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 April 27, 2010

 

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in the main meeting room of the Newtown Township Administration Building .

Members present were Joe Barkley, Warren Dallas, Ryan Gallagher, Jim McCrane and Gaylord Swaby. Also present were Elaine Gibbs, Matt Benchener and Mike Gallagher. Excused were Robert Dieterle and Brian Wilson.

Residents present included Robert Daries and Dori McCrane.

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. McCrane called the meeting to order at 7:25 P.M.

INTRODUCTION OF MEMBERS:

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

New members Mr. Barkley, Mr. Dallas and Mr. Swaby introduced themselves to the Committee and gave brief histories on their background. The members welcomed Mr. Barkley, Mr. Dallas and Mr. Swaby to the Committee.

REORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE:

Mr. McCrane made a motion to nominate Mr. Gallagher as the Committee’s Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barkley and passed unanimously (5-0).

Mr. Gallagher made a motion to nominate Mr. McCrane as the Committee’s Vice-Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barkley and passed unanimously (5-0).

MINUTES OF MARCH 23, 2010:

The members reviewed the minutes from March 23, 2010. Concerns were expressed with regards to approving the minutes due to the turnover in Committee members. It was agreed that there were no corrections to the minutes and that they should be posted on the website.

Mr. Gallagher moved to accept the minutes from March 23, 2010, to be posted to the website as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCrane and passed unanimously with three members abstaining (2-0-3).

NEW BUSINESS:

Update new members

The existing members updated the new members on the Committee’s role in the Township and recent projects the Committee has been involved with (Municipal Complex expansion, reviewing Capital Budget request from Departments). Supervisor Benchener advised that the Board is looking for input/recommendations from this Committee. Mr. Barkley asked about the Committee’s Charter. Supervisor Gallagher advised that he would provide the members with a copy of the Charter.

The new members were presented copies of the 2010 Budget.

GENERAL DISCUSSION:

OLD BUSINESS:

Discuss goals for 2010

Mr. Gallagher discussed the Committee’s goals that were not accomplished over the past year and suggested that the goals discussed at the March meeting be prioritized.

Variance/Executive Summary Report – The members discussed the Variance/Executive Summary Report and agreed that once the data for the report is determined, the report would be presented to the Supervisors on a monthly basis. It was agreed that the members would have a draft report to be discussed at the Committee’s May meeting. The members discussed Mr. McCrane’s email dated November 20, 2009, with regards to items to be included in the report. New members were provided a copy of the email. Mr. McCrane and Mr. Barkley advised that they would work together to prepare a report for review at the Committee’s May meeting. Mrs. Gibbs advised that AMS could incorporate the information into a report. Supervisor Gallagher reported that the Township would be charged a fee for that service.

MuniCast – Supervisor Gallagher updated the members with regards to MuniCast (an excel based software) and the request for the Township to determine the economic indicators. (Supervisor Gallagher left at 8:02 P.M.) Mrs. Gibbs reported that the representative from MuniCast needs the Township to authorize the economic indicators. Supervisor Benchener suggested that MuniCast might have a default for Townships of this size and requested their contact information. Mrs. Gibbs advised that she would forward the MuniCast contact information to Supervisor Benchener. It was agreed that Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Swaby and Supervisor Benchener would work together on the MuniCast matter.

Labor/Health Insurance Contracts – Supervisor Benchener reported that at this time the Board has chosen for the Committee not to focus on this item. The members agreed to table this item for discussion until the January 2011 meeting.

Vendor Cost Savings – Mr. McCrane updated the members on the Committee’s discussions with regards to possible vendor cost savings. Mrs. Gibbs reported that nothing ever came from the discussions. The members agreed to remove this item from their discussions.

Pension Investment Policy – Mrs. Gibbs updated the members and reported on the Pension Committee’s recommendation to the Board. Supervisor Benchener discussed the issues and advised that the current plan limits the Township’s role. Mr. McCrane advised that he has reviewed what is being proposed and that he is opposed. He discussed the Township’s current policy being too strict and the proposed policy being too risky. He suggested that the Township could try to plug the gap doing one or more of the following: change the plan to defined contribution, contribute more, or liberalize the investment rules. Liberalizing investment rules also increases risk. The members discussed the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Pension Fund Investment Consulting Services. Mrs. Gibbs advised that Mr. Czajkowski is working on the RFP. She discussed Act 44 and the recommendations from the Township’s Actuary, William Asay. Mr. Gallagher asked is the Committee would be getting a copy of the RFP when it is complete. Supervisor Benchener reported that the matter would be discussed at the Board’s meeting on April 28, 2010 and that no action is needed from the Committee at this time, he requested Mr. McCrane attend.

Employee Incentives – The members discussed the suggestion for offering incentives to employees who save the Township money. It was agreed that this item was not a priority and was tabled for discussion at a future meeting.

Budget Presentation Process – The members discussed the budget presentation process and Mr. Stranford’s 5-step process outlined in the minutes from September of 2009. It was agreed that all Departments should present their budget request in the same format. Mrs. Gibbs reported that years ago the budget was presented to the Board over three (3) televised meetings. She suggested that the Committee review the budget requests over three (3) meetings. It was agreed that Mr. Dallas and Mr. Barkley would work on the budget presentation calendar together and a formal presentation process. Mrs. Gibbs suggested that the new members take the time to review the 2010 Budget. (Mr. McCrane left at 8:40 P.M.)

Mr. Gallagher summarized the above discussions and reported the following:

  • Variance/Executive Summary Report - Mr. McCrane and Mr. Barkley would work together to develop the Variance/Executive Summary report. Mrs. Gibbs advised that she has never received the request from the Board and that once a format is developed she can provide the report.
  • MuniCast – Supervisor Benchener, Mr. Swaby and Mr. Gallagher would work together to determine the economic indicators.
  • Budget Presentation Process – Mr. Dallas and Mr. Barkley would work together on the budget presentation calendar and a formal presentation process.
Mr. Gallagher requested to be kept in the loop on all matters and advised the Committee to call on other members for help.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:

The Committee discussed members receiving copies of the monthly Treasure’s Report via email. Mrs. Gibbs advised that she would contact Mrs. Kivenko to verify that she has the correct email information for the Committee.

Mr. Dallas asked how often the Committee meets. The Recording Secretary reported that the Committee meets once a month on the fourth Tuesday at 7:15 P.M.

Mrs. Gibbs suggested that the Committee make a recommendation to the Board to appoint Mr. Daries to the Committee.

The members discussed the Committee’s contact list. The Recording Secretary advised that she would email the list to the members.

The members discussed the importance of good communication.

Mrs. Gibbs reported that the members would be provided Earned Income Tax information on a monthly basis.

Mr. Gallagher thanked all the members for their input and advised that he is looking forward to the Committee moving ahead.

ADJOURMENT:

There being no further business Mr. Barkley made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gallagher and passed unanimously (4-0).

The meeting was duly adjourned at 8:58 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 25, 2010 at 7:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,


Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary