Monday, May 11, 2020

Real-time Reporting: Joint Budget Subcommittee - May 11, 2020

I took my notes via Twitter for this meeting. See bold items at end of Twitter stream for my summary (if BOLD not visible - last three tweets)

  • Real-time reporting underway for Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting #jbsc0511
  • Multiple Town Councilors attending but the restriction for only Subcommittee members to speak remains in place, the others can observe/listen but can not speak #jbsc0511
  • Pellegri missing meeting due to health (recovering from surgery and doing well). #jbsc0511
  • No stabilization funding left, balance was used for the FY2020 budget, no help there. Big factor is what State aid will be, used Gov Baker's as the starting point #jbsc0511
  • Q on how the $118m came to be, what drove the split by department? On municipal side, could talk to more details, some things were already in play, no magical %. BoH has a minor increase but under the circumstances, they are being asked for more #jbsc0511
  • Metrics looked for to help judge the numbers, actually only an increase of $1M over last year. Call data for police/fire available, likely to put an appendix, much has been published before but not likely all in 1 place #jbsc0511
  • Phased approach, rocky road to the FY2021 budget, we'll look at again in 6 months or when things change, #jbsc0511 the structural budget issue is/was here, schools were looking for $3.9m over FY2020, when the town as a whole only gets $3m. And then the pandemic came!
  • Superintendent providing overview on schools side, budget put together from level service, then layered with critical needs; some of them added, some not. This is what the SchComm recently approved #jbsc0511
  • Updates to budget coming to SchComm Tuesday, revision coming, still being talked of, Sue happy to have sidebar on metrics being looked for. #jbsc0511 we need to tell the story, conversations were happening before pandemic
  • FHS accreditation report had many pluses and raised some key issues; i.e. around providing support for new careers available, need to address gap and show progress; private school issue of taking cream of the crop, while Spec Ed falls on town #jbsc0511
  • Bullying, vaping, mental health, behavioral challenges all of these are not just school problems, they are Community and society issues, they existed before the pandemic, look at a community when the schools go down #jbsc0511
  • Schools have similar background on numbers showing history, Jamie will try to address these in the summary but the doc may not come out less than 100 pages, effectively a question of what value add is it? #jbsc0511
  • The conversation needs to get to the community, there is only so much we (on the Town or Schools) can make adjustments to make a difference. The dynamics are not new #jbsc0511 there is something not right, the dog can't chase it's tail forever
  • #jbsc0511 did not close out promptly at 6:30 Eastern that the meeting ended (1 hour duration) and mostly a waste of time. Metrics request mentioned last week; SchComm to see some revisions to their budget at meeting Tuesday, otherwise, nothing new
  • Big Q remains: if cuts are coming, Where? What depts, Town or Schools? and given timeline of FinCom meetings 5/27-28, 6/2 - 6/4 and Town Council 6/17-18; what personnel (if any) need to be notified and what contractual requirements are there for such notifications? #jbsc0511
  • #jbsc0511 if as mentioned, you either cut or add funding, cuts are seemingly inevitable; timeline as I recall is passed for possible override discussion/vote. so we'll suck it up and then look back in year (per Chair) and "say we did a good job"

The thread on Twitter can be found here (search for the tag #jbsc0511)

Real-time Reporting: Joint Budget Subcommittee - May 11, 2020
Real-time Reporting: Joint Budget Subcommittee - May 11, 2020

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