FinCom, Selectmen confer 

The Carlisle Finance Committee (FinCom) held a working session with the Board of Selectmen on March 5 to review and discuss changes requested by departments and decide what, and what not, to include in the FY19 operating budget. The two groups will meet again on March 13 as they prepare a budget proposal to bring to Annual Town Meeting on April 30. 

The majority of changes to the budget center around personnel and the need to expand hours to keep up with the operations of running a town. For example, there is a request to add a new part-time facilities manager position to oversee town building repair and maintenance projects. Additionally, a position for the Treasurer’s office, an Assistant Treasurer/Collector, is being requested for the next fiscal year.

There are seven departments within the town requesting a change to their current staff. In some cases, departments are asking for more hours. In other cases, they are asking for a grade change. The departments requesting these changes must speak with the Personnel Board before the FinCom can decide whether to include the changes in the proposed budget. If the Personnel Board approves the request, FinCom still has to decide if the resources are available to fund the position.

FinCom has a few unresolved items to contend with before finalizing its recommendations. There is the question on how much should be funded to address the issue of call availability for the Fire Department. A related question is whether the funding should be in the form of a stipend increase, the hiring of per diem firefighters or could be a combination of both (see also “FinCom considers Fire Dept. budget increase.”)

The Council on Aging is requesting an increase of six hours to their staffing, but FinCom is unsure how these hours will be utilized and for what reason.

The Personnel Board is not scheduled to meet until the week of March 19, which puts a time constraint on FinCom, which must get the budget proposal out shortly thereafter. FinCom will meet again on March 12 to complete any outstanding budget items, and then hold a coordination meeting with the Selectmen on March 13. ∆