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Finance Committee: Just Before Town Meeting #5

Finance Committee meets at 7:30 before every Town Meeting in case there is any last minute business to be done. I didn’t do notes for our meeting before TM #3 because we didn’t have any business – just chatter. The meeting #4 was canceled because there was no business. Today we had business.

Treasurer Stephen Gilligan wanted to talk about Article 47, which we’d had a hearing on in February.  FinComm had voted to recommend the request for special legislation, making POBs at least possible, but voted against actually permitting to borrow the money, and added a couple other restrictions including requiring explicit approval of FinComm and restricting the amount of money that could be borrowed.  The treasurer appeared to support borrowing money at this town meeting anyway, as indicated by the draft language circulated in March.

Tonight, the treasurer said that he was not seeking permission to borrow money at this time; he was only seeking the special legislation.  He did want to put the vote in a different form than the FinComm recommended vote.  FinComm codified the restrictions in the request for special legislation.  The treasurer wanted to make the restrictions part of the vote, but keep them out of the special legislation.

The treasurer said he would circulate new language.  He also said he would postpone discussion until 5/28 because Charlie Foskett would be traveling and unable to attend Town Meeting until then.  (Al Tosti has recused himself from the discussion of this issue because of a potential conflict of interest).

Personally, I’m likely to be happy with the language as the treasurer described it.  The devil is in the details, of course, and I look forward to reading the actual text.  Several other members of the board are more skeptical.  We’ve talked about this issue at least 4 times now, and we still don’t have recommended text.  If that text isn’t ready beforehand, several people will vote “no” just because they won’t have had time to study the text.  I’m inclined to agree.

The minutes for 4/30 and 5/5 were approved.