Select Board Continues Budget Reviews

Select Board Chair Mark Ahronian calls the meeting to order at 7 pm.

The weekly warrants totaled – $1,607,945.97 and were approved by the Board.

During public comment, Mrs. Hein shared:

  • an update from last week’s Massachusetts Municipal Association conference
  • a graph (below) illustrating the savings from the first six months of our new trash / recycling program
The dollar savings during the period was $21,634.

Mr. Cronin met with Police Chief Stone related to the FY 21 budget. He reminded the Board that there is work to be done related to 3 approved articles from the Special Town Meeting last October.

Mr. Ahronian reminded all to support the SOUPer Bowl this coming Saturday.

Town Administrator Jeff Ritter provided the following to the Board:

  • Next week’s agenda will include an item to draw $13,500 from the Reserve Fund to pay for Professional Services related to 9 Green St.
  • He is meeting with DPW workers Tues (today) for a labor contract discussion
  • Chris Pizzi has been formally offered the Facilities Manager position and we hope to have an acceptance on Tuesday (today).
  • He does not suggest that residents switch electrical providers – there have been phone calls and mailings offering a ‘better deal.’
  • Beth Greenblatt of Beacon Solutions will be meeting with Mr. Ritter on Thursday to work on the solar panel project.
Town Treasurer / Tax Collector Mary Bousquet presents her proposed FY 21 budget – $393,827. The Board approved the proposed budget The Board also approved the Debt payment budget.
Town Accountant Sharon Emerick presents her FY 21 proposed budget – $175,104. The Board approved the recommended budget amount.
HPD’s LT George Leurini, Director of the Auxiliary Police force, presents his proposed FY 21 budget – $6,348. The Board approved the proposed amount. Watch for a separate article in the Holliston Reporter soon outlining what the Town gets for this modest annual amount.

Mr. Ritter thanked all the department heads who work hard to compile realistic budget proposals.

Mrs. Emerick noted that the Select Board budget approved last week did not include two line items. She alerted the Board that the FY 21 proposed budget should be $317,372. The Board approved the amended budget and noted that this is a 5.14% increase over FY 20 largely due to an increase in legal fees.

Sustainability and Waste Management Committee Chair (far end) Mike Lavin and our new Sustainability Coordinator (center) Matt Zetteck update the Board on their plans.

Several ideas were discussed about how the Town might expand on its waste reduction / recycling increase efforts – some at no cost to the Town. The Board asked the Committee and Sustainability Coordinator to provide a timetable of planned improvements.

Chair Ahronian thanked State Rep Carolyn Dykema for the initial grant to cover the contract of our Sustainability Coordinator.

The Annual Performance Review for the Town Administrator is currently underway. Each Board member submits their completed assessment on 18 different criteria in a sealed envelope to the Town Clerk. The Select Board Chair compiles the three assessments and meets with Mr. Ritter.

Mr. Cronin updated the Board on the design of a Chief Financial Officer / Asst Town Administrator job description. He plans to circle back with his working group to finalize the description.

In other business:

  • Mrs. Hein brought up an idea gleaned from the MMA Conference – hold Executive Sessions after the regular meeting
  • She also proposed a Tri-Board meeting: Select, Finance, and School. The idea was discussed and it might be a good practice – depending on the timing of a comprehensive plan being developed by the Town Treasurer
  • The Board is anxious to see the Library Trustees’ plan for the Library of the Future
  • David Nickerson has resigned from the HCAT Board
  • A question about how Stabilization funds could be set up / funded to make payments to the Middlesex Retirement fund and how Host Community Agreement funds are dispersed.
  • The Traffic Advisory Committee would like to put a placeholder Article in the Town Meeting Warrant.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Chris Cain

2 Comments

  1. shaw lively on January 28, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Chris, Thank you. These meeting summaries are a regular read and much appreciated.

    • Chris Cain on January 29, 2020 at 7:12 am

      Shaw – Thank you for the feedback. Chris

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