Minutes for the meeting held on October 25, 2011

The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at the Newtown Township Administration Building.

Members present were Joe Barkley, Aaron Borstein, Warren Dallas, Robert Daries, Ryan Gallagher and Scott Rosenberg. Excused were Tom Dye and Brian Wilson.

Also present were Supervisor Jerry Schenkman and Elaine Gibbs, Finance Director.


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


Mr. Barkley made a motion to approve the minutes from September 27, 2011 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Borstein and passed unanimously with one member abstaining (5-0-1).




Update on Variance/Executive Summary Report (Financial Management Report) and Alternative Accounting Software Packages

Mr. Barkley updated the members on his meeting with Mr. Leible (AMS representative) regarding the Township’s accounting system and with the Township Manager and other Township staff members regarding the Township’s business requirements. He noted that he has not met with the Supervisors yet to discuss the matter. He provided the members with information for their review. He discussed possible alternatives be to improve the current system or to investigate a new system. He suggested creating dashboards for use by various individuals. Mrs. Gibbs reported that Supervisor Gallagher is allowed access to review information in AMS. Mr. Barkley reported on AMS’ Y-T-D expenses. He reported on issues with the system include resources, financial resources and training.

Mr. Rosenberg inquired on the number of licenses needed. Mrs. Gibbs reported that there is one license allowing multiple accesses.

Mrs. Gibbs advised that AMS reports can be converted into excel files.

Mr. Barkley noted that the Township has been using the system since 1993 and discussed the amount of history contained within the system.

Mrs. Gibbs reported on various reports that AMS has created for the Township.

Mr. Barkley reported on concerns regarding the purchase order approval process. Mrs. Gibbs advised the members on the purchase order approval review process.

Mr. Barkley noted that his next steps include completing the interviews with the Supervisors, develop alternatives and represent the matter for discussion with the Committee.

Mr. Rosenberg noted that changing the purchase order approval process will require training and suggested that the current system may be more effective.

Mr. Dallas inquired on the system with regards to the customization of reports. Mr. Barkley reported that AMS is geared for municipalities.

Mr. Barkley advised that he will have an update at the next meeting.

Mr. Gallagher commented on the Committee’s goal almost being complete.

Supervisor Schenkman commented on the various items that the Committee has been reviewing. He discussed AMS, MuniCast and the purchase order review process.

Mr. Barkley suggested that the Township’s control process be documented.

Mrs. Gibbs commented on the Administrative Code and suggested that the rules need to be enforced.

The members discussed items that have been budgeted for needing additional approval.

Mrs. Gibbs discussed the approval policies currently in place.

Supervisor Schenkman commented on there being a lack of oversight at key points.

Mr. Dallas inquired as to whether AMS can track/control the purchase order approval process.

Mr. Barkley suggested that the Township document the purchase order process.

Mr. Rosenberg inquired as to whether the account system is able to review patterns/trends.

Supervisor Schenkman commented on the need to instill another level of overseeing.

Mr. Barkley commented on mapping out the process, finding the weak points and making time for training.

Mr. Gallagher thanked Mr. Barkley for the report.

Discuss Road Maintenance Recommendation

Mr. Dallas refreshed the members on the road analysis report he presented at the September meeting.

The members discussed Mr. Dallas’ conclusions and recommendations.

Mr. Gallagher commented on various types of roadways in the Township with regards to maintenance.

The members discuss Public Works’ Five Year Road Maintenance Plan not being followed, due to unforeseen events.

Mrs. Gibbs reported on the biggest problem being funding and that each year less work is completed. She discussed the need to find other sources of revenue.

Supervisor Schenkman commented on discussions showing that the problem will only get worse over time.

Mrs. Gibbs suggested studying other sources of revenue for the Township.

Mr. Rosenberg suggested negotiating with the developers regarding investment funds. Supervisor Schenkman advised that developers do pay a Traffic Impact Fee. He noted the decrease in development over the past few years.

Mrs. Gibbs reported the developers pay Traffic Impact Fees and Recreation Impact Fees and on their allowable uses. She suggested for the Committee to look into where future revenue will come from.

The members discussed the income received from Residential and Non-Residential Earned Income Tax.

Mr. Dallas commented on presenting the road analysis information to the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Schenkman suggested that the presentation to be made at a work session. Mr. Dallas noted that due to the Supervisors beginning the 2012 Budget review, he would wait until next year to make the presentation. Supervisor Schenkman suggested getting on the agenda for the January or February work session.

The members agreed to Mr. Dallas’ recommendations and suggested adding a third point – to study revenue/capital sources for funding.

Mr. Dallas advised that he would draft the report for the Supervisors.

Mr. Gallagher reported that he would like to get the matter on the January work session agenda.

Supervisor Schenkman suggested that the report show information projecting out five years.

Mr. Gallagher thanked Mr. Dallas for his report.

Update on MuniCast

Mr. Gallagher updated the members with regards to Mr. Swaby’s resignation.

Mr. Rosenberg commented on the possibility of AMS being able to provide forecasting information.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the Committee have an online teleconference with Mr. Swanson (MuniCast representative) at the next meeting.

Supervisor Schenkman suggested for the Committee to work with the Technology Committee on the matter.

The members discussed MuniCast being an excel based program, used for forecasting and questioned who makes the decisions regarding the indicators. Supervisor Schenkman commented on the variables being economics and suggested having someone familiar with economics work on the project.

Mr. Barkley suggested that the Township develop a five year living plan.

Mr. Gallagher advised that he would talk with the MuniCast representative to schedule a telephone conference for the next meeting.


Mr. Rosenberg commented on Public Works request regarding the federal mandate to replace reflective signs being delayed due to hardships. He suggested using the funds for that to help with road maintenance.

Mrs. Gibbs noted that the Supervisors first budget review meeting is scheduled for November 7, 2011 at 6 P.M.

The members discussed the November meeting date and agreed to change the meeting to November 29, 2011.

Mr. Rosenberg made a motion to hold the meeting on November 29, 2011. The motion was seconded by Mr. Borstein and passed unanimously (6-0).


There being no further business the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:10 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for November 29, 2011 at 7:30 P.M.


Respectfully submitted,

Christy Holley-Flahrty, Recording Secretary