NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

Internet: http://www.twp.newtown.pa.us

******************************************************************************************************

Minutes for the meeting held on March 5, 2009

 

The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Fire Hall.

Members present were Glenn Beasley, Tom Grace, Ronald Kaizar, Jim McCrane, Andy Salvucci, John Stranford, Matt Benchener and Elaine Gibbs. Excused were Robert Dieterle, Brian Wilson and Mike Gallagher.

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:18 P.M.

WELCOME NEW MEMBER:

Mr. Beasley introduced Mr. Benchener to the members. Mr. Benchener gave a brief history on his background . The members welcomed Mr. Benchener.

REORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE:

Mr. McCrane made a motion to nominate Mr. Beasley as the Committee’s Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Stranford and passed unanimously (8-0).

Mr. Kaizar made a motion to nominate Mr. Stranford as the Committee’s Vice-Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCrane and passed unanimously (8-0).

MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 25, 2008:

Mr. McCrane moved to approve the minutes from November 25, 2008. The motion was seconded by Mr. Kaizar and passed unanimously with one member abstaining (7-0-1).

MINUTES OF JANUARY 22, 2009:

Mr. Stranford reported on a change to page 2, the second to the last paragraph. The members agreed that the sentence should read – Ms. Gibbs reported on a study of the Township’s revenue and a company’s offer to provide a service for grant writing.

Mr. Grace moved to approve the minutes from January 22, 2009, as corrected. The motion was seconded by Mr. Beasley and passed unanimously with six members abstaining (2-0-6).

NEW BUSINESS:

OLD BUSINESS:

Discuss changing the meeting time

The members discussed changing the meeting time to 7:15 P.M.

Mr. Stranford made a motion to change the meeting time to 7:15 P.M. The motion was seconded by Mr. Salvucci and passed unanimously (8-0).

Discuss goals for 2009

Mr. Beasley updated the members on the discussions at the January 22, 2009 meeting and the goals that were proposed. He reported that tonight’s objective is to finalize the Committee’s goals. He discussed presenting the Committee’s goals to the Supervisors. He reviewed and explained the proposed goals:

  • Develop an understanding of the current budget process and develop recommendations on ways the process might be improved.
  • Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township.
  • Develop recommendations on ways to make the Township more efficient.
  • Develop indicators for the MuniCast software.
  • Develop a variance reporting system and use it to track this year’s revenues/expenditures vs. 2009 budget.
  • Estimate the Township’s increase in operating cost due to the Municipal Complex expansion.

Mr. Benchener questioned what the Township is currently using as a forecasting tool. Ms. Gibbs advised on how the forecasting is currently done. The members advised that the MuniCast software would be used for forecasting once the indicators are developed.

Mr. Grace updated the members with regards to variance reporting and his review of the budget.

Mr. McCrane commented on the need for variance and trend reporting and that he feels that is an important goal.

Mr. Beasley questioned if goals 4 and 5 could be incorporated. Mr. Grace suggested that some variance reporting be completed before combining the two goals.

The members discussed creating subcommittees to review variances. Mr. Grace suggested that the variances be categorized.

The members discussed Supervisor Jirele’s comment with regards to the Committee reviewing revenue monthly.

The members agreed that goals 4 and 5 are priorities.

The members discussed goal 2 and the current economic situation.

The members discussed how the economic stimulus package could effect the Township.

The members discussed looking into the availability of grants. Ms. Gibbs advised that her concerns are with regards to the Township’s operating cost and the lack of grants available for those types of items.

The members agreed that the options for goal #2 are:

  • Get involved with stimulus package.
  • Look into the private sector.
  • Benchmarking (research what other municipalities are doing).

Mr. Benchener commented with regards to municipal bonds. Ms. Gibbs and Mr. McCrane reported on the Township’s current bond.

Ms. Gibbs advised that she would email members a copy of an article in GFOA with regards to the stimulus package.

The members discussed the Woll Tract Fund.

Ms. Gibbs reported that the Township would probably need to borrow again in 2010.

The members discussed the Township drawing down on the Reserve Fund.

Mr. Grace suggested that the Township contact vendors to request a fee reduction. Mr. Beasley suggested making a recommendation to the Supervisors to have a staff member contact vendors to request a fee reduction. Mr. Grace suggested developing a list of vendors to be contacted. Ms. Gibbs advised that she could provide the members with a listing of vendors. Mr. Beasley requested the information include the top twenty-five vendors. Ms. Gibbs suggested that this work be completed prior to 2010 budget process. Mr. Beasley requested Ms. Gibbs to provide the information by March 19, 2009. He advised that the matter would be on the March 26, 2009 agenda.

The members discussed the costs that are incurred due to employee contracts.

Mr. Beasley suggested adding an additional goal – Develop recommendations for vendor cost savings initiative.

Mr. Benchener commented on a goal of the Committee is to be able to provide a degree of accountably.

Mr. McCrane commented that this Committee is only a recommending body.

The members discussed the cost incurred due to delaying the Woll Tract and the Municipal Complex expansion.

Mr. Beasley suggested delaying goals 1 and 3 (listed above) until 2010.

The members discussed goal 6 and agreed that items to increase include utility cost and cleaning services. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would contact the architect for information regarding increased costs.

The members agreed that the proposed goals that would be presented to the Supervisors would include the following.

  • Develop a variance reporting system and use it to track this year’s revenues/expenditures vs. 2009 budget.
  • Develop indicators for the MuniCast software.
  • Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township.
  • Estimate the Township’s increase in operating cost due to the Municipal Complex expansion.
  • Develop recommendations for vendor cost savings initiative.

The members discussed who would be responsible for each goal.

  • Develop a variance reporting system and use it to track this year’s revenues/expenditures vs. 2009 budget. - Mr. Grace would begin developing a variance reporting system. Ms. Gibbs would provide information.
  • Develop indicators for the MuniCast software. – The members tabled the idea of who would become the MuniCast software expert and agreed that the Committee as a whole would develop a set of recommendations for the indicators. Ms. Gibbs would re-send the MuniCast information to the members. The members would work on developing the indicators at the March 26, 2009 meeting.
  • Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township. - Mr. Benchener would begin reviewing the stimulus package. Mr. Grace and Mr. Stranford would research the Private Sector. Mr. Beasley and Mr. Salvucci would work on benchmarking.
  • Estimate the Township’s increase in operating cost due to the Municipal Complex expansion. – The members discussed Mr. Dieterle handling this matter. Mr. Beasley advised that he would contact Mr. Dieterle. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would contact the architect for information with regards to costs.
  • Develop recommendations for vendor cost savings initiative. – Mr. Kaizar and Mr. McCrane would research. Ms. Gibbs would provide a list of the top 25 vendors.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:

Ms. Gibbs updated the members with regards to the 2008 audit. The members discussed the revenue that was received in 2008. Ms. Gibbs advised that the 2008 revenue is under what was projected.

Mr. Stranford reported on his past experience with the Committee and what a productive year 2008 was.

Mr. Beasley discussed his upcoming report to the Supervisors and requested Committee members to attend. He advised that he would try to get on the agenda for the March 25, 2009 meeting.

Mr. Beasley reported on items that would be discussed at the March 26, 2009 meeting.

  • Variance reporting
  • Developing indicators
  • Vendor cost savings

Mr. Benchener questioned the possibility of the Committee changing their meeting night. The members discussed Mr. Benchener’s request. Mr. Beasley requested the Recording Secretary to research the availability of a meeting room for another Thursday of the month and update him. The members present preferred the third Thursday of the month. Mr. Beasley advised that he would contact members once he has heard from the Recording Secretary.

Mr. McCrane commented with regards to the Township tracking revenue. Ms. Gibbs advised that she would provide that information to the members.

Mr. Benchener left the meeting.

The members discussed last year’s recommendations to the Supervisors with regards to the 2009 budget.

Mr. Beasley thanked everyone for his or her work on the Committee.

ADJOURMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:23 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 26, 2009 at 7:15 P.M. The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Municipal Building.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary