The Joint Budget Subcommittee met for almost 2 hours on Wednesday and has the task now of resolving the $5.7M deficit between projected revenues and projected expenses for the FY 2024 budget.
The recognition of the issue and some of the school budget cost drivers was where most of the time was spent. The next steps and strategy to resolve the deficit were not mentioned.
Chair Mercer urged all present for this and future discussions to refrain from talking about 'sides'. We are one Franklin, we are all in this together. We can talk about the 'town part' or the 'school part' but it is our budget and needs to be worked collaboratively.
Councilor Frongillo did reference his rationale for increasing density with smart growth as one way to increase revenue without further burdening the expenses. The 'standard' option mentioned was reducing expenses (meaning reducing services) and since 70% of the budget is people would mean reductions somewhere. There was also mention of 'finding other sources of revenue.'
For those listening who have been through this before, there is no 'other source' of revenue to resolve such a deficit. There can be increases within the existing revenue streams and the key question is whether anyone is ready to have that discussion.
There was no 'next meeting' mentioned during the session to develop the strategy that is need for the Town to have a sustainable budget.
Town Administrator Jamie Hellen highlights the expected revenue and expense items and summarizes them in the budget narrative. The budget narrative can be found here -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2023/03/fy-2024-budget-narrative-for-discussion.html
The full agenda document and supporting docs can be found here -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2023/03/joint-budget-subcommittee-meeting.html
Video link -> https://www.youtube.com/live/5RqRcDQCNuI?feature=share
My notes captured via Twitter are combined in one PDF ->
The audio and my full recap will be ready in a couple of days.
|Joint Budget Subcommittee hears the Town is faced with resolving a $5.7M budget deficit (video)|