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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Some Thoughts on the FY 18 Budget

Some Thoughts on the FY 18 Budget Meeting 4/5/17

The superintendent of schools, Mr. Casavant attended this meeting (as did the chairman of the school committee, Diane Haley Brooks and the business manager) and presented the Advisory Committee with the budget package for the Narragansett Regional School District.  Many questions were answered. More information will be coming. Having the superintendent & company available to answer questions is appreciated!

The transfer to the vehicle maintenance account from the emergency reserve account in the amount of $10,000 was approved by a majority of the Advisory Committee. Highway vehicles parked include H9, H12, H7 as well as a police vehicle C10. This transfer will enable H12 and H7 to be repaired and put back on the road. Many members of the Adv. Committee felt this transfer could have been avoided if the vehicle maintenance account had not been raided to repair the pump for the fire truck. Many members felt that this was mismanagement of funds and not an emergency, even though the vote passed.

The town administrator was in attendance to discuss the FY 18 budget. There is a major discrepancy between The TA/Selectmen revenue projections and the Advisory Committee revenue projections. This is a problem. 

Another problem is the budget "package" as a whole. There are a number of assumptions built into the budget document that will need to be explained to the voters. It is not clear at this time if the TA/Selectmen expect a straight up or down vote on the budget, or if there will be debate on certain aspects of this budget that could prove to be its undoing.

Areas of concern:

Ambulance receipts reserved : $325,000 transfer to the general fund.

Hiring 2 FT firefighters/EMTs

Combining Library, COA, Veterans, and recreation into 1 department 

On a personal note, I, Julie Farrell, do not plan to endorse this budget as presented, IF the selectmen will not allow discussion on the budget and line items at town meeting. 

On a different topic, the audits and management letters will be released on April 25th at the Kiva.



  1. I agree with Julie 100%. To start off, I voted for the transfer this time but I would not do it again, if the situation ever came up again. We should have had a talk with Carter to explain that the money in the Reserve Account was not meant to be his slush fund. None of the problems with how this transfer was handled had anything to do with Alan. He was not the head of the Highway Dept. when this all went down. I think we as a Committee made ourselves pretty clear about how we felt, but we need to be sure that the next person in line understands also. The people who read this blog know how I feel about running our Town on money that does not exist. I do not like it one bit and either should you. When we plan to use money that we do not collect, why on earth would anyone do that ? In order to keep our departments filled with all of the goodies they have now, the only way to accomplish this is to make the revenue look larger. In reality this is an illusion that has not been a reality for many years. So my question is, when in black and white, a problem is pointed out why dig in your heals and refuse to make changes ?? How does anyone think things are ever going to change for the better, if for once in for all we don't do what is our job as a Advisory Committee, what the people elected the selectmen to do, find a responsible way to run this town with in our means ?? Bev.

  2. How long do you think it will take the BOS to fill empty committee seats in town. How long have these seats been empty with no advertisement before a week or so ago.
    I put my in for CPC...........lets see if they inquire?

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  4. I'm really loving seeing Carter weekly letter mentioning to everyone to get the Capital items in to the unfilled Capital planning Committee that has yet to have a quorum..........beautiful

  5. At the Advisory committee last night the presentation of the nrsd budget had a interesting feature. I was surprised there were no questions about the E+D fund use to make this budget work for them. Not one question about what happens next year if that isn't used to make it work.
    Why not ask about the 400,000.00 they will tap from the E+D fund?
    Do any other issues matter if they are going to rob peter to pay paul?
    What is the state amounts we are needed to pay?
    Julie will get the answers to that and when she does we need to find out other answers like class size and other costs as in admin we have seen bloated before.