NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Minutes for the meeting held on November 23, 2010
The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at the Newtown Township Administration Building.
Members present were Joe Barkley, Warren Dallas, Ian Franklin, Ryan Gallagher and Brian Wilson. Excused were Robert Daries, Robert Dieterle, Jim McCrane and Gaylord Swaby.
Also present were Supervisor Mike Gallagher and Jeffrey Beyer, The Society for Financial Awareness.
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Gallagher called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.
MINUTES OF OCTOBER 26, 2010:
The members agreed to table the approval of the minutes from October 26, 2010 until the next meeting.
Update on Variance/Executive Summary Report (Financial Management Report)
Mr. Barkley updated the members with regards to the Variance/Executive Summary Report. He provided the members with a draft October report for their review. He reported that the good news is that there is no bad news, he feels that the revenue and expenses are on plan. He advised on his report to the Supervisors at the October Work Session and the request made by Supervisor Ciervo to track certain revenues.
Mr. Gallagher commented on Mr. Barkley receiving the data from the Finance Department in a timely manner so that the Committee can provide the report to the Supervisors prior to their second meeting of the month. Supervisor Gallagher suggested that Mr. Barkley have access to the Township’s accounting software so that he does not have to wait for Mrs. Gibbs to provide him the information he needs for the report. He will contact Mr. Boyle to make that request.
The Committee discussed Mr. Barkley documenting information that he has learned from working on the report. Mr. Barkley advised that he would begin documenting his work after January 1 st.
The members discussed the Supervisors meeting schedule for December and providing the report for review at their second December meeting.
Update on MuniCast
Mr. Gallagher advised that due to Mr. Swaby’s absence there would not be a MuniCast update this evening.
Update on 2011 Budget Recommendation to the Board of Supervisors
Mr. Gallagher updated the members on his presentation to the Supervisors. He advised that he categorized the Committee’s recommendations into three (3) categories based on level of importance.
Mr. Franklin commented on the initial 2011 Budget that was presented to the Supervisors by the Administration Department and the proposed tax increase. Supervisor Gallagher reported on the Boards surprise of the initial budget that was presented to them and commented that direction should of been given to Administration on what the Supervisors want to see.
The Committee discussed the need for the Supervisors to offer guidance/directions to Administration before the budget is prepared.
The members agreed that a prioritization process needs to be established and suggested that the Committee’s role in the review process of the departments’ capital budget request begin earlier in the year (first quarter). The Recording Secretary reported that in past years the Committee did start reviewing the departments’ requests at an earlier date.
Supervisor Gallagher suggested that the Committee provide the department heads with direction as to how they should present their capital budget request.
Supervisor Gallagher advised that some of the Township’s software expenses should go away. The Township has started a pilot program using various free software alternatives (Open Office and Alfresco).
Mr. Gallagher commented on the Technology Department having a five (5) or ten (10) year plan. Supervisor Gallagher reported that on November 30, 2010 the Technology Committee would be discussing a three (3), five (5) or seven (7) year plan. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M.
NEW BUSINESS:Jeff Beyer – The Society for Financial Awareness
Mr. Beyer introduced himself to the Committee. He is the President of the Bucks County Chapter of the Society for Financial Awareness, a non-profit educational speaker’s bureau. He reported on the various free workshops his organization could offer to the Township.
Mr. Gallagher questioned how Mr. Beyer could help the Township. Mr. Beyer reported that he could offer workshops to Township employees on a variety of topics including money management and pension planning.
Supervisor Gallagher suggested gauging interest from employees and offering the programs up to residents.
The members discussed the Committee’s involvement in the process.
Mr. Gallagher suggested scheduling a presentation for sometime in January.
The members discussed having a contact point. It was agreed that Mr. Gallagher would be the contact. Mr. Beyer provided Mr. Gallagher with a packet of information on the organization.
Discuss Labor Contracts
The members discussed their review of the Township labor contracts.
Mr. Gallagher requested the members to provide their general thoughts on the contracts.
Mr. Wilson reported that he feels the contracts seem standard. He also commented on items that are guaranteed and the Township needing to cut back.
Mr. Dallas reported that he feels that the Township is very generous.
Mr. Franklin suggested that the Township look into area unions that are scaling back.
Mr. Gallagher suggested one role that the Committee play is to contact neighboring municipalities to see what they are doing.
Supervisor Gallagher commented on the Committee benchmarking where the Township stands. He suggested contacting PSATS and PICITO.
The members questioned how much help the Committee can actually be in this matter. They discussed the information that the Township Labor Attorney will use to make the Township’s argument and contacting the attorney to see what supporting documentation he will be using. Mr. Gallagher requested the attorney’s information. Supervisor Gallagher advised that Mr. Czajkowski should handle all contact with the attorney.
The members discussed the Township’s past labor contract negotiations.
Mr. Gallagher advised that he would contact PSATS and PICITO. He will also talk to Mr. Czajkowski with regards to the labor attorney. He will report back to the Committee.
Mr. Wilson suggested contacting other local municipalities to see what they are doing with regards to negations.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:
The members discussed the December meeting and agreed to cancel it.
Mr. Gallagher made a motion to cancel the Committee’s December meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barkley and passed unanimously (5-0).
Mr. Gallagher suggested for members to attend any Supervisor meetings where the 2011 Budget is being discussed.
Mr. Wilson commented on his experiences at the Township’s new skate park. He reported that he was approach by a resident requesting the Township open a park for motor cross bikes.
The members discussed how skateboarders have been treated in the past.
The Commission discussed the expiration of some of the member’s terms. The Recording Secretary recommended any members with their term expiring at the end of 2010 that are interested in remaining on the Board to submit a letter to Olivia Kivenko, Administration Assistant to the Township Manager. She reported that the reorganization would be done by the Supervisors at their first meeting, currently scheduled for January 3, 2011.
Mr. Gallagher reported that the Township is forming a committee to update the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and would like to appoint two (2) members from this Committee. Mr. Franklin advised that he would be interested in being on that Committee.
There being no further business the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:38 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 25, 2011at 7:15 P.M.