Monday, March 19, 2018

TO:          Board of Selectmen
FROM:    Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE:          Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE:     March 15, 2018
CC:          All Departments

Important Notices Public Budget Meeting – Wednesday, March 28th at 6:30 p.m. 
PLEASE spread the word and Posting! 

Now accepting applications for one Full-Time Police Officer position. Please double check the revised budget hearing schedule and keep all of your units tuned in! Business Meeting or Workshop: The following is intended to supplement agenda items where a full memorandum may not have been required or updates are needed.

Weekly Report: Monty Tech approved its Preliminary Budget. We have adjusted the budget to reflect this budget. You will see on the revision sheets circulated that we covered the roughly $35k above our hoped-for increase of $15k+/- with the $32k we moved from grants to the revenue ledger. While this eliminates any assistance in offsetting the potential NRSD assessment I do have some hope after spending a lengthy period of time with the Superintendent that he is mindful of the challenges facing us and exploring all possibilities for closing the gap in some fashion. While the final decision remans with the School Committee, our conversations have been respectful and co-operative. I attended the NRSD Re-Organization Committee. Unfortunately, I had to leave about 6:15p for our meeting. After a review of the costs and educational merits of two basic grade configurations, the conclusion was to meet again on 03/26 at 4:30 p.m. and come to a recommendation to submit to the School Committee. Given the complexity of the many issues involved – and matters I believe need yet to be explored – I’ll be reaching out to spend some extended time with each of you for a fuller briefing. Going into the Tuesday storm we had a deficit of roughly $42k. I attended the Phillipston FinCom to present the costs for local dispatch in several configurations. They made clear the programmatic decision of how to procure this service was not in their domain but did appear to have a general agreement that the price was not out of line. I will reach out to the BoS once more to advise them of the possibility of shaving the price by $1k if they do not desire the ConnectTY module. I briefed the incoming Town Counsel on the Draft ATM warrant and potential ballot questions. I have asked him to concentrate his first review on the “standard” questions (i.e. budget, CPC, and the like) while I await your intent on some of the other articles (Over-Ride, By-Law revisions and the like).

Administration & Finance 
Town Accountant: Nothing to report this week.

Treasurer/Collector: Nothing to report this week.

Assessor: Returning to the office after being out 2 weeks. Committed and created real estate and personal property tax bills and export files for the 4th Quarter Tax Bills. Bills will be mailed out next week. Received notification and committed 2nd batch of Motor Vehicle bills, these will be mailed out March 26th with an April 24th due date. Also did motor vehicle rebills from other towns. These will be mailed next week with the same dates. Created supplemental tax bills for 2 new homes that received occupancy permits. Reviewed budgets from Town Administrator in preparation for next week budget meeting. Working on compiling information for Carter. Counter traffic still steady. Thank you, Sue, for covering the office these past two weeks.

Town Clerk: Spent the week performing the regular responsibilities and duties required for this office.

Public Works 
Highway Department: Snow, Snow and more Snow, it seems like SPRING will never get here. Trucks were prepped and readied for the weekly Nor’easter. The Older of the loaders was taken out of service. That is 4 vehicles in the last 4 weeks taken out of service, M11 the catch basin truck, H35 a 6- wheeled dump truck, H10 the department pick up and now the loader. Our aging fleet is rapidly depleting.

Buildings & Grounds: Snow removal for the Building & Grounds guys as well, continuous efforts in plowing, sanding and shoveling of parking lots, roads and walkways. Began to remove snow from roof edges and overhangs. Replaced stair treads @ the highway barn. Serviced the push mowers.

While looking for funds to cover increases in other things and considering overrides, cutting some services, I cannot help but to think back a few years and recall the highway department had two loaders, both were said to be worn out, too costly to repair. Even one highway employee stated that they were unreliable at the time. Apparently, the two loaders have been in service despite those statements. A new loader was bought with chapter 90 monies. All three loaders were in the public relations video showing the highway department in action down at the Town sand pit.

If those loaders were too costly to maintain, repair and were unreliable, why were they still being used? To me, unreliable means unsafe and if equipment is unsafe, take it out of service, period.

Taxpayers told that two pieces of equipment need to be replaced because they are worn out and too costly to repair, yet stay in service for many years afterwards and even after a new loader is purchased may cause voters to be wary of future claims that this or that is needed. There may be a true need, but hey, that is what they said about the loaders, but they kept using them for like six years more (and counting). Templeton needs truth in "advertising"

Fiscal year 2019 expenses for Council on Aging:
 from the budget book provided by way of selectmen office.

Formula Grant - $9.70 per elder, as of 2010 census; 1597 elders x $9.70 = $15,490.00

Estimate for /from MART - reimburse for drivers, phone, fuel (for MART owned vehicles) and 1/3 of drivers wages for admin.

Senior services - Personnel - $190,000.00 - salary for director listed at $46,771.00

Senior services - employee support - $3,250.00

Conference pricing - members.

Complete conference 3-day package with evening events, includes all breakfasts, buffet luncheons, and breaks, plus includes Wednesday networking reception, Thursday dinner at $475.00.
Double Tree hotel in Danvers: $132.92 per night.

3 day workshop package, daytime only - includes all breakfasts, buffet luncheons and breaks but does not include Wednesday networking conference or Thursday dinner at $405.00.

Wednesday only: includes four sessions, a breakfast, a buffet luncheon and 2 breaks at $155.00.

Thursday only - Includes four sessions, a breakfast, a buffet luncheon and 2 breaks at $155.00.

Friday only - Includes a morning intensive, a breakfast and a buffet luncheon at $115.00.

Wednesday dinner - $65.00.

Thursday networking event - $35.00.

Senior service / purchase of services - $3,500.00.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Looking down the road a bit, will there be a Templeton crafts fair this year? I mean if selectmen opined due to school construction, the senior mac n cheese festival cannot be on the common, I do not see how the craft fair can be held there.

Again, some good ides,thoughts and discussion on things here, hopefully they are brought to the open forum or sooner. I think the Town needs all the ideas that can be brought forward. I did learn something yesterday while walking around knocking on doors; people do know things are happening, some people wonder if selectmen know there are residents outside of Town hall, people do wonder about the roads, talk of override (s), why is the school hiring another assistant principal, what is the new school going to cost, how much are taxes really going up. Fact is, quite a few people do know things, understand things, but are looking for explanations and information.

If one takes time to leave Town Hall and go out to meet and speak with the people, listen and hear what their concerns are, it may help to create a path to go down and get people involved.
My opinion is, do not say people do not understand, because they do get their tax bill, they drive down the roads, they do read the newspaper, they do talk with other people. The mission should be, perhaps, get these people to town meeting and have a discussion. Perhaps it should not be to see how quickly the meeting can be over, perhaps it should not be how convenient a meeting can be for selectmen, perhaps it should be, how can this meeting benefit residents.

Just a thought or two.
Community Preservation Act and the funds that come with it.

Again, this may seem one of those things that we could do without or do better with it, as one recent comment suggested -

Anonymous2:12 PM
Here's a ready source of money for the general fund - convert CPA taxes to an override.

Ask for a new town meeting vote to eliminate the CPA tax. The ask for an override in the exact same amount.

CPA was a nice idea, but can Templeton spend that money better? Yes, it could be spent on general government services, which are the town's reason for being.

The state has gradually reduced the match. FY2018 resulted in the lowest match to date.

Thoughts on this??
First, I see a loss of the matching state funds, whatever dollar figure that may be. I consider what the CPA may be used for and one item is recreation, passive or active.

“Recreational use”, active or passive recreational use including, but not limited to, the use of land for community gardens, trails, and noncommercial youth and adult sports, and the use of land as a park, playground or athletic field. “Recreational use” shall not include horse or dog racing or the use of land for a stadium, gymnasium or similar structure.
Perhaps the Town, by way of some open forums could come to some sort of consensus (not here) on whether they wish to have these items available and paid for by tax dollars. Probably not an easy task, but perhaps one to be considered. Remember, there is a skate park fund with at least a couple thousand dollars of donated money sitting on the Town's books, what is to become of those monies? The Town owns 20 something acres of and off of Wellington Road - across from the new school. There is no access from the road to this property that I know of. Perhaps some kind of agreement with a land owner could help with that. I think, it could be of value to the kids in grade school, 1 -5 to go out and see nature, perhaps gain interest in science or something. Or just be a little kid and have fun at recess, if they still have that. By the way, alot of that town land is wet, very wet sometimes.
Genera government services: sometimes I cringe when I see or hear that; here is why - I walk into Town Hall, there is an accountant, an assistant to the accountant, a town clerk, an assistant to the clerk, a deputy assessor and an assistant to the deputy assessor and so on. The "government" has gotten bigger and cost more, but has the service improved enough to justify the increase in cost? Yes, an office will be open when the main person is off for whatever reason, such as vacation of illness or school, meetings etc. The question is, could/would the service function, as in complete it's reason for being, whether the office was closed on occasion for any of the above mentioned issues. Yes, having an assistant makes ones job easier, is that the responsibility of the taxpayer? There is always the efficiency issue and the office is always open for the ease of the taxpayer, etc. 

At one time, taxpayers paid health insurance for elected positions, it was eliminated while saving at the time, around 80 thousand dollars per year. Some resigned when the insurance was stopped. Then, came elected position pay, cut and saving at the time, around 60 thousand dollars, still, people run for office.

Back to CPA, perhaps before we decide to change it, we have some true open discussion on the matter, while remembering, town meeting does not have to vote for every item brought before them by way of CPA funds/projects. Perhaps this would be a subject/topic for the planned open forum scheduled and perhaps a member of the community preservation committee can attend to try and answer some of these things.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Templeton Board of Selectmen 
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Monday, March 19, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Discuss Town Administrator’s Proposed Budget & Legislative Package for FY’19

3. Adjournment
Templeton Board of Selectmen 
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Discuss Town Administrator’s Proposed Budget & Legislative Package for FY’19

3. Adjournment

Templeton Board of Selectmen
NRHS KIVA, 464 Baldwinville Road, Baldwinville, MA 01436
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Attend Narragansett Regional School Committee Meeting- General Discussion RE: Budget Hearing and Meeting

Templeton Board of Selectmen 
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 6:30 p.
1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Discuss Town Administrator’s Proposed Budget & Legislative Package for FY’19

3. Adjournment

Scheduled for March 19 - Public Works / Highway - Pubic Works / Buildings & Grounds

Schools / Sewer / Warrant Review

With a few meetings cancellations due to weather, there will probably be some adjustment, as was scheduled for March 7 were Executive Officers & IT / Development Services / Administration & Finance: Town Clerk, Assessor, Treasurer/Collector, Debt, Accountant, Insurance & Benefits.
Community Services: Library, Recreation & Culture, Council on Aging, Veterans, Cable.


Templeton Board of Selectmen 
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Public Meeting~To Hear Comments, Suggestions & Concerns RE: FY’19 Budget

3. Discuss Town Administrator’s Proposed Budget & Legislative Package for FY’19

4. Adjournment

Perhaps item #2 is the time and place for clarification on vehicle excise tax, Cadillac tax and luxury tax; what they are, what they concern and how are they used pertaining to Templeton.
This is a selectmen's meeting schedule and I believe it would be safe to reason that all selectmen would be aware of this and that would be the time/place to debate anything in question.
As someone who tries to be aware, I believe much time will be spent on ALS, override to fund it, as well as the increase in the two school districts and how those increases will be handled. 

I hope these meetings are well attended.

Friday, March 16, 2018

for the benefit of selectmen: from the Massachusetts Municipal Association website.

Cadillac Tax:
The fate and composition of federal legislation on health care reform remains unclear, but it appears increasingly likely that the so-called Cadillac tax will come into effect, though not quite as soon as initially planned.
At the beginning of May, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, which is intended to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), but would retain many provisions of the ACA. Under the bill, those with preexisting conditions would still be able to get insurance, though states would have more flexibility in determining what conditions insurers would be required to cover. Individuals would still be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26, and there would be no lifetime cap on the amount of care an individual can receive on a given insurance plan.
The House bill would also retain the ACA’s Cadillac tax, which was designed to be the primary funding mechanism for the ACA to pay for some of the more costly policy changes.
The Cadillac tax is a 40 percent annual excise on individual health insurance plans valued above $10,800 and family plans valued above $29,500. The tax was originally due to go into effect in 2018, but the start date was pushed back to 2020. With the arrival of the Trump administration, however, there was uncertainty about the fate of the tax.

Note: 40 percent annual excise, perhaps that led to the confusion with motor vehicle excise tax?

There is also more information on the MIIA website.

Vehicle excise tax, Porsche, BMW, Ford, the formula is the same

Excise bills are prepared by the Registry of Motor Vehicles according to the information on the motor vehicle registration. They are sent to city or town assessors who commit them to the local tax collectors for distribution and collection of payment. Cities and towns may also prepare their own bills based on excise data sent by the Registry in conformity with Registry requirements.
Local tax collectors are responsible for collecting the motor vehicle and trailer excise. Collectors may appoint deputy tax collectors or may enter into agreements with collection agencies to assist them in the collection of delinquent accounts. Money collected on all bills, excluding deputy tax collectors’ fees, is put into the municipal treasury. Generally, tax collectors and deputy tax collectors do not accept partial payment of an excise bill. Taxpayers should be prepared to pay the full amount due. There are no special considerations for financial hardship.

An excise at the rate of $25 per one thousand dollars of valuation (effective 1/1/81) is levied on each motor vehicle. Information on the value of a motor vehicle is accessed electronically through a data bank complete with valuation figures. Different sources provide the valuation figures depending upon whether the motor vehicle is an automobile, a truck, a motorcycle, or a trailer. For example, automobile valuations are derived from figures published in the National Automobile Dealers Association Official Used Car Guide (NADA), to which the Registry has electronic access. Most public libraries have copies of NADA and other motor vehicle official guides.
Figures are the manufacturers’ list prices for vehicles in their year of manufacture. Present market value, price paid, or condition are not considered for excise tax purposes. The excise tax law (M.G.L. c.60A, s.1) establishes its own formula for valuation for state tax purposes whereby only the manufacturer’s list price and the age of the motor vehicle are considered. The formula is as follows:
In the year preceding the model year
(brand new car released before model year)
In the model year
In the second year
In the third year
In the fourth year
In the fifth and succeeding years