2010 Hancock Advisory Committee

Meeting

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

 

The Hancock Advisory Committee held its organizational meeting on Tuesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Office. Attending were: Rich LeFebvre, Marsha Kono, Pat Payne and newly appointed members Benjamin Billings and Don Klug.

 

Rich LeFebvre agreed to serve as Chair; Marsha Kono agreed to continue as secretary. New Committee members were formally introduced. Rich said he is pressing Ric Haskins, Town Moderator, to fill the final opening on the Committee.

 

Rich passed out copies of a list of "Special Funds" (not including Trust Funds overseen by the Trustees of Trust Funds) which the Select Board would like the Committee to review as to whether they still make sense or do they unnecessarily complicate the Town's financial administration.

 

Rich reported that the Town is continuing its conversion to the QuickBooks bookkeeping system which should facilitate financial tracking and reporting. Also, the Auditors should be in this month, and make their report in July. He will ask for final 2009 financial reports as soon as they are available, noting that July is the earliest we'll have a real handle on 2009 actual and the Town's Unreserved Fund Balance. (Note: the $175,000 cited in 2010 Town Meeting handouts was only a "rough estimate.") Rich anticipates there will be pressure to rebuild the Fund Balance to a minimum of $250,000.

 

Rich said he thinks the biggest issue facing the Town is whether we are fully on top of the financials, which have gotten much more complicated over the years. He believes the Town needs to move toward more comprehensive long-term financial planning – perhaps including a formal Finance Board (an elected Budget Committee) with serious financial expertise and more than advisory powers. This is the area he'd most like to focus on in 2010.

 

Pat Payne noted it is currently impossible to get a total picture of the Town's financial operations. We see the revenue and operating expense budgets, but warrant article spending and extraordinary items such as special grants and FEMA reimbursements are not accounted for clearly in existing reports.

 

Rich noted that the Committee's first view of 2011 spending plans won't be until September when department heads are to present preliminary budgets. In the meantime, he thinks the Committee should still meet on a monthly basis and use the time to dig into a number of areas:

 

  • Department of Public Works – The Committee has expressed interest and Kurt Grassett has offered to brief us on how he manages the accounts that fall outside the regular operating expense budgets. This would include projects authorized by Warrant Article and also NH and federal FEMA projects.

  • The Committee would like to meet with the new Treasurer (Lois Haskins) and Bookkeeper (Gail Hoffman) to learn more about the new accounting system and their plans/goals for strengthening financial management and reporting.

  • We need to look of the "Special Funds" list provided by the Select Board and determine what are the goals and criteria that should underlie such a review.

  • We'd like to develop a better perspective on the "down-the-road" issues that will affect the Town's long term finances, including a better understanding of the process, reviews and prioritization that go into the Capital Improvements Program.

 

As an aside, the Committee expressed interest in potential development at the State level around increasing rates for property in Current Use. (The Select Board is awaiting additional information from State Representative Ron Mack and will share it with us when available.)

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marsha Kono, HAC Secretary.


2010 Hancock Advisory Committee --

 

Richard LeFebvre (Chairman)  2011          525-3003                                            

116 Peterborough Rd.                                     rich@psopc.com

 

Marsha Kono         (Sec'y.)        2012          525-4702                                   

71 Peterborough Rd                                        konomrei@hotmail.com [email at Library – use

phone for time-sensitive message]

 

Patricia Payne                              2012          525-3575                                            

1 Prospect Hill Rd                                           ppayne5000@yahoo.com

 

Benjamin Billings                        2013?        831-6812                                            

14 Norway Hill Rd.                                        junksaver1@gmail.com

 

Don Klug                                     2013?        525-3020                                            

8 Main Street                                                   djkconslt@aol.com


 Ric Haskins (Town Moderator)                      525-3433                                            

36 Depot Road                                                ric.haskins@gmail.com

 


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