Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Live reporting: FY 2021 Budget Update

B. FY21 Budget Update

The town can not afford to fund the level of service requested 
review the details in the doc linked to above
it includes a schedule for Finance Committee budget hearings
School Committee budget hearings are provided as well

approx $500K over last year allocation
additional funding from a dedicated revenue source (municipal agreement on cannabis)

this is the start of the budget process

Kelly - Budget Subcommittee met this evening
no fluff in this, to be truthful
we came last year knowing we were going to be short
Police, Fire re-did contracts and came up with a plan
need School Committee to do something similar

~$71M for Schools, ~$51M for all other town services in total budget
recording of meeting to be available via Franklin Matters

Mercer - comments on past experience in SchComm to get what they can advocate for. As Council, they need to be fiduciary responsible to the town
salary and benefits are 85% of the school budget

Michael Doherty, Bridle Path
I agree with Kelly that there is no fluff in the budget
the memo is illuminating
you must be masocists
you have sued Bellingham, that money is gone
the town has been aggressive in doing more with less
we are going to solve it tonight
if filling the existing gap with existing funding, God willing
it is not just what we might not have, we have lost programs
my three children all benefited from programs that don't exist today
you are not alone, we are all in this together
make the case for us, and we will raise the revenues we need
we are here to help you, when the case is made, you will find support if you ask

Donna Grady, union leader
people move here for the schools
we are at a point where lack of funding will change things
we can't keep good people
hourly employees need second or third jobs to make ends meet
many of these folks are your friends and neighbors
why not ask the community to consider paying a living wage?
if we do not pull together, we will not be known for what we did
the children are the future, aren't they worth the money

Anne Bergen, Peters Lane, Chair of School Committee
not the oldest person
funding for schools, not just for schools, we have to come together
what is the vision for what we should be
we need to address the scurge of mental illness
how can we keep our schools competitive
we need to retain good people of all services within Franklin
we have to fund the gaps
informing the public with one voice of the needs
Portrait of a Graduate developed, what resources do we need to support that vision
to suggest that the schools have plenty of money
Franklin last on list of surrounding communities that spend less per pupil
we need to conversations to create vision, we can't wait any longer

Susan Dewsnap, Garden St, Fiance Committee for 8 years
spent a lot of time on budget
very compitent admin
we need some metrics and history for going forward
what is the history of Chapter 70 funding
how have we been getting through with the Stabilization accounts
let's look at the last 10 years, look at the health expense
call volume history
OPEB and pension history, district retirement history

Jones -reiterate a point in the memo
one of the largest audiences we have had in years
not the dates and inject yourself in the process, it is early in the process
it is a fluid process, no alarm needed at this time
4-8 weeks to spend working on finalizing numbers, coordinating with the State info

Dellorco - kudos to the teachers, we have to stay together, divided we will fall

3 minute recess

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