Minutes of the Finance Committee, July 13, 2000

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

Chair Vogt called meeting to order 7:08 pm.

Acceptance of Minutes

The minutes of June 29, 2000 were accepted as written, by majority vote. Discussion of FinCom Reorganization Plan and Presentation Ms. Vogt presented the agenda and said the purpose of this meeting was to go over the reorganization plan in preparation for presentation to Board of Selectmen on July 26. Members responded to the plan with discussion including the following suggestions and concerns:

Ms. Roberts suggested consolidating the "internal focus" bullets which all related to FinCom taking an objective, financial view of issues rather than personal or political views.

Mr. Nash suggested using the idea of streamlining the budget process as the foremost goal of the committee.

Mr. Morey was concerned that through this process the FinCom would be seen as "married" to the BOS, and he wanted members to stay mindful of what he sees as FinComís responsibility to be a watchdog for the townspeople throughout the process. He warned that these ideas would be up against a "taste of reality" when special interest groups or BOS with their own agenda would jam FinCom meetings with their own priorities.

Ms. Roberts responded to Mr. Morey that she felt, in light of her conversations with others at the New Financial Officers Forum sponsored by DLS, that FinCom should work to avoid antagonistic dealings with other departments or committees. She supported the idea of team model, with FinCom working with all departments and committees to promote sound fiscal management of the town.

Ms. Raymond said that as a new member she was working on the understanding that we had a responsibility to make things better. She was concerned, from what Mr. Morey said, that this might not be possible. She reiterated her ideas that the committee develop lists of concerns and questions so that we are prepared for whatever requests are put before us during the budget process.

Ms. Vogt wanted to know whether FinCom would support this reorganization plan so that she and Ms. Raymond could formulate it as a presentation. She was hoping to put it forward with approval from the entire committee. It was agreed that a vote was not required but a majority of those in attendance voiced support for going forward with the plan and the presentation to BOS. Mr. Nash expressed concern that this was an ambitious reorganization and all agreed we could start, knowing we can only make a few strides this year?but at least it would be a start.

Other business Auditor Report

Ms. Vogt reported that the auditor would not be able to meet directly with FinCom to discuss his findings, but that FinCom would receive 6 copies of his final report.

Fundraising

She also reported that her research on internal departmental fundraising, as in the Fire Departmentís campaign to raise money for the thermal camera. Any department can mount a fundraising campaign, creating their own, independent bank account for such moneys. However, when they buy property, the property belongs to the town and the town is ultimately responsible for its maintenance.

Board of Selectmenís Meeting, July 12

Ms. Roberts reported on her attendance at the BOS meeting July 12, and brought copies of the e-mail she had sent to the committee. She had attended to get a feeling for the new committee and she said she thought it would be a good thing for members to attend fairly regularly, to get a sense of the issues facing BOS, department heads, and townspeople.

Trash Pickup

Following Ms. Robertsís mention of the close of the transfer station as gleaned from BOS meeting, Mr. Morey reported on his understanding of the issue as a member of the ad hoc committee formed to organize a new trash policy for the town. He said he felt the town would come to an understanding with Alan Murray for curbside pickup. He said there had been an agreement, but that a contract drafted by BOH had not been acceptable to Mr. Murray and that negotiations were continuing.
 
 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
 

Peggy Roberts, Clerk