NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940

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

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Minutes for the meeting held on January 26, 2010

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, January 26. 2010 in community meeting room #2 at the Newtown Township Administration Building .

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

Members present received a copy of the 2010 Budget.

CALL TO ORDER:

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

INTRODUCTION OF MEMBERS:

The existing members of the Committee introduced themselves and gave a brief history on their background.

New member Mr. Gallagher introduced himself to the Committee and gave a brief history on his background. The members welcomed Mr. Gallagher.

REORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE:

Mr. Stranford made a motion to nominate Mr. Beasley as the Committee’s Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously (6-0).

Mr. Kaizar made a motion to nominate Mr. Stranford as the Committee’s Vice-Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously (6-0).

MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 17, 2009:

The members reviewed the minutes from November 17, 2009.

Mr. Kaizar moved to approve the minutes from November 17, 2009, as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Grace and passed unanimously with four members abstaining (2-0-4).

NEW BUSINESS:

Review of 2009 accomplishments

Mr. Beasley reviewed the Committee goals for 2009.

  • 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.

General discussion regarding 2009/2010 goals:

Supervisor Benchener asked if the operating expenses for the new Township buildings had been budgeted for. Mrs. Gibbs reported that the operating expenses for the new buildings were budgeted for in the 2010 Budget and that the information provided by Mr. Dieterle was used to help calculate the amount budgeted.

Mr. Kaizar commented on the Committee having good ideas, but felt that feedback from the appropriate parties was missing.

The members discussed the variance reporting system. Mr. Grace advised that the Committee’s role is complete and that the report needs to be implemented by the Township. Mrs. Gibbs commented on the monthly Treasurer report and advised that she has not received charge to do an executive summary as suggested by the Committee at previous meetings. The members agreed that follow up is needed to get the variance report and executive summary implemented. Mr. Stranford advised the he would contact Mr. Czajkowski and let him know what the Committee is requesting. The executive summary would include the following information.

  • Revenue.
  • Total YTD vs. Budget and prior year with dollars and percent variance.
  • To highlight the most recent trend – show a line for EIT collections (both resident and non-resident) YTD (but just for the current year, such as ’09 payments for the ’09 period) against the same collections in the prior year.
  • To include other categories that are significantly below expectations as well.
  • Expenses.

Supervisor Benchener suggested setting a deadline for the information to be received by the Committee. Mr. Beasley suggested that the Committee make a presentation to the Board of Supervisors at a March meeting. The members agreed that the variance reporting system and executive summary are different reports. The Committee agreed to make a presentation to the Supervisors at a March meeting.

The members agreed that the Committee had not developed a list of indicators for the MuniCast software.

The members discussed the review of labor contracts and the health insurance contract. Mr. Kaizar commented on information that was requested from DVHIT and never received by the Committee. Mrs. Gibbs reported that she would contact DVHIT and request the retention analysis. The members discussed health insurance and if the Township is with the right carrier and carrying the correct amount of insurance. Mr. Stranford commented on the financing of risk and defining the benefits in the health insurance contract. He suggested that the overall goal be to minimize cost increases and make sure that future contracts are looked at closely. The members discussed the employee union contract. Supervisor Gallagher advised that the information that the Supervisors are looking for pertain to salaries, vacations and insurance benefits. He suggested that the members contact Bucks County Association of Township Officials (BCATO) to gather information. The members discussed the current labor contract expiring at the end of 2011 and the Township needing to be prepared. Mrs. Gibbs reported on prior contracts that went to arbitration and the results. The members discussed benchmarking with regards to contracts. Mr. Dieterle suggested that with regards to the contracts, the Township show the trends as to what is being provided. Mr. Stranford requested Mrs. Gibbs to provided the cost of insurance per employee/per year over the past seven (7) years. The members discussed the components of the labor contract. Supervisor Gallagher advised that he would email the members a copy of the contract. Mr. Stranford suggested that one goal be for the Committee to develop a short list of recommendations of items to be reviewed for helping with contract negotiations. Supervisor Benchener agreed that was a good idea and that the Committee should start developing that list now. The members discussed benchmarking the trends of other municipality contracts. Mrs. Gibbs reported that prior to negotiations of the current labor contract other contracts were solicited.

Mr. Kaizar brought up a discussion that took place at the November 17, 2009, meeting with regards to employee incentives to save money. A suggestion was made that rather than give money to give a day off. The members discussed if this should be a goal. Mr. Stranford suggested that the matter be negotiated into the labor contract. The members discussed offering the incentive to non-union employees only. Supervisor Benchener suggested that the incentive be only for department heads. Mr. Grace suggested that union employees be included in the process. Mr. Beasley suggested that this matter be discussed further at the March meeting.

The members discussed the goal regarding vendor cost savings. Mr. Beasley suggested that Mr. Kaizar and Mr. Stranford work on the goal offline.

Discuss goals for 2010

The members discussed goals for 2010 and agreed on the following.

  • Implement the variance report and executive summary.
  • By the end of 2010 develop a set of recommendations with regards to insurance (accident, health and property casualty).
  • By the end of 2010 deliver a package covering the information that goes into a union contract (salaries, vacations, insurance benefits).
  • Develop a short list of recommendations of items to be reviewed for helping with contract negotiations.
  • Develop a recommendation on how to proceed with regards to employee incentives for non-union employees.

Input on what the Supervisors are looking for out of the Committee

Supervisor Benchener suggested that a long-term goal be the variance reporting.

GENERAL DISCUSSION:

Mr. Beasley suggested that by the end of March the Committee would make their first monthly report to the Board of Supervisors. The report will include the “top of the trees” point of view and a variance report. Mrs. Gibbs suggested that the variance report wait until April when the first quarter of 2010 has closed, so that the Committee has the information that they are looking or using the information from the last quarter of 2009. Mr. Beasley agreed to use the information from the last quarter of 2009 at this time for the variance report. Mr. Stranford and Mr. Grace will contact Mr. Czajkowski to advise him on the information that the Committee is looking for with regards to the variance report and executive summary. Mr. Beasley requested that for the April meeting the Committee be provided information from the first quarter of 2010 for the variance report. The Committee would make another presentation to the Board of Supervisors in May.

Supervisor Benchener suggested that the Committee attend the Board of Supervisors February Work Session. Mr. Beasley suggested that the Supervisors have their goals regarding the labor contracts prepared to be presented to the Committee. Supervisor Benchener advised that he would discuss the matter with the other Supervisors.

Mr. Beasley advised that the 2010 goals would be presented to the Supervisors at the February Work Session or a meeting in March.

OLD BUSINESS:

Discuss MuniCast forecasting model

The MuniCast forecasting model was not discussed.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:

The Recording Secretary advised the members that she would not be at the July meeting.

ADJOURMENT:

Mr. Beasley moved to adjourn, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:50 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for February 23, 2010 at 7:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,


Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary