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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pre-Town Update

Pre-Town Update

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!


  1. I do not think this way of presenting the budget is open and transparent to the voters. I saw a article in a local paper that said a local community asked for permission to give raises to town workers. Deep in this budget is 10,000. for raises. No one asked if it was acceptable for Markel to hand out raises before he headed for the door ! The hooker was the fact that there was no money in that budget for the money he handed out. Some of the people got handed double digit raises, a far cry from the .03% the elderly received. I do not think we can fix our financial state by ourselves. We have had very bad problems financially since 1999/2000, and have not managed to get ourselves on track since then. This budget, the way it is set up, does not make it any easier to see where our money goes. The real problem is the fact that this budget is not sustainable, in the end. As you all know, I would have rather been more conservative for a couple of years, to get us on some sort of a even plain, than drop a brick on the established departments next year. I voted to adopt this budget but I am not happy with it or the way it is going to be presented. This is your town. This is your money. Please show up at the ATM On the May 13, 2017. Bev

  2. Bev.

    I have a question for you. It's not meant to be an insult so please do not take it that way.

    It appears that there has been questions/problems with the 2018 budget on an ongoing basis since it started to be worked on. There were problems/questions regarding the 2017 budget.

    Why would you vote to adopt a budget you've stated you have so many problems with? I ask because its the advisory Committee job to advise. You vote don't bind anyone. So I'm just having a hard time with the "I dont agree, but voted for it" thinking.

    I think Templeton needs, like many smaller communities has to make some really tough choices. We cannot keep things rolling, just to keep things rolling. We have schools killing budgets, Administrative cost killing budgets and taxpayers are getting fewer and fewer service for their dollar.
    The Advisory board voted to approve articles that had not followed the required coarse based on our by-laws. Based on these rules the Sewer plant, highway, building ground, cemetery, school articles, bills and budgets would all be denied as they did not go on the Master Cap plan, they were not presented to the Capital Planning Committee PRIOR to contracting/funding, etc. All these things are happening though, why, because we like a wish man once said (older line) "Everyone wants to cut government until the trash isn't picked up!" Well we want to cut, cut, trim, etc but we are not willing to feel any pain.

    We need to make hard choices now or we should probably all tune in to see what happens with Puerto Rico.

    1. I have spent all day thinking about what I did. I was wrong, and I will stand up and say so. What hurts is we are in a lot worse shape than anyone knows. I apologize, I guess I was getting tired, too old for this crap ! We really have been broke since 1999, that is no lie. I will write a blog about it this weekend if I have time. A history lesson for old people who forgot, and the others that are too young to know ! LOL Bev.

  3. Bev,

    You have no reason to apologize. You are trying to do what is best for the town, without disrupting the town. It's not easy or simple.

    Truly we are talking about millions of dollars, complicated regulations, by-laws,Mass General Laws, etc. It's truly a little much for a volunteer group to grasp and manage without a qualified Town Administrator. The Advisory Board, BOS should be more like the "old sage" from history while the TA deals with getting things done and the regulations they involve.

    We truly cannot do thing on a volunteer basis as much as we did in the past as the requirements, law are to detailed.

    1. No matter what anyone thinks or says, I will always work for the elderly and the rest of the people in our town. For sure, I will never lie to you or them. Bev.