Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Budget Committee Minutes 11-29-11

Town of Winchester, NH
Budget Committee Meeting

November 29, 2011

Members Present:  Jack Marsh, Hubie Crowell (Vice Chairman), Ted Ryll, Harvey Sieran, Brian Moser (Chairman), Rick Horton, Elisha Jackson, Bob Davis, Kevan Whippie (School Board Rep.), Ken Gardner (Selectmen Rep.), Kathy Hebert, Rikki Bolewski (Secretary)

Others Present:  Joan Morel
Discussion regarding the minutes from the November 22nd minutes.
·    Question regarding expending a zeroed out line items.  Local Government explained to Brian that zeroed out line items cannot be expended.  Ken states that the bottom line budget is considered to be the line item.  Still questions surrounding this subject, Brian will look into more to get a definition about what is considered a line item.
·    Bob questions the wording used regarding the discussion about the Land Use Assistant. Rikki agrees to change the wording to state that He initiated the discussion and it turned heated rather than he initiated a heated discussion – Bob agrees to that change.
- Jack makes a motion to approve the minutes with the change in wording, Hubie seconds
Motion carries 9-0 with 3 abstentions

- Joan goes over budget
- Discussion regarding proposed budget
- Brian makes a motion to approve $24,001, Harvey seconds
·    Brian proposes to reduce Selectmen line by $10,000 and Land Use line by $5,000
·    Brian explains that part of his decision making process has to do with the fact that the attorney never replied to a request that the Budget Committee asked him to send.
·    Continued discussion regarding budget and costs
·    Rick wants it known that he thinks it’s irresponsible to cut a budget because we feel that an individual isn’t doing their job
Motion carries 6-5

Personnel Administration:
- Rick makes a motion to approve $445,818, Kevan seconds
·    Discussion regarding retirement funds for State and Police Department employees – rate is set by the state.
Motion fails 5-6
- Bob makes a motion to approve $413,256, Brian seconds
·    Bob proposes reducing Health and Dental by 10% each
Elisha questions which budget they are working with, Bob has one dated 11/29/11 and Elisha has one dated 9/26/11.  There was a new budget that was dated 11/29/11, with the new health rate, which was put in Brian’s box today. Brian asks if the board wants to look at the new budget.  Rick wants it noted that he feels it is irresponsible that Brian didn’t give the new documents to the board members before discussing the budget.
·    Discussion about the budget
Motion carries 7-4

Financial Administration:
- Ken makes a motion to approve $118,564, Rick seconds
·    Elisha questions how often the town changes auditors – they don’t, they did in the past and it didn’t work; they have different actual auditors, but stay with the same company
·    Discussion regarding budget
·    Kevan makes a Friendly Amendment to reduce the motion to $118,064 – reducing bank fees by $500 – Ken and Rick accept
- Motion carries 9-1 with 1 abstention – Ted abstains, as he is the Assistant Treasurer

- There is a correction in the proposed budget – after the board approved it, there was notification from the local government center that these rates will not increase, so changing figure back to $60,998 – level funding from current year.
- Rick makes a motion to approve $60,998, Kevan seconds
- Motion carries 11-0

- Before budget discussion began, Gus Ruth asks that Bob recuse himself due to perceived bias towards himself as well as the Conservation Committee.  In support of this position, Gus cited a number of statements Bob had made in the past including that Bob had stated that Gus was a hypocrite. For each statement that Bob was alleged to have made Gus offered information to refute the statement. Brian allowed Bob the floor to respond advising that the decision to recuse himself was Bob's decision alone. Bob stated that Gus's examples were accurate and he would not recuse himself as he feels the statements are true. Bob reiterated his statement that Gus was a Hypocrite. Kevan wanted it noted for the record that he felt this was slander and not the opinion of the board and that he has demonstrated why he should recuse himself due to the fact that he cannot divorce himself, personally from his emotions and the matter before the board.  Bob reiterates that he will not recuse himself
- Bob makes a motion to approve $1,252, Brian seconds
·    Bob recommends zeroing out the Exotic Plants line, supplies to $1, Building Grounds and Maintenance to $1
·    Discussion regarding the budget
- Motion carries 6-4 with 1 abstention

- Jack makes a motion to discuss the Highway Block Grant, Harvey seconds
- Motion carries 9-0 with 2 abstentions
- Kevan makes a motion to approve $142,000, Kathy seconds
- Motion carries 9-0 with 2 abstentions

- Rick makes a motion that all budgets and information relating to budgets be distributed before the first motion is made and that no information be held from the board at the Chairman’s discression, Kevan seconds
- Motion carries 11-0

- Rick makes a motion that requires all e-mail communication that the Chairman does on behalf of the committee have all members cc’d and kept informed on all committee business and communication.  Kevan inquires whether doing this might be construed as a meeting that was not duly posted and getting into a gray area.  Brian states that he will bring in copies of any e-mail correspondence to the meetings in case anyone would like to see it.

-    Bob wants to make a point of order. He wants to read into the minutes a note that has been he heard that Gus Ruth passed out to the public regarding the Transfer Station Closing, which has Budget Committee names and numbers. He has received numerous threatening phone calls regarding it.  The note reads as follows:

The Winchester Budget Committee, meeting on November
10, voted to zero the pay line for the Winchester employee
  who holds the license to run the transfer station.  As a result,
   If the budget passes as presented by the budget
Committee. The transfer station will close on July 2012.
Members voting to zero the personal payroll for the transfer
   station were:

Bob Davis, ph# 239-7299
Hubert Crowell, ph# 239-6197
Ted Ryll, ph # 239-4745
Harvey Sieran, ph# 239-6240
Brian Moser, ph# 239-8952

- Gus states that he gave that note to one person at the transfer station, he didn’t stand down at the transfer station passing them out. He further states that if there’s something wrong with that note to tell him and he will apologize.

- Kevan makes a motion to adjourn, Harvey seconds
- Motion carries 11-0

- Meeting adjourns at 8:42pm



Quick meeting said...

School Board didn't show up tonight and the budget was reduced from $11 million to $8 million.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to give Gus a call and let him know how you feel about his scare tactics letter and his malicious release of Budget Committee members personal phone numbers.

In case you don't have it;


Anonymous said...

I'll bet Kevan Whippie was pulling his hair out; but wasn't he the one that said that if the state didn't come through with the money they promised, the board would cut their budget back? Adding almost $4/thousand to our tax base sure didn't feel like any cut Kevan and why didn't the board send a representative to the meeting or provide the requested information?
Guess our new school board administrators feel they don't have to comply, just one more reason why we should have stayed put and not let them bamboozle us into forming our own bloc. Kudos to the budget committee for doing what was right. Now they'll have to cut out the wasted dollars in their budget.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the school board should contact Teresa Sepe. She was on the board when they cut the budget in half. She can tell them where to cut. If they do it correctly they will not have to cut teachers. But then, why on earth do we need to music teachers?

impossible wish said...

Wonder if Kevan will slap his wrist and say, "OH well I guess I lied", it seems to have worked for Ken. Why do the people in power today think its OK to lie, and not get any grief over it? Would like to see a lot less underhandedness from our elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Question for Rick Horton, how come you abstained from voting on cutting the school budget last night? We're you the one telling us it was you that had instigated a $200,000 cut previously? What's the story behind your not voting this time Rick? We'd like an explanation on why you did not support the cuts.

Anonymous said...

Give Rick a break he is practicing to be a politian.

Anonymous said...

So when did Teresa Sepe and the board cut the school budget in half? Can someone provide the details so we can send them to Kevan Whippie and Colene Duquette, the big spenders on the board?

if memory is correct said...

2002 School Budget

Anonymous said...

The school budget was cut because Teresa walked through the school one day and saw all kinds of books and supplies that the teachers had ordered at the end of the year. The teachers were told to do that as there was extra money in the budget. When Teresa and Margaret Sullivan found out they cut the budget to save tax dollars as there would be extra supplies that could be hoarded.Be advised that NONE of the students went without the year that the budget was cut. The supplies and books were all ready there.

This is a secret that the school does not want you to find out. If there is extra funding it is spent before the end of the year. Been there and done that!

Anonymous said...

But was it really half the budget? or was that the year they cut 500,000

Anonymous said...

Well for another example of spending the (unspent money) money left over in the budget without it being voted on by the town the school board paved behind sthe school instead saving it to lower the next years budget.

they are not alone said...

Sounds like the school and the police dept operate with the same policy.