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Town of Nantucket  Ad Hoc Budget Committee Meeting  thMinutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee Meeting October 15 , 2008   Present:  Ms. Libby Gibson, Ms. Jenny Garneau, Ms. Susan Genthner, Mr. James Kelly, Mr. Michael Kopko, Ms. Irene Larivee, Mr. Matthew Mulcahy, and Ms. Patricia Roggeveen.  Absent:  Robert Pellicone Ed. D.  Also present: Mr. Rick Atherton, Ms. Margaret Bergman, Ms. Robin Harvey, Mr. John Tiffany, Mr. Whiting Willauer, and Mr. Craig Abernathy  1.  Call to Order:   Mr. Kopko called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. 2.  Approval of Minutes:    Mr. Kopko asked for unanimous consent to approve the minutes from the thmeeting of September 4 , 2008.  Hearing no objections the minutes were approved by unanimous consent. 3.  FY 2010 Budget Updates: thAt the Board of Selectmen meeting of October 8 , 2008, Ms. Gibson stated that Ms. Larivee presented an update on budget projections and the timeline for completing the budget.  She said that in the time between the initial projection and the Board meeting economic conditions had changed.  The first quarter State Local Aid disbursement had been received, but Ms. Gibson said she would be watching future aid disbursements carefully.  She noted that local revenue for the first quarter was at about the same level as the previous year, but again felt that it would be prudent to watch this area carefully.  Ms ...
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TownofNantucketAdHocBudgetCommitteeMeetingth MinutesAdHocBudgetCommitteeMeetingOctober15 ,2008Present:Ms.LibbyGibson,Ms.JennyGarneau,Ms.SusanGenthner,Mr.JamesKelly,Mr.MichaelKopko,Ms.IreneLarivee,Mr.MatthewMulcahy,andMs.PatriciaRoggeveen.Absent:RobertPelliconeEd.D.Alsopresent:Mr.RickAtherton,Ms.MargaretBergman,Ms.RobinHarvey,Mr.JohnTiffany,Mr.WhitingWillauer,andMr.CraigAbernathy1.CalltoOrder:Mr.Kopkocalledthemeetingtoorderat9:00AM.2.ApprovalofMinutes:Mr.Kopkoaskedforunanimousconsenttoapprovetheminutesfromtheth meetingofSeptember4 ,2008.Hearingnoobjectionstheminuteswereapprovedbyunanimousconsent.3.FY2010BudgetUpdates:th AttheBoardofSelectmenmeetingofOctober8 ,2008,Ms.GibsonstatedthatMs.Lariveepresentedanupdateonbudgetprojectionsandthetimelineforcompletingthebudget.ShesaidthatinthetimebetweentheinitialprojectionandtheBoardmeetingeconomicconditionshadchanged.ThefirstquarterStateLocalAiddisbursementhadbeenreceived,butMs.Gibsonsaidshewouldbewatchingfutureaiddisbursementscarefully.Shenotedthatlocalrevenueforthefirstquarterwasataboutthesamelevelasthepreviousyear,butagainfeltthatitwouldbeprudenttowatchthisareacarefully.Ms.GibsonsaidthatshewasexpectingmoreinformationfromtheStatethatcouldimpactStatecontracts,suchasimpendingsewerprojects.
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee th October 15, 2008Page 2 of 6 Ms.LariveesaidthatfirstquarterFY2009revenuecameinslightlyabovethelevelsreportedinfirstquarterFY2008.ShestatedthatshewouldnotbemakinganyadjustmentstoFY2010revenueprojectionsuntilmorerevenuedataisavailableandtheTaxRecapiscertified.Ms.LariveesaidsheexpectstomakefurtherrevisionsinmidDecember.Inregardtolocalrevenue,Ms.Lariveesaidthatwhilethedemandforbuildingpermitshadfallen,thelossinrevenuehadbeencompensatedforbyanincreaseinrevenuefromOurIslandHome.Mr.MulcahyaskediftheincreaseinrevenuesatOurIslandHomewasduetoincreasesinMedicarereceipts.Ms.Lariveesaidthattheincreaseinrevenuewasduetoanincreaseinfees.
Mr.KopkostatedthatheandMr.AthertonattendedaSelectmen’sAssociationmeetingonthepreviousFriday.Hereportedthatthegeneralmoodofthemeetingwasthateconomicconditionslookworsethanevergoingforward.Mr.KellyaskedifitwaspossibletogetascheduleofsupportfromtheStateinordertoplanforanyriskoflossanddeterminethescopeofpotentiallossduetocutsinfundingfromtheState.HeaskediftheTownhasimplementeditshiringfreeze,towhichMs.Gibsonrespondedthatthefreezehadbeencommunicatedverballybutnotformally.Mr.KellyaskediftheSchoolwasoperatingundersimilarconstraints,towhichMs.GenthneransweredthatDr.Pelliconehadinstructedalldepartmentsthatvacancieswouldbefilledonacasebycasebasis.
Mr.KopkoaskediftherehadbeenanyprogressontheFY2010SchoolBudget.Ms.GenthneransweredthatDr.PelliconewasworkingwithadministrativeteamstocompleteabalancedbudgetbasedupontheassumptionsoftheAdHocBudgetCommittee.ShenotedthattheFY2009Budget$600,000wouldneedtobecutduetoincreasesinoperatingcosts,contaminatedsandremoval,andadeficitinSchoolLunchfunding.Ms.GenthnersaidthatDr.Pelliconewouldbeprovidingmoreinformationaboutwherethecutswilltakeplace.Mr.KopkoaskediftheSchoolwasoperatingwithspecificguidelines,andMs.GenthneransweredthattheywereworkingwithdirectivesfromtheSchoolCommittee.
InregardtotheCommunitySchool,Ms.Roggeveenaskedthatitnotbethetargetofbudgetcuts.ShefeltthatitwouldnotbeappropriatefortheSchooltocutfundingfromtheCommunitySchoolbecausetheCommunitySchoolbudgethadbeenapprovedasaseparatelineitembyvotersatAnnualTownMeeting.Mr.KopkoaskedthatSchoolandTownofficialssitdownandtalkaboutthemodelfortheCommunitySchool.Ms.Roggeveensaidthatshefeltitwasimportanttotalkaboutanychangesnowinordertobeproactive.Mr.KopkosaidthatiftheTowncouldmaketheschooldistrictsituationmorerationalbytakingonsomeoftheresponsibilityoftheCommunitySchool,thenthatisanoptionthatshouldbeconsidered.Ms.RoggeveensaidthatshewouldliketoaddthetopicasanagendaitemforameetingatwhichDr.Pelliconewouldbeavailableforcomment.
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee th October 15, 2008Page 3 of 6 Inotherbudgetupdates,Ms.LariveesaidthatFY2010healthinsurancecostsareexpectedtobelevel,andthatshouldfreeupabout$324,000tobeallocatedelsewhere.ShesaidthattherecommendationoftheFinanceDepartmentwastoallocatethemoniesforaonetimespend.Mr.Mulcahyaskedwhattypesofitemsmightbeidentifiedforthefunds.Ms.Lariveesaidthatitcouldbeputintothestabilizationfundorusedforcapitalitems.
4.ReviewofBudgetInformationMeetingScheduleandContent:Ms.GibsonsaidthattheBudgetInformationMeetingswouldbeheldattheHighth st SchoolonThursday,October16 ,at6:00PM;Tuesday,October21 ,at8:30AM;andth Tuesday,November18 ,at8:30AM.Therehadbeenplanstotelevisethemeetings,butPlumTelevisiondeclinedtheoffertotelevisetheevent.Mr.Kopkosaidthathefeltifitwerenecessarytospendmoneytohavethemeetingsteleviseditmightbeagoodidea.Ms.Gibsonsaidthepresentationforthefirsttwomeetingswillfocusonrevenues,andbepresentedinaPowerPointformat.Mr.AthertonaskedthatMs.GibsonhighlighttheincreasesinrevenueatOurIslandHomeandexactlyhowmuchoftheotherrevenueshortfallstheincreaseswerecovering.Lookingforwardinthebudgettimeline,Ms.Gibsonsaidthatdepartmentalth budgetswereduetoTownAdministrationbyFriday,October17 ,2008.ThenextmeetingoftheAdHocBudgetCommitteewasscheduledtoimmediatelyfollowtheth BudgetInformationMeetingscheduledforTuesday,November18 ,at8:30AM,andonth the19anagendaitemwouldprovideforbudgetdiscussionattheSelectmen’smeeting.Mr.Mulcahyaskedifprojectionsstillforecasta$2.3millionshortfall.Ms.Lariveesaidherprojectionsforecasta$2.2to$2.3millionshortfall,butshewillcontinuetolookatrevenuesastheycancausetheamountoftheshortfalltochange.5.NewBusiness:
Mr.KopkoproposedthattheAdHocBudgetCommitteeexploreoptionsfortheestablishmentofacapitalfund.Hesaidthecapitalfundcouldworkasasavingsaccount,andthatthefundscouldbeusedtocovercapitalitemsthatarenotapprovedbyvoters.Mr.Mulcahyaskedaboutthelogisticsofsettingupsuchafund.Ms.GibsonsaidthatsheandMr.Ricehavebeenexaminingsomeoptionsforestablishingsuchafund.ShesaidthatmoniesreturnedfromtheHealthInsuranceTrustorFreeCashcouldbedepositedinthistypeofaccount.Mr.MulcahyaskediftheestablishmentofacapitalfundwouldrequireavoteatAnnualTownMeeting.Ms.Gibsonansweredthatavotewouldbenecessarytoappropriatethefundsandtoestablishthecapitalfund.Mr.KopkosaidthatthefundcoulddemonstratetheTown’scommitmenttosavingandplanning.Notingthathealsohada“rainyday”fund,Mr.Kellysaidthatsuchafundwassomethingthatpeoplecouldrelatetoonapersonallevel.
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee th October 15, 2008Page 4 of 6 Inregardtoplayingfields,Mr.KopkosaidthathefeltitwasimportantfortheSchoolandtheTowntoestablishamasterplan.Hesaidthatitwasacomplexissueandthatitisdifficulttorationalizetheneedtovoters.Mr.Mulcahystatedthathefeltmoreinputfromcitizenswouldbeessentialtoasuccessfuldevelopmentprocess.Mr.KopkosaidthatmakingthisaprioritywouldhelpoverallbudgetingfortheTownandtheSchool.Ms.GenthnerstatedthatshewouldputtheitemontheSchoolCommitteeagendaandasktheSchoolCommitteetogivethemasterplanpriority.
Mr.Kopkosaidthathewishedtodiscussthenewteacher’scontract,notingthatitsoundedlikea“big,hugehotfudgesundaeforeverybodyatthistabletoeat.”HeaskediftheSchoolcouldprovidethedetailsofthecontract,specificallybyprovidingthedatainatemplatethatwouldfacilitatean“applestoapples”comparison.Ms.GibsonsaidthatMs.LariveedevelopedacostanalysisthatshewouldbehappytosharewiththeSchoolCommittee,andnotedthatGlennField,AssistanttotheSuperintendentforBusiness,hassoftwarethatisconfiguredforthepurposeof“costingoutcontracts.”
Mr.KopkosaidthattheTownwasworkingunderspecificguidelines.HehighlightedarecentletterpublishedinthelocalmediainwhichBruceMillerexplainedthatasalaryincreaseoffivepercentshouldcovereverything,i.e.annualpayincreases,stepincreases,bonusesetc...Mr.Kopkoaskediftheteacher’scontractmettheguidelineofafivepercentincreasethatincludedallcompensation.Ms.Genthneransweredthatthecontractdidnotmeetthatguidelinewhenallcompensationwasincluded.Mr.Kopkosaidthathefeltnotmeetingtheguidelinewouldbeaproblem.
Mr.Kellysaidthathethoughtthateveryoneatthetablehadtalkedaboutcommunicatinglaborcontractagreementsinadocumenttemplatethatallowedforincreasestobeeasilyrepresented.InnotingthattheAdHocBudgetCommitteediscussedguidelinesforlabornegotiationsoveroneyearago,hesaidthathewas“takenaback”thattheguidelineswerenotfollowed.Mr.KopkostatedthathissensewasthattheTownhadbeengivenassurancesthroughtheprocessthattheguidelineswerebeingfollowed,andthenattheendoftheprocessfoundouttheguidelineswerenotfollowed.Mr.Kellysaidthathesaidthisdevelopmentwill“setup”theTownforconflictinfuturelabornegotiations.Mr.KopkosaidthereasonforthemeetingsoftheAdHocBudgetCommitteewastohelpeveryonestay“onthesamepage.”Mr.KellynotedthattheCommitteehadbeenmeetingonaregularbasisandthematteroftheteacher’scontractnegotiationhadnotbeenmentioned.
Ms.GenthneraskedtheCommitteeinwhatformatwasthenewcontractviewed.Ms.GibsonansweredthattheonlyinformationtheAdHocBudgetCommitteehadviewedwastheinformationthatwaspublishedinlocalmedia.Ms.Roggeveensaidthattheformatwasimportantinthatitprojectedlongtermcostsandallowedforthecomparisonof“applestoapples.”ShenotedthatthiswaskeytotheTown’sadministrationoffinances,andthatgoodinformationiscriticaltomaintainingthepublictrust.Mr.Kopkosaidthatsalaryincreaseswerereportedatfour,fourandthree
Minutes – Ad Hoc Budget Committee th October 15, 2008Page 5 of 6 andahalfpercentoverathreeyearperiod.Hepointedoutthatthesereportslistonlyincreasestobasepay,whilethedirectivetheTownhastriedtoimplementwouldincludeallincreasesincompensation.
Ms.LariveesaidthatitwasimportanttoconsiderthelengthoftimethatteachershavebeenworkingwiththeSchool,sinceteacherswithlongperiodsofservicewouldhavealreadyreachedthemaximumstep.Shesaidthatteachersatthemaximumstepwouldnotreceivecompensationinexcessofthebasesalaryincreases.Ms.Roggeveenaskedifthetotalpercentageincreaseincompensationwasknown,towhichMs.Genthnerrepliedthatshedidnothavethatinformationathand.Mr.Kopkosaidthathefeltthiswasaveryimportantnumber.Mr.Kellyvoicedfrustration,statingthatthepurposeofthemeetingsoftheAdHocBudgetCommitteewastoavoidthesekindsoflapsesincommunication.Hesaidthathefeltthemeetingsshouldfacilitatethesharingofinformation,butinsteadtheAdHocBudgetCommitteehadbeenleft“outoftheloop.”Mr.Kellystatedthattheteacher’scontractagreementwentagainstthebasictenetsofgooddialog.InreferencetotheAirportlabornegotiationsintheprioryear,hesaidthattheFinanceCommitteehadaclearobjectiveofnotallowingtheproblemsithadwithcontractnegotiationsinthepasttooccuragain,astheywereunproductive.
Ms.Garneaupointedoutthattheteacher’scontractisnotvotedonseparately,butthatitisapartoftheoverallSchoolbudget.Mr.KellysaidthattheSchoolCommitteeapprovesthecontract,butthepurposeoftheAdHocBudgetCommitteeistohavediscussionanddialogoncontractnegotiations.Ms.GarneauaskedhowcouldtheCommitteediscussongoing,confidentialcontractnegotiations.Mr.Kellyansweredthattherewerelimitsandguidelinesthatcouldbediscussed.Ms.RoggeveenaddedthattheguidelinesweresetbywhattheTowncanafford.ShesaidthattheproblemwhenorganizationsgooutsideoftheguidelinesgetsseriousbecausetheTowncan’taffordit.Mr.KopkosaidthatDr.Pelliconeclearlyexpressedacommitmenttodeliveringacontractthatmetestablishedguidelines.Hesaidthatfailuretomeettheguidelineshadlefthimfeeling“gobsmacked.”Mr.Kellysaidthatitwasimportanttorememberthatthefulldetailsofthecontracthadnotbeendisclosed.
Ms.Genthnersaidthatthedetailsofthecontractwerestillundernegotiation,andthatshewasnotatlibertytodiscussthem.ShesaidthattheMassachusettsTeacher’sAssociationhadbeeninformedthattheycouldnothaveeverythingtheywanted,i.e.salaryincreases,smallclasses,teachingassistants,andadministrativeassistants.Mr.KopkosaidthatthedifferencewasthattheTownhadclearlycommunicatedtheguidelinesforwhatithastoworkwithinlabornegotiations.Hesaidthatduetolimitedresourcesitwasimperativetofollowtheseguidelines.Mr.KellysaidthattheSchoolcanusedifferentparameterssinceithasaseparatebudget,notingthattheteacherscouldhaveatenpercentincreaseifclasssizesweredoubled.However,hesaidthatnotmeetingthesalaryincreasetargetsmakesfuturenegotiationsaproblemfortheTown,aseveryonewouldwanttohavethesamesalaryincreaseastheteachers.
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