Sunday, July 2, 2017

June 26, 2017

Uncertain fiscal outlook causes Legislature to send 1-month budget to governor

With the new fiscal year set to begin this Saturday, July 1, the Legislature today sent a temporary, one-month budget bill to Gov. Charlie Baker in order to keep state government operating through July 31.
The governor is expected to sign the $5.15 billion measure, which will give a House-Senate conference committee more time to negotiate a final state budget bill for fiscal 2108.
Declining state tax collections have opened a $440 million hole in the budget for the current fiscal year, and budget experts are predicting that state leaders will need to lower their revenue assumptions for next year by as much as $750 million to $1 billion.
Legislative leaders are likely waiting to see what June tax collections look like before making final decisions on funding levels in next year’s budget.
Because final local aid distributions will not be set until the state adopts the final general appropriations bill for fiscal 2018, the temporary budget includes language that allows the state treasurer to provide advance local aid payments or reimbursements to cities, towns and school districts that demonstrate “an emergency cash shortfall.” This is identical to provisions put in place last year, when the state also passed a temporary budget due to similar revenue woes.

The above can be read in its entirety on the Massachusetts Municipal Association webpage.

posted by Jeff Bennett
A time warp incident!!!!!

Templeton Board of Selectmen
Town Hall, 160 Patriots Road, East Templeton
Thursday, June 29, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Meeting Minutes~ 6.12.17

4. New Business: 
a. Introduction of New Employee
b. Discussion Re: 06/28 w/DOR (portions w/Advisory Committee)
c. Action RE: Representative to MPO
d. Action RE: Annual Appointments

The Town Clerk will be swearing in all new & reappointed Committee members on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, from 5-7 p.m. Pictures will also be taken for ID's.  If you were notified that you were appointed (see list), please make every effort to come in to Town Hall during these two hours so that you may be sworn in, get your picture ID and be ready to participate in your committee. Appointments voted on at the Board of Selectmen Meeting on 6/29/17
So, if the appointments happen at 6:30 P.M., how do the selectmen post the list of people appointed at 8:44 A.M. the morning of the evening meeting. Seems like a decision has already been made, but how would the selctmen agree on that without meeting first? Did those selectmen discuss this outside of an open meeting, those bad boys & girls, caught again! When will they learn that big brother is watching! I have printed both items out and have taken screen shots so there is no changing the numbers now and erasing proof. Bad bad, take a time out in the corner and try to learn!

posted by Jeff Bennett

from the Town Administrator report on Templeton Town website

Town Hall will be closed on July 3rd (All are using a vacation day) and July 4th!

Payroll for the week ending June 30, 2017 must be submitted in hand or in the drop box by 7:30 a.m. on 07/05/2017!
Please remember the last date to submit bills for FY ’17 is 10 AM on Monday, July 10, 2017.

The following is intended to provide information where a full memo may not have been warranted or supplement the provided information. Business Meeting or Workshop: N/A Weekly Report: I attended the several meetings w/Winchendon and DOR. I worked with Kelli on the year end transfer to cover snow and ice. I want to recognize the hard work of the staff during the re-organizations, staff vacancies, and restrained spending to cover not only this $132k deficit but the $200k FY ’17 budget deficit as well. You can be rightly proud of their selfless efforts in this matter. We advertised the new Library Assistant to help cover the expanded hours, the Fire/EMS Admin Assistant, and the two Highway Driver/Laborer positions. I met with the DPW Director and Mechanic about the evaluation of all the unit’s rolling stock to try to develop a realistic plan to address the multiple deficiencies across the fleet. They will pursue and report back within the next two weeks. The balance of the week has been spent on the OML complaints to possibly be brought by the Board, follow-up on the School project as I briefed you and other daily matters.

So, over 60 transfers in fiscal year 2016 (including some within the report of the Advisory Committee) a built in 200 thousand dollar deficit in fiscal year 2017, so far, a known 300 thousand dollar built in budget deficit in fiscal year 2018 and already the division of local services is telling the selectmen there will be trouble in fiscal year 2019. Leaving two positions unfilled, which allowed for money to be left over in the highway salary account, which was presented to the Advisory Committee in a request for transfer to pay town counsel bills. Then, there was the reason given for vacation roll over and one reason given at a selectmen meeting was due to shortage of workers in highway department. Sounds like that was due to inaction of the selectmen through the town administrator.

Time to watch town meeting of May 2016 when selectmen and then interim town administrator told town meeting that all was okay and the selectmen's budget was all good. I wonder if those 32 thousand dollars in raises contributed to the 200 thousand dollar deficit in FY2017?

Now as I watch the chairman of the board of selectmen state that the Attorney General's office agrees that there are OML violations and that office will do what ever the selectmen wish, (that is my opinion, arrived at by way of conversations with the chairman of the select board) I look back at statements of that individual, acting as veteran's service agent for Templeton and the whole revolving fund for veterans services, which now suddenly does not work. So, was that bad information, was it more lies, was it a combination? Who knows and whatever the case may be, I know I can no longer trust members of the board of selectmen, as actions by them in open meetings suggest I cannot trust them. When selectmen Diane Haley Brooks uses her elected position to retaliate against me, I think she forgot the training received by folks from MCAD. That is my opinion anyway and perhaps, as she states often, she did not process that information well. Again, in my opinion, perhaps she needs an interpreter. I strongly suggest the selectmen put more money in town counsel expense for the coming year.

posted by Jeff Bennett