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 March 23, 2010

 

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 in the main meeting room of the Newtown Township Administration Building .

Members present were Glenn Beasley, Ronald Kaizar, John Stranford and Ryan Gallagher. Also present were Elaine Gibbs, Matt Benchener and Jerry Schenkman. Excused were Robert Dieterle, Jim McCrane and Brian Wilson.

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M.

The Committee did not have a February meeting due to the lack of a quorum.

Mr. Beasley reported to the Committee that Mr. Grace and Mr. Salvucci have resigned from the Committee. The Recording Secretary requested Mr. Beasley to forward her copies of their resignation letters.

MINUTES OF JANUARY 26, 2010:

The members reviewed the minutes from January 26, 2010.

Mr. Kaizar moved to approve the minutes from January 26, 2010, as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gallagher and passed unanimously (4-0).

NEW BUSINESS:

Update on February presentation of the Committee’s proposed goals for 2010 to the Board of Supervisors

Mr. Stranford updated the members on the presentation of the Committee’s proposed goals for 2010 to the Board of Supervisors at the February Work Session. The proposed goals included the following:

  • Variance Reporting
  • Dashboard Report (Executive Summary)
  • Formalizing the budget presentation process
  • Benchmarking – healthcare cost, salaries

Mr. Stranford reported that the Supervisors advised that they would like the Committee to make monthly presentations at their second meeting of the month. They would like to see the dashboard and variance reports combined into one report. They also requested the Committee to review the labor contract with regards to benchmarking and trends.

Mr. Beasley recapped the proposed 2010 goals discussed at the January meeting.

  • Implement the variance report and executive summary.
  • Formalize the budget presentation process. Mrs. Gibbs reported that in the past the budget was presented to the Supervisors over three meetings. Supervisors’ Benchener and Schenkman agreed that the process should be formalized and that the department heads need to prioritize their request. The Committee discussed the memorandum from Mr. Stranford and Mr. Grace to Mr. Czajkowski with regards to the budget presentation process. The Committee agreed that all departments should be using the same format to present their budget request. The Committee discussed the presentation process needing to be approved by the Supervisors. Supervisor Schenkman suggested that the Committee present their request to the Supervisors at the April 28, 2010 meeting. Mr. Stranford reported that this matter has already been discussed with Mr. Czajkowski. Mr. Kaizar commented that all of tonight’s discussions have taken place in the past and need to be implemented. He discussed there being a missing link and suggested that the Township hire a CFO. The members discussed their frustrations. Supervisor Benchener suggested that the Committee make a public presentation before the Supervisors. He acknowledged that the Supervisors would need to take action and give the Township Manager direction.

Mr. Beasley recapped the Committee’s past ideas that have been implemented. Supervisors’ Schenkman and Benchener discussed the Board tracking the task assigned to the Township Manager. Mrs. Gibbs discussed items that may have fallen through the cracks. She reported that with regards to the variance report, she needs input from the Committee as to what they want to see on the report. Mr. Stranford recommended that Mr. McCrane meet with Mrs. Gibbs to discuss what the Committee would like to see on the report. The Committee discussed Mr. McCrane’s email dated November 20, 2009. Mr. Beasley advised that he would contact Mr. McCrane requesting him to meet with Mrs. Gibbs. The Committee discussed presenting the Supervisors with an interim Variance Report/Executive Summary at their April 28, 2010 meeting.

Discuss goals for 2010

The members agreed on the following goals for 2010:

  • Implement the budget presentation process. – The members agreed to discuss their role in the process at an upcoming meeting.
  • Implement the Variance/Executive Report.
  • Benchmarking – develop a set of recommendations with regards to insurance (accident, health and property casualty), deliver a package covering the information that goes into a union contract (salaries, vacations, insurance benefits) and develop a short list of recommendations of items to be reviewed for helping with contract negotiations. – With regards to insurance, Mr. Kaizar reported that the Committee needs the retention analysis. He will email Mrs. Gibbs as to what the Committee is requesting. With regards to the union contract, the members discussed employees contributing to their medical insurance.
  • Develop a recommendation on how to proceed with regards to employee incentives for non-union employees. – Supervisor Benchener suggested that the offer only be for department heads. Supervisor Schenkman suggested that the Committee develop a concept.

Discuss proposal to amend the Township’s Pension Investment Policy

Supervisor Schenkman updated the Committee. He reported that the Township has had the same policy for as long as he had been a Supervisor and on his dissatisfaction with the policy and the Pension Committee. He discussed the pension with regards to under-performance. He also discussed the beneficiaries being in control of how the money is invested. The members discussed the Pension Committee and the Request for Proposals for Pension Fund Investment Consulting Services. Mrs. Gibbs updated the members on Act 44. It was suggested for members to forward their RFP comments to Mr. Czajkowski. Supervisor Benchener commented on there being two dynamics. The first is that the Pension Committee is defining whoever the investment manager is. The second is Merrill Lynch under performing. Mrs. Gibbs advised that the Pension Committee only makes recommendations to the Supervisors, they make the final decision. She reported on how the pension has performed over the past 10 years. Mr. Beasley asked what the Supervisors want the Committee to accomplish. Supervisor Schenkman reported that the Board would like the Committee to review the proposal for a new investment policy and then make a recommendation to the Board. Supervisor Benchener requested the Committee to also make a recommendation to the Board with regards to the Pension Committee. Mr. Stranford suggested that the Township have the documents reviewed by outside investment firms. Mrs. Gibbs reported that the RFP has not been sent out. Mr. Gallagher asked to whom the RFP would be sent. Mrs. Gibbs advised that would be a question for Mr. Czajkowski. Supervisor Benchener advised that the Township Solicitor would review the final draft of the RFP before it is sent out. Mr. Beasley advised that the Committee would ignore the RFP and give the Supervisors a recommendation on the policy. He commented on Mr. Stranford’s recommendation to have the policy reviewed by an outside firm. The members discussed Mr. Stranford’s suggestion and agreed that they are okay with that approach. They also discussed the need to make a recommendation to the Supervisors. Mr. Beasley asked if this matter could wait until the meeting on April 28, 2010. Supervisors’ Schenkman and Benchener advised they would make the recommendation at tomorrow night’s meeting to have the information reviewed by an outside source. They invited the members to attend the meeting. The members agreed to review the RFP once it is finalized.

GENERAL DISCUSSION:

OLD BUSINESS:

Discuss MuniCast forecasting model

The MuniCast forecasting model was not discussed.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:

Mrs. Gibbs reported that the Township’s Actuary, William Asay is scheduled to meet with the Pension Committee on April 26, 2010 at 2 P.M. He has also agreed to meet with Board members.

Mr. Stranford advised that he is resigning from the Committee. Mr. Beasley thanked Mr. Stranford for his participation and advised that he is sorry to see him leave.

The members discussed the Committee having three (3) vacancies. Supervisor Schenkman advised that he would make an announcement at the next Supervisors’ meeting.

The Committee discussed members’ attendance at meetings.

ADJOURMENT:

Mr. Beasley moved to adjourn, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:02 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 27, 2010 at 7:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,


Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary