This session shares the Town of Franklin (MA) Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting held on Wednesday, Mar 8, 2023. The meeting was conducted in the Council Chambers. Remote participation was enabled for the public for this session.
The Joint Budget Subcommittee is composed of the budget subcommittee of the Town Council, the Finance Committee and the School Committee.
- Chair - Tom Mercer, Brian Chandler, Cobi Frongillo and Melanie Hamblen of the Town Council
- George Conley, John Grace, Michael Hamilton, and Natalie Riley of the Finance Committee
- David McNeill, David Callaghan and Meghan Whitmore (absent) of the School Committee
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 needed for the Town to have a sustainable budget.
The show notes contain a link to the agenda and to my notes.
The recording runs about 2 hours, so let’s listen to the Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting of Mar 8, 2023.
Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-956-tof-joint-budget-subcmte-mtg-03-08-23
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
Franklin TV/YouTube Video link -> https://www.youtube.com/live/5RqRcDQCNuI?feature=share
My notes captured via Twitter are combined in one PDF ->
Joint Budget Subcommittee page -> https://www.franklinma.gov/joint-budget-subcommittee
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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.
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