Board of Selectmen
December 11, 2007
Rutland Public Library
Present: Donald R. D’Auteuil, Douglas C. Briggs, Leroy Clark, Joseph Becker, Daniel Haynes, Sally Hayden, Joyce McGuinness, the Finance Committee and Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary – Sheila Dibb was absent.
Town Accountant, Daniel Haynes, explained that the Town is over its levy limit because the debt exclusion number was incorrect due to the Fire Truck grant and the debt exclusion number was used as part of the revenue. It was corrected by Mrs. Hayden foregoing her tax title figure and Mrs. McGuinness reducing her allowance for abatements and exemptions. Discussion. Mrs. McGuinness explained that new growth has been gradually declining over the last three years.
Mr. Briggs said he spoke to the Wachusett Superintendent who:
1. Does not anticipate an increase in staff
2. Does not know how assessment will go up
Net contribution – Mr. Briggs guesstimate 6% increase
RASA – projected to go up slightly
Transportation – under same contract (depends how state funds it)
Debt service – probably will go up
Mr. Briggs would like the Finance Committee to stay in touch with Rebecca Peterson at the District office. He also stated that the same goes for Bay Path.
Mrs. Sbrogna feels we should begin with a 20% reduction (including salaries) for FY’09 with each department deciding where the 20% would come from. She also suggested the possibility of a zero-based budget for larger departments. Mr. Briggs & Mr. Becker will be attending Finance Committee meetings. Mrs. Sbrogna would like the Finance Committee & Selectmen to meet with the departments jointly. Mr. Becker agreed. Mrs. Sbrogna also suggested a moratorium on all unnecessary purchases for FY’09 as well as any non-emergency articles at the Annual Town Meeting.
Mr. Becker would like both groups to work off of a single set of numbers and to be updated on those numbers by Mr. Haynes as the process moves along. Mr. Becker would also like each department (when presenting their budgets) to indicate what impact the 20% reduction will have on their department’s services.
Mr. D’Auteuil will have a memo sent to all departments under the Selectmen explaining the process for budget preparation and the Finance Committee will send one to elected boards.
Mr. Haynes reluctantly suggested a debt exclusion on the existing debt which would bring in more revenue. Mr. Becker feels that everything is on the table this year. Mr. Haynes also mentioned that the Unemployment Fund would have to be increased if a reduction in personnel occurred.
If salaries are to be increased, Mr. Becker suggested a percentage increase rather than a step increase as many employees are at their last step.
Helene Irish would like to see all departments use the same form/format when preparing their budgets.
Mr. Becker moved to adjourn. Mr. Clark seconded. Vote unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary
Board of Selectmen