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Lamoine Budget Committee

Minutes of October 15, 2007

Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Linda Feury , Hubene Brodie , Henry Ashmore, Joseph Young Jr., Reginald McDevitt, Robin Veysey ; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Cable TV Operator Merle Bragdon

Minutes of August 28, 2007Reggie moved to approve the minutes as written. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was unanimous.

Discussion of recent meetings with Selectmen – Hubene asked if the budget committee was being left the way it is. Stu said yes, only a pre-budget season meeting and a post recommendation meeting are being added.

Henry asked if the submission process where the municipal side of the budget was presented first to the Selectmen then to the Budget Committee was the same as usual. Stu said yes.

Henry said the October 11th meeting went fairly well. He said the committee got a lot of good information. He asked who lays out the long term capital needs report. Stu said it was in his job description and also in the budget committee by-laws. He said he would update the spreadsheet. There was a brief discussion of Birchlawn Drive .

Henry said he jotted down some items that came up during the October 11th meeting. He said the fire department will ask at some point to upgrade airpacks. He said the revaluation looks like it might not be needed for 6 or 7 more years. A short discussion followed.

There was a short discussion about the status of the salt/sand shed.

Reggie said he was glad everyone spoke up about a recent restructuring proposal. He said the committee did not need to have 15 members. Hubene said a display of temper at the September 6 th meeting with the Selectmen was uncalled for. Henry said the committee is functioning well. He said if communications are a problem, the committee is here to listen. Robin said there is an absolute obligation to listen, but that doesn't mean the committee has to agree with the speaker. Reggie said the committee can't be much more professional than it has been in the past. Robin said it was good for the individuals in all the departments to see the various pieces of the budget, not just their own when it's under consideration.

By-Laws – Stu said he copied the by-laws at the request of Hubene, who asked if Stu had changed things noted in a fresh set of by-laws. Stu said he made the spelling corrections noted at the end. Henry highlighted the various sections of the old by-laws. The budget committee recommended the following changes be adopted by the Selectmen:

  1. Update the organization section to account for an alternate position(s)
  2. Update the responsibility section that refers to reviewing the fiscal status of the town to read “as necessary” as opposed to quarterly
  3. Update the responsibility section to show that the Budget Committee will review the capital projects plan as opposed to develop the plan

There was a short discussion about posting the minutes. It was noted the minutes are available at the town hall as well as on-line. Linda said anyone who is interested in seeing the minutes can. Robin said that opportunity to review the minutes is always available. Henry said folks who ask questions at town meeting would be helped by having someone knowledgeable answer the questions. Joe noted that differences in recommendations and the reasons therefore could be printed in the town report. A short discussion followed in regard to the town report format.

Town Meeting Schedule - Stu reported the annual town meeting will be held April 1 st and 2 nd . Voting will take place on Tuesday, 4/1/08 and the open town meeting on 4/2/08. A discussion followed in regard to the timing of the school budget. Henry said the school budget will most likely be handled at a special town meeting. Stu noted the new state required school budget format takes effect, including 7 line items for expenses and separate revenue line items. Henry said the budget would be approved at an open forum and then ratified by a secret ballot referendum to vote it up or down. He said if the referendum votes down the budget, another open meeting and referendum will be needed. A short discussion about absentee ballots followed.

Henry said most everyone he's spoken with likes the idea of the referendum validation of the school budget. He said the school budget will need to be acted upon with sufficient time to go at it again. He said if the approval process goes beyond July 1st , the previous year's budget can be instituted, but the town must keep working until a budget is approved.

LD-1 Figure – Stu said he'd laid out the LD 1 limits, and it was a pretty easy calculation to come up with.

Meeting Schedule – The Budget Committee agreed to meet on the following dates:

•  October 30, 2007

•  November 12, 2007

•  November 26, 2007

•  December 10, 2007 (outside agency requests)

•  December 17, 2007 (if necessary)

Outside Agency Requests – There was a lengthy discussion about various ways the requests from outside agencies could be handled. Linda suggested adding them into the General Assistance budget as a lump sum and letting the Selectmen and Town Clerk decide how the money is distributed. Joe noted it is the most contentious part of the town meeting. Linda said it's hard to decide whether to donate to charities. Robin said she has a problem spending taxpayer dollars for charities that someone else might not choose. She said the town might not be obligated to provide such services. Linda said it seems the Budget Committee makes decisions and the town meeting overrides those based on popularity. She suggested having a set amount in the budget.

Budget Committee members asked to have the Donation Review Ordinance available for the next meeting. A short discussion followed on comparing general assistance to support for social service agencies. A discussion then followed on town meeting actions. The ordinance was discussed as well as the exclusion of the YMCA, the Library and possibly the hospital. Henry asked if the agencies really needed to come in and make a presentation. Robin said without the presentations it turns into a letter writing campaign. A short discussion followed on what to recommend.

School Budget – The committee noted that because of the state mandated changes to the school budget format, no meetings will likely be needed in January. Stu said he would have a better idea next week about the school budget schedule.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.

 

C:\Documents and Settings\stu\My Documents\2007 Documents\Boards07\Budget Cmte\Minutes\Budget Cmte Minutes 10-15-07.doc