Meeting Minutes

Title:               Budget Committee Meeting

Date:               Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Location:        Westport Island Town Office Conference Room

Subject:           Budget Committee Procedures, Schedule, & Benchmark Town Results & Questions

Pre-Work:      Review questions to ask and results we want from visiting/interviewing office staff and selectmen/managers of the Bench mark towns. Review Proposed 2008-09 schedule & Budget Committee Procedures.

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









Review agenda and time durations and approve any changes.






5 Min.

Review Minutes from 9/2/08




7 :05

5 min

Action Item Review





7 :10

10 min

Budget Committee Procedures Review




7 :20

10 min

Bench mark towns Results & Questions Review





7 :30

30 min

Budget Committee Schedule Review





8 :00

35 min

Other Items



8 :35

10 min

Public Comment



8 :45

10 min

Wrap up





8 :55

5 min

Attendees: Kim Greenleaf, Dennis Dunbar, Ruth Nelson, Rhonda Cromwell

Facilitator: Ruth Nelson

Secretary: Rhonda Cromwell


1.      Budget Committee Proposed Agenda and Meeting Procedures

2.      Benchmark Towns Desired Results & Questions

3.      Budget Committee Proposed 2008-09 Schedule

4.      Closed Action Items


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

090208 Open Action items:

1.      Determine date for school consolidation hearing. Action Dennis 100708 Closed Hearing is 10/25

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

3.      Send the business case analysis of the sand and salt shed to Dennis. Action Richard 100708 Richard is currently updating the analysis – will send when complete.

100708 Open Action items:

1.      Regroup the questions/results for the bench mark towns. Action: David Blake 11/02/08


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

The agenda was reviewed and accepted.

The meeting minutes for 90208 Rev 2 were reviewed, revised, and accepted as revised.

The open action items were reviewed and the school holidays hearing date and benchmark questions review were closed.

There was a discussion as to whether or not, the Budget Committee favored the school consolidation from a financial point of view. Further, there was a question as to what part the Budget Committee should play in the consolidation effort. There was no consensus on these items.

The Budget Committee procedures were discussed, however, there was no consensus on the revisions that had been incorporated.

The benchmark questions were reviewed, and it was agreed that there were too many questions. It was agreed that the questions should be regrouped and minimized where possible.

The schedule was reviewed, and there was a consensus on the tasks presented. The responsibility for each task was reviewed, however, a consensus was not reached on the division of the tasks.

There was a discussion on the sale of the Wright property. A consensus was not reached on this issue.

There was a discussion on the committee member’s individual rights to comment on the financial aspects of the school consolidation. It was agreed that the Budget Committee as a whole would need to come to a consensus on the statement, if one were to be issued. It was agreed that individual positions could be publicized, however, such statements should not reflect that it was/is a Budget Committee position.

Public comment:

Bub Greenleaf questioned why there was a problem with the school board's position on the school budget. The money for the school budget comes from the town’s tax base.

The present school board has no impact on the financial aspect of education, as this is dictated by the Wiscasset school department. Their primary role is in ensuring that Westport Island students get an education.

The Budget Committee, selectmen, etc. are the administrative arms of the town.

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

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.

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:

o       Fire

o       School.

o       Water.

o       Security.

o       Garbage.

o       Library.

o       Community Center

o       Parks and recreation.

o       Car registration.

o       Dog registration.

o       Boat registration.

o       Hunting licenses.

o       Fishing licenses.

o       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




2007-08 Closed Action items:

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

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 Complete 090208

090208 Open Action items:

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

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

3.      Group the budget review process schedule by dates and add to the program management schedule. Action Richard 100708 Complete 100608