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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Finance Advisory Committee Minutes 01/20/2010
Town of Chilmark Finance Advisory Committee             January 20, 2010        Meeting Minutes

Committee Members Present:      Marshall Carroll (arrived at 7:00 p.m.), Frank LoRusso, John Maloney, Bill Randol, Sarah Mayhew Shipway, Frank Yeomans.  

Others Present: Clarissa Allen, Melanie Becker, Jessica Bradlee, Pam Bunker, Tim Carroll, Emily Day, Warren Doty, Frank Fenner, Wayne Iacona, Dennis Jason, Lenny Jason, Virginia Jones, Nina Lombardi, Kristin Maloney, Max McCreery, J.B. Riggs Parker, Jane Slater, Karen Wetmore.

In the absence of Chairman Marshall Carroll, a motion was made and seconded to appoint Sarah Mayhew Shipway as the Chairman for the meeting.  Ms. Shipway called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  The approval of the minutes of November 25 and December 4 was deferred until the next meeting.

Personnel Board (152) Budget Hearing
Max McCreery, Chair of the Personnel Board, presented the proposed Personnel Board budget for FY11.  A request was made to increase the hours of the Personnel Board’s administrative assistant by two hours a week, for a total increase from 208.8 to 313.2 hours a year at $22.78 an hour, which would require a budget increase of $2,378.24.  The request was discussed.  Mr. Parker suggested the Personnel Board make a request for a Reserve Fund transfer to cover the increase of administrative support needed in FY10 to complete the revision of the Personnel Bylaw and Procedure Manual.  There would be no increase in the administrative assistant’s hours for FY11.  With regard to areas where the budget had been reduced Mr. McCreery said that strict efforts were made to reduce costs in Professional Development (5303) and travel costs by participating in webinars and conference calls instead of attending workshops.   

Historical Commission (691) Budget Hearing
Jane Slater and Karen Wetmore presented the FY11 budget for the Historical Commission.  Ms. Slater explained that most of the budget consisted of the administrative assistant’s salary and an increase of $500 for Other Purchased Services (5399), which accounts for travel expenses for guest speakers.  The Community Preservation Committee Other Purchased Services (5399) line item pays for two guest speakers, but legally it does not allow for travel expenses to be paid; therefore requiring a line item in the Historical Commission to cover these expenses.  

Tax Collector (146) Budget Hearing
Tax Collector, Jessica Bradlee, presented the Tax Collector budget for FY11.  The FINCOM Committee members complimented Ms. Bradlee on a 13.28% decrease in her budget. The Tax Collector’s budget decreased due to a reduction in salary and elimination of longevity because Ms. Bradlee is new to the position.  In addition, the Software Maintenance (5248) cost of $1,760 for tax title software has been transferred to the Treasurer’s budget because the tax title duties have been given to the Treasurer.  The only significant budget increase requested by Ms. Bradlee was for Professional Development (5303) in order to obtain certification.  

Board of Assessors (141) Budget Hearing
Assistant Assessor, Pam Bunker, and board members Clarissa Allen and Lenny Jason presented the FY11 budget for the Board of Assessors.  Ms. Bunker explained that the budget is flat with the exception of her salary step increase (5105) and an increase in the Software Maintenance (5248) due to contract obligations.  There was a brief discussion with regard to the change in the Assistant Assessor’s salary grade from nine to ten due to the job description being reevaluated and upgraded.  The Board of Assessors and the Personnel Board has recommended the grade change to the Selectmen but the Selectmen have not approved it.  

The Assessors also presented a warrant article request for the 2010 Annual Town Meeting to see if the town will vote to appropriate from available funds in the treasury the sum of $55,000 to fund a property revaluation of the Town of Chilmark for the Fiscal Year 2012, as mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including the payment of costs incidental and relative thereto.  The Assessors explained that the property revaluation is mandated by the state every three years and a consultant must be hired by the town at the cost of roughly $55,000 (requests for proposals will be solicited).  The warrant article has to be requested for FY11 because the consultant work is done during FY11 in order to send out FY12 tax bills.  

Building Inspector (241) Budget Hearing  
Building Inspector, Lenny Jason, presented the FY11 budget which had a marginal increase due to longevity and an increase gas inspections based on FY10 inspections.  A request was made to see the revenues collected from inspections and Mr. Carroll said he would contact the former Accountant to assist.  

Parks & Recreation (630) Budget Hearing  
Beach Committee members Clarissa Allen, Pam Bunker, Wayne Iacono and Chair Kristin Maloney presented the FY11 budget for the Beach/Parks and Recreation department.  Due to the Personnel Board abolishing double step increases for seasonal employees, the following amendments were made to the proposed salary lines: Lifeguards (5156), Sticker Clerks (5157), Beach Gate Guards (5158), Parking Attendants (5159), Assistant Beach Superintendant (5183).   With salary reductions the Beach/Parks and Recreation department had a 3.7% total reduction in the FY11 budget from FY10.  The Beach Committee and FINCOM members all agreed that it was not a good year to raise sticker fees for the town beaches.  Ms. Maloney stated that, because Menemsha is a public beach which does not require stickers and collects no revenue, it has a total operating cost of $23,000, but all present agreed that it  is a great value to have Menemsha open to the public.  Ms. Maloney said the Beach Committee continues to meet throughout the year and is committed to promoting safety in all its operations.  

Harbor (295) Budget Hearing  
Harbormaster Dennis Jason and administrative assistant Virginia Jones presented the Harbor budget for FY11.  The first item discussed was a Reserve Fund transfer request of $2,500 to replace a twelve year old outboard motor on the Town boat by April 2010; $3,000 will also be used from the Harbor Boat Maintenance (5260) budgeted for FY10.  Requesting a warrant article at the Annual Town Meeting to cover the cost of the new outboard will delay the funds needed until July 1, 2010 when the Harbor will be in full operation.  Mr. Doty suggested the Town set a positive example and have Mr. Jason research purchasing a four stroke engine to conserve oil and lessen pollution.  The FINCOM members and the Selectmen recommended Mr. Jason solicit quotes for a four stroke engine and present the findings at the FINCOM meeting on January 27, 2010.  There was discussion about the Town boat needing to be replaced sometime in the near future to improve service in the Harbor.  The FINCOM members and the Selectmen asked Mr. Jason to provide a proposal of how purchasing a new boat would improve service in and around the Harbor, in addition to providing three price quotes for a new boat.  

There was discussion regarding the salary line items for Assistant Harbormaster (5131) and Assistant Wharfinger (5137), which were level funded from FY10 due to the Personnel Board eliminating double step increases for seasonal employees.  Both salary line items were budgeted at full staff for a ninety day season, which would not be fully expended if the season was shortened due to inclement weather, etc.  Currently the Assistant Harbormaster (5131) salary is budgeted for two returning Assistant Harbormasters, one at forty hours and one at twenty hours a week; however, if one employee does not return, Mr. Jason plans to promote a returning Assistant Wharfinger to Assistant Harbormaster.  Therefore, the Assistant Wharfinger (5137) is budgeted currently for two returning wharfingers at forty hours a week.  The hours for the Harbor Administrative Assistant were increased from 208.8 to 313.2 for FY11.  

The line item for Credit Card Fees (5731) was increased due to credit card companies charging 3% on the Gross of charges.  Ms. Becker was asked to research reductions in credit card fees and Ms. Becker agreed she would, but noted that credit card fees for merchants were consistently increasing.  Marshall Carroll asked that the electricity charges for the Harbor be reviewed and compared against what the Harbor is actually being charged by NSTAR for electricity.  Tim Carroll suggested using the Harbor software to track electricity charges and a suggestion was made that a cash register should be purchased that would breakout revenues such as electricity.  Another suggestion was made to have the Harbor employees keep a handwritten log.  Marshall Carroll indicated that the Harbor shack is in need of significant repairs and should provide signage indicating the schedule and hours of operation, fees and general information.  Mr. Parker suggested a warrant article should be requested to replace the Harbor shack.  

Mr. Jason concluded that a warrant article will be requested for the Annual Town Meeting to request a transfer of $6,000 from the waterways fund to perform maintenance on the moorings.  

Treasurer (145) Budget Hearing
Treasurer Melanie Becker presented the FY11 budget for the Treasurer.  Ms. Becker made note of the previously discussed transfer of $1,760 from the Tax Collector’s budget for tax title software to her budget because the tax title duties have been given to the Treasurer.  Ms. Becker pointed out increases in Data Processing (5307) and Office Supplies (5420) due to licensing fees and supply costs increasing.  The over expended Bank Service Charges (5382) in the FY10 budget, which required a Reserve Fund transfer request to be paid, was due to high fees at Sovereign Bank resulting in the Treasurer transferring all Town accounts to the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.  One Tri-Town Ambulance account remains at Sovereign Bank.  

Retirement of Debt – Principal (710) Budget Hearing
Ms. Becker presented the Retirement of Debt – Principal budget for FY11 and indicated that the money that will be borrowed for the construction of the rental duplexes at Middle Line Road will take the place of the Filled Dock Repairs (5919) line item in this budget.

Retirement of Debt – Interest (751) Budget Hearing
Ms. Becker presented the Retirement of Debt – Interest budget for FY11 and explained that the budget has decreased because the principal has been paid.   

Short Term Interest (752) Budget Hearing
Ms. Becker presented the Short Interest budget for FY11 and said that the bond issuance costs for the money bonded for the construction of the Middle Line Road rental duplexes could be appropriated in line item 5950, or by rolling this cost into the bond; therefore, no interest would be paid.   

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m.  

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted by Nina M. Lombardi.  
Approved February 3, 2010.

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