Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Free Advertisement and now featured on Twitter.

Templeton's finest journalist really dug up the dirt on me. Check this link out for a slow news day in Templeton 😂
Good thing I never claimed to be a journalist. I simply like to once in a while peruse the postings of elected officials face book and twitter and even snapchat and all those other things out there. Never know what one may find. Besides, you may find you are being talked about. If I had a thin skin, I would never have volunteered for the Advisory Committee. Now, as a Thomas Taylor posted, referring to me "He is scrapping the bottom of the barrel to report on a twitter feed." But Thomas (if that is your real name) I am simply trying to give Cameron's twitter postings the attention they deserve. So are you saying that Cameron is the bottom of the barrel? That kind of implies Templeton has scraped the bottom of the barrel for a selectmen. Not my opinion at this time, but I think it is a conclusion that could be reached following your "logic."
People have lost jobs for things posted on say a face book page so why not have a look see every so often? What can be the harm?

posted by Jeff Bennett

Monday, May 29, 2017

It is being paid out of the 911 Grant as budgeted for this year.

Kelli Pontbriand
Town of Templeton

From: Julie Farrell []
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 8:48 PM
To: Kelli Pontbriand
Cc: Advisory Committee; Beverly Bartolomeo; Gordon Moore; Jeff Bennett; Paul Grubb; Wilfred Spring; Cameron Fortes; Carter Terenzini; Diane Haley Brooks; Doug Morrison; John Caplis; Julie Richard
Subject: Re: Budget VS Actual as of 5/11/2017

Hello Everyone,

At tonight's Advisory Committee meeting, it was voted that I should contact you to bring an issue in the latest Budget to Actual to your attention.

On page 4 of 17 of the Expenditure Ledger, Dispatcher wages is expended 97.38 %. According to the May 11, 2017 version of the Expenditure Ledger, there was $6,933.19 left in this account to pay for dispatcher wages for the rest of this fiscal year. 

The Advisory Committee is concerned that there is not enough money in this account to meet payroll this week and for the rest of this fiscal year.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We are look forward to your response to this matter.

One time revenue to cover reoccurring expenses - hope this is not part of that five year plan our new selectmen is talking about on Twitter.

Cameron Fortes‏ 

Templeton is going to get such a revival. Working out a 5 year plan with no more debt, no higher taxes, and no more petty politics

posted by Jeff Bennett
from the E911 Commission (you can google it and read it all for yourself)

Templeton will again this fiscal year - 2017 use grant funds (one time funds) to "balance" a budget, as in cover reoccurring expenses with grant funds - shows again how Templeton does not have its finances straight.

V.        Use of Funding

Grantees may only use grant funds for the purposes listed below.  Use of all grant funding shall be: (a) related to the provision of enhanced 911 service; and (b) approved by the State 911 Department.   Funds shall not be used for any equipment, personnel or services that are not directly related to the provision of enhanced 911 service.  The State 911 Department reserves the right to reject the funding of items that are equivalent to items that have been purchased with State 911 Department grant funds and are still within their industry standard accepted shelve lives.  Additionally, the State 911 Department reserves the right, consistent with these guidelines, to provide or deny funding for types or classes of items that have been permitted or denied in prior grant cycles.
The State 911 Department will allow funding for the purchase or lease of equipment and for debt service on equipment, including without limitation, principal and interest payments on loans, notes, and bonds.  The State 911 Department will allow grantees to assign lease, debt service, and/or or incremental purchase costs to this grant.  However, any and all funding requested under this grant program shall be for goods and/or services received.  Funding will not be disbursed for obligations made without receipt of goods/services.  The State 911 Department makes no guarantee of funding from year to year and does not assume any obligation, as guarantor or otherwise, under any purchase, lease, or debt instrument. 
1.                  Allowable Expenses
Unless otherwise noted, primary PSAPs, regional PSAPs, regional secondary PSAPs, and RECCs shall be eligible to receive reimbursement of allowable expenses related to the categories below.  Primary PSAPs, regional PSAPs, and RECCs who transfer 911 calls to a secondary PSAP may be reimbursed for the allowable expenses of such secondary PSAP.   Funding shall not be available for expenses of a ringing PSAP or a limited secondary PSAP, except where such limited secondary PSAP is the certified emergency medical dispatch resource for the PSAP.

A. Enhanced 911 Telecommunicator Personnel Costs – to defray the costs of salary for enhanced 911 telecommunicator personnel, including enhanced 911 telecommunicators who are emergency communications dispatchers or supervisors.  In order to be eligible for such funding, a grantee shall show that the personnel costs to be reimbursed: (1) cover only personnel who are trained and certified as an enhanced 911  telecommunicator in accordance with the requirements of the State 911 Department, or are in the process of obtaining such certification, in accordance with the requirements of the State 911 Department; and (2) except as otherwise approved by the State 911 Department, are solely for hours in which such personnel are working in the capacity of an enhanced 911 telecommunicator as their primary job function.  Reimbursement may be allowed for straight time costs for on the job training for new telecommunicators who are in the process of obtaining certification as an enhanced 911 telecommunicator, in accordance with the requirements of the State 911 Department.  Reimbursement for personnel costs related to training may be allowed only for training courses that have been approved by the State 911 Department under the Fiscal Year 2017 State 911 Department Training Grant, or with the prior written approval of the State 911 Department.  Reimbursement for personnel costs for individuals who have other primary job duties not directly related to enhanced 911 service, such as firefighters or police officers who may occasionally be assigned PSAP enhanced 911 telecommunicator duty, may be allowed only for the documented hours in which the employee is acting primarily in the capacity of an enhanced 911 telecommunicator.  For example, if a police officer or firefighter is assigned to work as an enhanced 911 telecommunicator 1 day a week, funding from these grants may only be used to cover the portion of such firefighter or police officer’s salary for the 1 day a week that he or she is assigned to enhanced 911 telecommunicator duty.  Funding awarded through these grants shall be assigned to specific identified personnel, and the funding shall be applied to the personnel costs associated with such specific identified personnel. 
All wage reimbursements authorized under this Program shall be allocated by the grantee in adherence with applicable collective bargaining agreements.  However, the State 911 Department is not bound by or required to adhere to grantee collective bargaining agreements when determining allocations or reimbursements.
Certified enhanced 911 telecommunicators for whom reimbursement requests are submitted shall be identified on the Personnel Costs form contained in the Application Package.   A PSAP may add a certified enhanced 911 telecommunicator or personnel working toward such certification following the award of the grant by submitting a request to  Said request shall contain the information noted on the Personnel Costs form contained in the Application Package and shall provide documentation of the required certifications received from attendance at courses hosted by an entity other than the State 911 Department.   The State 911 Department will review the request and advise, in writing, whether or not the request has been approved.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The tough life of an elected official: Twitter is happening

Man, being a public official really limits what I can post on social media. How am I supposed to shitpost memes now?

This morning at 9:00AM I was officially sworn in and will only respond to "Mr. Selectman." 😅 Thanks again everybody!
Hatemail letter #1: "I have socks older than you." "You don't have the experience needed to run a town" I suppose this guys socks do..

Welcome to Templeton politics.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Town Meeting:
 Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee or Advisory Committee or Warrant Committee

What are the roles of the above with regards to budget preparation, presentation for and to Town Meeting - the legislative body of most Towns. The legislative body is NOT the board of selectmen, as one member of the Templeton BOS mistakenly (I hope) told me "the legislative body, the board of selectmen" in a conversation about something. 

From the Templeton, MA General Town By-Laws:

ARTICLE III - Town Officers

Section 4.  "It shall be the duty of the Town Administrator in conjunction with the board of selectmen to consider expenditures and develop a budget for the ensuing fiscal year for the several boards, and committees of the Town, as prepared by them in such form and detail as prescribed by the Town Administrator."

There is a section 4 under Article IV - Advisory Committee that also deals with the budget but for the moment, put that aside and deal with the above.

Page 88 of the Handbook for Massachusetts Selectmen:

Finance Committee (or Advisory or Warrant Committee)

The finance committee—or, in some towns, the advisory or warrant committee—is a town’s official
fiscal watchdog. Its primary, statutory responsibility is to advise and make recommendations to town
meeting on the budget and other areas of finance. One of the finance committee’s most important
functions involves making transfers from the town’s reserve fund (a contingency fund normally
created as part of annual budget appropriations) to other line items in the budget for extraordinary or unforeseen occurrences.
While the finance committee plays a vital role, it is within the executive authority of the selectmen,
and/or their appointees, to prepare the town’s budget. The selectmen have ultimate responsibility to
the residents for this service. The finance committee’s responsibility is to review the budget submitted to them and to make recommendations regarding the budget to the town’s legislative body: the town meeting. 

(In my opinion, that can only happen if the selectmen and Town Administrator have a time table that allows ample time for the Advisory Committee to do its job! - Jeff Bennett)

From the Finance Committee Handbook:
 "The board of selectmen, town manager, town administrator or executive secretary are part of the executive branch of government. It is their job to collect budget information, develop budget priorities and formulate a balanced budget, the same as the president or governor.

Once developed, that budget is presented to the finance committee (Advisory or Warrant) representing the legislative branch (body), Town Meeting. In effect, the local finance committee (Advisory in Templeton) has the same role as the House Ways and Means Committee in the State House. It is the finance committees responsibility to receive the budgets from the executive branch, either collectively or individually by department, analyze them, have hearings where the department heads and public can testify and present a balanced budget to Town Meeting. That budget should reflect the finance committees decisions based upon their best judgement of the issues and finances of the Town. The budget before town meeting is the finance committee's and it is their job to explain and defend it. This does not preclude department heads or the town administrator from being called upon to answer questions or explain items in more detail, but it is finance committees budget. 

"Without finance committee independent review, the town meeting would be at a severe handicap in voting on financial matters when all of the recommendations are coming from one source. Separation of powers was designed by our founding fathers for a reason - Defend it!" Alan Tosti, Chair, Arlington Finance Committee, Treasurer ATFC and Editor of the Finance Committee handbook (as presented in 2014 update of the handbook)

posted by Jeff Bennett

Templeton Town Counsel:

Sherborn Selectman Paul DeRensis was reappointed by Governor Charlie Baker on Feb. 10 to a ninth term as a member of the Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Commission. Former Governor Deval Patrick had initially appointed DeRensis to this commission. Baker first reappointed DeRensis in February 2015; this is the third reappointment by Baker. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito administered the oath of office on Feb. 14. State law provides that responsibilities of commissioners include the following:
“1. to review and analyze proposed legislation and regulatory changes from the point of view of municipal government and present such point of view to the governor, his executive secretaries and to the general court;
2. to act as an independent advocate for the interests of local governments in their relations with state and federal governments;
3. to advise officials of the commonwealth and the federal government on the needs of local governments, assist in mobilizing state and federal resources to deal with problems of local governments, provide coordinating support to Sherborn’s Paul DeRensis reappointed to state commission agencies responsible for administering federal, state and local programs, and promote legislative and administrative proposals reflecting the interests of local governments;
4. to establish, from time to time, study committees or task forces to consider issues pertaining to local government in detail and to present the results of those considerations to the governor, the secretaries of his executive offices and to the general court;
5. to meet monthly with the governor and at such other times...;
6. to meet quarterly with the legislative leadership, and at such other times as may be necessary.

Templeton is lucky to have Mr. DeRensis as it's main legal counsel.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Saturday, May 27, 2017

from Division of Local Services - who can be contacted for questions.

 March 2017

Field visits with municipal finance officials have revealed certain misconceptions about what constitutes a “budget deficit.” The term is often used when projected revenues are lower than anticipated expenditures at the start of the budget process. However, because municipal budgets must be in balance, policymakers must close this gap before the start of the fiscal year. After the tax rate is set, appropriation and revenue deficits can arise during the course of the fiscal year and must be addressed before the following year’s tax rate can be approved. An appropriation deficit is an excess of expenditures at any point in a fiscal year over the legally authorized amount approved by the local appropriating authority for the same period. With four spending exceptions (court judgments, snow and ice costs, overlay, and emergencies threatening public health or safety), a city or town department may not overexpend its appropriation under M.G.L. c. 44, §31. Unless corrected prior to year-end through transfer or appropriation of unexpended reserves, all appropriation deficits must be raised on the tax rate recapitulation sheet (tax recap) for the ensuing fiscal year. Illegal appropriation deficits also negatively hit free cash, which creates a double penalty. A revenue deficit is the amount by which actual revenues at year-end fall short of projected revenues and are thereby insufficient to cover actual expenditures (not including appropriation deficits). A revenue deficit must also be raised on the tax recap for the following year, but unlike an appropriation deficit, it does not affect a community’s free cash calculation. It is useful to remember that in determining revenue deficits, municipalities are allowed to regard the current year’s net real and personal property taxes as 100 percent collectible. This effectively narrows the source of a revenue deficit to state aid or local receipt categories. With either deficit type, town accountants and city auditors should monitor expenditure and revenue trends during the fiscal year to identify potential problems. Appropriation deficits can often be corrected through transfer or appropriation. An identified revenue deficit usually requires a corresponding midyear spending reduction. However, it is not possible to fully quantify a revenue deficit until after the fiscal year closes and a balance sheet is prepared. In addition to monitoring revenues and expenditures throughout the year, these are other methods to avoid or remedy deficits:  Under M.G.L. c. 41, §56, the accountant or auditor should disallow any departmental payment request when the appropriation balance in the line item to be charged is insufficient to cover the invoice amount. The timely exercise of this authority when processing warrants will prevent appropriation deficits. 
 A town meeting or city council may approve midyear line-item transfers or appropriate from reserve balances. In either case, the executive branch must originate the request.
 Under M.G.L. c. 44, §33B, a board of selectmen (with the finance committee’s agreement) or a city council may approve the transfer of appropriations between line items during the last two months of the fiscal year or the first 15 days of the ensuing fiscal year, provided that the appropriations are not taken from the school department or municipal light plant.
 Under M.G.L. c. 40, §5A and M.G.L. c. 40, §6, a city council or town finance committee may vote to transfer from the reserve fund an amount to fund extraordinary or unforeseen expenses.

posted by Jeff Bennett
Why is a post about a Templeton Town accountant possibly applying for a part time accounting position in another municipality being talked about or brought up?

Since there is a thing here in Massachusetts called the Uniform Massachusetts Accounting System

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Scope and Purpose:
 This Manual comprises the Uniform Massachusetts Accounting System (UMAS). The scope of the Manual is the operation of an accounting system for a local governmental entity in Massachusetts. Its purpose is to provide a reference for the City Auditor, Town Accountant or official with similar responsibilities in accounting for financial transactions and reporting results of municipal financial operations. The Manual is based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), but is written to meet the particular needs of Massachusetts local accounting officials.

Massachusetts General Laws (G.L.) c. 44, § 38 requires the Director of Accounts in the Department of Revenue to prescribe uniform accounting systems for local governmental entities. Accounting for municipally owned electric light plants is prescribed in G.L. c. 164 and is regulated by the Department of Public Utilities; accounting for retirement systems is prescribed in G.L. c. 32 and is regulated by the Public Employment Retirement Administration Commission. This Manual deals solely with accounting policies. Municipal financial issues such as budgeting or audit procurement are not included. Other publications of the Division of Local Services (DLS) address such subjects.

So it seems like if the Templeton Town Accountant takes a part time position in another community (and that is fine as long as Templeton does not take a back seat), it does not appear that the accountant would pick up any pointers or other things because the LAW cited above states there is one standard for ALL cities and towns.

Now, perhaps not known to some current selectmen and others, once upon a time there was a full time Health agent working in Templeton with a very generous compensation package who also worked part time for a few other communities. One of those communities was the Town of New Salem. On the New Salem town web site was a section involving that town's health agent and on that page, the health agent listed "my office number is 978-939 etc., which happened to be the telephone number for the Templeton Board of Health. It seemed to me the Templeton health agent could be conducting other town's business on Templeton dime. I found that website along with other communities where that individual was listed as part time health agent and there did not seem to be enough hours in the week to do all the work the individual was doing while also spending 40 hurs per week in Templeton. Somewhere I have a print out of the New Salem website. There was also a building inspector doing essentially the same thing. potted in another town during hours he was supposed to be in Templeton. That is why, in my opinion, the Templeton Town accountant possible part time position was worth a mention. Also of note, not to long ago at a selectmen meeting, there was mention of Phillipston was looking for a Town accountant and it could be possible for the two towns to share an accountant. A few weeks later, it was stated at another selectmen meeting that Phillipston was not interested. So, just in case any residents happen to see or hear of the Templeton accountant working for Phillipston, we try to avoid any assumption that "hey, I guess the two towns are sharing a town accountant and maybe we are saving some money." .

posted by Jeff Bennett

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A source has the Templeton Town Accountant applying for the Town of Phillipston Town Accountant job. It is listed as part-time position.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

from Massachusetts General Law, chapter 41;

Section 61: Annual report

Section 61. The town accountant shall make an annual report, to be published as a town document, giving a statement of all receipts and expenditures of the town for the past financial year, including those of funds managed by trustees or commissioners for the town and showing also the amount of each specific appropriation, the expenditures therefrom, and the purpose for which money has been spent; and said statement shall be arranged in accordance with the classifications prescribed by the director of accounts. Such report shall contain a statement of any change in the amount of the town debt during the year and a list of indebtedness incurred and unpaid at the end of the financial year.

from the Ledger History - expenditure Ledger - allocated summary
Some accounts/funds on this budget versus actual (so-called) show a % variation of more than 100%.

Solid waste disposal expenses:    113.24% var. shown as               -$842.01

Recycling revolving expenses:      218.11% var. shown as              - $983.67

COA revolving MART expenses:   148.68% var.  shown as         -$25,649.27

Elementary School:                      1,308.86% var.  shown as  -$1,287,015.44

Snow & Ice shows a deficit and that is allowed by law.

I can already hear the grumblings from Town Hall but this information is on a report from the Town Accountant and if those numbers are not negative or in deficit then perhaps it should be noted on the document as in an explanation. This was also on the agenda and discussed at the last meeting of the Advisory (finance) Committee.

posted by Jeff Bennett
from Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 41;

Section 52: Approval of bills

[ Text of section effective until November 7, 2016. For text effective November 7, 2016, see below.]
  Section 52. All accounts rendered to or kept in the departments of any city shall be subject to the inspection of the city auditor or officer having similar duties, and in towns they shall be subject to the inspection of the selectmen. The auditor or officer having similar duties, or the selectmen, may require any person presenting for settlement an account or claim against the city or town to make oath before him or them, in such form as he or they may prescribe, as to the accuracy of such account or claim. The wilful making of a false oath shall be punishable as perjury. The auditor or officer having similar duties in cities, and the selectmen in towns, shall approve the payment of all bills or pay rolls of all departments before they are paid by the treasurer, and may disallow and refuse to approve for payment, in whole or in part, any claim as fraudulent, unlawful or excessive; and in that case the auditor or officer having similar duties, or the selectmen, shall file with the city or town treasurer a written statement of the reasons for the refusal; and the treasurer shall not pay any claim or bill so disallowed. This section shall not abridge the powers conferred on town accountants by sections fifty-five to sixty-one, inclusive.
Chapter 41: Section 52. Approval of bills
[ Text of section as amended by 2016, 218, Sec. 57 effective November 7, 2016. For text effective until November 7, 2016, see above.]
  Section 52. All accounts rendered to or kept in the departments of any city shall be subject to the inspection of the city auditor or officer having similar duties, and in towns they shall be subject to the inspection of the selectmen. The auditor or officer having similar duties, or the selectmen, may require any person presenting for settlement an account or claim against the city or town to make oath before him or them, in such form as he or they may prescribe, as to the accuracy of such account or claim. The willful making of a false oath shall be punishable as perjury. The auditor or officer having similar duties in cities, and the selectmen in towns, shall approve the payment of all bills or pay rolls of all departments before they are paid by the treasurer, and may disallow and refuse to approve for payment, in whole or in part, any claim as fraudulent, unlawful or excessive; and in that case the auditor or officer having similar duties, or the selectmen, shall file with the city or town treasurer a written statement of the reasons for the refusal; and the treasurer shall not pay any claim or bill so disallowed. The board of selectmen may designate any 1 of its members for the purpose of approving bills or payrolls under this section; provided, however, that the member shall make available to the board, at the first meeting following such action, a record of such actions. This provision shall not limit the responsibility of each member of the board of selectmen in the event of a noncompliance with this section. This section shall not abridge the powers conferred on town accountants by sections fifty-five to sixty-one, inclusive.

Section 58: Duties; notice of condition of appropriations; record of appropriations

Section 58. Whenever any appropriation shall have been expended or whenever, in the judgment of the town accountant, it appears that the liabilities incurred against any appropriation may be in excess of the unexpended balance thereof, he shall immediately notify the selectmen and the board, committee, head of department or officer authorized to make expenditures therefrom, and no claim against such appropriation shall be allowed nor any further liability incurred until the town makes provision for its payment. The town accountant shall, at regular intervals and as often at least as once each month, send to the selectmen and to each board, committee, head of department or officer having the disbursement of an appropriation a statement of the amount of orders approved and warrants drawn on behalf of said board, department or officer during the preceding month, and a statement of the balance of such appropriation remaining subject to draft. Each head of a department, board or committee authorized to expend money shall furnish the town accountant, at the close of the financial year, a list of bills remaining unpaid, showing to whom and for what due, and their amounts; and the town accountant shall incorporate the same in his annual report covering the financial transactions of the town, as provided by section sixty-one.

posted by Jeff Bennett
from the Templeton Town Moderator:

Sun 5/21, 8:17 PM

Monday, May 22, 2017

Could this be Templeton??

Finance Committee Policy on One‐Time Revenues: 
It is the primary goal of the Dartmouth Finance Committee to ensure that budgets are fiscally responsible and sustainable; unfortunately, the recent trend has been toward a growing budget gap.  A 2007Massachusetts Department of Revenue audit of the town’s finances pointed to a number of root causes which we seek to address in order to move toward a sustainable long‐term financial outlook for the community. The largest problem area has been the trend of increasing reliance on one‐time revenues to pay for recurrent operating budgets.  These onetime revenues have included transfers from the stabilization fund, transfers from enterprise funds, sales of assets, special state “pothole” appropriations and department turn‐backs (unexpended money) from prior operating budgets.   When these one‐time sources of revenue were applied to recurring operating budgets, budgets increased beyond the amount of recurring revenue.  This required that leaner budgets be adopted, which in turn reduced the size of the turn backs.  The effect snowballed until the gap was critical.    The practice has also placed Dartmouth in a situation where our cash reserves are dangerously low.  Any unexpected expense could not be absorbed without borrowing.  A responsible cash reserve in the stabilization fund also improves the town’s ability to borrow money at favorable rates and allows it to self‐insure for a number of unexpected occurrences—allowing it to carry higher insurance deductibles and consequently lower insurance premiums. To stabilize the budget, the Finance Committee unanimously recommends the following policies: 1. One‐time revenues should only be applied to: Capital improvements, property acquisitions, contributions to the stabilization fund and single year casualties. 2. Budgets established in the spring town meeting should be considered to be “fully funded.”  As a general rule, there should be no supplemental appropriations to departmental operating budgets in the fall town meeting. 3. Departmental turn‐backs available in the fall town meeting should be deposited in the stabilization fund or applied to single year payments of capital improvements.  These purchases should not take on debt schedules that require future appropriations beyond what can be funded from the recurring revenue stream.   It is in nobody’s interest to grow budgets at an unsustainable rate—as we have seen, failure to maintain this financial discipline will quickly lead to painful decisions.  Even by adhering to these recommendations, the rate of increase in some expense categories will place strains on future budgets; but Dartmouth will be in a better position to meet these challenges if it maintains a disciplined approach to the budget process.

posted by Jeff Bennett
As excerpted from the Accountant’s Manual:
 Published by the Massachusetts Municipal Auditor’ and Accountants’ Association.
Below is a summary of the duties of the accountant/auditor:
 Verify that every expense payment is lawful and justified and that funding exists under the appropriate budget line item (MGL c. 41, §52).
 Maintain municipal books, including a general journal, general ledger, and subsidiary ledgers (MGL c. 41 §57).  Maintain detailed records of all debt (MGL c. 41 §57).
 Retain custody of all contracts and surety bonds (MGL c. 41 §57).
 At the close of the fiscal year, receive from each department, board, or committee a list of bills remaining unpaid (MGL c. 41 §58).
 Certify in advance the availability of an appropriation for any construction contract in excess of $2,000 (MGL c. 44 §31C).
 Certify to the assessor’s expenditures, approved in advance, expenses in excess of available appropriations for snow and ice removal (MGL c. 44 §31D).
 At least monthly, prepare reports for officers and department heads that show total appropriations, expenditures, and balances in each appropriation (MGL c. 41 §58).
 Provide notification when an appropriation has been expended or appears likely to become overdrawn (MGL c. 41 §58).
 Furnish the assessors with a written report detailing money received for the preceding fiscal year from sources other than taxes, loans, and trust funds (MGL c. 41 §54A).
 By May 1 each year, notify the assessor in writing of the amount of debt falling due in the next fiscal year and the provisions made to meet debt requirements (MGL c. 44 §16).
 Immediately upon the close of the calendar year, prepare statements detailing the preceding year’s appropriations and expenditures; appropriations for the current fiscal year; expenditures incurred during the first six months; estimated expenditures for the second six months; and estimates for the ensuing fiscal year (MGL c. 41 §60).
 Make an annual report that provides the receipts and expenditures for the past fiscal year from all funds; shows the specific appropriation amounts, expenditures and purposes; states any change in municipal debt; and lists indebtedness incurred and unpaid at the end of the fiscal year (MGL c. 41 §61).
Annually prepare and furnish to the DLS Director of Accounts a 1) Schedule A, 2) statement of public debt, and 3) Balance Sheet (MGL c. 44, §43)

posted by Jeff Bennett

Sunday, May 21, 2017

From the labor 39 contract – Highway;
L.O.T. = Laborer/Operator/Truck driver.

July 1, 2016
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4


Asst., Mechanic

July 1, 2017
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4


Asst., Mechanic

July 1, 2018
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3




Asst., Mechanic


Beginning July 1, 2018, step 4 will be eliminated and a new step 3 established. Step 3 will require 130 pay periods and all licenses for steps 1 & 2 plus a 4G (specialty roadside mower) endorsement.

The above is from the labor contract between the Town of Templeton and highway labor. Why this would be important to know; it affects the fiscal year 2019 budget/expense plan that will ultimately be brought forward. This contract along with others that will be highlighted later, have an effect on expenses as it represents monies already spoken for and not available for other things. Pretty much the same effect as long term debt, as contracts do represent debt of the Town in the form of a promissory note, so to speak. (This is my opinion on that subject) The contract can be found on Templeton town website, under boards and committees - selectmen - contracts/agreements. You have to look for them.

posted by Jeff Bennett