Sunday, January 21, 2018

from the schedule of the annual Massachusetts Municipal Association;

4. Inspire Engagement With a Citizens Academy
Room 205, 2nd floor, Hynes Convention Center
Presented by the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association

Citizen academies have become more popular as local officials look for ways to get citizens more involved, whether through volunteer boards and commissions or otherwise, and residents seek to learn more about the day-to-day operations of municipal government. These educational sessions give citizens an overview of all aspects of city or town government, whether in a one-day workshop or a series of sessions. Learn how a successful academy can serve as an entry point for board and committee volunteers, promote two-way dialogue between staff and residents, and deepen public knowledge and understanding of how local government operates.
Peter Lombardi is the town administrator in Wenham.
Carl Valente is the town manager in Lexington.
Tom Hutcheson is the town administrator in Conway

How about we inspire them with an attentive, always present Board of Selectmen, as in five, the number elected by the people, to be for the people. How about these same five selectmen allow people to speak, question and discuss when the people who elect them have questions or concerns about something. Something such as an already voted article at Town Meeting, but later hear some things that they wish to have clarified. How about these selectmen sit on the stage and let that happen without going all out to try and stop debate.

Perhaps they will acquire some new ways to put a spin on things from this forum.

from the schedule for this weeks annual Massachusetts Municipal Association meeting;

Lets hope one of the Templeton selectmen attended this!

5. Not Just for Accountants: Know Your Chart of Accounts
Room 208, 2nd floor, Hynes Convention Center
Presented by the Massachusetts Government Finance Officers Association

The chart of accounts is the backbone of municipal finance. It organizes a city or town’s financial books, including revenue, expense and fund balance accounts. The chart of accounts is not just an issue for your accountant; it’s used by town and school officials, outside auditors and the state. Learn why a user-friendly, well-constructed chart of accounts makes municipal and school finances more transparent and easier to manage. This workshop will also cover best practices in setting up and using a chart of accounts, how it can lose its effectiveness over time, and why a municipality might want to replace its current chart of accounts with a more effective one.
Maryellen Dunn is the deputy superintendent for administration and finance in Brookline.
Wendy Nightingale is the finance director in Easton.
Hannah York is a certified public accountant and manager at CliftonLarsonAllen in Lexington.
Sandy Pooler is the deputy town manager in Arlington.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Board of Selectmen Policies and Procedures:

1. Annual Town Meeting: There shall be an Annual Town Meeting in May each year for the consideration of all Town business which is to be posted properly prior to the meeting. The Annual Town Meeting Warrant is the Selectmen’s by statute. The Selectmen may insert articles in the warrant; within the time frame the warrant is open, on their own initiative or by written petition signed by the proper number of registered voters for the Annual Town Meeting.

January 19, 2018 - from the Massachusetts Municipal Association meeting:

Several days before formally submitting his fiscal 2019 state budget plan, Gov. Charlie Baker presented the broad outlines this morning to more than 1,000 local officials from across Massachusetts during the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show in Boston.
The governor said his budget bill will include a 3.5 percent increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, raising that account to $1.1 billion. The increase matches the projected rate of growth in state tax collections for fiscal 2019, a number that administration and legislative budget writers agreed upon last Friday.
On the other major local aid account, the governor said he would increase Chapter 70 education aid by $118 million, $15 million of which would be set aside to assist districts teaching Puerto Rico hurricane survivors who have come to Massachusetts to attend school. The roughly 2.5 increase would bring the Chapter 70 account to $4.87 billion.
The UGGA account is funded mainly from Lottery and other gaming revenues and is used locally to help pay for municipal services and to reduce reliance on the property tax. During his campaign in 2014, the governor said he would increase UGGA at the same rate as the growth in tax collections, a commitment he has honored now in each of his four budget proposals.
The governor added that the administration has held to this commitment even in years when the revenue projections proved to be overly optimistic, protecting cities and towns when the state has needed to make mid-year cuts.
The governor also announced that his administration would be filing a bill in a matter of weeks with $200 million for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program, a critical reimbursement program used by cities and towns to maintain basic infrastructure.

People better keep buying lotto tickets.

Friday, January 19, 2018

from Town of Templeton General By-Laws:

Notice it states "in writing" (I know that may be hard to process for some, but it looks pretty simple to understand - a written report of it's recommendations)

Article II - Town Meetings

Section 6. All articles in any warrant for a town meeting shall be referred to the Advisory Committee for its consideration. The Selectmen after drawing any such warrant shall transmit immediately a copy thereof to the chairman of said committee. A public hearing shall be held, upon all such articles, unless a public hearing by some other tribunal is required by law, and a notice of such hearing shall be given by inserting in the local newspaper. Said committee shall, after due consideration of the subject matter of such articles, report thereon to the town meeting, in writing, such recommendations as it deems best for the interests of the town and its citizens. Copies of the report of the Advisory Committee shall be made available to the voters at least two days before town meetings and at all town meetings. 

Could Town Meeting have been confused when they voted this by-law into effect?
Perhaps it was those members wanted to have as much information as possible before taking a vote or making a decision.

from the selectmen policies and procedures:

Board Ethics:

1. A member of the Board of Selectmen, in relation to his or her community should:

     A. Realize that his or her basic function is to make policy, with administration delegated to the Town Administrator.
     B. Realize that he or she is one of a team and should abide by all board decisions once they are made.
     C. Be well informed concerning the duties of a board member on both local and state levels.
     D. Remember that he or she represents the entire community at all times.
     E. Accept the office of Selectmen as a means of unselfish service, not benefit personally or politically from his or her board or              outside activities.
     F. In all appointments, avoid political patronage by judging all candidates on merit, experience and qualifications only.
     G. Abide by the ethics established by the state and not use the position to obtain inside information on matters which may                  benefit someone personally.
2. A member of the Board of Selectmen, in their relations with administrative officers of the Town should:
     A. Endeavor to establish sound, clearly defined policies that wil direct and support the administration for the benefit of the                    people of the community.
     B. Recognize and support the administrative chain of command and refuse to act on complaints as an individual outside the                administration.
     C. Give the Town Administrator full responsibility for discharging his or her disposition and solution.

3. A member of the Board of Selectmen, in his or her relations with fellow board members, should:
     A. Recognize that action at official legal meetings is binding and that he or she alone cannot bind the board outside of such                 meetings.
     B. Uphold the intent of executive session and respect the privileged communications that exist in executive session.
     C. Make decisions only after all facts on an issue have been presented and discussed
     D. Treat with respect the rights of all members of the board despite differences of opinion

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Board of selectmen policies and procedures: or,  how to be transparent.

Agenda items normally include:
1. Reading of the Agenda
2. Public Comment
3. Town Administrator Report
4. Scheduled Business
5. Topics not Reasonably Anticipated by the Chairman 48 Hours in Advance
6. Selectman Reports/Future Agenda Items
7. Adjournment

Does anyone see Town Administrator report on the agenda?
For a BOS who talk much about policies, they seem to have a hard time following them.

Selectmen policies and procedures:
WORKING MEETINGS: The Board may conduct informal “working sessions” from time to time as the situation warrants. At such meetings, this will be posted in accordance with Open Meeting Law, no final action will be taken. A synopsis of transactions of informal meetings will be made a part of the minutes of the following regular meeting.

QUORUM: A quorum will consist of three members of the Board. As a practical courtesy, action or controversial matters, the Adoption of policy or appointments shall be taken, whenever practicable, with the full Board in attendance. Actions and decisions shall be by motion, second, discussion and vote. All votes to be recorded by roll call. The Town Administrator is expected to be in attendance at all meetings of the Board. The Town Administrator will attend in order to keep the Board informed and advise and recommend in all matters that fall within the jurisdiction of his office. He/she will carry out the actions of the Board as they relate to the conduct and administration of the Town affairs under his jurisdiction.

from the minutes of January 8, 2018 (draft)
referral to workshop - policy RE: employee badges - J. Caplis

Old Business: Fortes mentioned that he wanted to add the review of the selectmen's policies to the next workshop.

Notice there are no motions or votes recorded for those two items to move to workshop.

Templeton Board of Selectmen
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Monday, January 22, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Public Comment

4. a. Meeting Minutes~ 1.8.18
b. Executive Session Minutes~ Ripe for release: 1.8.18

5. New Business: 
a. Action RE: Appointments & Introductions
b. Presentation RE: Police Station Project Update
c. Presentation RE: Q2 FY’18 Financial Report
d. Discussion RE: COA~Building Issues & Kitchen Equipment (J.Caplis)
e. Action RE: Crow Hill Track Permit & Common Victualler Permit
f. Action RE: Class II License~Auto Auctions & Recycling
g. Action RE: Amendment to Service Agreement~Collins Center Budget Document
h. Referral to Workshop:
- Policy RE: Baldwinville Elementary School Disposition

6. Old Business:

7. Board & Staff Member Comments & Reports 

8. Request for Executive Session per M.G.L. Ch.30, Sec. 21-3, Union Negotiations
9. Adjournment
Parliamentary Inquiry ~ Does the Templeton Selectboard follow Roberts Rules of Order 

I do not believe so, but an email to the chairman may answer that question. The selectmen do have BOS policies and procedures policy that was/is intended to guide selectmen on their meetings.

John Caplis email: