Meeting notes: 2/6/12
State Representative Kevin Kuros attended Monday’s meeting to give the board an update on the proposed fiscal 2013 state budget. Mr. Kuros stated that “the baseline budget was lower than the prior year’s spending and that the Governor’s budget was 5 ¼% ahead of last year’s spending.” Fiscal year 2012 spending was $33.7 billion vs. the fiscal 2013 proposal of $35.5 billion. Mr. Kuros also stated that he “believes the House Ways & Means Committee will keep local aid level-funded and that the Commonwealth’s Bond Rating has increased.” Additionally, the customary reversionary funds, if any, would not be available until the fall.
Representative Kuros told the board that at Senator Richard Moore’s request, he had joined Senator Moore and Representative Peter Durant in co-sponsoring a bill to rename a section of the local highway in honor of Selectman Anthony DiDonato.
Scott Fenton, president of the Dudley Little League, came before the board to speak about fundraising activities. He also asked for the Town’s annual assistance in setting aside $1,200 towards the cost of lights at the softball field, in addition to looking into solving the continuous water drainage problems at the field. He advised the board that Nichols College was also donating their annual gift of 10 sets of player uniforms as well as sponsoring a baseball clinic for the town’s youngest players. As budget numbers were currently unavailable, the request was tabled but the Board issued favorable comments toward the request.
Fire Chief Dean Kochanowski presented his request for permission to write his annual S.A.F.E.R. Grant for an extra paramedic, which was based on a Mon-Fri 42-hour weekly schedule. If awarded, the grant would cover 100% of wages & benefits for the extra and greatly-needed manpower for two years. Selectman Peter Fox spoke in favor of granting permission and a motion to support Fire Chief Kochanowski’s request was unanimously passed. Board cairman Steven Sullivan, then publicly thanked the Chief for his grant-writing initiatives which had been a strong consideration for his position’s original hiring process.
An overview of the Town’s management letter report from the CPA firm of Scanlon & Assoc. was jointly reported on by Debi Thibaudeau, Town Accountant; Lisa Berg, Principal Assessor; and Richard Carmignani, Jr., Treasurer. Scanlon & Associates had been hired to ensure all Town departments were operating within standardized guidelines, uniform reporting structures, and accounting principles. It was noted that 99% of the recommendations had been implemented.
Ms. Thibaudeau then gave a brief 10-point summary on: 1) Accounting for Trust Funds in Custody of Others; 2) New Accounting & Financial Reporting Requirements for Fund Balances; 3) Credit Card Policies; 4) Procurement-all procurements over $5,000 were to be in writing; 5) Tax Title Reconciliation-all reconciled & balanced; 6) Old Receivables-Ms. Berg stated that research was ongoing for abatements totaling $13,470 from the past 10 years; 7) Contracts & Change Orders-the Town Accountant requires copies of all contracts & change orders; 8) Departmental Turnover Sheets; 9) Other Post-Employment Benefits/Actuarial Valuations-benefit changes for all Town employees/retirees’ effect what the Town owes; and 10) Ambulance Receivables-being closely regulated under Chief Kochanowski’s supervision .
Selectmen then took up their next agenda item on membership for the Capital Improvement Committee: the Town is still seeking one at-large member for the committee, which meets once every six weeks.
A first reading on liquor license policies was also discussed as well as a consideration for the Tree Warden to report to the Highway Superintendent.
Additionally, Selectman Jonathan Ruda made the case for a change in Election Date due to the fact that Town elections interfere with Federal and State elections and also present a newly-elected Board member with the possibility of having to vote on a budget that they had no previous input establishing.
Ora Finn, Town Clerk, indicated that a change would streamline the entire process by saving money on ballot printing, voting machine programming, and avoiding general errors & recounts. Ms. Finn also stated that as a result of the recent Federal Census, there were many precinct changes and Town voters were advised to visit the Town website to determine their new precinct numbers.
Town election workers are still greatly needed for the upcoming March elections. Residents are urged to visit the Town Clerk’s office to learn how they can assist. Due to the Presidents’ Day Holiday on February 20 the next Board meeting is scheduled for February 13.
- Wednesday, 08 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Selectmen