Friday, February 13, 2009
Shorts from the Selectmen, February 10
• New contract for Police Chief. The Selectmen approved a new three-year contract for Police Chief John Sullivan. His first year base compensation will be $85,233. This will increase by 2.5% in each of the two following years. In addition, Chief Sulllivan will receive an increase of 12.5% each year under the Quinn Bill. Half of the Quinn Bill increase is paid by Carlisle and half by the state. In addition, his compensation will include a longevity increase of $4,800 per year.
• Land transferred to ConsCom. The Selectmen approved a Warrant Article for the transfer management of a one-acre parcel of town-owned land to the Conservation Commission. The parcel is land-locked without road access and unbuildable. However, it provides an important link in the West Street conservation corridor and with plans for a future trail system. The transfer of the parcel will require approval of Town Meeting.
• Selectmen cool to enriched FY10 budget. Finance Committee Chair Dave Model and Carlisle Finance Director Larry Barton reviewed the latest version of the proposed FY10 town budget (See “State aid $133,000 more than expected in FY10,” page 1). The town can expect approximately $133,000 higher revenues than previously expected in the next fiscal year, largely due to higher state aid to communities recommended in the Governor’s budget, and some modest real estate growth in Carlisle. Consequently the FinCom, which earlier recommended level funding, has allowed an average 1.47% increase for town departments, except schools.
The Carlisle Public School, with dropping enrollments, would be level-funded for FY10, stated Model. This will require that a number of aides, one psychologist and one language arts teacher be cut. However, the school is requesting $140,000 to retain the psychologist and language arts positions. Model said that the additional funds could come from free cash, or more likely from an override.
The Concord-Carlisle Regional School District is budgeted for a 3.6% increase. Last fall, Model said, the FinComs of the two towns agreed that both would support up to a 4% budget increase. However, the Regional School Committee is requesting an additional 1% increase for FY10. Model felt that this was “not unreasonable” but would probably require an override in Carlisle.
Selectman Chair Doug Stevenson stated that he would like to see a pared-down budget that does not rely on an increase in state aid. “The appetite for overrides and tax increases is very low,” he advised. “There is a new reality,” said Selectman Tim Hult.
Model emphasized that the FY10 budget is still a work in progress.
• Caroline Hill Scholarships. Diane Powers and Michael Fitzgerald of the Caroline Hill Scholarship Committee informed the Selectmen that in the past few years the fund has distributed approximately $10,000 to $12,000 per year for college scholarships as well as emergency help to residents. This year $8,000 has been targeted for scholarships and $2,600 for fuel assistance. Although the fund’s earnings may be lower in coming months, the Selectmen felt that the committee should continue to plan to award approximately $10,000 per year, as needs have not decreased. Selectman Tim Hult suggested that a smaller fund, the Lapham Family Fund, be combined with the Caroline Hill Trust Account to increase available funds.
• FEMA/MEMA compensation. Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie reported that she met with FEMA representatives to discuss compensation for expenses incurred during ice storms on December 11 and 18. She will work with town departments to apply for available funds from FEMA and MEMA.
• Appointments. Appointed to the Energy Audit Task Force were Glenn Reed of Rutland Street, Building Inspector John Luther and Selectman Tim Hult.
• Congratulations for Stevenson. Speaking for his colleagues on the Board, Hult congratulated Stevenson on his recent Community Service Award from the Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce. “You are an outstanding example for our youth and our community,” said Hult.
• Praise for the COA. When the Selectmen asked for community input, longtime resident Joan Leftwich rose to praise the Carlisle Council on Aging, its Senior Connection Newsletter, and its Director Kathy Mull and Outreach Coordinator Angela Smith. “I love the programs they present…There is always something happening. It’s endless. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the COA, and I don’t want its budget cut.” Leftwich also had praise for Margaret deMare, Executive Administrative Assistant to the BOS. ∆
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