The regular meeting of the Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Thursday, April 16, 2009 in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Fire Hall .
Members present were Glenn Beasley, Robert Dieterle, Ronald Kaizar, Tom Grace, Andy Salvucci, John Stranford, Brian Wilson and Matt Benchener. Excused were Jim McCrane, Elaine Gibbs and Mike Gallagher.
Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:20 P.M.
Mr. Beasley advised that Mr. Dieterle has not received a copy of the Construction Manager’s monthly report, so there is no update on that matter and that there would be an update from Mr. Benchener, Mr. Stranford, Mr. Salvucci and himself with regards to revenue. The members agreed that Mr. Dieterle should be receiving copies of the Construction Manager’s report for review.
Update from Mr. Kaizar regarding vendor cost savings
Mr. Kaizar reported on his review of the Township’s property and liability insurance and workers compensation insurance policies and advised that the costs are in order. He commented that he could not see where the exposures were measured, whether there was a proper assessment of the risk to the Township and if the proper limits are in place. He advised that this job is generally done by a risk manager/consultant or insurance professional. He questioned if there is a wrap up policy for the construction of the new buildings and if DVHIT does onsite reviews of the exposures.
Mr. Stranford suggested having an outside consultant firm/brokerage firm review the exposures. The members discussed Mr. Stranford’s suggestion.
Mr. Kaizar commented on discussing this issue with the Committee’s Liaison from the Board of Supervisors.
The members discussed Mr. McCrane’s review of the Township’s pensions.
The members agreed that cost associated with insurance and pensions need to be accessed.
The members discussed when the insurance policies are up for renewal. A suggestion was made that the Township should look into getting quotes from other companies.
The members discussed reviewing the history of the vendors on the list provided by Ms. Gibbs.
Mr. Grace suggested getting insurance quotes prior to getting a professional involved.
The members discussed who is making the decisions with regards to insurance. Mr. Beasley suggested that the next step be to research what the current work process is for selecting these vendors. Then the Committee could make a recommendation for the best process for selecting vendors and identify an owner. Mr. Stranford would research health insurance (DVHIT). Mr. McCrane and Mr. Benchener would research pensions. Mr. Kaizar would research workers compensation insurance and property & liability insurance.
Mr. Stranford reported that he would request a census from Ms. Gibbs. He advised that he is in the insurance business and is not looking for the Township’s business. He would research the market and submit the bids to Ms. Gibbs, not necessarily get the business.
Mr. Kaizar suggested that Mr. Stranford and himself meet with Ms. Gibbs.
Mr. Grace commented on the list of the Township’s top twenty-five vendors and requesting cost reductions.
The members discussed the Township requesting cost reductions from vendors and who should handle that task.
Mr. Beasley recapped the discussions regarding vendor cost savings and advised that possible savings would be discussed at the May meeting. He would contact Mr. Gallagher and request his presence at the May meeting.
Update from Mr. Wilson regarding MuniCast indicators
Mr. Wilson advised that he had no update with regards to the MuniCast indicators.
Update from Mr. Dieterle regarding the operating cost involved with the expansion of the Municipal Complex
Mr. Dieterle reported that he still needs to define the operating cost and on the information he has requested from Ms. Gibbs with regards to square footage. He advised that he needs to meet with Ms. Gibbs to get more detail information with regards to the operating cost.
The members discussed when the new buildings are expected to be complete.
Mr. Dieterle advised that he would remind Ms. Gibbs to forward him a copy of the Construction Manager’s monthly report.
Mr. Beasley reported that Mr. Dieterle would provide an update with regards to the progress of the construction as it relates to cost.
Update from Mr. Grace regarding variance reporting
Mr. Grace reported on his review of the budget with regards to the variance report; he gave examples of areas for concern. He advised on the need to identify items of concern and suggested discussing those items with Ms. Gibbs.
Mr. Beasley suggested that the variance report be discussed with the Supervisors quarterly.
Mr. Grace commented on the purpose of variance reporting being a processing tool.
Mr. Beasley recapped the discussions regarding variance reporting and advised that Mr. Grace would provide an initial variance report for discussion at the May meeting.
Mr. Kaizar questioned the role of the Township’s independent auditor.
The members discussed using the variance report as a tool for the budget process.
Mr. Dieterle commented with regards to the Township having two elected auditors.
Mr. Grace advised that he would meet with Elaine to discuss variance reporting.
Develop a set of recommendations for ways to enhance and/or increase revenue streams for the Township
Mr. Benchener advised on his further review of the stimulus package and items that the Township may qualify for. He provided members with a handout.
The Committee discussed the information provided by Mr. Benchener. Mr. Benchener reported that he would contact Ms. Tanner regarding the Rural Law Enforcement Grant, Ms. Ortwein regarding the Main Street Program and the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.
Mr. Beasley advised the members that a seminar regarding going green and energy efficiency, taking place this Saturday, April 18, 2009 at the Lower Makefield Municipal Building.
The members discussed the expansion of the Municipal Complex with regards to LEEDS certification. Mr. Beasley reported that he is meeting with the Township Manager to discuss the LEEDS certification.
Mr. Grace reported that his brother-in-law is involved with grant writing and offered his help.
Mr. Stranford reported that he had no information with regards to the Private sector and that he needs to meet with Mr. Grace.
Mr. Salvucci reported on his research with regards to benchmarking. He advised on discussions with Supervisor Schenkman. He reported that he would be meeting with Supervisor Schenkman, the Township Manager, the former Township Manager and former State Representative David Stiles. He provided members with a handout.
Mr. Wilson commented on members meeting with Ms. Gibbs to discuss various items and her availability.
Mr. Beasley reported that the following items would be discussed at the May 21, 2009 meeting.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:34 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 21, 2009 at 7:15 P.M. The meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Newtown Township Municipal Building.