Thursday, May 16, 2013

Live reporting: Town Council - Budget hearing and vote

Present: Mercer, Dellorco, Kelly, Powderly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Roy (remote)
Absent:  none

A. ANNOUNCEMENTS – This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by Franklin Matters.

budget hearing
Deep in the numbers - Jeff Nutting, Jim Dacey and Franklin Town Council

B. HEARING - FY 2014 Budget Hearing – 2nd Reading
same process, reading line item budget and will acknowledge holds for further discussion

Holds on Treasurer/Collector and Town Clerk budgets had been held last night, were waived

Question on Facilities budget around a part-time person less than 20 hours, no benefits on the payroll through the construction period

Q - Are you undermanned?
Police Chief - yes, we are doing background on one individual now

Nutting - we have been up and down, we are hoping to get this one on by July after background checks pass etc.

Vallee - for a community our size, I don't feel we are well protected
Chief - we are fortunate with the people we have, maybe next year we could get
for the night shift, we have 3 with a sargent, with this one we can get back to 4 with a sargent

we do a forty percent replacement, if one goes out we don't replace them, if the second one goes out.

Nutting - if there is more people, the perception is that OT would go down, but it doesn't always work that way. From a crime stats, we were just named one of the safest communities.

The technology and the equipment make all those people more effective, even if it is not one time, it is not a sixty year cost. It would be nice to have more people in many places, if we have a deficit next year, what do we do?

Vallee - I am speaking for my constituents and I am not comfortable
Chief - if we want to do something, we should come up with a plan other than a time like this. You don't want to bring someone on when we may have to let them go a couple of years down the road.

Mercer - can you clarify? does this get to 44?
Chief - yes, we are at 43 and going to 44

Dellorco - What about the deputy chief?
Chief - we are working through that, this is a major decision. It is a minimal expense (i.e. increase) not an other body. We are talking with HR and should have something ready for the fall.

Nutting - we'd like to run the test for Franklin first and see what applicants we get.

Kelly - can we get a comparison report on who we stack with the other communities?
Nutting - we can do that

Kelly - I'm looking for stats that can be easily understood, how many people per square mile, etc.
Chief - we'd we right about 1.3 per thousand

Bissanti - i want to echo his sentiment, something happens during the night shift, what happens
Chief - if there are multiple accidents, Bellingham and Walpole will have a car there right away

Roy - from a public safety perspective, they do a great job, we were recognized as one of the safest communities in America. We are good shape, thanks for the good work by the Chief and dept

Jones - what would you say are the top three complaints the officers have
Chief - short on some shifts, not always sending people to training, lack of movement among the department

Powederly - I want to echo the great job that you and the Fire Dept does, across the board. I disagree with some of the comments about 'we have the money'. I think everyone would like to give staff back, we have lost 20% of our staff. you do a great job taking the pulse of the community and letting us know. I appreciate your efforts in trying to weigh those.

Vallee - Until we get back to 50, I will not be comfortable

continue the line item with the Fire Dept

Chief Gary McCarragher
optimal is 10 on shift and we are at 9
right around 400,000 for overtime

Nutting - the budget is under here because we don't have a collective bargaining agreement, we have one for every other union but not this one

Vallee - I am concerned that we are not providing 2 ambulances for our community
Chief - I share your concern, we are optimal with 5 people at each firehouse, we are one short and thereby it is a problem. We have the easy part of the budget problem, we can tell you what we need. You have to fill in the other details. We have a plan with the regional dispatch to allow us to re-position personnel to the line, we are competing for Federal dollars where Fall River is getting money over us where they are in danger of loosing 80 firefighters

Chief - 53% of the calls this year are the second call coming in when the department is already out on a call. We have call back so that helps immensely, those elements can become stressful. Fire rescue providers are the top stressful positions in America

Vallee - we are sitting with a stabilization fund and other money and I think we should do something

Pfeffer - we have nothing in this budget for the settlement?
Nutting - yes, we don't know when it will be could be the fall or next year, we don't know

Pfeffer - so it would come from free cash?
Nutting - likely, even if it is later this year, the Council still has to approve the deal when it is settled

Chief - removing the one person from the scene has a big impact

Powderly - I would like to respond to the comment of using the stabilization fund. We did use money from there in earlier years when it was significantly more. To dip into that now, relative to our budget, it is not good to use. The rating agencies look to that for our credit ratings. You can't keep dipping into that.

Vallee - my concern is not in saving money, it is in saving lives.

on the schools budget line

Jones - Norfolk Aggie, a decrease?
Yes, two less students, at 2,000/student

Cultural Council
Roy - can we use the $1,000 extra in the budget and move that to the Cultural Council? The Council does good work and it seems an easy way to help increase the community in this arena
seconded, voted via roll call 9-0

1. Resolution 13-37: Adoption of FY 2014 Budget

Motion to accept budget, approved via roll call,  9-0

Recycling stickers expire june 30th, can we post a notice to renew
Walk through for the new high school Jun 10th a building committee meeting at the high school 6:00 PM

motion to adjourn, passed via roll 8-1 (Roy humorously voted no)

No comments:

Post a Comment