Sunday, March 24, 2019

FM #160 - FinCom Budget Hearing #1 - FY 2020 a must listen for Franklin residents!

FM #160

This internet radio show or podcast is number 160 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording shares the Finance Committee Budget Hearing for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) held on Monday, March 18, 2019 in the Council Chambers.

Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen leads the presentation along with Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, Finance Director Christopher Sandini, and Treasurer Kerri Bertone. Each department head has an opportunity to add to the overview provided by Jamie as well as answer any questions from the Finance Committee.

My notes from the session can be found here

This is the first of two budget hearings by the Finance Committee. Yes, for those paying close attention, at the Town Council meeting there was an announcement for 4 sessions spread over two weeks.

Since that time, however, the number of sessions was reduced to two. This session covers ALL the municipal departments. The School Department will be scheduled for a later date (sometime in April) and after their presentation, the FinCom will vote on the recommendation to send to the Town Council.

The Town Council has two budget hearings scheduled; currently scheduled for May 22 and May 23. Given the experience from recent years, the Council sessions will NOT be as informative as the FinCom sessions.

The Council has shown their tendency for a reading of the budget voting document, line by line, and as each department is announced, a Councilor can place a ‘hold’ on the item which then when the reading is complete, that Councilor will have an opportunity to ask a question for that department or line item.

This may be an expedient manner of getting through the budget but from an awareness point of view does very little to share the insights on what drives each budget. These insights currently are only available from the FinCom meetings. Maybe there will be a change (I hope so) but the past several years has shown otherwise.

With that much as the background, the budget process is formally underway. I heartily encourage my fellow residents to spend a couple of hours listening to the FinCom budget hearing recording. You will get more info in this one session than you could get over several meetings. It should be time well spent. If you find otherwise, please let me know.

The total meeting recording runs just about 2 and one half hours. Yes, this is a long one. Settle in comfortably, have my Franklin Matters live reported notes handy, and have the budget doc handy.

Budget Doc

As the FinCom gets to each department/section the page numbers are announced so it should be easy to follow along.

And of course, if you have questions, feel free to ask me or any one of the FinCom members. And last but not least, let your Town Councilors know. They will go through this in May. What they will approve is how Franklin will operate beginning July 1, 2019.

Without further ado, here is the audio recording.


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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


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