The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 24, 2004


Resignations deplete FinCom

In the past few months the Carlisle Finance Committee (FinCom) has lost a number of experienced members. In May, Deb Belanger resigned from committee after being elected to the Board of Selectmen. In June, 2002-04 FinCom Chair Lisa Jensen-Fellows left to pursue a new job offer. Last Monday, current FinCom Chair Bret Bero announced his resignation due to "a change in employment that necessitates extensive travel."

This leaves the seven-member committee with only two members who have more than one year of experience. Dave Trask and John Nock have each served on the FinCom for four years. Members Ray Wilkes and Thornton Ash were both appointed in the fall of 2003.

On Monday Trask was elected chair for the 2004-05 year. Nock was elected vice-chair.

New appointees

Two new members, appointed by the Board of Selectmen on August 17, attended the Monday meeting for the first time. Jim Fitzsimmons of 146 Davis Road was appointed to finish the remaining one year of Belanger's term. Sue Wolfe of 180 Concord Street will serve out the remaining three years of Jensen-Fellows' term. With Bero leaving, the committee still has one vacancy.

Wolfe is currently self-employed as a financial consultant, focusing on performance management and organizational design. Most recently she was with the Grant Thornton Global Government Group providing consulting services to government agencies. In the past she spent a major part of her career in the Federal Reserve System. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and holds a M.S. in applied Economics from The University of Minnesota.

Fitzsimmons is a Partner with Healthcare Advisors, Inc., which provides advice to biopharmaceutical and other healthcare-related companies. In the past he started and ran four companies, two of which underwent profitable acquisition and two that continue to operate independently. He is a graduate of Harvard College and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Short on Experience?

Asked how long it takes to become comfortable with the complexities the FinCom must manage, Jensen-Fellows said, "It is genearally agreed that to really get the feel you need a full [budget year] cycle, from setting the guideline, to the full set of hearings, to Town Meeting. Municipal finance is a defferent animal than corporate finance."

Trask, however, is not worried. He points out that two members have been through four budget cycles, and another two have been through one difficult budget year. in addition, Fitzsimmons was a Mosquito reporter for the FinCom last year , so he is familiar with the process. "I think we are in a strong position," he said.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito