Friday, January 27, 2006
Shorts from the FinCom, January 24 meeting
• Legal expenses up. The town's legal expenses, which have increased each year, may require up to a $70,000 increase to bring its budget in line with experience. In FY05, legal expenditures totalled $153,000 and are running at a similar level in FY06. The guideline budget is $81,000.
• Handicapped-accessible voting. At the same meeting, Town Clerk Charlene Hinton requested additional funds to program new voting booths the town may be receiving. The federal "Help America Vote Act" directs towns to use specified new voting machines which are accessible to all handicapped people. The cost of the voting machines and programming for state elections next year will be paid out of federal funds, but Carlisle must pay to program the machines for local elections, at an expected cost of $1,000 per election. Regretting the likely demise of Carlisle's manual crank machine, which has served the town for many, many years, Hinton noted, "I've had no complaints whatsoever" that there was any problem with handicapped accessibility.
The FinCom is currently reviewing all budgets and noting requests in excess of guidelines. After hearing from all departments, they plan to update guidelines and prioritize requests at their meeting on February 27.
© 2006 The