Friday, September 21, 2007
Selectmen goals focus on finances, housing, education
Each summer the Carlisle Selectmen devote an off-site meeting to review of last year's accomplishments and discussion of new goals for the coming year. At the end of the summer, a document is issued which lays out dozens of objectives for the coming year.
This year Chair Tim Hult took a slightly different tack. Grouping the various goals into nine areas (see table, below) he then asked each selectman to assign an importance level and a current status level to each area, reflecting how close the town is to perfect management. The rankings, from 0 to 5, were then averaged, and the mean posted as a score. The "importance" score for each appears in the second column, with the "status" appearing in the third.
There was little surprise that education, town finances, and affordable housing scored highest in importance. However, the status scores varied considerably, with education relatively well-managed at 3.83, while affordable housing's score at 1.67 reflects a perception there is still much to be done.
Within each large category, a number of short-term FY08 goals were then established. For example, in education, the highest priority will be resolving issues between the faculty and superintendent. Next will be working out the FY08 school budget while revenue increases are expected to be below 1%. Long term capital planning is a high-priority goal, as is moving the Benfield affordable housing project forward and determining the feasibility of an expansion of Village Court, the senior housing complex on Church Street.
Another difference in approach this year is that Selectmen liaisons to town committees are being assigned according to the nine groupings. Each committee typically has one Selectman to follow its progress and attend important meetings. This year the committees are being assigned to one of the eleven goal areas according to their mandates. For example, Doug Stevenson and Bill Tice are leaders for education and are therefore liaisons to the school committees and school building committees. See Table 2 below.
Upon issuing the goals at the Selectmen's meeting August 28, Tim Hult noted, "This was a good process, and a good strategic look." He then added, "Hopefully, we'll get a reasonable amount of it done."
© 2007 The