Approved Minutes of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)
Temple Town Hall
October 22, 2003
Members present Others present
Steve Andersen (Chair) Ted Petro (Select Board)
Brian Kullgren (Vice-Chair) Sherry Fiske (Select Board)
Rae Barnhisel (Minute-Taker) Bruce Kantner (Select Board)
Paul Quinn Jim McTague (Police Chief)
Chris Nolte Wayne Edwards
Meeting called to order at 7:04 pm.
September 24, 2003 meeting minutes approved as amended.
B. Ongoing business
1. The BAC-SB draft Budget Timeline was revised (see attached) because DRA had just finished its 2004 Time Line.
2. Sherry Fiske presented her views of the BAC minutes and informed the members that she and B. Kantner had recently finished a selectmen’s course. She reported that 4 members consituted a quorum for a 6-member board.
She asked that the BAC review the Town Hall maintenance budget given that a private group had formed to address the Town Hall renovation. Barnhisel asked whether she felt comfortable that a private group was working on a public building. S. Fiske replied she did not. She told the BAC that the $5,000 appropriated last year to study the renovation issue had not been spent due to the other select board members wanting to wait to hear from the private group. Quinn asked whether not spending the money as planned was going against the wishes of the townspeople and whether the private group would present a report at the 2004 town meeting. Eddy, a member of the group, assured him that a report would be presented. B. Kantner informed the BAC that a building inspector had looked at the building, a questionnaire was being developed that would be administered door to door, and the BOS had not yet voted on the issue.
S. Fiske presented each member a copy of a report of an interview with Ashland Town Administrator Rose McNamara regarding her thefts from the Town of Ashland (copy attached to Library minutes). Both S. Fiske and B. Kantner told members the intent was not to make them paranoid, but rather see the importance of internal controls when an administrator has little oversight. (McNamara admitted to stealing millions of dollars over many years through forging and destroying documents and records). S. Fiske also alerted the BAC that the “No Child Left Behind” Act would have great impacts on the town’s budget if funded as currently required.
3. Police Chief Jim McTague presented the 2004 Police Dept. budget (interview approval awaiting input from J. McTague).
4. The Library and Tax Collector budget was scheduled for the next meeting Nov. 12. Barnhisel will inform the department heads of the plan and encourage them to attend. Discussion of government buildings would possibly occur.
5. W. Edwards commended the BAC on the job it was doing and said he approved of its process of meeting with department heads and examining the budget line by line. He informed the BAC to realistically anticipate the legal budget given that he had retained a lawyer and was considering whether to direct a lawsuit at the town. He had no estimate as yet. Kullgren pointed out that the legal expense line item could be adjusted up or down at town meeting.
6. Barnhisel asked that members present for the interview with Road Agent Tim Fiske the previous meeting (no quorum, only discussion without minutes) give a report for the current minutes. Andersen stated that Fiske would be at the next select board’s meeting on Oct. 28th to submit his finalized budget and that Andersen would be present. Barnhisel said that T. Fiske worked with members to set a baseline for what is needed to maintain the roads at their current level and agreed to ask for any further improvements be presented as warrant articles to be voted upon by the town. He agreed that a warrant article requesting a Capital Reserve Fund specific to highway equipment be created with him as agent would help address his concerns over equipment failure and seasonal uncertainties.
7. Barnhisel followed up with Quinn’s 9/24/03 request for master plan information regarding the change in Temple’s General Government Department and corresponding change in Temple’s population. She presented each member with copies of Table 1 of the Economic Environment chapter from Draft December 11, 2002 (information from town records) and Draft April 3, 2003 (information from state records). Also included was Table 1 of the Population and Housing chapter from Draft April 14, 2003. She will present a summary of the information at the next meeting.
8. Kullgren suggested the BAC generate another list of recommendations to the Select Board and all agreed. Barnhisel will add the following recommendations to a new list: a) highlight revenue sources and 2) separate out the fuel budget according to department.
9. The BAC agreed to meet with as many department heads as possible regardless of the size or nature of the department or the number of questions. Kullgren specifically requested that the BAC meet with Animal Control Officer Peter Clegg to discuss “on call time.”
Meeting adjourned at 9:50 pm.
Nov. 12, 2003