Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Live reporting - Town Council - FY 2011 Budget Hearing

Present: Kelly, Jones, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, McGann, Powderly, Zollo
Absent: Vallee

Jeff Nutting, Jim Dacey, Susan Gagner

Part one of two part budget hearing, Wednesday and Thursday
Thanks to Susan and Jim for their work on preparation, the FINCOM also reviewed this, thanks to them for their help

Revenue side
The budget starts in the Fall and as we go through the year
We are always looking ahead to see what we are facing.
As bad as this is, we will be wishing next year that this year is back.
We are already thinking about that.

Revenue up a couple million, allowed to increase up to 2.5 percent - $1.8 million
Interest income, excise taxes, state aid loss again this year (lost in excess of $3 M in last three years)

May have to ask for the Council to change the budget procedurally in July
We are using the House budget, the Senate budget is different
We won't know exactly until the State makes their decision final.

We did take advantage of the meals tax, we have $300,000 from that which helps this year

We will start a $1.2 Million in the hole next year due to one time stimulus funds this year not available next year.

Expense side
All budgets reflect a deferment of the wages from last year's budget
They are in effect this year

The health care changes the employees agreed to and that has saved jobs

Overall the budgets are supressed
The Town loses nine positions, the Schools lose 15 and other changes that they'll will elaborate on as this goes
The DPW loses three people, there will be delays in lawn cutting, etc.
The Police are losing three dispatchers so that will delay some calls, hopefully not 911 calls

Q - Pfeffer
What are the increases reflected in this budget?
A - Nutting
There is no fiscal 2011 increase in this budget
Most of the contracts remain to be negotiated

Q - Pfeffer
I just hope whoever is going into negotiation knows that there is 0%
A - Nutting

Hold on Police Salaries - Whalen
Hold on unemployment compensation - Nutting
Hold on OPEB - Nutting

1 - Hold on Police Salaries - Whalen
The vast majority is the three dispatchers

2 - Hold on unemployment compensation - Nutting
Putting the Council on notice to add money to this account, with more layoffs coming, we will need more in this account, add $100,000 from free cash

3 - Hold on OPEB - Nutting
If money is put into this account, we can invest it more aggressively 
We need to look at this to meet our unfunded liability

Motion to close hearing, approved 8-0

Council comments
Powderly - thanks for all the activities, those who voted and those who did not vote also counted
The issues are not going to change next year

Zollo - thanks for all the effort
we will respect the will of the voters
As the overrides continue to come, as they will, I hope the increase

the Fire station, needs to be taken care of, why can't the fireman take care of it
The trees need to be taken care of, they are living trees

Thanks to all of those who came out to vote
We are going to make some cuts that will hurt

Overrides tend to bring out the worst in people
I wrote a letter that is posted on Franklin Matters, I am a better writer than speaker, so I urge you to go read the letter

Motion to adjourn, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

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