Back to Advisory Committee Minutes
Present: Committee Members Lauter, Seelen, Asher, Dwyer, Eldredge, Farrell, Friedman, Innis, Johnson, MacCune, Manning, Marwill, Mooradian, O’Meara
1. Call to order
Chair Irma Lauter called the Advisory Committee meeting to order at 7:07 PM.
2. Approval of minutes for April 7, 2009
The Committee reviewed and approved minutes from the meeting on April 7th 2009.
3. FY2010 Budgets (re-vote)
The Committee voted to re-open and approve modification of two FY10 budget line-items:
• Contributory Group Insurance. From $4,245,000 to $6,422,632, based on the Board of Selectmen’s March 30th vote to move the retired teachers’ health-care insurance from the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) into the Plymouth County Health Group.
• Insurance. From $422,500 to $359,500, anticipating lower insurance costs due to expected changes in the Town’s insurance plan design following a thorough review by the Town Administrator.
4. Financial Policy Discussion
The Chair introduced—for further consideration following Annual Town Meeting—a draft set of high-level financial-policy recommendations summarizing suggestions made by various Committee members throughout the fiscal year. The possibility of segregating capital equipment from other capital requests and potentially raising from $5,000 to $10,000 the threshold for capital items in general was added. One outcome of such further consideration might be a revision to the Town of Hingham Financial Policy, last updated in February, 1993.
The severity of the Town’s financial outlook was underscored by Town Administrator Kevin Paicos, who made the point that the Town is living substantially above its means and that it cannot continue to run government in a ‘business-as-usual’ fashion.
Kevin estimated that the current year (FY09) budget deficit could range from $500,000 to $1,500,000 depending upon State Aid and building-permit revenue. Municipal departments will be directed to immediately reduce their FY09 budgets by 2%.
5. Warrant Article Discussion
• #11 – Reserve Fund. Finance Director Ted Alexiades presented a summary of Reserve Fund transfers to date for FY09, totaling $77,450, leaving a balance of $355,408. Given potential pending transfers totaling $1,145,058, the Committee voted to recommend that $790,000 be transferred from available reserves for use during FY09.
• #40 – By-law: Marihuana. Re-opened to add clarifying language and re-voted that no action be taken.
• #15 – Sewer Construction – Thaxter Street. Re-opened and approved to reflect changes approved by the Sewer Commission on April 21st.
The following two Warrant articles were reviewed and voted that no action be taken.
• #48 – Street Acceptance – Windsong Way
• #49 – Street Acceptance – Great Rock Road
In response to questions from the public, Dan Dwyer agreed to obtain further detail regarding the existence of any deed restrictions, taxes owed, or future construction siting related to the proposed #21 -- Cushing Property Acquisition.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:02 PM.
Jonathan R. Asher, Secretary