Minutes of the Finance Committee
August 24, 2000
In attendance: members Leclerc, Nash, Raymond, Roberts, Vogt.
Chair Vogt called meeting to order 6:45 pm.
Acceptance of Minutes July 13-August 21
Ms. Roberts apologized for having left minutes at home and said she would get copies to members before the next meeting.
Reserve Fund Transfer
Members unanimously approved a transfer of $228.00 from the Reserve Fund to pay for additional, unforeseen repairs to the Town Clock. This is the first fund transfer of FY2001.
Members unanimously approved a plan to move regular meetings to Monday nights at 6:45, every other week, beginning September 11. Ms. Vogt will make public postings of a full schedule of meetings through October/November.
A quorum being present, motion was made, seconded, and carried unanimously to
Monthly Department Head Meeting
Ms. Vogt reported she attended the Aug 23 meeting of department heads where the main topic of business was resolving communication problems between Conservation Commission, Tax Collector, and Building Inspector. The former two heads wanted to make sure new permits (from any department) were not granted to anyone who owes outstanding taxes or fines.
Discussion was held about best possible way to meet with Department Heads before budget season begins. It was decided we could perhaps get FinCom onto Department Head Meeting agenda and ask all to come to hear our plans for budget season.
Feedback from Selectmen Presentation
Ms. Vogt reported that BOS had been impressed by the August 23 presentation by FinCom and were 100% behind FinCom recommendations. BOS immediately approved sending a request to DLS for a Financial Management Review and let FinCom know they were particularly interested in researching bonding for Ashby. They had suggested we might be able to piggyback our bond onto something else, such as school district, or historical district, in order to make up for our lower rating.
We have agreed to return on Sept 6 to hear concerns or questions from them. For the BOS meeting on Sept 6, members agreed to the following work:
1. Ms. Raymond will have real data for the revenues and expenses
2. Ms. Roberts will pull together comparisons and history on stabilization in a visual format
3. Mr. Leclerc and Mr. Nash will try to pursue further research on bonding
Department Head Guests
Ms. Vogt announced that Harald Scheid, assessor, would be attending next meeting to talk about future growth and how the tax rate is set, and any other issues FinCom wishes to discuss. Ms. Vogt requested that members e-mail her with any questions they can think of and she will be in contact with him to prepare for meeting.
Members were given a copy of the Town Audit along with the Management Letter prepared by the auditors, flagging areas of concern discovered during the audit. Discussion centered on helping town find ways to improve these departments. It was hoped the DLS review would also point to some solutions. The tax collector has no ready access to information on back taxes which all members recognized was a hindrance and hoped the department was looking at ways to get the software updated, information posted, whatever it takes.
FinCom appears at BOS meeting on Sept 6, at 7:15 pm.
Next FinCom meeting, Monday, Sept 11, at 6:45 pm.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.