Thursday, May 4, 2017
The Advisory Committee met last night to vote their recommendations on the town meeting warrant. It is still unknown at this point whether or not the voters at town meeting will be allowed to talk and discuss the budgets presented; including the town operating budget Article 18.
The warrant includes many articles that will seem unfamiliar to regular attendees of past town meetings. The format of presenting information to voters has changed. Articles including budgets will be available only in electronic form. The budgets may be displayed on the screen. Time will tell.
Some of these articles include By-Law changes. Any addition or change to a By-Law needs to be reviewed by the Attorney General.
Article 16: Ratification of previously authorized police station bond was debated at last night's pre-town meeting. This project was "sold" to the voters as a two year capital debt exclusion. The concept was that this project would only impact the tax rate for 2 years. The funding mechanism for this project has changed.
Article 18: FY 2018 Operating Budget is out of balance by $100,000. The option presented includes waiting until the Fall Town meeting to correct this shortfall. By the Fall, the Ambulance Receipts Reserved fund will have enough money to fund Fire/EMS at the $569,000 that has been budgeted for the department.
There is a glitch with Article 21: Narragansett Regional School District. The incorrect total number was published in the warrant. Not sure how that will be resolved. Stay tuned.
The Advisory Committee voted No Recommendation on the 4 Citizen Petition articles.
We live in interesting times!