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TownofNantucketAdHocBudgetCommitteeMeetingrd MinutesAdHocBudgetCommitteeMeetingDecember3 ,2008ApprovedJanuary27,2009Present:Ms.JennyGarneau,Ms.C.ElizabethGibson,Mr.JamesKelly,Mr.MichaelKopko,Ms.IreneLarivee,Mr.MatthewMulcahy,Dr.RobertPellicone,andMs.PatriciaRoggeveen.Absent:Ms.SusanGenthner.Alsopresent:Mr.RickAtherton,Mr.BrianChadwick,Dr.CarlosColley,Mr.GlennField,Mr.JasonGraziadei,Ms.RobinHarvey,MeganMcNeely,Ms.JaneMiller,Mr.MalachyRice,Mr.WhitingWillauer,andMr.CraigAbernathyCalltoOrder:Ms.Roggeveencalledthemeetingtoorderat11:33AM.ApprovalofMinutes29October2008:Mr.KopkomovedtoapprovetheminutesofOctober29,2008;secondedbyMr.Mulcahy.Sovotedunanimously.December8,2008,SpecialTownMeetingUpdate:TownManagerC.ElizabethGibsonstatedthatinarecentdepartmentheadmeetingparticipantsdiscussedtheramificationsofvoterschoosingnottosupportArticles7and8attheDecember8,2008,SpecialTownMeeting(STP).SheremindedtheCommitteethatArticles7and8arecriticaltotheGeneralFundbudget.Inadditiontotheshortfall,Ms.GibsonnotedtheadditionalexpenseofborrowingtocoverexpensesduetotheinabilityoftheTowntosendtaxbillsoutuntiltheTaxRecapitulationiscertified.IreneLariveeestimatedtheexpenseassociatedwithborrowingat$40,000permonth.Ms.GibsonexplainedthatArticle8needstobeapprovedinordertohavetheSolidWasteEnterpriseFundbudgetcertified,andthatthecertificationisnecessarybeforetheDepartmentofRevenue(DOR)willapprovethe
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee rd December 3, 2008Page 2 of 5 Town’staxrate.SheremindedtheCommitteethatnoneofthearticlestobepresentedatSTMwillraisetaxes.
Inexaminingthepotentialconsequencesofvotersnotapprovingfinancerelatedarticles,Ms.GibsonpointedoutthattheTownandSchoolwouldberesponsibleforsharingtheburdenofreducedexpenses.ShestatedthattheTown’sportionoftheshortfallwouldbesixtypercentandtheSchool’sportionwouldbefortypercent.Ms.GarneauaskedifanyonehasspokentothemediainordertocommunicatethepotentialfalloutfortheSchool.Dr.PelliconeadvisedthathehasspokenwiththemediaandexplainedtheconsequencesofvotersnotapprovingthemoneyrelatedarticlesatSTM.
Mr.KopkospoketoconcernsofmembersofthecommunityattemptingtomodifytheagendaoftheSTMduringthemeeting.Ms.Garneaustatedthatnormallywhensuchanattemptistobemadethereissomediscussioninthecommunitypriortotheattempt,andaskedifanyonehasheardanythingtosubstantiatesuchfears.Ms.GibsonreferredtoanewspaperarticlepublishedtheweekbeforewhichstatedtheSchoolhasplanstoseekfundingfromtheStabilizationFund.Ms.GarneaustatedthattheSchoolhasnoplanstoattempttosecurefundingfromtheStabilizationFund.Mr.Kopkoaskediftheteachershaveanyplanstoseekalternativefunding.MeghanMcNeely,NantucketTeacher’sAssociationCoPresident,answeredthattheteachershavenoplanstointroducearequestatSTM.SheaddedthattheSchoolislookingforwaystoaddresscurrentfinancialshortfallinternallyandhasnointentionofseekingfundingfromtheStabilizationFund.
InregardtodifficultyindisseminatinginformationabouttheSTM,Dr.Pelliconehighlightedtheimportanceoffindingnewmethodstocommunicatewiththepublic.HestatedthattheSchoolwillsendanemailtoparents,sendamessageusingthePACEphonesystem,placeanadvertisementinthenewspaper,andpostinformationonitswebsite.Ms.GibsonnotedthatanarticlepublishedintheIndependentdidagoodjobofexplainingthewarrantarticlesandtheconsequencesshouldtheynotbepassedbyvoters.
Ms.GibsonaddressedaquestionabouttheHealthInsuranceTrust(HIT)FundDrawdown,explainingthatthedrawdownwillreducetheTown’sexpensesrelatedtotheHITby$1.8million.SheaddedthattheremaybeanopportunitytoutilizeadditionalfundsfromtheHITinFY2010.GlennField,AssistanttotheSuperintendentforBusiness,askediftheproposeddrawdownwillresultinanincreaseinpremiumsinFY2010.Ms.LariveeansweredthatthedrawdownwillhavenoimpactontheamountofprojectedexpenseinFY2010.
Ms.GarneauaskedMs.GibsontoexplainthereasonfortheprojecteddeficitintheSolidWasteEnterpriseFund(SWEF).Ms.GibsonstatedthatwhentheFY2009SWEFbudgetwasbeingpreparedrevenuenumbersfromtheendofFY2008werenot
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee rd December 3, 2008Page 3 of 5 available.Sheaddedthatthesenumberswouldhaveshownthenegativeeffectsofdecliningconstructionanddemolitionwasterevenueandincreasingcostsrelatedtopermittingofanewlinedcell.Ms.Garneauthenaskedaboutplanstocompensateforsuchcontingenciesinfuturebudgeting.Ms.GibsonansweredthataworkgrouphasbeenformedtoworkwithWasteOptionstofindwaystoreduceexpenses.ShenotedthattheLandfillislikelytoexperiencemajorcutsandseenewfeesforservices.Ms.LariveeremindedtheCommitteethatthesubsidypaidtotheSWEFisaGeneralFundsubsidy,asnotonlyTownbutalsoSchoolfundspaythesubsidy.JasonGraziadei,InquirerandMirrorSeniorWriter,askedwhyreducedvolumesattheLandfilldidnotresultinlowerexpenses.Ms.Gibsonrepliedthatasageneralrulerevenuesareusedtosubsidizeexpensesandoffsetcostsinotherareas.Ms.McNeelyaskedabouttheimpactofadeficitintheSWEFontheSchool.Ms.GibsonexplainedthatanincreasedsubsidyfortheSWEFwouldcomefromtheGeneralFundandthereforedirectlyimpactbothTownandSchoolfinances.NetSchoolSpending:Ms.LariveepresenteddocumentationonnetSchoolspendingthroughFY2008whichdemonstratedtheTown’scontributionofdoubletheamountoffundingrequiredbyStatelaw.HighlightingtheperceptionthattheTowndoesnotprovideenoughsupportfortheSchool,shenotedthatpartofthetaxlevyisrequiredbuttheTownhastraditionallyexceededtherequiredamount.Ms.GarneaustatedheropinionthatmostSchoolCommitteemembersbelievetheTownisverygenerousinitssupportoftheSchool.Inlightofprojectionsofmajorbudgetcutsinthefuture,therewassomediscussionofreducingsalaryexpenses.Dr.PelliconestatedthatpreparingabalancedbudgetforFY2010mayrequirehimtocutstaffbytenpercent.Mr.KopkocommentedthattheTownisexperiencingasimilarscenarioinitsbudgetplanningprocess.Dr.CarlosColley,AssistantSuperintendentforCurriculumandInstruction,notedthatadjustmentstostaffingareaccomplishedmuchmoreeasilywithadvanceknowledge.FY2009&2010BudgetProjection:Ms.Lariveestatedthatoriginalprojectionsofaprojecteddeficitof$2.2millionfortheFY2010budgethavechanged,resultinginanincreaseofthedeficitto$3.8million.Shepointedtoadeclineinnewgrowthandexcisetaxrevenuesascontributingfactorsinthedeficitincrease.Ms.Lariveeaddedthatthecurrentbudgetprojectionsincludeatenpercentcutinoperatingcostsbuttheydonotincludeexpenseincreaserequests,statingthatifarequestisaddedtotheTown’sbudgettheTownwillneedtocutexpenseselsewhereinordertoaccommodatetheincreaseandthattheSchoolwillfollowthesameguidelines.Shenotedthatunderthetraditionalmethodofsharingthedeficit,thecurrentdeficitof$3.8millionwouldrequiretheSchooltomakecutsof$1.7millionandtheTowntomakecutsof$2.1million.
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee rd December 3, 2008Page 4 of 5 Referringtohisbeliefsaboutthebestapproachtoachievingbudgetgoals,Mr.KellynotedthattheSchoolcameinaboveprojectedgoalswhiletheTowncameinbelowprojectedgoals.Hestatedhisbeliefthatonesidecominginabovegoalswhiletheothersidecomesinbelowgoalsdoesnotleadtothemostequitablebudgetingsituation.Mr.Riceassertedhisbeliefthatconservativefiscalpracticeimpliesaphilosophyofdeliveringbudgetsthatexceedbenchmarksforperformance.Mr.Kellyagreed,butagainstatedhisbeliefthatthesituationisnot“evenhanded.”Ms.GibsonnotedthatevenifboththeTownandSchoolcomeinunderguidelinesthetotalbudgetwillstillbeinadeficitsituation.Mr.Kellyacknowledgedthebudgetingchallenges,butaddedhisbeliefthatwhenanorganizationentersintobudgetingnegotiationswithalowerstartingpointitwillfinishwithalowerendingpoint.
Inanefforttoaddresschallengesinthebudgetingprocess,Ms.GibsonstatedthatshewillrecommendthattheBoardofSelectmenendorseanAdHocFinanceWorkGrouptolookatthestructureofthedeficitandhelpdefineessentialTowngovernmentfunction.Sheaddedthatthegoalsofthegroupwouldbefocusedandthatthegroupwouldmeetintheshorttermbeforeissuingareport.Mr.KellyaskedabouttheTown’sprogresstowardsmakingafinalrevenueprojectionforFY2010.Ms.Lariveeansweredthatprojectionsareabouttwothirdscomplete,andthattheywillcontinuetoberefineduntil2009AnnualTownMeeting.
IdeasforPublicEngagementintheFY2010BudgetProcess:
Ms.Gibsonhighlightedeffortstoincreasepublicengagementinthebudgetprocessthatincluded:“Piggybacking”onmeetingsofdifferentcivicgroups.Meetingwithemployeegroups.Televisingbudgetforums.SheaddedherbeliefthatitisimportanttoeducatethepubliconthechallengesfacingtheTown’sfinancesandcommunicatewiththepublicinamannerthatusesclear,consistentterminology.Ms.Garneauagreed,notingthatproposalsthatinvolvegoingtothepublicenjoymuchmoresuccess.ShestatedthataSchoolspecialadvisorygroupisworkinghardonbudgetingissues.
NewBusiness:
Ms.Gibsonstatedthatintheprocessofattemptingtobalancethebudgetmanynewfeeideashavesurfaced.Shecommentedthatshefeelsitwillbebesttoapplynewfeestooverallrevenuebeforeappropriationoffunding.Mr.FieldnotedthatmostSchoolfeesgeneratenegativerevenues,andassuchcouldnotmakeacontributiontotheGeneralFund.HeaddedthatthefeesbenefittheGeneralFundbyreducingtheamountofsubsidyrequiredfromtheGeneralFund.Ms.Roggeveenaddedherbelief
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee rd December 3, 2008Page 5 of 5 thatdecisionswillneedtobemaderegardingraisingtaxesorfeestoaddressfuturebudgetproblems.OldBusiness:DateofNextMeeting:Thedateofthenextmeetingistobedetermined.Adjournment:Ms.Roggeveenaskedforamotiontoadjournthatwas“somoved”byMr.Kelly.Themeetingwasadjournedat12:58PM.”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” PreparedbyCraigAbernathy
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