Minutes of the Finance Committee, June 6, 2000

In attendance: members Nash, Morey, Roberts, Vogt.

Also in attendance Scott Leclerc, appointed to committee but not yet sworn in, and Town Moderator Dennis Moore.

Chair Morey called meeting to order, 6:35 pm.

Reserve Fund Transfer Requests

FinCom voted to transfer $252.77 from the Reserve Fund to the Town Hall fuel account, line # 015192014.

An additional request, for $1824, to fund unemployment benefits, (line 015914000) was tabled until the next meeting since this budget line may be deficit-funded and Chair Morey felt it prudent to save Reserve Fund’s dwindling balance for possible emergency requests during the final weeks of the fiscal year.

Election of Officers Chair Morey nominated Deb Vogt as Chair for Fiscal Year 2001 and she was unanimously elected. Committee members extended thanks to Chair Morey for his service over the past year and, particularly, for his initiation of research into the town’s financial needs. Ms. Vogt promised to continue the research process.

Ms. Vogt then nominated Peggy Roberts as co-chair, citing the need to have an assistant to cover meetings when Ms. Vogt was away on business throughout the year. Ms. Roberts accepted nomination, and she was elected by majority.

Member Introduction Chair Vogt initiated a round of introductions of members present and promised a repeat when an additional new member, Lois Raymond, attends the next meeting. Overview of Committee Responsibilities & Goals Ms. Vogt distributed several research and reference documents for committee’s use and said she has ordered FinCom Handbooks for each member from Department of Local Services. She expressed her concern that the FinCom should work as a team with other town committees and departments and to that end suggested a reorganization plan (attached to these minutes) which she hoped all members would read and comment on at next working session.

In response to questions from Mr. Morey, she said this proposed reorganization plan was based on her own ideas generated from four years on the committee and that she welcomes input from all members. Mr. Morey expressed his concern about compliance with Ashby By-laws and Ms. Vogt agreed to get copies of the by-laws for all members to make sure any reorganization was within their scope.

Ms. Vogt said she had asked Ms. Raymond to look at a five year history of revenues and growth in the town as a way of starting our research process for this year. She was also interested in looking at ratios and percentages spent by other towns as a way to understand how Ashby is setting financial priorities.

New Finance Officials Forum Report Ms. Roberts attended on June 2 this annual daylong workshop presented by the Department of Local Services especially for new finance officials in cities and towns. She reported on the workshop, saying the meeting had been incredibly helpful, with detailed explanations of Proposition 2 1/2, setting of tax rates, reserve funds policies, and the overall working of town governments. She promised to present more information from the conference throughout the year and expressed interest in taking advantage of the many resources offered by DLS to cities and towns, particularly the databank and consulting services. She has agreed to research what services might be most useful to Ashby. Other Business Mr. Morey said he was going into police negotiations the next day and wanted confirmation that the FinCom had agreed to offer a 9% raise to police (not retroactive) this year, followed by 5% in each of the next two years. All present agreed this was their recollection of earlier discussions.

July 12, BOS meeting. Ms. Vogt is on the agenda for that meeting and hoped other members will attend as well, to present her ideas for reorganization, and to get a sense of direction BOS would like to take this year in the financial process.

Next FinCom meeting: set for June 29, to be a working session looking at the year’s calendar, dividing up research responsibilities, and preparing presentation to BOS on July 12.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Roberts, Clerk