Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee

Present: Hardesty, Mason, Bartlett, Rohrbach, Roche, Nutting, Sabolinski, Trahan (late)
Absent: Zollo, Whalen, Cameron, (Morrison)

Agenda document and draft list of "things to do"

FPC Agenda Priority 2010-08-11

Town budget status:
Nutting - negotiating the contract with the architect on the high school, still targeting next Nov (Nov 2011) for a debt exclusion question to pay for the renovation

Lost almost $3.2 million in state aid the last couple of years; this was offset by 522,000 in school aid (which still has not been received).

Approx Jun/Jul 2011 should have a proposal for the MSBA to approve by the middle of July so that Franklin could schedule the vote for the regular Nov 2011 scheduled election. Otherwise, a special date would need to be set.

Brendan Morrison has left the committee, should there be a replacement? or stay with nine.

Make offer to consider adding any interested, Jeff will post to the Town website. Scott will announce at the Council meeting.

Web site:
Who can take on the task of checking on the posting of the committee documents to the website? Jim Roche will. Jeff will let Diane know that Jim may call regarding the committee documents.

Bargaining Confidentiality background:
No party discusses the status of what is going on until there is an agreement on both sides.
Broad parameters are set during an executive session prior to negotiation commencement.

Committee priorities:
(see listing - to be attached later)

Discussion to clarify what's on the listing and if there needs to be additional items.
Should the committee be "Just the fact's Mame" or should it be an advocacy group?
Creating a generally accessible document is one thing, advocating for the details, explaining the ins and outs is not the same thing as advocating for or against an override.

Need to understand cost control to reference readily
1 - What is under Franklin's control, what is out of our hands and in the hands of either the State (Beacon Hill) or Congress (Washington)

2 - There are two things to show: (1) the number of employees (i.e. Fire, Police, etc.) comparable to a similar sized community and (2) how their salary compares to other similar communities. These are available and updated regularly.

There seems to be a recurring theme around a lack of trust and creditability.

Ongoing item of differentiating the capital budget and the operating budget. How well do we explain the use of free cash and the capital budget?

Anything to add to the listing?

  • Clarification on the charter of the committee, at least to review and re-evaluate the current charter
  • If the Administration is already producing a three year outlook beyond the operating budget, why are we producing a report? Should we focus on validating and questioning the current process documents? 

For next time: committee to pick three things to do brilliantly well, what would be the most worthy of our time? Also choose two or three things that should come off the listing.

Exceptions: updating the five year plan remains on the listing and does not need to be amongst the three. Monitoring the web site hits is one that can come off the listing. It is necessary but not something that needs to be done everyday.

Next meeting Sep 8th, 7:00 PM

Note email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the documents

Franklin, MA

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