Thursday, September 4, 2008

Live reporting - process discussion

Doug Hardesty, Steve Whalen, Rebecca Cameron, Deb Bartlett, Jim Roche, Gwynne Wilschek, Shannon Zollo (late)

Not Present:
Matt Kelly, Roberta Trahan

Adjunct members present:
Jeff Nutting, Wayne Ogden

Discussion on charter for group.

Discussion on the minutes for meetings of June 11, July 10, August 7.
Motion made an approved by unanimous vote to accept minutes.

Discussion on how to gather information on the budget
Jeff is meeting with the Town department head next week to finalize their planning contribution to the discussion. They are developing a model with historical numbers and forecasts based upon known items and capital requirements.

Jim suggested 2 departments per meeting and 1 for the school department

starting with the current budget with additional color explanation with some outlook
A modest increase for me maybe different than someone else would be looking at

The school department took the hit this year that no other Town departments did.

Jeff: need to look at staff assumptions, wage assumptions, student population, High School renovate or replacement, energy assumptions... these type of items need to be looked at

Everyone tends to forget that the schools lost 20 plus positions and the override passed.

The library had a budget several years ago of 900,000. This year they are at 700,000.

Wayne: can provide the information according to the questionnaire Jeff sent to the department heads. I would refer to get a little more guidance to bring the appropriate info to the table.

Steve: I can appreciate that your situation is different and maybe you do need a little more guidance.

Jeff: you need at least a baseline for last year and this year, then the committee can build upon that the assumptions and models to determine what it would look like.

Rebecca: Within 2 1/2, there is very little room.

Jeff: if you stay within the 2 1/2, we need to keep it simple and outline what it would take to stay within.

Rebecca: people don't understand what the details are.

Steve: how do we bridge the gap to get a good discussion when you bring the numbers to the table

Deb: I don't want anyone to bring forth a budget number that would further degrade the level of town services.

Doug: we don't have to make the decision, we need to outline the range of options upon which someone can make a decision

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