Thursday, October 16, 2008

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee 10/16/08

Attending: Jim Roche, Roberta Trahan, Doug Hardesty, Jeff Nutting, Wayne Ogden, Miriam Goodman, Matt Kelly, Tina Powderly, Gwynne Wilschek, Deb Bartlett

Not Attending: Shannon Zollo, Steve Whalen,

Roche - What do you think of the announcement yesterday?

Nutting - I think we dodge a bullet with the Governor's moves yesterday. If they need to go deeper, I am not sure how we are going to avoid it. In comparison, health insurance was a non-issue years ago. It is not a rosy picture. Not new news but that's what it is.

Roche - we won't know revenue numbers for some time, but we will need to work up the expense side.

School Budget will be presented at the second meeting in November (11/20/08)

Roche - start with Jeff's model and tweak it with what we have heard?

Nutting - won't know what our debt will be until later as it is based upon 5% but if that changes, there'll be some adjustments. Some time late in March we go for the bonds to wrap up the Senior Center, Fire Station, etc. Approx. 18 million.

Roche - looking at the model where do we need to go?

Nutting - in FY 2010, the salary is in at 4% and that can come down. There will be pressure on the School Committee as they have been falling behind.

In 2002, the health insurance went into the School Budget moved from the Town budget.

Hardesty - take the assumptions that we have been hearing, explain with notations, low end, high end. Here is the diligence that we did around it. Some assumptions won't make a material difference, others will. To simplify, we can separate those out for the presentation. A hugh portion of the budget is salary, benefits, the people portion. From the Fire/Police we have some operational numbers, how many cars, vehicles you have help to determine how many people you need.

Nutting - Fixed costs increase, you heard Brutus and Mike. We'll need to explain where those are and why.

Bartlett - In the end, are we going to come with what the Town desires? and in that, what is it that the Town will bear?

Hardesty - We need to come up with the three options, say. Level service, high end and cutting. The numbers need to be factual with integrity.

Trahan - I am concerned that we may be coming up with numbers that may not be doing as much as we thought it would due to circumstances that have changed.

Nuting - how far back do we go? If we pick for example, FY 05 we know what salt was, we know what fuel was, so it can be simply explained. Everybody should be able to recognize those and see what the increases are.

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