Approved Minutes of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)

Temple Municipal Offices

January 14, 2004


Members present                                           Others present

Steve Andersen (Chair)                                                                         Bruce Kantner (Select Board)   

Rae Barnhisel (Minute-Taker)                            Ted Petro (Select Board)

Charlene Eddy                                                  Sherry Fiske (Select Board)

Paul Quinn                                                        Vince Mamone (Conservation Commission)



Meeting called to order at 7:03 pm.


A.     Minutes

December 10, 2003 meeting minutes approved.

B. Ongoing business: The Budget

1. Budget 2024: Bruce Kantner told the BAC that 6 employees slated to be affected by the change in insurance coverage (from 100% coverage of increased premiums to 50% coverage by the town and 50% coverage by the employee) and that would have been given a 3% raise to offset the increase would not be affected. B. Kantner informed the BAC that the Select Board had adopted a policy that there would be no net reduction in the take-home pay of the 6 employees and that it intended to return to the policy of paying 100% of any increase. He told the BAC that the wage increase would be reduced to 2.5%.

The BAC confirmed that the town pays 100% of the deductible ($2000 for a couple and $3000 for a family) and thereafter 20% of any medical charges incurred. It was agreed that such a compensation plan seemed excessive and that few employers cover deductibles. B. Kantner agreed to look into whether any other towns offer such benefits.

There was discussion of who the 6 employees are. Two employees are in the Police Department, 3 are in the Highway Department for a total of 5. Harling stated that 8 employees were affected. These included Diane Nilsson who acts as recording secretary for the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Conservation Commission and Betsy Perry who is slated to do special projects and be office assistant. This is a total of 7.

There was discussion of the Town Clerk and Tax Collector positions. T. Petro told the BAC that the previous Select Board had voted to eliminate health insurance premium increases on these part-time positions and that the current Board had revisited the issue and had reached a compromise with affected employees. The new plan was that each position would have the promise of a 2-person coverage and that any more coverage would have to be paid by the employee. T. Petro stressed that the town would provide full insurance coverage and pay all deductibles to certain employees.

2. Quinn speaking as chair of the Conservation Commission prefaced the discussion of a Conservation Commission budget appropriated by the town by saying that it made sense that a town-sanctioned organization would have a town-sanctioned budget. Vince Mamone, Conservation Commission member, presented a summary of monies spent by the Commission in 2024 (copy attached). He stated he was nervous of the perception by the public that the Commission would request funds from the town in addition to the 100% Land Use Change Tax (LUCT) allocation.

The following amounts were agreed to be proposed from the following line items and not to exceed $1000:

$175 Dues and Subscriptions

$125 Professional Services

$200 Postage

$50 Office Supplies

$200 Printing and Advertising

$200 Training and Seminars

$50 Books and Periodicals

Total above is $1000.

3. S, Fiske reported that the Conservation Commission has requested a copy of the Southwest Regional Planning Commission (SWRPC) Master Plan. Barnhisel (Planning Board member) and Petro (ex officio Planning Board member) will introduce the issue of reproducing the SWRPC Master Plan at the Planning Board’s next meeting.  S. Fiske also reported that the Town Forester with an hourly rate ($50/hr) had performed 16 site visits in 2024 ($800) and 8 site visits in 2024 ($400) at a rate of 1 hr/site visit.

4. The first Budget Hearing per the BAC-SB Timeline slated for Sat. January 17, 2024, was discussed. It was agreed that 35 copies would be made, that Andersen would put out the lettered sign he donated to the town, that Barnhisel would put out specific signs, and that the tables would be arranged so that the BAC would be situated at the front of the room. An alternative location was discussed in case the furnace failed.

5. Charlene requested that page 13 of the Budget Worksheet include the amounts proposed for the county and state.

6. Barnhisel will review all the letters, memos, interviews, and minutes generated by the BAC in the past year and generate a draft of the BAC submission to the Town Report. S. Fiske told the BAC that the Town Report was a historical document that should include only specific information. Barnhisel requested a copy of the Town report before it went to press. S. Fiske said that she typically provides only a 1-day turn-around to other select board members but could utilize Barnhisel as a proofreader. Barnhisel pointed out examples where the Town Report could be reduced in order to save money. S. Fiske said she would provide the BAC with what the state required her to include. S. Fiske asked that the BAC submit their report by the end of January 2024.

7. There was additional discussion of personnel. Currently, it is unclear what employee positions are elected, appointed, hired and when hired, whether it is hourly or by stipend.

8. Eddy submitted a spreadsheet of how town postage was allocated (attached here). She asked that she receive information regarding the specific costs of the Pitney Bowles contract.

Meeting adjourned at 9:25 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Rae Barnhisel

Feb.11, 2024