Town of Lyme
September 28, 2005
Lyme Center Academy Building
DRAFT: September 29, 2005
Present at this meeting: Budget Committee Members: Gibb Cornwell, Mike Smith, Josh Kilham, Chairman Barney Brannen, David Caffry, Wayne Tullar, and Jeff Lehmann. School Board Representative Laszlo Bardos. Community members: Manning Rountree, Michael Tecca and Henry Caldwell. Bookkeeper/Selectmen’s Secretary & Scribe Dina Cutting.
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.
1. Election of Chair:
Mr Brannen opened the floor for nominations of the election of Chairman. Mr. Smith moved to nominate Mr. Brannen as Chairman of the Budget Committee. Seconded by Mr. Caffry. There being no other nominations Mr. Cornwell moved to close the nominations. Seconded by Mr. Smith. Voted unanimously in favor.
The motion to elect Mr. Brannen as Chairman of the Budget Committee was voted unanimously in favor. Mr. Brannen thanked all for their support.
2. Resignation of Earl Strout:
Mr. Brannen announced that Mr. Strout resigned from the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will need to appoint someone to fill his seat until the March town meeting. Then this person may run for a three-year seat. Followed was a discussion concerning the process of finding candidates and setting up a nomination sub-committee. Mr. Cornwell, Mr. Smith, Mr. Kilham, and Mr. Lehmann volunteered to serve on this sub-committee. Mr. Smith will chair this sub-committee. This sub-committee will recommend a candidate to the whole Budget Committee. Mr. Smith will contact Mr. Brannen when the sub-committee is ready with their recommendation. This nomination will take place at the November 2nd meeting or sooner if the Budget Committee meets before November 2nd. The request for candidates was sent out over
Lyme list-serve and posted on the Lyme web site. The notice requesting candidates will be sent out on the Lyme list serve once more.
3. Schedule of meetings:
Mr. Cornwell moved to approve the draft schedule of budget meetings for the 2006 town and school budgets. Seconded by Mr. Caffry. In order to clarify the meeting description on December 14th, 2005, Mr. Smith requested the description read “Selectmen finish presenting budget (if necessary) and Department Heads get chance for rebuttal to Budget Committee regarding Selectmen’s proposed budget”.
The motion was voted unanimously in favor with correction noted.
4. Discussion of anticipated issues in current budget cycle:
Mr. Brannen asked for recommendations of sub-committees for the upcoming budget.
1) Capital Equipment Reserve Funds
2) Employee Salary and Benefits
These were the two areas the Budget Committee felt they needed additional information about prior to the up coming budget process. Followed was a lengthy discussion concerning what kinds of information the Budget Committee would need and who would like to be on these sub-committees. It was discussed and confirmed that setting employee salaries is the Selectmen’s responsibility. The Budget Committee votes on changes in the personnel policies only after they are recommended to the Budget Committee by the Selectmen. Issues about employee benefits and salaries have come up in the past during the budget process and it is too hard to deal with them during the latter part of the budget process. In the past members of the Budget Committee have found themselves in situations where they did not feel comfortable voting on salary and
benefits lines. The Budget Committee felt they wanted more information on these topics. The Budget Committee would like to work with the Selectmen on these issues and not have the Selectmen feel like the Budget Committee is trying to pre-empt them. The Budget Committee was informed that the Selectmen are presently looking at employee health insurance packages. Mr. Brannen will contact Mrs. Shelnutt-Brotman to discuss and confirm this.
Vehicle Capital Reserve Fund- Mr. Smith, Mr.Caffry, Mr. Cornwell (Chair), and Selectman Mr. Jones (Mr. Brannen will be asking Mr. Jones to serve on this sub-committee).
Employee Salary & Benefits-Mr. Lehmann, Mr. Tullar, Mrs. Shelnutt-Brotman, and Mrs. Swan (Mr. Brannen will be asking Mrs. Swan to serve on this sub-committee). This sub-committee will decide on a chair at their first meeting.
Mr. Brannen will also contact Mrs. Shelnutt-Brotman to offer her a spot on both sub-committees if she chooses.
Followed was a discussion concerning how much the Budget Committee should try to take on concerning employee salaries, benefits, personnel policies and such. The Budget Committee is concerned that it is too late to take on something so complicated. Salaries and benefits are something the Budget Committee members are interested in understanding, and want to work hard to avoid any delay in the budget voting process. It was the sense of the Budget Committee that Mr. Brannen should discuss this with Mrs. Shelnutt –Brotman.
The Vehicle Capital Reserve Fund sub-committee will review issues like the amounts of money needed to fund these vehicle properly, what the town has for equipment, what they need for equipment, and how long a time schedule for replacement of the various equipment were all topics to be discussed by this sub-committee. Mr. Cornwell requested Mrs. Cutting send him the town’s equipment inventory list.
The Budget Committee decided to add another meeting to the draft schedule. This meeting will be for the purpose of appointing a new member to fill Mr. Strout’s seat, having the two sub-committees report on their progress as of that date, and any other business that may come up.
Additional meeting: Wednesday October 26th, 2005 @ 7:00pm. It was unclear as to whether the Budget Committee will be meeting at the Town Offices or The Academy Building. Mr. Brannen will check into this and let Budget Committee members know where to go next time.
At 8:10pm Mr. Bardos moved to adjourn. Seconded by Mr. Smith. Motion voted unanimously in favor.