Approved Minutes of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)
Town of Temple, NH
April 9, 2003
Members present Others present
(in alphabetical order) Ted Petro (select board)
Rae Barnhisel Sherry Fiske (select board)
Meeting called to order at 7:10 pm
Order of Business:
1. Minutes: March 26, 2003, minutes approved with amendments.
2. Identified needs: a) Access to Municipal building on meeting dates; b) Mailbox in meeting room.
3. New business:
a. Eddy provided each member with a copy of Greenfield’s 2002 to 2003 Detailed Budget that was printed in their town’s Annual Report.
b. A letter Mason Klinck sent to Alan Pickman was copied to the BAC and read by Quinn. A copy will be provided to members at the next meeting.
c. Kullgren moved to request that the town reimburse Steve Andersen for the costs that were incurred when the 2001-2003 BAC agreed to make the 2003 Detailed Budget available to taxpayers at the 2003 annual meeting. All members agreed. Barnhisel will obtain a receipt from Andersen and submit the request in writing. Quinn requested that a dollar amount be estimated of the cost of printing the detailed budget in the town’s 2004 Annual Report.
d. Kullgren moved to create a list of recommendations to be provided to the Select Board. T. Petro requested that a closing date be set so that the Select Board received the recommendations in a timely manner. Six recommendations were proposed (see Draft Recommendations attached).
e. Quinn moved to create a timeline in which dept. heads are scheduled to have their budgets ready for the BAC. It was agreed that both the BAC and the Select Board would meet with dept. heads simultaneously to discuss the proposed 2004 budget. T. Petro suggested Sept. 30, end of 3rd quarter, would be a reasonable time to request. Kullgren moved that Oct. 8 and Oct 22 be dates for these joint meetings. Eddy requested that dept. heads submit their proposed budget earlier than these dates to give both boards an opportunity to examine the budgets ahead of time.
f. Quinn offered to draft a BAC mission statement that other members could evaluate, vote upon, and then provide to dept. heads and Select Board.
g. The members agreed to strive for unanimous decisions when recommending specific appropriations in the 2004 budget.
4. Ongoing business:
a. T. Petro asked the BAC to articulate their objectives goals and say whether a reduction in expenses or a hold on spending was their purpose. Barnhisel suggested that prudent spending was a focus. Quinn suggested a minimalist approach in which basic operating expenses were known and any extra spending was justified. Kullgren called for “priority spending.” Fiske pointed out that all members were calling for spending that was justified. Barnhisel suggested that the BAC focus on the tax rate and how much a burden is manageable for the current population.
b. Eddy asked T. Petro to verify that quarterly reports of the detailed Budget would be provided to the BAC. T. Petro reiterated that 6 copies would be made by D. Harling each quarter. Barnhisel read the approved minutes that stated the agreement would include monthly non-detailed reports and provision of detail by Harling upon request. T. Petro agreed that the BAC would receive both.
c. Kullgren raised the issue of whether the BAC might assist in obtaining open competitive bids. Barnhisel read from the NH Municipal Association Handbook for Local Officials in which it stated that open competitive bids were required for contracts between the town and town officials that exceeded $200. She suggested that the BAC be involved in the process of bidding out and in overseeing the town’s Annual Report (typically contracted to Select Board member S. Fiske), to ensure that state budget requirements are met, copies of the detailed budget and any other pertinent financial information are included, and that the BAC’s report is not excluded.
d. Kullgren moved to disregard the suggestion that the BAC would go door to door and obtain signatures from taxpayers on how to proceed. All agreed.
e. There was discussion on workshops involving dept. heads and DRA (NH Dept. of Revenue Admin.). Quinn asked that Sandra Rourke, our auditor at DRA be ready to advise dept. heads to meet optimal as well as minimal budget requirements. Barnhisel loaned Quinn her file on DRA documents she had received to date.
5. Members’ Comments:
a. Kullgren brought the following items to the BAC’s attention: a new part time assistant has been added to the Police Dept. and $10,000 has been granted to the Police Dept. to purchase an ATV and snowmobile. Discussion followed on the nonappropriated expenses that might follow from such an acceptance.
b. Eddy raised the concern that details regarding part-time assistance in General Government (increased to work on Trust Funds) were not forthcoming by selectmen when they were discussed by the BAC at their first meeting. She requested that selectmen present at BAC meetings make a better effort at communicating pertinent details.
Meeting adjourned at 9:01 pm
April 23, 2003