Board of Selectmen
March 17, 2009
6:30 PM: Open Meeting; Joint meeting with Finance Committee.
Quorum present: Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC), Chair.; Curt Wilton (CW); Robert Salerno (FinCom); Gary Schieneman (FinCom); Julia Krahm (FinCom).
Board and FinCom review the FY 2010 draft budget. Both Boards have reviewed the draft budget independently and have come together for a discussion and finalization of draft.
AA presents the budget highlights and notes that the only major outstanding budget item is the Berkshire Hills Regional School District (BHRSD) operating and capital budgets. For tonight’s purposes, the most recent BHRSD figures are being used. Providing that the BHRSD budget stays at the present amount, the overall FY 2010 Town budget will increase approximately .6% from the current year.
The largest line item increases are with the Council on Aging; Health Insurance and County Retirement.
Both Boards agree not to grant the budget increase requested by the Library. The Library is on pace to end the year with a surplus and indications are that the cuts in State Aid to Libraries will not be as deep as previously thought. Both Boards feel that the Library will be adequately funded for FY 2010 at FY 2009 levels.
Citing the same budget surplus scenario as with the Library, both Boards agree that the Tree Warden budget should be level funded for FY 2010 instead of granting the proposed increase.
CW notes that the Board has done its best to hold the line in all areas of discretionary spending. Most departments have responded favorably with the Board’s pre-budget request to hold the line on next year’s spending.
7:00 PM: There being no further questions, the Board and FinCom agree on the
proposed draft budget and Annual Town Meeting warrant as presented.
FinCom member Julia Krahm commends the Board for bringing in a reasonable FY 2010 Town budget.
7:05 PM: TSC makes a motion to make the position of Town of West Stockbridge
Wetlands Consultant a Special Municipal Employee. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor. This vote will allow the Conservation Commission to hire a wetlands consultant to review cases on the ConsCom’s behalf yet allow that same person to represent clients before the Board at some time in the future.
7:10 PM: Greg Winters (GW), representing the Town’s auditing firm of Thomas
Scanlon, CPA, presents his firms FY 2008 audit and management findings to the Board and the Finance Committee.
GW begins by reading his management findings. Town Treasurer Karen Williams points out that the finding calling for periodic review of the Treasurer’s investments should be modified. The Treasurer does, in fact, meet with the FinCom on a scheduled basis to review the Town’s investments.
Management findings that have been rectified from the previous year are: Cash reconciliation, which is now being completed on a timely basis; corrections of how deposits are credited to Cemetery Perpetual Care and Perpetual Care Interest; and no more instances of vendor checks being dispersed without first appearing on a warrant signed by the Selectmen.
GW then presents the financial statements. GW addresses a long series of questions from the Selectmen and FinCom members to various statements and reports.
Overall, GW indicates that the Town remains in sound fiscal shape with overall sound financial management. GW notes that the Town has drawn down its free cash to lower levels than in the recent past because of substantial one-time purchases and debt payments made in the previous year. However, the Town still has in excess of $500,000 in its Stabilization Fund.
Complete copies of the FY 2008 Town audit and management report are available for public viewing in the Town Clerk’s office.
9:00 PM: There being no further questions regarding the FY 2010 audit, CW makes
a motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.
Meeting minutes approved by:
Tina Skorput Cooper, Chair. Curt Wilton