March 16, 2018

Warrant/Finance Committee conclusions of meeting dates 2018.03.16 in
Consideration of School Budget FY 2018-2019

Special Town Warrant.
Meeting was called to order at 1805h
Present:
W. Williams
T. Gore
R. Waterhouse
N. Ruma
S Meehan
V. Shea
At the beginning of the meeting, W-F Committee voted in favor of the
following paraphrased motion-statement to guide their subsequent article voting.
This paraphrase is the result of a one-hour discussion centered on the fact that the School Board’s “reserve funds” had lapsed at the end of the fiscal year for which they were introduced.   The School Board produced a letter from their counsel dated 6 March 2018 which broadly asserted that the accounts were created under Title 20-A but cautioned that the opinion reached is “not without doubt”; furthermore it was recognized that the School Board did not identify the specific enabling statutes in the warrant articles, thus putting them automatically in the format of ordinary non-statutory reserve accounts which would expire at the end of that fiscal year 2015-2016 .
1. The Authority to manage (establish, raise, appropriate, and carry)
municipal funds resides with the Acton Town Meeting.
2. Municipal officers and officials request authority from the Town
Meeting, in the form of a warrant article, to manage the funds for the
Town Meeting. The authority is granted by an affirmative vote of the
Town Meeting. All authority granted by the vote of the Town Meeting
expires at the end of the fiscal year, except for authority granted by the
Town Meeting under Municipal Ordinance or State Statute.
3. The School Department asserts the right to carry and spend funds
from “reserve accounts” created in 2015, but the town meeting was
never originally asked, nor did it grant, authority to establish these
accounts under the authority of State Statute (Title 20-A or 30-A), i.e.,
statutory reserve accounts.
4. Thus, in the Town Meeting of 28 April 2015, the legislative body
established, funded, and appropriated school-sponsored “reserve
funds” but the Town meeting was not asked, nor did it
grant, authority to establish these accounts under the
authority of State Statute. Thus, these funds
automatically lapsed at the end of FY 2016-17.
5. No request for authority to carry or appropriate these
funds was ever made to the subsequent FY2017-18
Town Meeting.
6. Any use of these funds after the end of FY 2016 should
be considered a misappropriation of funds and thus the
Warrant/Finance Committee hesitates to approve further
use of these old funds without their being officially
modified in accordance with State Statute regulations.
Approved by a vote of 5-1.


1. Article 2: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
2. Article 3: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
3. Article 4: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
4. Article 5: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
5. Article 6: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
6. Article 7: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
7. Article 8: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
8. Article 9: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
9. Article 10: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
10. Article 11: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 6-0
11. Article 12: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
12. Article 13: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
13. Article 14: RECOMMEND AMENDMENT stating will vote “to appropriate
$150,000 from undesignated fund balance” in lieu of statement
“less School Undesignated funds - $150,000” vote 4-2

(Motion to reduce the amount raised by appropriating lapsed funds in  article 14 was DEFEATED 1-5)

14. Article 15: RECOMMEND AMENDMENT AS FOLLLOWS:
W-F recommends to expend $5,449,117 and also to
appropriate the sum of $150,000 from the school
undesignated fund for a total of $5,599,117 for the fiscal
year beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30,2019 from
the School Department’s contribution to the total cost of
funding public education from grades Pre-kindergarten to
Grade 12 vote 5-1

15. Article 16: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 6-0
16. Article 17: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 6-0
17. Article 18: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 6-0
18. Article 19: APPROVED AS WRITTEN vote 5-1
Discussions were invited from the public; this included explanations and
comments from Mr. J Ross (Superintendent/Principal) J Shayne (Chair of
School Board), K Oliver (Admin and Accountant), M Stanton (School
Board member), J Roux(Administrator for Board of Selectmen).

Meeting adjourned at 2025h