Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Where to begin, First off, I never said I went to Iraq, I went to Afghanistan and after thanking people for their generosity and warm welcome back, I do not believe I ever went on and on concerning my military service. Never spoke of spilling blood and this or that. I believe you would have to go to a selectmen meeting for that stuff. As for the fiscal 2018 budget, I believe if it is checked, the budget, shortfall and all, was recommended by Advisory Committee, with at least one abstain, but I will say that I did not want to throw out the entire budget so I voted to recommend and give it a chance to be fixed, one way or another. My issue was asking for a transfer of money that was not actually there. Not sure the reasoning for other Advisory members for their particular vote on that article, but the recommendations are on the record. So, Anon, you may wish to check those things out before going another tell all spiel, my opinion there by the way.

As for this board of selectmen, well, again, Town meeting vote and the position of the then Advisory Committee would have to be checked, but I believe when the combined position of treasurer/collector was moved on, it was for a certified treasurer/collector. Becoming certified requires at least three years time, but as can now be "certified", the selectmen decided to put an inexperienced person in that position and now the town has financial issues, in part because of that action.

Fiscal year 2015 shows a salary for treasurer/collector as $48,596.30 and fiscal year 2018 shows a salary request of $57,225.00. What did the town get for this action? I think it was at least 20 items of short comings in the office of treasurer/collector, that can be checked on by way of looking at the management letter from the audits. Personally I feel most of the actions or the lack of action for the past three years was all about getting the school passed, and that is my opinion!

Now as for the so called negativity from Advisory to the selectmen and the criticism of same and the continued talk and raising the issue of savings (stabilization fund (s) or lack of) that is nothing new. That same issue was noted by Advisory in the Templeton 2005 annual town report.

It is three pages in length and it shows as members; Doug Morrison as chairman, Dan Keeney as vice-chair, Carl Giacobone as scribe. Also James Cutting, Michael Gary, James Moody, David Nadzak, Phillip Thorton and one vacant position. The Advisory Committee has since been changed to seven members by Town meeting vote. So, the talking points of Advisory have not really changed on some important issues. This report is on page 10, 11 and 12 of the 2005 Templeton annual town report.

Interesting items also: The town did not receive anticipated chapter 90 funds of approximately $200,000.00, USDA loan reimbursements of approximately $600,000.00 in FY2005. The town also failed to secure a CDBG grant of approximately $800,000.00 reportedly due to wording in the grant application. 12 years later, different people on Advisory, same message/concerns from Advisory, so how is Advisory now just picking on these poor selectmen these days? The facts do not seem to support that accusation. Rather than work on a policy for town savings, selectmen spend more than one meeting on returned check policy, with reference made to about 30 returned checks per year, but no action on town savings! Facts do not seem to support the idea that Advisory is just complaining and just picking on selectmen. Advisory Committee has made suggestions and have tried by way of non binding recommendations, only Advisory does not make policy, selectmen do that and sometimes a Town meeting vote acts on policy. Advisory Committee does not make policy. Advisory does have a procedure with regards to asking for financial transfer from the Town's reserve fund. Take the policies and procedures for selectmen, Advisory had no say in those. Personnel policy for the town, no say in that. Social media policy, Advisory had no say. Town check policy, Advisory had no say in that! Unless something is going to town meeting, Advisory has no say in the process and even then, it is a non binding recommendation. Just look at the concerns raise by the Advisory Committee back in 2005 and look at today, pretty similar positions and my thought is if Advisory Committee had any real say in policy, there would be a town savings plan, but there is none, in part because town policy is the realm of the board of selectmen and town meeting, not Advisory Committee.

So Anon, please do a little reading before going off on some things okay.

posted by Jeff Bennett