Sunday, September 3, 2017

The following could have been written by dave smart, but alas, it was put out by Templeton Town Administrator.

TO: Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: August 31, 2017
CC: All Departments


Town Hall Staff: As you know, the Town is considering sharing a Town Administrator/Manager w/Winchendon. We are now open M-F and they are now open M-F. Obviously, Mr. Hickey cannot be in Templeton 2 days a week and Winchendon 3 days a week if our buildings are only open four days a week. Someone has to change. Without making any commitment to which Town will switch, there will be a special all (Town Hall) staff meeting at the end of the day Wednesday (09/05) for me to understand any concerns that you might have if we switched to a Tuesday to Friday work week here at Town Hall.

First, how does M-F equal four days a week?  Next Wednesday is September 6.

Business Meeting or Workshop: N/A

Weekly Report: We finalized the forest cutting plan for the Dump site and submitted it to DCR for review and approval. Once we get their OK we can go out to bid. As I mentioned previously we will then proceed with the Highway site. I’ve prepared a countdown to a potential Fall TM for 11/14. It is now being reviewed by involved staff to make sure I have not missed anything. We had several supplemental filings on ongoing litigation that consumed much of our time. Follow-up on the Barre Road property being developed by the Corporation for Independent Living (CLI) continues and I’ll be reviewing the matter again on 09/06 with an area resident who would like the Board to take a formal stand on this matter. Discussions continue on the most cost-effective way to have a fleet ready to take on the winter season given deterioration of the vehicles and sanders beyond what we had anticipated and planned for. Alan and I expect to solicit pricing in the next few days and have a formal proposal before you on 09/11.

This memo just may indicate what selectmen are thinking about doing with any potential "free cash" gained before the planned special town meeting. I hope there is a plan on building the Town's stabilization fund with some of that anticipated money.
In case you are wondering, a company called space age electronics is moving into the building at 252 Baldwinville Road, This means that a building that has been the home to multiple manufacturing processes over the years should once again be a manufacturing facility. Rather than being off of the tax rolls, as would have been the case if it had been converted to a town hall, it will now be generating property tax revenue for the Town. While it may not be brand new, I believe the re-purposing of an already town owned building that was first a school and is now a Town hall was a smart decision for Templeton. There is a short you tube video announcing this move, reportedly from Athol to Templeton. This could also affect another local business, the Kitchen Garden, by hopefully an increase in their business from the employees of the new business. Lets hope that this Sterling based business is in Templeton for the long haul and if more expansion is in the future, it stays in Templeton.

So, yo think health insurance costs are or should be a concern only in Templeton?

Below is from the pages of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Who is looking out for the health insurance costs increases to the taxpayers of Templeton?
The Templeton insurance advisory committee is made up of current town employees and a retiree.
Do you think the selectmen are looking out for those costs? If you look at the lack of information and transparency coming out of the office of the board of selectmen and through the Town Administrator and Town Accountant, I have to wonder why that is? I believe one logical conclusion is that the selectmen are trying to muddy the waters so taxpayers cannot or will not have access to that information. It used to be in town reports and reports of town meetings. That is no longer the case. So much for transparency and honesty in Templeton town government that is often touted by the current and second term chairman of the board of selectmen.

Speaking of honesty and transparency, I wonder whether there will be a question (s) for town meeting in Templeton, with regards to a shared town administrator. Does the current board of selectmen feel Templeton residents deserve a say in that?

Lawmakers watchful as FY18 gets underway

August 22, 2017
The extensively reworked state budget for fiscal 2018, which took final shape in early August, is based on a revised state tax collection estimate that will need watching over the course of the year and an expectation that the Legislature will look at ways to better manage the $16 billion MassHealth program to make it more fiscally sustainable.
State tax collections for fiscal 2018 are now expected to reach $26.5 billion, an increase of 3.4 percent over collections last year. This is lower than the projection used when the budget bill was first developed, but higher than the 1.4 percent increase experienced in  fiscal 2017.
Collections through the end of July were on target, but the first month of the year is not a bellwether. Collections through the first quarter, which will be reported in early October, will provide the first good look at any developing revenue trends for the year and serve as a starting point for projections for fiscal 2019.
Legislative leaders have said that they will monitor tax collections before making any decisions on overriding the $320 million in spending vetoes made by the governor when he signed the budget in July.
After a fair amount of summertime back and forth between Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature, the final fiscal 2018 budget includes $200 million in temporary revenue from fees and fines imposed on businesses to help fund the MassHealth program. The revenue comes from an increase in the existing fee paid by employers for each employee and from a fine of up to $750 per employee when a person enrolls in MassHealth rather than the employer’s health insurance plan. The impact is offset by a reduction in unemployment insurance rates over the next two years.
The governor had pushed to couple the added charges on businesses with changes to the MassHealth program to better control costs and ensure long-term sustainability. Legislators weren’t ready to make changes over the summer without more discussion, which is expected to start after Labor Day.

Thursday, August 31, 2017, I wrote, in part, the following;

I believe the important numbers are the 75/25 split for health insurance costs and the fact that yearly increases are reaching double digit numbers. If health insurance increases by 13% and Town revenue from property taxes can only increase by 2 1/2% without a town approved override, I do not think you have to be a math genius to figure out that scenario cannot continue for long without something changing. Perhaps the split should change with the increase in costs. A 13% increase in insurance costs is met with a 13% change in the split, until you get to the 50/50 split. I believe the law is that the town has to pay at least 50% of the costs.

Then davey smart commented, as noted below:

jefie only needs to ask questions to get answers. That's how it usually get done.
The highway/sewer negotiated a contract like the unions do year after year.
Jefie has a problem with the leadership that offered the contract we agreed to and can only piss and moan over it.
As the people in town read his gibberish they must think he is a real fool to have done the same in the past and now whine like a little baby about a math issue he has.
Until this town gets the school costs under control and has a limit of increase to the school budget the town can absorb only what the school needs are.

Multi over rides have been needed after to low of a tax rate and with no want for it higher taxes will be limited to bare minimum.
Yes Jefie has a problem with the math as it is part of a issue with his lack of common sense and name calling like others on the A.C. seem to have.
So you want answers go to the BOS meetings and ask them on camera.
If jefie looks it up the 50/50 law applies to private business and corporations not covered by unions and the like.If we went by what lil jefie thinks things should be we would be in a worse condition in a hurry.
So think for yourselves and be better off for it.
We know what leadership he provided in the past,our future would be no different.
Ask the Skeltons about Lil jefie,they know him well. 80k worth.

So, then I posted the law;
Massachusetts General Law; chapter 32B:

Section 7Premiums; withholding, contribution; direct payment

Section 7. (a) With respect to any period of insurance which is in effect for an active or retired employee and dependent there shall be withheld from each payment of salary, wages, other compensation, pension or retirement allowance, subject to the provisions of section nine A, fifty per cent of the premium for the insurance of the employee and his dependents and the governmental unit shall contribute the remaining fifty per cent of such premium.

davey smart (not so) replies as follows;
a Town, that is required to pay at "least" 50% of health insurance premium.
As i said negotiated by the elected board will be the benefit.

Hard for the ones who pick at things to understand or decipher the reason behind things of this magnitude.But i wouldn't expect this blog to have much to offer anyway.

As anyone can read through this, you can see davey smart (not so) tries to wiggle his way out of what he said. It is pretty clear that someone who serves on the Templeton insurance advisory committee was not really aware of what the law states and does not seem to understand how it applies. This is also someone who is suppose to be the "owner" of a blog with a stated purpose "to keep the citizens of Templeton informed" Again, perhaps this is part of the problem in Templeton, with davey smart (not so) serving on the insurance advisory committee and the zoning board of appeals. That is my opinion anyway.