Finance Committee Meeting
Minutes – December 17, 2007
Town Hall, Lower Level Hearing Room – 7:30 P.M.
Members Present: Joel Alpert, Maria Anderson, Gordon Gladstone, Charles Goodman
(late), Josh Kiernan, Joel Lessard, Ira Miller, Laura Nelson, Edward
Absent: Brian Fitzgerald, Jonathan Hitter, Gregory Sydney
1. The first item on the agenda was the Conservation Commission budget review with Peg Arguimbau and Greg Meister.
2. Peg Arguimbau reported on what has been happening regarding land acquisition and water quality protection.
3. Greg Meister reported on the Cedar Swamp project. He stated that the ability of this wetland to protect our water has been compromised and they are trying to re-hydrate this swamp.
4. Peg Arguimbau stated that if all indications of the report are positive, we will put together another scope of work. This is a resource that has been undervalued.
5. There was much discussion held regarding the Conservation Commission and their budget.
6. The next item on the agenda was the Lake Management budget review.
7. Cliff Towner reported on the history of the weed, fanwort, and its prior treatment. Fanwort has reappeared at South Cove and an early treatment, to be started by the end of May and into June and July, needs to be done at a cost of $32,360.
8. There was considerable discussion about this treatment and the need for a Reserve Fund Transfer.
9. A MOTION was made by Joel Alpert and SECONDED by Josh Kiernan to set aside a total of $32,360.00 from the Reserve Fund to the Lake Management Committee for the purpose of paying Lycott, Inc. for the purpose of removing fanwort from South Cove of Lake Massapoag.
10. VOTED: 9-0-0.
11. There was some discussion regarding the loss of wetlands and drinking water.
12. The next item on the agenda was the Board of Assessors budget review with Bill Fowler, Finance Director, and Ben Puritz, Town Administrator.
13. Ben Puritz stated that, with the establishment of the Finance Department, there was to be a consolidated department of municipal finance. For budget representation, the Assessors would be in the purview of the Department of Finance which includes the Town Accountant, Town Treasurer, Technology, and Administrative Assessor and not in the Finance Committee sector.
14. There was considerable discussion on this consolidated department.
15. There was some discussion regarding the allocation of the sectors at the Priorities Committee in terms of financial impact to the Finance Committee sector and the question of the remaining departments and whether they would be under the Finance Director, the Selectmen, or stay under the Finance Committee.
16. Ben Puritz stated there was going to be a Charter Commission in the May election. Some of these issues would fall into that entity in eighteen months or two years.
17. There was discussion regarding standardized criteria for all budgets.
18. OTHER BUSINESS
19. Joel Alpert reported from Priorities of an increase of 7% on health insurance, approximately $488,000, and the Norfolk County Retirement Fund will go up significantly, about $700,000.
20. Ira Miller reported that the Lexus estimate new growth in FY’08, $350,000. Next year, FY’09, $358,000. Brickstone, $600,000 is two payments of $300,000 each as part of the agreement. Sharon Commons, $250,000 for FY’09. Wilber $110,000 for FY’09. FY’08 new growth, $250,000. Estimate same as next year.
21. A MOTION was made by Joel Alpert and SECONDED by Joel Lessard to approve the minutes of November 26, 2007.
22. VOTED: 5-0-4. For: Alpert, Gladstone, Goodman, Lessard, Miller. Abstain: Anderson, Kiernan, Nelson, Philips.
23. Ira Miller stated that the Finance Committee will relinquish its January 7 meeting night to the Priorities Committee. The Finance Committee’s next meeting will be January 14, 2008.
24. Laura Nelson left the meeting before the 2005 minutes were presented.
25. Some minutes from 2005 had not been approved prior to this meeting. Ira Miller and Chuck Goodman were the only members here tonight from these meetings.
26. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of February 7, 2005.
27. VOTED: 2-0-6. For: Goodman, Miller. Abstain: Alpert, Anderson, Gladstone, Kiernan, Lessard, Philips.
28. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of January 31, 2005.
29. VOTED: 2-0-6.
30. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of February 14, 2005.
31. VOTED: 2-0-6.
32. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of February 28, 2005.
33. VOTED: 1-0-7. For: Miller. Abstain: Alpert, Anderson, Gladstone, Goodman, Kiernan, Lessard, Philips.
34. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of April 21, 2005.
35. VOTED: 2-0-6.
36. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of April 25, 2005.
37. VOTED: 2-0-6.
38. A MOTION was made by Chuck Goodman and SECONDED by Ira Miller to approve the minutes of March 7, 2005.
39. VOTED: 2-0-6.
40. The next meeting will be January 14, 2008.
41. It was MOVED and SECONDED to adjourn.
42. VOTED: 8-0-0.
43. The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.