putting off the financial aspect until a later date. Michael Guzinski stated they didn’t say much about it. Rich Preston stated what he doesn’t understand is why there is no middle ground – they are saying 3 and change and the School is saying 11 and change – why can’t they drop it just a couple of percents, graduate it; it seems to be all or nothing. Michael Guzinski stated he feels if hey were willing to come back and say they know this is fiscally unattainable, they feel they really need it but could do away with $250,000 then he would be willing to go back and see if he could find it. He stated this span is too great and it doesn’t appear they are ready to do that now. Michael Guzinski stated his concern is what someone said about having faith in the people – there are going to be people who are going to look at an “us vs. them” and say the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee are against education and then there is the School Board who say it’s a budget of need so they are going to stand behind what the School Board says. Michael Guzinski stated the only opportunity they have at that point is to create some financial reason – ok, you passed it lets make it contingent on this over ride other wise how are we going to fund it. Rich Preston asked who would be speaking to their budget. Michael Guzinski stated Pamela Holmes presents the budget. Rich Preston asked if anyone from the Selectmen’s Office would speak. Michael Guzinski stated that Pamela Holmes does the presentation but if there are questions better suited for Rich Mathieu or himself to answer they can address them. He stated it’s going to be a general broad discussion on where the 1.5 million is coming from – which budgets are they cutting and if not cutting what other sources they are going to use. Shirley Mosczynski stated that is what they are supposed to do to keep a balanced budget. Rich Preston asked if they have any visual aids regarding impact – if they are making the argument against their budget how would it impact them. Michael Guzinski stated he hasn’t looked at how it would affect the Municipal budget since it would affect it in a way that he couldn’t even begin to look at because they would be closing whole departments. They would have this building open two days a week, they would be closing Recreation, the Library, they’d be gutting departments – 1.5 million is a lot of money on the Municipal side of the board. Shirley Mosczynski stated they would also have to pay unemployment. Michael Guzinski stated he could look at what it would cost the tax rate for an over ride – he’s not even sure they want to go there at the meeting. Rich Mathieu has numbers but he wouldn’t want to scare people like that if they are determined to vote to have the budget in. Michael Guzinski stated he would like to encourage them to go the over ride route to at least allow the tax payers to approve it or not he would like the voters to have that opportunity. Rich Preston stated they need to be able to drive the point home what could happen to the budget if the Town does not choose an over ride and they show them a chart of the budget on the Municipal side and how they are being viscerated. They need to speak to the general audience – they can not speak “Municipal Speak”. Rich Preston stated that it is important they understand the ramifications of changing the budget especially if it’s plan B – what would happen if they didn’t make it contingent on an over ride; what would it do to the budget; what are the options. Michael Guzinski stated he will come up with a scenario on the departments that the State does not require; Recreation, Library, and they will probably loose half the Police force. Rich Preston asked Michael Guzinski if he would use visual aids – it might help if people could see a pie chart showing the school takes up about 60%. Michael Guzinski stated this would be one person’s scenario – he could probably draw something up on an overhead. Rich Preston suggested Power Point. Shirley Mosczynski stated they need to be careful with that too they don’t want it over people’s heads. Rich Preston stated he is not saying he wants something complicated with lots of numbers – he wants something simple like a pie chart that shows the Municipal side and the School side with simple numbers. Michael Guzinski stated they could put up what’s currently out in the hall that the Finance Committee put together. Shirley Mosczynski stated they are still waiting for answers to all the questions they sent to the school. Paula Brouillette stated that if there is an over ride and it passes – it hasn’t been examined; it doesn’t take into account that right now they are using $900,000 of Free Cash to supplement the budget every year. It doesn’t take into account the other revenues the School is using which she doesn’t think are repeatable. Paula Brouillette stated that if they ever really look at an over ride they need to be sure every thing they are using in the extra revenues are for ever because if one of them goes away they can’t go back to the Town and say they need more money. She stated she feels that even the over ride scenario is a one year solution. Paula Brouillette stated she wishes they could get some agreement with the School to agree with the budgeted $300,000 increase; a guarantee that they will look at additional funding and start in the summer with some agreement with them that if the Superintendent is away on her summer vacation; they can still meet and proceed on getting information and pulling it together. And when Free Cash is certified in the fall, look at splitting what ever Free Cash there is as long as they are actively working on how to long term fund the budget. Paula Brouillette stated they have never been able to get to the point of discussing this option because the School has been stuck on sticking with their proposed budget which is 1.5 million more than the Town has. Michael Guzinski stated they have never been able to get the School Committee together as a group to discuss it in a constructive fashion. He asked the Board if they want him to put together a dooms day scenario for what will happen if they have to come up with the 1.5 million. Consensus of the Board to have Michael Guzinski look at a dooms day scenario if the Schools recommended 1.5 million budget passes. Michael Guzinski handed out two sheets entitled “Comparison of School Dept. Expenditures to other Town Departments budgeted funds” stating he has information on the School budget from FY04 to the present recommendation that he and Rich Mathieu want to hand out at Town Meeting – it contains net School minimums from FY03 through FY06 and where they are over minimum. There is also a break down of Schedule 19 for the people who want to know how the Town is meeting Net School Spending even thought there is only 9.6 million on the appropriation – it will show the other expenses applied to the School. Paula Brouillette stated she doesn’t have any problem with it but it may be hard to understand for others. Rich Preston asked if it can be simplified. Shirley Mosczynski stated she thinks they need to leave it as is – there will be people there who will look at it and say, “can you explain” which could evolve into more information. Paula Brouillette stated they don’t want to make things complex but they also don’t want people to walk out of there thinking it’s an easy decision to pass a budget that is 1.5 million over what they have for revenues and then have the Board go away and figure it out – it’s not an easy thing to do. Paula Brouillette stated the implications are to gut the entire Municipal side – which to try to get 1.5 million there is no way to do with out going to several different departments; or a prop 2 ½ and no matter how committed they are to getting it it’s hard to get passed on a ballot. Rich Preston asked what is net on the Municipal side less the Schools. Michael Guzinski stated the whole budget is $19,516,673 with $10,323,000 in education – that doesn’t mean the balance is on the Municipal side. They have Debt Service – the majority of which is School associated, Employee Benefits – a majority of which is School associated, etc. All which are big numbers. Michael Guzinski stated that gives them about a 4 million Municipal Budget. Paula Brouillette stated it’s the difference of fixed costs vs. operational costs. Rich Preston stated that is what could be what changes are made to or cut – over 35% of that to cover the 1.5 million. He stated he feels it is important to show that. Michael Guzinski stated they would be cutting more that 1/3rd of the Municipal services. He stated that some of the employee benefits would fall off with layoffs on the Municipal side but short term because they would have unemployment costs and still they would build that back up with new School employees – it would be a net even at best. They would probably need more money in the employee benefits with all the new teachers. Paula Brouillette stated that if the Schools proposed budget gets passed it would include another 17 people that they have not counted benefits for. That’s another $150,000 that the Employee Benefits should be bumped up that they haven’t done. Shirley Mosczynski stated the Municipal side has budgeted to allow 5 new employees and the School is looking for 17. Michael Guzinski concurred stating that 3 or 5 of those are for Police. He stated that also does not include employees in house who now need to get insurance because they have a change in their life condition with a spouse. Rich Preston asked if the School was looking to hire a Business Manager, stating that is the one position needed. They need someone to do long term planning. Rich Preston mentioned that Connie Verge has said she should have done an over ride two years ago but they are going to do it all now – it doesn’t work. Michael Guzinski stated the present School Committee has expressed a strong desire to have a Business Manager. Paula Brouillette stated she thinks they are out of time. Michael Guzinski concurred stating as far as negotiations. If at Town Meeting the financial portion is put off until the end of June they will buy themselves a month to try and work something out. Michael Guzinski stated that unless they are willing to face the issue that this budget is not realistic then he is not sure of the use of it. Paula Brouillette asked when they would defer the budget. Michael Guzinski stated if they know they are going to do it they should do it up front. If they get to the point where the Town Meeting passes the School budget they may not be amendable to putting it off. He stated he is also not sure they want to put it off another 6 weeks. Michael Guzinski stated they should spend the time working on FY07 and get to fiscal reality this year and say this is what they have to live with. The reality is they can’t afford 17 new people. Michael Guzinski stated they need to start working if they want to show the public the need for an educational standpoint of an over ride. They need to start working in June and July so that by November or December the public is truly informed as to what is going on and why the need is there and then the Board of Selectmen can put the ballot question on and then the people will truly have their voice – they will be educated on it and can decide if it is worth it to them. Michael Guzinski stated he and Rich Mathieu will be meeting with Connie Verge tomorrow morning – he will let her know then that he will be putting together a worse case scenario. David Furno agrees that Michael Guzinski should tell Connie Verge at the meeting with her – that way they will know and understand. Michael Guzinski stated that besides the closure of all those departments the Municipal building is going to turn into one person departments. They will have a department head with no staff that will work two days a week. Paula Brouillette stated she has no problem at Town Meeting to say that the Board of Selectmen is making a commitment to look at an over ride this summer with no plus or minuses on how it will come out. She stated she would also like the School to look at their expenses – she truly believes their expenses are out of line and that’s part of her concern about the 1.4 million. It’s all part of looking at additional revenues – looking at how they are spending what they have now. Shirley Mosczynski asked if anyone has asked Town Moderator Jerome Jussaume about a secret ballot. Michael Guzinski stated he will. Rich Preston stated it is in the Bylaws that a group of people can request a secret ballot from the Moderator. Michael Guzinski stated the Town Clerk would set up for that and he will mention it to her tomorrow. Michael Guzinski stated he has not heard back from the Superintendent on the questions he asked her. He stated he asked Tom Navaroli and Margaret Reed to do what they can to pursue it. He also mentioned he had heard about the Jr. Class assembly to notify them, if they were not already aware, that there are some concerns about the appropriateness of it and they said they will look into it. Michael Guzinski stated everyone has copies of the motions they will read; he spoke with Rich Preston the other day and he will be putting together bulleted points on the motions tomorrow. He stated he did get the terms for the Planning Board Term Length Article today. The only oddity in it is that in order to have it rotate properly; at the 2007 annual election one person will be elected for an initial term of one year – otherwise they would have a 4-2-1 situation instead of 3-2-2 and they don’t want a majority of the Board turning over at one time. Michael Guzinski stated that William Cundiff is also willing to speak on this article. Paula Brouillette had a question on Special Town Meetings Article 7 – Long Term Debt Transfer; the short term account being transferred to the long term debt and interest. They are transferring $40,000 from the Health Insurance Account and she would like to know if they can do that. Michael Guzinski stated they can; the issues that are debt exclusions are outside – it reduces the amount of money that is outside the levy. They are using Health Insurance which is Free Cash which would be within the levy. Michael Guzinski stated there is no rule against it – it does reduce their available funding in certified Free Cash for next year – that’s the only draw back but it is completely legal. Michael Guzinski stated they couldn’t do the opposite. Michael Guzinski stated he will discuss with Jerome Jussaume the possibility of an over ride motion, the timing if they should wait to see if there will be an amendment to increase the School budget or interject before to include it. He will ask what Jerome Jussaume will recommend or even allow. Michael Guzinski stated Town Counsel’s Rich Bowen, said some Moderators will not even allow it because it gets too complicated for the voters – it’s the moderators call.
 Nedoroscik: Michael Guzinski reported that the Nedoroscik case has been settled. There is an $11,000 check due by the beginning of next week. He was wondering if the Board would vote to authorize the processing of the check then the Warrant for that will be available tomorrow. Michael Guzinski stated the check will be sent to Town Counsel and as soon as they get the signatures on it he will tell Town Counsel it can be released. Paula Brouillette made a motion to authorize the Town Accountant to proceed with the $11,000 payment to settle the Nedoroscik case. David Furno seconded the motion. All – aye.
 BOS Meeting at TM: Shirley Mosczynski reminded the Board that they would be meeting prior to the 6:00 pm Special Town Meeting at 5:30 pm. She stated Michael Guzinski had recommended they open their meeting and then recess it. Michael Guzinski stated they should recess it in case there is any need to go back in during Town Meeting. Rich Preston asked if there was a contingency for a second evening to which Michael Guzinski answered yes.

2. Adjournment:
Rich Preston made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 pm. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.

Respectfully submitted:

Suzanne Kane
Administrative Assistant
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 615
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

Return to 2005 Selectmen Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests