Buxton Charter Commission
May 6, 2010
Call to order at 7 p.m. Present are Chairman Andy Townsend, Selectman Dan Collomy, Brent Havu, Larry Miller, Jennifer Barschdorf, Judy Sjulander, Vice-Chairman Dianne Senechal, David Dunn and May Schumacher
Approval of minutes from last meeting (April 29, 2010)
Minutes to be amended to correct 'policy committee' to 'comprehensive plan committee' and amend municipal records officer to be appointed by town manager rather than selectmen.
Motion to approve as amended by Brent, seconded by Judy. Passes, Dianne abstains.
Public Comments - none
Announcement of Correspondence -none
- Continued Review of Kennebunk Charter starting at Section 3.11
The chairman encouraged the commission to be more general during initial discussions of charter changes. Commission members began discussions with Kennebunk Charter section 3.12 after concluding a portion of section 3.11 had been discussed previously and noting there is potential for disagreement regarding town-wide vacancies.
Kennebunk Charter section 3.12 discusses ethical standards and conflicts of interest. Buxton Charter section 6.05 discusses conflict of interest. Some commission members had not reviewed Buxton's charter regarding conflict of interest and a majority of commission members agreed to postpone the discussion until the following meeting.
Commission members discussed Kennebunk Charter section 4.01titled Town Manager, qualifications. Kennebunk charter section 4.01 states “The Town Manager shall be chosen by the Board of Selectmen on the basis of character and executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to actual experience in, or knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of the office hereinafter set forth.”
MOTION: to incorporate Kennebunk Charter section 4.01 which talks to qualifications in our draft list. Motion by Larry, seconded by Jen. Motion unanimously carries.
The chairman read Kennebunk Charter section 4.02 regarding powers and duties of the town manager. Commission members agreed subsections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are consistent with previous discussions but noted some titles included in Kennebunk's list will need to be altered to fit Buxton. Further discussion will take place at a later date about subsection 4, which allows the town manager to serve as a department head.
Kennebunk Charter section 4.02 subsection 6 addresses removal of employees for just cause as well as appointment of town employees. The subsection reads: “Have exclusive authority to remove for just cause, after notice and hearing, any persons whom the Town Manager is authorized to appoint, and report all such removals to the Board of Selectmen.”
Commission members discussed the hiring process, which says the town manager is to submit employee recommendations to selectmen for final approval, and if firing should be handled the same way. Following discussions, commission members decided to consult an attorney for clarification before making a decision.
Kennebunk Charter section 4.02 subsection 7 states “[Manager will] Act as the Purchasing Agent for all Town Departments, boards, or commissions, provided that the Board of Selectmen may require that all purchases of a designated amount be submitted to competitive bid; and except that the Board of Selectmen may submit any purchase to competitive bid when deemed feasible.”
Commission members discussed Buxton's charter, which states anything more than $5,000 must go to bid. Commission members discussed including a monetary limit allowed to be spent without going to bid or allowing selectmen to set the spending limit for the town manager. Citing the need for further information, commission member plan to consult selectmen regarding the issue.
Commission members briefly discussed subsections 8 through 13.
Three minute recess.
Commission members opened discussions with Kennebunk Charter 5.02, the budget board. Commission members then read Buxton Charter section 4.01, Financial Proceedures, which states: “The fiscal year of the Town shall be established as July 1 to the ensuing June 30th.”
Commission members discussed Buxton Charter section 4.02, which reads “~The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all Town administration funds, and activities for the upcoming fiscal year, and, except as required by this Charter or law, shall be in such form as the Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee may require. In organizing the budget, the Budget Committee shall utilize the most practical combination of expenditure classification by fund, organization unit, program, purpose or activities and objectives. It shall show in detail all estimated income, and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the current fiscal year, and shall be arranged as to show comparative figures for actual and estimated income and expenditures of the current fiscal year and
actual income and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year. It shall indicate in separate sections as follows:
~~~~~~~~(a)~~~~~Proposed expenditures for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by office, departments and agencies in terms of their respective work programs, and the method of financing such expenditures; and
~~~~~~~~(b)~~~~~Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies along with the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure when practical.
(c)~~~~~For information only, the Budget Committee shall separately provide such information as is then available regarding the York County Tax and S.A.D. #6 assessment.”
Discussions did not suggest changes to the section.
Commission members discussed section 4.03, which states: “The Budget Committee shall submit to the Board of Selectmen, on a date to be determined by the Board of Selectmen, a budget recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year and an accompanying message. The Budget Committees message shall explain the Budget in fiscal terms, describe the important features of the budget, indicate any major changes from the current year in expenditures and revenue together with the reasons for such changes. ~(Amended: ~Nov. 4, 2003)”
That section was compared to Kennebunk Charter section 5.03, which reads, “ 1) Not later than 120 days before the Annual Town Meeting, the Town Manager shall submit, to the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Board, his/her recommendations and a proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year. 2) The Board of Selectmen shall review the proposed budget and prepare a final budget for submission to the Annual Town Meeting. 3) The Budget Board shall, at a minimum, meet together with the Board of Selectmen, to review the final budget in a joint session and may make its recommendations to the Annual Town Meeting. The failure of the Budget Board to make a recommendation on any particular budget article(s) shall not prevent the Annual Town Meeting from acting on the same. 4) The Board of Selectmen
shall hold at least two public informational meetings on the budget, the first of which shall be noticed and conducted as a public hearing and held no less than 90 days before the Annual Town Meeting referendum vote and in time for the Budget Board and the Board of Selectmen to take into account comments from the public hearing before finalizing the Annual Town Meeting referendum ballot, and the second of which shall be held no more than 20 days and at least 7 days before the Annual Town Meeting. 5) The Annual Town Meeting shall adopt the final budget for the Town. If the budget is not approved by the beginning of the new fiscal year, then the final budget figure(s) for the immediately preceding fiscal year for on-going municipal services only shall be deemed effective to permit expenditures until the final budget is adopted and then to be charged against the new budget, but only to the extent reasonably sufficient to cover necessary expenses to protect the public, health, safety
and welfare; provided, however, beyond the initial Town meeting vote on the annul budget, there may be, if necessary, up to, but not more than, two additional votes on the proposed annual budget, or the final budget figure(s) for the immediately preceding fiscal year for on-going municipal services only shall be deemed adopted.”
Commission members discussed Kennebunk Charter section 5.04, which reads; “Each budget article presented to the Town Meeting shall set forth a specific sum to be raised or appropriated for a specific purpose, such sum to be the greater of the amounts recommended by the Board of Selectmen or the Budget Board. Each such article shall be accompanied by recommendations as to amount from the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Board, which recommendations shall be printed in the Warrant. The sum raised or appropriated shall be determined by the vote of the Town Meeting but shall not exceed the sum set forth in the article.”
MOTION: to add Kennebunk Charter section 5.03 to [Buxton's] charter. Motion by May, second by Larry. Motion amended by Brent to add section 5.04 as well. Seconded by Larry. Motion unanimously carries.
Commission members discussed how motions for inclusion are being recorded by the secretary. Jen said she is adding suggested changes to pertinent sections of the Buxton Charter at the end of the related section.
Commission members skipped ahead to Kennebunk Charter section 6.01, then switched back to Buxton Charter section 4.05, which reads, “Public Records
~~~~~~~~(a)~~~~~Available to Public. Copies of the yearly budget shall be public record and shall also be made available to the public through the Annual Town Report.
~~~~~~~~(b)~~~~~Town Warrant. The Town Meeting Warrant shall contain the total money appropriated for the current year along with the Board of Selectmen’s and the Budget Committee’s recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year under each article requiring an appropriation.”
MOTION: to leave Buxton Charter section 4.05 as it reads. Motion by Larry, seconded by Judy. Motion unanimously carries.
Commission members continued discussion with section 4.09 and 4.10 of Buxton's Charter, which read, “Budget Amendments After Adoption
~~~~~~~~(a)~~~~~Modification of Appropriations: If at any time during the fiscal year it appears probable to the Treasurer that the revenues available will be insufficient to meet the amount appropriated, he shall report to the Board of Selectmen without delay, indicating the estimated amount of the deficit. The Board of Selectmen shall then take any further action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize any deficit.
~~~~~~~~(b)~~~~~Transfer of Appropriations: The Board of Selectmen must call a Special Town Meeting to consider and vote on the transfer of part or all of any unencumbered appropriations balance from one appropriation to another. Selectmen may make intradepartmental transfers to reconcile revenue and expense accounts, said funds to be transferred only for the use of revenue shortfalls or emergency spending as determined by the Selectmen. All other transfers unless allowed under State Statutes must go to Town Meeting.
Section 4.10 Lapse of Appropriations
~~~~~~~~General fund appropriations, except Federal Revenue Sharing funds or an appropriation for a capital expenditure, or such accounts the Selectmen may deem necessary, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that they have not been expended or encumbered, or except as prohibited by law. Such funds shall be transferred to a surplus account. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned.”
Commission members discussed requiring disclosure of funds carried forward as well as Special Town Meeting to allow expenditures not included in the budget. The issue was not resolved.
Other New Business; set agenda. Next meeting will compare Kennebunk Charter section 3.12 to Buxton Charter section 6.05 and discuss Buxton Charter section 2.07.
Commission members perused the remaining sections of the Buxton Charter. Commission members talked about questions for selectmen previously discussed and if questions should be submitted in writing before asking selectmen to come speak to the commission. Currently, there are two questions: what is the appropriate amount to designate for purchases and how do selectmen feel about that limitation in the charter; and how do selectmen feel about appointing department head employees chosen by the town manager. Commission members requested the secretary look back through previous minutes to find additional questions for selectmen.
Commission members discussed the time frame imposed by selectmen seeking a preliminary draft of the charter by July 15. Commission members discussed what form of draft must be submitted, if legal review is needed and if changes to language can be made to the preliminary draft. Dan served on the previous charter commission and said there is no need for legal review, the preliminary draft submitted was approximately two pages and language was changed after the submission.
Commission members discussed the need to determine which sections have been discussed and what is left of the Buxton Charter to review.
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, May 13, 2010, 7 p.m.
Charter Commission Meeting, Thursday, May 20, 2010, 7 p.m.
Public Comments -none
Adjournment at 9:03 p.m.
Submitted by Stephanie Grinnell