Monday, September 17, 2018

Annual and Special Town Meetings

What’s the difference between annual and special meetings?
Each town must hold an annual Town Meeting. Additional Town Meetings are called special meetings. They may be called as many times during the year as necessary.
When are Town Meetings?
Annual Town Meetings, unless otherwise provided by special law or charter, must be held in February, March, April or May. The Board of Selectman may delay the annual meeting, but it must be completed by June 30th.

What does it mean that some towns have two business meetings?
A town may divide its business meeting into two meetings. Towns that do so hold one business meeting at the beginning of the year. The focus is primarily on the budget, finances, and taxes. The second business meeting is held in the fall. It is still part of the annual Town Meeting. The focus is on zoning, planning and by-laws.
In sum....
November: Some towns hold elections.
January, February, March, April, May, June: Some towns that held elections in November and December hold business meetings. Some towns hold both elections and business meetings.
Fall: Some towns hold second business meetings.

To the best of my knowledge, Templeton as a Town has not voted to divide it's annual town meeting into two parts, so any Town Meeting held after the required annual Town Meeting would be a special Town Meeting.  Following the guide from the secretary of state of MA, any Templeton Town Meeting held after the required annual Town Meeting would be a special Town Meeting rather than a fall town meeting; we should not allow our elected people to just start renaming things without our approval, otherwise you end up with things like a change in the budget format being done without our approval, per the DOR. If these things are not challenged and our elected people are allowed to keep making incorrect statements, pretty soon those items become accepted as fact rather than what they are; misinformation statements.
Templeton Board of Selectmen
Annual Retreat
Fire Station, 466 Patriots Road, Templeton, MA
Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

1. Call the Meeting to Order 

2. Discussion and review Draft FTM Warrant (max 30 minutes)

3. Annual Goal Setting

4. Adjournment 

The listing of Agenda items is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent it is permitted by law.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

What constitutes a public body?

While there is no comprehensive list of public bodies, any multi-member board, commission, committee or subcommittee within the executive or legislative branches1 of state government, or within any county, district, city, region or town, if established to serve a public purpose, is subject to the law. The law includes any multi-member body created to advise or make recommendations to a public body, and also includes the governing board of any local housing or redevelopment authority, and the governing board or body of any authority established by the Legislature to serve a public purpose.

Boards of selectmen and school committees (including those of charter schools) are certainly subject to the Open Meeting Law, as are subcommittees of public bodies, regardless of whether their role is decision-making or advisory.

The above can be found by looking up the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law guide.

Sat 9/15/2018 7:34 AM
You forwarded this message on 9/15/2018 7:34 AM

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 4, 2018 at Templeton library: 6:00 P.M. to discuss what to do with the large rock left by the highwy department after they re did the road in front of the library. Get rid of the rock or turn it into a civil war memorial. I thought all the civil war memorials were being torn down because they offend people? Who will pay for the rock being turned into a memorial?

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Consider an under ride vote on tax levy??

What is an Under ride?
Proposition 2 1/2 allows a community to reduce its levy limit by passing an under ride. When an under ride is
passed, the levy limit for the year is calculated by subtracting the amount of the under ride. The under ride results in a permanent decrease in the levy limit of a community because it reduces the base upon which levy limits are calculated for future years.
A majority vote of a community’s selectmen, or town or city council (with the mayor’s approval if required by law) allows an under ride question to be placed on the ballot. An under ride question may also be placed on the ballot by the people using a local initiative procedure, if one is provided by law. Under ride questions must state a dollar amount and require a majority vote of approval by the electorate.

With around one million dollars in so called "free cash" in 2017 and stated estimates of around eight thousand dollars left from FY 2018, perhaps it is time for an under ride for Templeton.

Free cash is a revenue source that results from the calculation, as of July 1, of a community's remaining, unrestricted funds from its operations of the previous fiscal year based on the balance sheet as of June 30. It typically includes actual receipts in excess of revenue estimates and unspent amounts in departmental budget line items for the year just ended, plus unexpended free cash from the previous year. Free cash is offset by property tax receivables and certain deficits, and as a result, can be a negative number.

The Bureau of Accounts (BOA) certifies free cash as of July 1 after the submission of the municipality's balance sheet. Updates to free cash must also be certified by the Director of Accounts. These certifications can only be appropriated from the date of certification through June 30. As of each July 1, a municipality's free cash available for appropriation is $0 until a new balance sheet is received and a new free cash amount is certified.

If selectmen cannot or will not ensure that taxpayer/voter's wishes, per their votes at town meeting, are carried out, then selectmen should have less funding available to them for budget planning.
When something is presented and voted on, selectmen should ensure it happens; when selectmen fail to do this, then steps need to be taken to show selectmen who is really in charge: the residents!