Meeting Minutes

Title:               Budget Committee Meeting

Date:               Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Location:        Westport Island Town Office Conference Room

Subject:           Budget Committee Officer Election and Task Round Table

Pre-Work:      Be prepared to identify questions to ask and results we want from visiting/interviewing office staff and selectmen/managers of the Bench mark towns. I will bring a flip chart so we can capture ideas and then come to a reasonable list. Also review the 2007-08 schedule to develop tasks and responsibilities for 2008-09.

Objective:       Identify questions to ask and results we want from visiting/interviewing office staff and selectmen/managers of the Bench mark towns and develop a task list to be accomplished by the Budget Committee for 2008-09 fiscal year.









Review agenda and time durations and approve any changes.






5 Min.

Action Item Review





7 :05

10 min

Bench mark towns brain-storming session





7 :15

45 min

Brain-storming tasks/responsibilities for the Budget Committee





8 :00

30 min

Other Items



8 :30

10 min

Public Comment



8 :40

10 min

Wrap up





8 :50

5 min

Attendees: Sandra Besecker, Kim Greenleaf, Dennis Dunbar, David Blake, Ruth Nelson, Rhonda Cromwell, Richard DeVries

Facilitator: David Blake

Secretary: Rhonda Cromwell


1.      Schedule

2.      Benchmark Town Desired Results & Questions

3.      WI Budget Committee Mission, Deliverables, and Procedures

4.      WI Sand and Salt Usage

5.      Westport Island Municipal Appropriations History (Jan 2008 Update) Word Document

6.      Westport Island Municipal Appropriations History EXCEL Document

7.      Proposed Budget Committee Master Schedule Template


2007-08 Open Action items:

1.      Obtain updated copy of note for the Wright property from Geo. Richardson. Action: Kim Greenleaf 05/06/08

2.      Provide any sub-committee schedules to George. Action: All as it occurs

3.      Send list of benchmarking questions to David B. Action: All 090208 Closed 090208 meeting agenda item Complete 090208

4.      Obtain electronic financial data from the treasurer of at least the last two years. Action Richard DeVries 083008

080508 Open Action items:

1.      Update mission and deliverables. Action Richard DeVries 090208 Complete 090208

2.      Identify additional tasks that the committee should be considering. Action All 090208

090208 Open Action items:

1.      Determine date for school consolidation hearing. Action Dennis 100708

2.      Type up benchmark town results and questions and send to the team. Action Richard 090908 Complete 090908

3.       Review and comment on benchmark town results and questions. Action All 100708

4.      Send the business case analysis of the sand and salt shed to Dennis. Action Richard 100708

5.      Send an electronic copy of the sand and salt usage and the budget review template to Richard. Action Richard 090908 Complete 090308

6.      Group the budget review process schedule by dates and add to the program management schedule. Action Richard 100708


The meeting came to order at 7:05 p.m.

The meeting minutes for 80508 were reviewed, revised, and accepted as revised.

The open action items were reviewed, and it was noted that the only open a sub committee was the town manager analysis comprised of Mort Mendes, David Spiegel, and Richard DeVries. It was noted that the voting on the sand and salt shed would probably not occurred in November.

The team completed brainstorming session on the desired results and questions to be asked in regards to the benchmark towns task. See attachment 2 of these minutes.

Dennis presented a potential template of a budget review schedule for warrant articles along with a Municipal Appropriations History and Sand & Salt Usage for information. There was a discussion on the grouping of warrant articles and some revisions were recommended. The template will be added to the schedule for future review.

The Westport Island by the committee deliverables and operating procedures were reviewed. Item 11 of the Deliverables was revised to at the word “Develop” at the beginning of the sentence. Three new deliverables were added. Dennis made a motion to remove the word “Suggested” from the mission and deliverables statements and Ruth seconded the motion. The change was unanimously approved. The agenda and meeting procedures were reviewed and the word “Deputy Chairperson” was replaced with the word “Co-Chairperson”, the word “Scribe” was replaced by the word “secretary” throughout the procedures, the second to the last sentence in item 3 was revised to read “In addition, if the vote is not unanimous the Secretary shall provide the reason for…”; the sentences “The agenda shall be posted in the town office 24 hours prior to the start of the meeting.” and “All members of the committee still sign the approved minutes prior to submittal to the Board of Selectmen.” were removed, the words “and a second copy shall be posted in the entry hall of the town office”, the resulting third sentence was revised to read “shall be the agenda review, inclusion…”, and the public comment segment was reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in item 4; the last sentence of item 6 was replaced with the sentence “The public will be expected to voice their questions/concerns in a respectful manner and tone. Use of loud, abusive, and profane language is prohibited.”; and a new item 9 was added “Items/tasks that are in process still not be shared outside the committee until a consensus on the completion of the item/tasks has been achieved.”  See attachment 3 of these minutes.

There was a discussion about the use of the LD-1 results developed by the WICIC Committee and Jack Swanton. The committee members from last year considered it a serious affront by the WICIC Committee, Jack Swanton, and the spokesman for the WICIC committee, Dennis Dunbar, in the use of the LD-1 data at the town meeting without sharing such data with the budget committee, who had worked hard and long to develop a reasonable, forward-looking budget for the town of Westport Island. Dennis apologized in that the results could have been shared with the committee, although they were developed at the last minute. Dennis felt that it should have been the budget committee in the first place that had developed LD-1 information, however, he did realize that the budget committee had a significant amount of work on their plate and that there was insufficient time to develop the LD-1 information on the budget committee’s agenda. Dennis further stated that he was hoping that in future there would be no need for a WICIC committee. Richard again argued that LD-1 does not present a reasonable picture for each year’s expenditure unless there is a sound, forward-looking budget plan for the town. Dennis stated that the law may be flawed but it is the law. Richard responded that it was a law without any consequences. It was agreed that LD-1 would be reviewed from a reasonable perspective and utilized as recommendations to the Selectmen and the legislative body.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.





Desired Results Of Benchmark Town Studies

1.      Knowledge about labor saving devices used in the office.

2.      Knowledge about the method of evaluation and total number of properties evaluated.

3.      Knowledge about the frequency and duration about selectmen meetings.

4.      Knowledge about the number and purpose of existing committees.

5.      Knowledge about the purpose and amount of reserve funding.

6.      Knowledge about how LD-1 is applied and when.

7.      Knowledge about the towns that can be used as metrics:

·        Population.

·        Number of employees, part-time and full time and hours per week.

·        Duties of office employee.

·        Duties on elected personnel.

·        Duties of appointed personnel and the offices they hold

·        Services town provides:

-        Fire

-        School.

-        Water.

-        Security.

-        Garbage.

-        Library.

-        Community Center

-        Parks and recreation.

-        Car registration.

-        Dog registration.

-        Boat registration.

-        Hunting licenses.

-        Fishing licenses.

-        Planned digging licenses

Questions To Be Asked in Benchmarking Towns Studies

1.      What labor saving devices are used in the office?

2.      What is the total number of properties that are evaluated by the town, the average number of properties evaluated annually, and the method used in evaluation?

3.      How often do the selectmen meet and what is the duration of their meetings?

4.      What committees exist and what is the purpose of each committee?

5.      What elements of the budget use projected cost to establish reserves for each element?

6.      Is LD-1 applied during the budgeting process, and if so how?

7.      How are evaluations of properties carried out? Is a certified appraiser utilized? How frequently are evaluations updated? What method is utilized in evaluating properties?

8.      How many abatements do you reply to annually?

9.      What form of town management is used? Selectmen? Selectmen and town manager? Councilmen? Councilmen and town manager?

10.  How much time does the first selectmen spend on town business other than the regular meetings?

11.  How much time do the other selectmen spend on town business other than the regular meetings?

12.  Do you have schools? Grade levels? Student population? Buses and drivers? Contracted buses?

13.  How many miles of road does the town maintain? What is the annual cost?

14.  How many miles of road does that town plow? What is the annual cost? Is snow plowing contracted? Does the contractor provide the sand and salt?

15.  Does a town owned sand &salt shed exist?

16.  How many miles of road that town maintains is asphalt? Gravel?

17.  What town on building exists?

18.  What types of payments are made to the elected and appointed town officials and employees? Stipend? Salary?

19.  How many residents are seasonal? What percentage of the total valuation is owned by seasonal residents?

20.  How many mail boxes are covered by bulk mailing by the post office in the summer? Winter?

21.  How many commercial entities exist in the town? What percentage of the total valuation is owned by commercial entities?

22.  Do you have the income producing properties for the town? What is the total income annually?

23.  What are your annual legal fees?

24.  How large is your overlay and what is it used for?

25.  How is car excise tax used?

26.  How is boat excise tax used?

27.  How are other fees used?

·        Fishing, hunting, and dog licenses.

·        Plumbing inspector fees

·        Harbor master fees

·        Health Officer fees

·        CEO fees

Westport Island Budget Committee Mission

Mission: The Westport Island Budget Committee shall make recommendations to the Selectmen and the Legislative Body on a fair, lean, and market based budget for the Town of Westport Island, while striving to balance such considerations with the higher goal of  maintaining a stable financial impact on the citizens of Westport Island.

Westport Island Budget Committee Deliverables

1.      A review report of the MMA Salary Survey data to determine the current market rates for salaries and      stipends for municipal employees and officers for towns in our size range and with our structure.

2.      A benchmark report of at least two Maine towns that appears to have a very efficiently run organization. Objective criteria and recommendations from the MMA will be used to select the model towns.

3.      A report on the basis used in determining the adjustments to salaries and stipends to be provided to the officers, town office staff, and appointed town officials.

4.      The recommended salaries of the town office staff and any recommended reorganizations to improve the efficiency of the Westport Island town office staff based on item 2 above.

5.      The recommended stipends to be paid to the officers, town office staff, and appointed town officials (Except the Licensed Plumber Inspector and the Code Enforcement Officer) and any recommended reorganizations to improve the efficiency of the Westport Island government.

6.      A recommended budget to cover the Town Manger type functions required of towns like Westport Island to cover tasks that are beyond the traditional duties of the Selectmen of managing the funding approved by Legislative body, serving on the Board of Assessors and Overseers of the Poor to be paid to the Selectmen at a rate equitable to the rate paid to Maine coastal towns with population under 1500 for the extra time and effort required to carry out such tasks.

7.      Recommended fees and stipends to be paid to appointed officials.

8.      A Business Case Analysis of incorporating labor saving devices and/or programs to increase the efficiency of the Town of Westport Island office.

9.      Develop a long term maintenance plan for the facilities owned by the Town of Westport Island with the Road Committee.

10.  A mill rate impact analysis of the cost of individual warrant articles.

11.  A long term maintenance plan for the cost of road improvements/repairs throughout the island.

12.  Regular news letters to the citizens of the Town of Westport Island.

13.  Review the requirements of LD-1 and propose recommendations to the selectmen on the results, options, and consequences of compliance.

14.  Develop a five-year projection of tax obligations with the intent to ensure a stable financial impact.

15.  Develop a schedule of major warrant line items to be discussed by the Budget Committee that could become a template schedule for future years.

Suggested Westport Island Budget Committee Agenda and Meeting Procedures

1.      The term “committee member” shall include only those members elected by the Legislative Body of the Town of Westport Island as a “member”. The elected “alternates” shall be designated as the “alternate members” with the position rotating for each meeting. The “committee members” shall elect the “first” alternate at the first meeting. Alternates shall serve as a “committee member” in the event an appointed “member” is not present for a scheduled meeting.

2.      A Chairperson or a Chairperson and Co-Chairperson shall be elected by all the persons elected to the committee (i.e. alternates included). The Co-Chairperson shall serve as Chairperson in the even the Chairperson cannot attend a scheduled meeting. Alternates shall not serve as Chairperson or Co-Chairperson.

3.      A Secretary shall be elected (or the duty of Secretary shall be rotated among the members and alternates) to record the actions that take place during the meeting. The minutes shall record all consensuses reached, if a consensus cannot be reached the secretary shall record both the majority and minority viewpoints. If a consensus cannot be reached the position of the minority voting member/s shall be recorded including an alternate set of recommendations. The secretary shall include the names of all members present and the name of the “alternate/s” that served if any “members” were unable to attend. In addition the names of all the members of the public present shall be included. All motions made and the names of the person making the motion and the person seconding the motion shall be recorded. Unless the vote is unanimous, the names of “members” voting in the affirmative and negative shall be recorded. In addition if the vote is not unanimous the secretary shall record the reason for each member of why they voted as they did. The secretary shall record the names of the public present and the comments made during the public comment period of the meeting.

4.      An agenda shall be prepared for all meetings with time, location, and suggested durations for each topic included. Agendas shall be developed by the Chairperson at least 72 hours prior to the meeting and circulated by electronic means (where feasible) to the members. The first item on the agenda shall be the  agenda review, inclusion of changes approved by the committee members, and final approval of the agenda. The second item on the agenda shall be the review, inclusion of changes approved by the committee members, and final approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. One copy of the approved minutes shall be provided to the Town Clerk. The agenda shall include a wrap-up segment during which the secretary shall review the notes taken for writing the minutes to ensure all subjects will be included in the minutes. The agenda shall include a 10 minute segment just prior to the “wrap-up” to allow “public” comment on the conduct of the meeting. The committee will do their best to address issues raised by the public at the meeting unless the issue is irrelevant to the deliverables. Questions requiring research will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

5.      A copy of the approved minutes shall be provided by paper and electronic means to the Board of Selectmen within 24 hours of being approved by the committee.

6.      The Chairperson shall select a “facilitator” for each meeting. An alternate may serve as the meeting facilitator. The facilitator shall ensure that the meeting is conducted in an orderly manner, all members have an equal voice, individual members do not usurp or talk over another member, and shall “time-manage” the meeting to conform to the agenda. In the event the allotted time is exceeded it shall be the Chairperson’s responsibility to get member approval to extend the allotted time. The “public” will be expected to voice their questions/concerns in a respectful manner and tone. Use of loud, abusive, and profane language is prohibited.

7.      Public comment shall be confined to the content of the meeting. Personal attacks on committee members or any other undue behavior that disrupts the progression or expediency of the meeting will not be tolerated, and may result in involved persons expulsion from the meeting place.. The Chairperson shall determine how many persons desire to speak during the public comment period and divide the 10 minutes into equal segments for each of the speakers. The facilitator shall ensure that the time slots are adhered to.

8.      “Members” shall not vote on issues relating to immediate family members in accordance with the Maine Municipal Association guidelines.

9.      Items/tasks that are in process still not be shared outside the committee until a consensus on the completion of the item/tasks has been achieved.

Sand and Salt Usage on Westport Island

For Snow Removal

Season Ending

Sand (1)


Snow Removal Contract

Total Cost to Town


Cubic Yards


















































115.00 (2)













May-03 est.

(Jan-May only x 2)








38,880 for 6 mos.





















(Using 150 tons salt)


(Same as 08 assumed)


(Assumes $.50 increase )


150.00 (Assumed based on 2008 actuals)


(Based of $7 per 80 lb bag per Ames Supply)


73,400 (3)



(Using 50 tons salt)


(Same as 08 assumed)


(Assumes $.50 increase)



(Assumed based on 2005 actuals)


(Based of $7 per 80 lb bag per Ames Supply)


73,400 (3)


Notes: 1. Unit price of sand includes delivery cost

            2. In 2005, salt was purchased in 80 lb. bags for $4.60 from Ames Supply.  Current quote is $7.00 per Ames

            3. Assume no fuel cost adjustment provision in contract. If clause added, cost projection should be added.


1          Education                                                                                 1/6/2009          90        5/11/2009        0.00%

2          County                                                                                     5/5/2009          30        6/15/2009        0.00%

3          Municipal Appropriations (General Government)                       12/2/2008        131      6/2/2009          0.00%

3.1       Review Actual Costs & ForcastsThru Mid-Year                       12/2/2008        31        1/13/2009        0.00%

3.2       Establish LD-1 Growth Cap Amount                                        1/6/2009          31        2/17/2009        0.01%

3.3       Boards (Art 8)                                                                          2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.4       Groundwater Committee (Art 9)                                               2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.5       History Committee (Art 12)                                                      2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.6       Planning Board (Art 13)                                                            2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.7       Grant Match Reserve (Art 14/15)                                             2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.8       Conservation Commission (Art 14A)                                        2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.9       Digital Tax Maps (Art 24)                                                         2/3/2009          46        4/7/2009          0.00%

3.10     Town Office Ops (Art 17)                                                        2/3/2009          56        4/21/2009        0.00%

3.11     Town Office Cap Imp (Art 18)                                     2/3/2009          56        4/21/2009        0.00%

3.12     Town Hall O&M (Art 10)                                                        2/3/2009          56        4/21/2009        0.00%

3.13     Maint. Fund for Town Office & Wright Prop. (Art 23)  2/3/2009          56        4/21/2009        0.00%

3.14     Town Hall Reserve (Art 11)                                                      2/3/2009          56        4/21/2009        0.00%

3.15     Municipal Landing Loan (Art 16)                                              2/3/2009          66        5/5/2009          0.00%

3.16     MMA Membership (Art 19)                                                     2/3/2009          81        5/26/2009        0.00%

3.17     Contingent Expenses for Emergencies (Art 20)              2/3/2009          81        5/26/2009        0.00%

3.18     Legal Fund (Art 21)                                                                  2/3/2009          81        5/26/2009        0.00%

3.19     Wiscasset Transfer Station (Art 22)                                          2/3/2009          81        5/26/2009        0.00%

3.20     Compensation (Art 3, 4)                                                           2/3/2009          86        6/2/2009          0.00%

3.21     Assessments (Art 5, 6, 7)                                                         2/3/2009          86        6/2/2009          0.00%

4          Highways, Bridges and Snow Removal                         3/31/2009        26        5/5/2009          0.00%

4.1       Road Maintance & Improvements (Art 25)                               3/31/2009        26        5/5/2009          0.00%

4.2       Snow Removal                                                             3/31/2009        26        5/5/2009          0.00%

5          Protection                                                                                 2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

5.1       Volunteer Fire Dept. (Art 26)                                                   2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

5.2       Fire Truck Note (Art 27)                                                          2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

5.3       EMT Training (Art 28)                                                  2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

5.4       Fire Dept Insurance (Art 29)                                                     2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

6          General Assistance/Service Organizations                                  2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

6.1       Support for the Poor (Art 30)                                                   2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

6.2       Service Org Donations (Art 31)                                                2/3/2009          21        3/3/2009          0.00%

7          Review Budget Comm. Positions with BOS                              5/6/2009          37        6/25/2009        0.00%

7.1       Develop Options to Comply with LD-1                         5/6/2009          23        6/5/2009          0.00%

7.2       Present Recommendations to the BOS                          6/3/2009          4          6/8/2009          0.00%

7.3       Post Warrant                                                                            6/11/2009        0          6/11/2009        0.00%

7.4       Town Meeting (assumed date)                                      6/26/2009        0          6/26/2009        0.00%