Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In the spending plan for fiscal year 2019, it states under the treasurer/collector office;
Treasurer/collector - $31.63 hourly or salary of $62,741.00
Deputy treasurer/collector - $22.01 hourly 19.5 hours /  $22,404.00 year.
administrative assistant - $15.15 hourly  19.5 hours / $15,421.00 year.

Not for nothing, given Templeton history of finance, perhaps we should stick to a stated plan rather than change after annual town meeting with voted appropriations? Why present to the people one thing, then after the vote, change it up? Maybe they think no one is paying attention.

TO: Board of Selectmen 
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator 
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report 
DATE: July 12, 2018 
CC: All Departments ______________________________________________________________________________ 
Important Notice to All Departments Job Openings: 
Assistant Town Accountant / / Assistant Treasurer/Collector // Director of Public Works

Also on Town website, under box; paid, volunteer and contract opportunities - there is position of assistant treasurer/collector listed.

Then there is this: 

On Jobquest the listing  Job Details   Massachusetts jobquest
 Assistant Treasurer/Collector

Pay rate offered will depend on qualifications and experience.
Board of Assessors:

Town of Templeton spending plan for FY 2019 has an item, Vision software upgrade for the Assessors.

Going to be funded by a contribution from Templeton Municipal Light & Water department.

Dollar amount - $20,000.00.

March 6, 2018, meeting of TMLWP /  commissioners vote to not fund this item, voting instead to put that money towards improvements to Bridge street, the road that goes by the TMLWP building (s).

Assessors office finds out about this on June 25, 2018 - after annual Town Meeting, which was in May. Great communication here!

So, this required item was going to be funded from a sum of money provided by the TMLWP, except on March 6, 2018, the commissioners vote to not do it.

According to the meeting minutes of the TMLWP commission, two former Templeton selectmen, Chris Stewart and Gregg Edwards and Dana Blais voted to:

$82,000.00 for: $8,500.00 for a tractor, $5,000.00 for groomer, $20,000.00 for SCBA tanks and the rest towards Bridget Street reconstruction. Perhaps it slipped the mind of the town administrator to inform the assessors of this, so where were the selectmen in this? Are they engaged in the budget process or not, it is essentially their budget that is presented and then sent to Advisory Committee.

Back in 2006, when Gregg Edwards was a selectmen, Vision is mentioned in the report from the assessors. Strange two former selectmen did not suggest to find out the details of Vision first, prior to voting it down.

On a more important front, Chris Stewart suggested the town begin paying "their" electric bills in full again. Suggestion of a tiered approach, 20% in FY2019, 40% in FY2020, 60% in FY2021, etc., until the town is back to full payment again.

Ideas about Vision software: The GM at TMLWP stated not sure what Vision software upgrade was, but he suspected it had something to do with the Sewer department and the Town's plan to take over sewer collections. Gregg Edwards was concerned it was some new yet to be tested accounting software and he did not want Templeton being the test case for it. Chris Stewart stated instead of $20,000.00 for Vision, the 20K should go to Bridge street reconstruction. The commission went for 20K for tanks instead, per the above vote. Interesting thought process from the people who oversee TMLWP.

Great transparency from Town Hall - a firing offense perhaps???
Watching the board of selectmen meeting of April 23, 2018 and hearing the town auditor, CPA Tony Roselli, talk about cash collection control. Specifically, with regards to department collections,such as say, the Town Clerk collection of dog license fees; they need to be accounted for, because although the dollar amounts are small, they add up!

So, we have seen that the threshold of worry for that think tank justsmartnuff is around 14 cents a year per tax payer, I believe when a CPA or certified public accountant, states that all dollar amounts should be tracked and thought about, well, that justifies the Advisory Committee discussing $700.00 per year.

Advice to justsmartnuff; stick to making salads!
So, at Town Hall, the full time employees, so called, do not work 40 hour weeks (38 hrs +/-)

At the budget hearing meetings, with sewer department, there was a pretty involved discussion on the sewer administrative assistant getting up to full time. The town administrator indicating 40 hours was required (why not for town hall?) After much back and forth, it was stated it would be 36 hours full time this year and fiscal 2020, the hours would move to 40 hours.

Fast forward to now, there was/is money in the budget (s) for a 2%  non union raise, apparently, the sewer department administrative assistant was left out. Why would that be? I was at a meeting of sewer commissioners (elected by the town to take care of "all things sewer" look up the MGL on that!) There was and still is,apparently,  a point of contention between the town administrator and the elected sewer commissioners on the collections of the sewer department. One item is the sewer commissioners feel the town should get their house in order first, before taking on sewer collections, and charging the enterprise fund for indirect costs.

I have to wonder if this raise issue is the result of payback, that has seemed to be the way of the operation from the BOS office, tow the line or else, follow my lead, or else. Look at the number of long time employees gone recently? What conclusion do you come to? Select board chairman states it is probably an oversight, so give us time to look at it. Time for select board members to follow the town general by-laws and lead and manage, give direction to town administrator, rather than the other way around. No excuse for promised, stated, accounted for and appropriated by town meeting, raises not given out to all included.

Interesting to see how this perceived arm twisting works out. Why should there be such a struggle to do things correctly? I mean, the town has good numbers, the audits are all done, we have qualified people in position, the financial team, so why this issue of a raise not being passed on. All of the union raises were handed out. Seems to be an operational approach, come up with a way to get an employee to leave if they do not become a good little pawn and then, well, since you don't have an assistant, we will be glad to have collections in town hall.

If you doubt this, attend a meeting of sewer commissioners and ask them, contact the chairman of the select board and ask him about this. This is a management issue that the select board is responsible for.