Oct 15, 2015

Budget Committee Minutes Oct 15, 2015

Budget Committee: Steve Kelley, Diane Cummings, Muffy Copenhaver, Dann, Ron Bolt, Evan Nelson, Mike Stevens, Eddy Moore, Carolyn Murro, and George Kirk
Town: Milt Bratz, Karen Noyes
Media: Darin Wipperman, Courier
Purpose: Annual Organizational Meeting


  • The minutes of the 10 September meeting were approved as submitted.
  • Officers were elected as follows:
    • Chair, Steve Kelley
    • Vice Chair, Diane Cummings
    • Secretary, Ron Bolt
  • After a discussion about remote voting, such as by phone or proxy, the motion (Ron/Dann) “Voting will be limited to members physically present, whether primary or alternate” - amended (Dann/Muffy) to include the statement “but any absent member can present their views to the Chairman, and the Chairman will introduce that input into the discussion at the meeting.” – passed unanimously. 
  • Selection of an Alternate to voting status during a meeting will be at the discretion of the Chairman, and should take continuity, experience, and knowledge into consideration.
  • The Chairman will only vote to break a tie.
  • A standard list of addressees should be used for emails intended only for committee members. Group accounts have been created for both the Budget Committee and School Board.
  • Members were reminded that the committee, although only advisory in nature, is still a public body and subject to the NH Right to Know law. 
  • Members were asked to review the committee’s Mission Statement and bring forward any comments to the next meeting.

General Discussion:
Diane raised the issue of trying to get ahead of the curve on collective bargaining agreements. She expressed a concern about health insurance and hoped that both the school and town would make this a priority and, where possible, coordinate their efforts. Karen informed that contract negotiations were already underway between the town and the Police Department’s union (State Employee Association of New Hampshire). Karen assured the committee that this exact topic is being looked at closely this year. Muffy added a concern that information about changes in health insurance rates may not be available in time for the negotiations. Steve will raise this issue with the School Board.
Ron asked if we could request that both the school and town provide the committee with information on their goals and objectives for this budget cycle, and if they could inform the committee about the process and procedures used in developing their budgets.
Ron asked if we could request an update to the Capital Improvements Program from the Planning Board. Both the school and town have some major projects under consideration and synchronizing their planning would be beneficial. Steve suggested inviting them to one of the committee’s future meetings.
The MS-1 (town property values) report has not yet been filed with the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA). Until this form is submitted to, reviewed, and approved by the DRA, the town cannot set the tax rate. Delays in the process will probably necessitate the town taking out a short-term loan (Tax Anticipation Note) to cover a cash flow shortfall.

Next Meeting: 20 October, 4 PM, Community Center
Ron Bolt, Secretary