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WARRANT & FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING NOVEMBER 1, 2010 APPROVED
A. ROLL CALL – 6:00 PM
Members present were: Paul Poyant – Chairman
Members absent were: Karl Hodgdon
Also present were Dennis Long and Ted Kryzak, Selectman.
B. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
September 13, 2010 – A Motion was made and seconded to approve the Minutes of the
C. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Discussion of Use of Overhead Projector for Consideration of Warrant Articles –
Mr. Poyant explained that at another Meeting he had suggested using the projector when the Committee begins reviewing the proposed Warrant Articles so that the home viewers and the people in the audience will be able to see what the Committee is discussing. He stated while he feels that would be a good way to keep the public apprised of the group’s process and decisions, he would like the Committee to vote on the matter for the record.
A Motion was made and seconded to approve the use of an overhead projector during the Committee’s review and discussion of any proposed Warrant Articles. Moore/Brazier – Unanimous.
D. NEW BUSINESS
1. Status of Alternate Member Appointments – To Mr. Poyant’s question whether he had any news on the suggestion that the Committee have alternate members, Mr. Kryzak advised he has forwarded Mr. Poyant’s proposed Ordinance for this Committee to the attorney for review as well as the School Board’s policy on the topic. He stated the attorney stated the only way anything can be done is to revise the existing Ordinance that governs the make up of the Committee and have the Townspeople vote on it at the Town Meeting, therefore, no alternate members or new members can be appointed or voted in until that Ordinance is adopted. He stated the attorney suggested doing the same thing for all boards and committees if they are elected. He mentioned the Selectmen can remove any individual they appoint. He advised if this Committee wishes to have alternate members, that will have to be in the revised Ordinance. He stated that the School Board has a rule that anyone missing three meetings without an excuse can be removed by them.
To Mr. Poyant’s question whether the Selectmen can appoint a new member should a current member resign, Ms Rix explained in the past the Selectmen have requested that anyone wishing to be appointed to a board or committee submit a letter to them advising of their interest. She suggested that the Selectmen could appoint an individual [should a current member resign or no longer be able to serve] from the people who were nominated at the Annual Town Meeting who did not receive adequate votes to be elected to the Committee since those individuals more than likely would have the approval of the voters. She stated if the individual receiving the next highest number of votes is no longer interested in serving, then the Selectmen can go down the list of the other nominees and should none of them choose to serve, the Selectmen can post the position. She said she is in favor of doing that because an individual who was nominated should be appointed.
Mr. Kryzak advised if the Ordinance is drafted and approved by the attorney, its acceptance could be put to the voters when they vote on the 2011-12 school budget in the spring rather than waiting until the Annual Town Meeting in June. He said in that way, the Committee will have the number of people necessary to complete it.
2. Election of a Vice-Chairperson – Mr. Poyant asked if any of the other Members present would be willing to hold the position of Vice-Chairperson. He mentioned that if desired, this item could be deferred until the next Meeting when there might be a full Committee present.
Mr. Brazier advised he would be willing to become Vice-Chairman, but he expressed a concern about there being a valid quorum as he doesn’t feel that he could vote for himself.
It was noted that four Members comprise a quorum and that is the number present this evening, therefore, a simple majority vote is required to approve a Motion for Vice–Chairman so Mr. Brazier’s vote is not necessary.
To Mr. Brazier’s comment that he would have no problem postponing anything having to do with the school budget until Mr. Poyant is present, Ms Rix felt the Committee could discuss school matters, but not vote on it. She thought Mr. Brazier’s input on school matters would be of benefit to the Committee.
Mr. Poyant pointed out that Mr. Brazier works for the school department, but he has no problem with him serving as Vice-Chairman as he was elected to the Committee with everyone being aware of his job. He felt that Mr. Brazier could abstain from voting on school matters that directly pertain to his position at the school, therefore, avoiding the appearance of a conflict of interest, but he is free to discuss any matter with the Committee regardless of the subject matter. He stated he thought this was a reasonable position to take.
A Motion was made and seconded to nominate Mr. Brazier for Vice-Chairman. Rix/Moore – 3/1 Abstention (Mr. Brazier). (The vote on this Motion was taken after the above discussion).
3. Sub-Committee Reports – Mr. Poyant explained he added this to the agenda because, in reviewing the Committee’s Minutes from last fall, he noted the Members gave an updates on the departments that fell under their purview as a representative from this Committee. He stated he understood there may be nothing to report at this time, but will place it on the agenda in the event someone has something to report in the future.
To Mr. Poyant’s question whether the Committee should see how the departments work, Ms Rix advised that is one of the items she feels the new Ordinance should address. She explained that the municipal departments submit their budgets to the Selectmen who review and discuss them with the department heads. She stated thereafter this Committee would be given them to review. She advised that it is her feeling that both the Selectmen and this Committee should review the proposed budgets simultaneously which would streamline the process. She explained that in some communities the department heads go over the budget with the budget committee first and it then goes to the Selectmen.
Mr. Poyant felt Ms Rix’s comments about the review process had merit and thought that might shorten the approval by both the Selectmen and this Committee since everything will reviewed at one time.
To Mr. Poyant’s question whether doing that would meet with the approval of the Selectmen, Mr. Kryzak answered in the affirmative and commented that the school budget was handled somewhat like that for this fiscal year’s budget.
Mr. Brazier stated one of the reasons for having a liaison to the various departments is to obtain budget information which the Member would then share with the Committee. He mentioned the Member could talk to the department head to ascertain what projects are being proposed for the next budget year so that preliminary information to the entire group.
Ms Rix felt Mr. Brazier’s assessment of what the liaisons should do was good, but felt that the explanation of how that will be done should come from the Selectmen. She suggested the Selectmen send a memo to all the department heads explaining what will occur during the 2011-12 fiscal year budget process.
Mr. Kryzak felt that would not be a problem as long as the entire Committee is in agreement and as long as requests for information come from the entire group [and not individuals as has occurred in the past].
To Mr. Moore’s suggestion that the Selectmen let each department head know which Committee Member will be the liaison to their department, the secretary advised she would provide Mr. Kryzak that list.
Mr. Brazier suggested the Member contact the department head to schedule a meeting time to go over the proposed budget. He felt each liaison should attend the meetings of their departments which will help the Member report back to the full Committee.
To Mr. Poyant’s question whether it would be possible for this Committee to be given preliminary budgets for both the school and the municipality so they might offer suggestions, if necessary, and in that way, they will have a idea of what is being requested, Ms Rix gave an overview of what steps the school budget goes through before coming to the Committee.
4. Development of New Warrant & Finance Committee Ordinance – At this time, the group reviewed and commented on the two versions of the new Ordinance for the Warrant & Finance Committee and made changes accordingly.
D. OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business to come before the Committee.
E. NEXT MEETING
The next Meeting was scheduled for Monday, November 8, at 6:30 PM in the Town Hall.
A Motion was made and seconded to adjourn the Meeting at 8:15 PM. Brazier/Rix – Unanimous.
ANNA M. WILLIAMS,