Monday, January 30, 2012

Budget Committee Work Session Minutes 01/24/2012

Town of Winchester, NH
Budget Committee

January 24, 2012

Work Session

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

Work Session called to order at 7:04pm

Brian explains the rules of the Work Session.

Rick makes a motion to approve the minutes from the January 17th Work Session, Harvey seconds
Motion carries 10-0 with 1 abstention

- Rick makes a motion to change the School Budget to $10,500,000, Elisha seconds.
            -Brian explains that there cannot be a discussion about the School Budget as it isn’t on the posted agenda
            -Jack questions whether it would be possible to discuss old or new business after the conclusion of the Town business
-          Brian explains that the agenda specifically says no other business.
-          Jack makes a motion to schedule a meeting on Thursday, Rick seconds
-          Not everyone is available to meet Thursday.
-          Jack questions when is the last day that a meeting can be scheduled, Brian’s understanding is that the information has to be given to the Town Clerk no later than the last day of the month but he’s not sure whether that means by the end of the day on the 31st or the beginning.
-          Jack withdraws his motion and changes it to having a meeting on Tuesday, January 31st, Rick seconds.
-          There is question as to whether that is going to be in time to get the information to the Town Clerk
-          Brian will check into that and get back to the board as to when the Board will be able to meet again to go over the School Budget and Warrant Articles

Town Budget

Ken makes a motion to approve $3,189,994, (this number is taking out the Water and Sewer Budgets that have been put into Warrant Articles), Kathy seconds
-          Discussion regarding the budget
-          Jack questions what the grand total of the budget would be with the Warrant Articles included – it would be $3,750,562
-          Continued discussion regarding the Town budget and proposed cuts.
Motion fails 3-8

Rick makes a motion to approve $3,068,475, which takes sum of the original approved budgets, minus the Water and Sewer lines, anything the Board of Selectmen reduced, and putting the Regional Prosecutor back in, Ken seconds
-          Discussion regarding the Regional Prosecutor and whether or not the program has saved the town money.
-          Rick would entertain a Friendly Amendment to cut the Regional Prosecutor as well.
-          Brian makes a Friendly Amendment to reduce it another $42,000 by cutting out the Regional Prosecutor, Harvey seconds.
o   Rick accepts, Ken does not
Motion fails 5-6

Brian makes a motion to approve $2,946,475, which includes a $42,000 reduction of the Regional Prosecutor and $80,000 in Highway for tarring as they are already using $120,000 in Block Grant money for tarring and he thinks they don’t need more than that, Bob seconds.
-          Bob makes a Friendly Amendment to reduce another $40,000 to make it $2,906,475. There is discussion as to what kinds of cuts this entails
-          Kathy questions Ken how the cost of the Regional Prosecutor would relate to paying an officer overtime to spend the day prosecuting. Ken feels that this program does save the town money because they don’t have to pay an officer to spend the whole day in court
o   Continued discussion regarding Regional Prosecutor
-          Continued discussion as to what Bob is looking to cut as there is confusion as to what kinds of cuts he is looking to make
o   Bob’s amendment includes reductions of $27,520 in Land Use, $12,378 for the Animal Control Officer, zero out Public Works Coordinator of $1, and reduce Family Services Health Agency by $101, for a total of another $40,000
- Discussion regarding proposed cuts. Rick questions cutting the $80,000 for tarring, Brian responds that they have the $120 from the Block Grant that Dale had said he was going to use for tarring. It is discussed that the Block Grant could also be used for other things, such as salt and sand, and, ultimately, it’s up to the Selectmen on how that money is used, so even if the Highway Department states that they want to use the money on tarring, there may be other things that the Selectmen think that money could be better spent on, and therefore, if the $80,000 is removed, there would be no money for tarring.
Motion passes 6-4 with 1 abstention

Kathy thinks that the cuts made are irresponsible and that the Budget Committee in doing that has been irresponsible

It is stated that the amendment that Bob made was never voted on and needs to be in order to be approved
-          The amendment is called to a vote and carries 6-5
The motion of $2,906,475 is called to a vote and carries 6-4 with 1 abstention

With the Town Clerk in the building, clarification of when the last day for a meeting could be, there is still some question on that.

Rick makes a motion to approve $2,986,475 for the town budget, which goes back to Brian’s original motion minus $40,000 from the Highway Department for tarring instead of the $80,000 and puts back in the $40,000 from Bob’s amendment, Kevan seconds.
-          Rick goes over the cuts that this includes
-          Jack proposes an amendment to have it also include Bob’s $40,000 cuts to make it $2,946,475, Brian seconds
o   Motion on the amendment carries 10-1
Motion of a budget of $2,946,475 carries 9-2

Jack makes a motion for the Budget Committee to meet after the Deliberative Session and before voting to revote to recommend or not recommend any money Warrant Articles that may be changed at Deliberative Session as this was recommended that the Board does this by the LGC, Rick seconds

Discussion regarding this and when the Board would actually meet to do this.

Motion carries 11-0 and the Board will meet the Saturday, February 4th, after Deliberative Session

Bob makes a motion to adjourn, Harvey seconds

Motion carries 11-0

Meeting adjourned at 8:05pm


Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong.. These are unofficial and unapproved minutes. They have not been approved by the committee.

the Winchester Informer said...

As stated, they are work session minutes.

Anonymous said...

Ones things for sure our town is small and our PD is huge, Yet I never see them out patrolling. We do not need a dog officer or regional prosecutor, let our PD work for their pay

Bob Davis said...

The budget committee minutes are not approved by the committee yet.

The budget committee like most other community have made cuts needed to bring their tax rate in line. Yes it is dreadful two part time employee will be laid off. We have to look out for the welfare of the masses.

The selectmen made no real effort to control the budgets of each dept, like insisting on holding dept heads feet to the fire or insisting on holding off on projects for a better year. Take Dale Gray’s budget where he insisted on continuing to tar roads as people struggle to make payments for their homes cause by the increase in their escrow payments .

Like allowing Planning Board Chairman Margaret Sharra directly causing legal fees to rise because of the planning boards decisions. 13 lawsuit from 2006 to now since Sharra has been chairman of the planning board

I feel many other dept that received cuts could have been cut deeper. When times are better it would be expectable to ask for increases.

This increase in taxes deprives families the enjoyment of their homes.

The selectmen are pushing a town warrant to do away with the town budget committee and have a 3 person committee decide the town and school budgets. If you people allow this to happen you will see the selectmen’s cronies setting on a board deciding your future and if you think your taxes are high now. Wait!