Friday, November 21, 2003
Selectmen spell out short-term goals for fiscal 2004
Chair Tim Hult presided over a discussion of short-term goals for fiscal year 2004 at the Board of Selectmen meeting on November 4. At least one member of the board was assigned to each task to ensure that it will be actively pursued. The seventeen work items that resulted from the hour-long brainstorming session are listed by priority below.
1. Financial Issues: Work with the Finance Committee, the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee, and the Finance Team and continue the formation of a Five-Year Plan including estimates of growth, spending, debt, and investments. Understand the ramifications of expansion to our school operating budget and factor them into the plan.
Actions: Tim Hult agreed to take on this action item. Lisa Jensen-Fellows did some preliminary work on a five-year plan recently for the Finance Committee. Long-term debt projection and how we handle decrease in debt capacity are important factors. Should the town create a two-year operating budget?
2. Cell Towers: Work with Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie to get a cell tower approved on town land.
Actions: Both Vivian Chaput and John Ballantine will drive this issue. This includes bylaw changes for an upcoming Town Meeting. There will also be a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued after the bylaw change.
3. Employee Appreciation and Feedback: Work with the Administrator to plan a function to show appreciation to the employees and provide a forum for them to talk to the Selectmen on an informal basis.
Actions: Doug Stevenson believes an employee appreciation function in the fall and spring, possibly with plaques and service pin awards, would be appropriate.
4. Community Preservation: Work with the Community Preservation Committee to assure a smooth implementation of the Community Preservation Act in Carlisle in its first year.
Actions: The committee is staffed and John Ballantine will monitor and assist. Vivian Chaput believes, "A little PR couldn't hurt. There also needs to be some education."
5. Wage and Classification: Ongoing. Work with the Personnel Board and the Town/Personnel Administrator to update 1/3 of the grade ranges each year. Continue yearly evaluations. Review the concept of merit.
Actions: Madonna McKenzie continues to be involved in all aspects of wage and classification efforts. Yearly evaluations are best performed in the January and February time frame during budget hearings.
6. Tax Relief for Senior Citizens: Work with the Town Administrator, the Council on Aging, the Assessor, the Treasurer, and the Town Accountant to implement the Senior Tax program and the voluntary donation program this year. Continue to follow the legislation being proposed by other communities to provide local tax relief to seniors and research other methods of providing relief.
Actions: Tony Allison will evaluate everything that's available under law for senior tax relief. The existing senior work program is fully assigned with ten people sharing the $5,000 allocated at $500 maximum per person. Some towns freeze any further tax increases after a certain age, which would be welcomed by Carlisle seniors.
7. Top-Down Capital Planning Strategy: Work with the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee and the Finance Committee to develop a long-term capital plan.
Actions: Tim Hult raised his hand as the advocate for both a Top-Down Capital Planning Strategy and to coordinate with Concord (below) on a workable budget.
8. Coordinate with Concord: Work with counterparts in Concord, the Finance Committee, and the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee to develop workable budgets.
Actions: See above
9. Cable Access for Carlisle Residents: Work with the Cable Advisory Committee and Comcast to develop a plan for providing access to all Carlisle residents.
Actions: All the Selectmen will assist in revitalizing the Cable Advisory Committee in preparation for the upcoming Comcast negotiations.
10. Pathway System: Work with the Pathways and Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Advisory Committee to finalize the School Loop plan.
Actions: This project is underway and Vivian Chaput will monitor the progress.
11. All-Boards Meeting: Work with the Administrator to plan an "All-Boards" meeting to discuss the goals of the Selectmen for the town and to hear from the boards about important issues they wish to bring to the Selectmen.
Actions: All the Selectmen will participate.
12. Affordable Housing: Encourage the establishment of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) to work with the town to provide/build affordable housing.
Actions: Both Ballantine and Chaput will investigate the possibility of a LLC or private non-profit organization. Groups formed in the past have dissolved after repeated failure due to persistent opposition.
13. Miscellaneous Items: Work with Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie to set up a tickler file for dealing with nuisance items.
Actions: Town Administrator will implement.
14. Bicentennial Celebration: Work with the Town Administrator to begin to plan for a town-wide celebration of Carlisle's 200th birthday.
Actions: Tim Hult will begin organizing the celebration, which has one volunteer so far. Town clergy, including recently installed Rev. Dr. Timothy Jensen of the First Religious Society, are ex-officio members of the celebration committee.
15. Computer Update: Work with the Town Administrator to install a high-speed Internet access service for the Town Hall this year. Cross-train employees. Continue to network and provide training to more efficiently use the technology available today.
Actions: McKenzie plans to replace the town's cranky server in a couple of months. The eventual hope is to have an Integrated Financial Package.
16. Volunteers: Develop methods to encourage more volunteer participation within the community.
Actions: Allison will assist the Wireless Committee and Personnel Board in finding help. Selectmen planned to mention the need for volunteers at the November 10 Town Meeting.
17. Access to and Refinement of Policies and Procedures: Work with the Town Administrator and all departments to create a central location for access to all policies. Work with the Town Administrator and all departments and boards to develop a consolidated manual and index for all procedures required by the different departments.
Actions: Both McKenzie and Allison will look into the possibility of making all policies available on the Web. Otherwise, written copies will be accessible in the Town Clerk's office or from the Selectmen.
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