Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Budget Subcommittee Notes - May 4, 2020

My notes taken with Twitter for the Budget Subcommittee meeting on Monday, May 4. In addition to that shared below, FY 2021 is going to be a tough budget. It was going to be even before the pandemic. Post pandemic, with revenues forecast to drop by about $3M, just from the March 4 expectation, the revenues will pose some tough questions for how we will choose to operate.

The School Committee for example, has approved a budget $3.5M more than they got for the FY 2020 budget. They did so knowing they were not going to get it all, it at least was a priority listing for themselves to work through. When the schools do re-open, what will their process look like? 

How will they maintain social distancing (assuming it is still required, and per current info, it is likely to be the 'new normal'). What will social distancing do to bus routes, to class sizes? To the budget? I don’t want to speculate, there are too many unknowns.

The only thing that is certain, is that, if ever, there was a time to be informed about the budget and town operations, that time is NOW.

Committee members present: 
Matt Kelly (Chair), Melanie Hamblen, Tom Mercer, Debbie Pellegri

Other participants:
Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Finance Director Chris Sandini, Treasurer Kerri Bertone, Asst TA Chrissy Whelton, Admin Asst Alecia Alleyne, Brian Chandler, Denise Spencer, George Conley, Sussan Deswnap, Roberta Trahan, (unidentified phone#) (I had 2 connections, one for me to take notes, one for the audio recording)
  • Real-time reporting underway for Budget Subcommittee meeting #bsc0504
  • Town administrator Jamie Hellen provides overview re: memos released before meeting
  • Budget will be really tight, the draft as issued is what it is, revenue is not likely to go higher, quite possibly could go lower
  • Likely a Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting to be scheduled for next week to enable an update and turn around in time for FinCom budget hearings during the Memorial Day week
  • Joint meeting targeted for May 11 at 4:30 PM, meeting ends today after 30+ mins.

The meeting agenda and associated documents released for the meeting can be found

My tweets can be found with this search result (#bsc0504)

Meeting audio file =

screen grab of Budget Subcommittee meeting May 4, 2020

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