Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Live reporting - Fin'l Plng Comm - cont'd

Page 7

Peer comparison - towns listed in appendix
spent time validating the peer group, we feel as a group it is a very good peer comparison

Avg peer town - 18% State aid vs Franklin 31%
taxes 58% town contribution vs 45% in Franklin

We are #1 in receiving State Aid, we are #29 in percent of our taxes paying for what we need

6.2% of the household in the peer towns from tax support
5.3% for Franklin

We rank 27 out of 31 towns in term of per capita municipal spending

Franklin spends 22% less than the State Avg

Looking at the efficiency at the top down side, when we rank near the bottom on almost every category, we have to be. While other towns are reacting to the crisis by cutting fat, we are close to cutting to the bone.

Page 10 in the Executive Summary, key slide on school spending and state minimum

Red line - warning line, once below you could be in trouble

Once we hit the minimum, the town will bear the burden of the deficits

Capital budget addressed on Page 11
The debt service is low, Franklin amongst the 31 towns ranks 22
We are not taking on a lot of debt even in the perception of "lots of capital" spending

Forecasted Deficit in 2014 could be 7.7 M or 11.3 M depending upon the assumptions used

The numbers don't include the high school renovation. There is a placeholder for its inclusion and it will need to be once the numbers become more real.

Inflation currently at an avg of 3.3% is different from getting to a 7-8 percent rate of inflation. The deficits would grow dramatically

Recommendations are in full report, page 21

issues can be polarizing, we want to agree on the problem
solutions can be discussed

need to develop a comprehensive multi-year plan

regionalization may be a huge opportunity but in the Northeast it has not currently been successful

Influence the legislative process, whether prop 2.5, pension reform, etc. there are legal barriers to obtaining a solution

Services are people driven, the people account for 70-75 percent of the budget
they need to be paid at a market competitive rate and yet at a sustainable rate

increase tax revenue - it would be nice to find non-Franklin sources
recreation, schools offering courses over the internet
carefully and thoroughly consider property tax overrides

override is inevitable, it will have to happen
the amount and when remains to be determined
what would be the proper timing
complex issue but it needs to be considered

there can be a credibility gap, residents can make decisions upon impressions and not upon fact
can make decisions that perhaps they wouldn't have made if they were better informed

Ownership for improving the flow of information
make it more user friendly and accessible
community forum at Horace Mann
When we can just sit down and talk with folks, now that I have talked it through, I have a better understanding and trust

tried to just present the facts
deficits will continue, there is no flexibility to deal with them as we have before
we have additional risks, i.e with the level of state aid

let's focus on agreeing on the problem

we would like the Town Council to publicly endorse the report.
we would like to see a unanimous endorsement

Doak - thanks, this has been a great deal of work
It helps us get closer to addressing the problem
our reliance on State funding, is there anything that we can do?

the forumla is calculable but the discretionary part is hard to calculate

Ramsey Curdy - part of the focus group, reviewed and commented on the Executive Summary
formed an accurate picture of the issues, the document must be quickly and effectively distributed to the town residents, discussion with those who may have a different view
this is not an abstract comment, this is about where we live

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