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June 30, 2008 Special Meeting Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
BOARD OF FINANCE


MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING OF JUNE 30, 2008


I.~~~~~~        TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

        Chairman DeSousa called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall      Conference Room.


II.~~~~~        ATTENDANCE

        Present:  Chairman DeSousa and Members Bowsza, Floyd, Little, Mannette, Pippin,
        First Selectman Menard.  Absent:  Member Kubick


III.    AGENDA

        The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the rejection by the voters in regards to     the proposed 2008-2009 budget; a legal opinion from the Town Attorney; and to   review, discuss and take action regarding the overall proposed 2008-2009 budget.  

Upon motion by Mr. Bowsza, seconded by Mr. Little, it was unanimously

VOTED:  To appoint Kathy Pippin as a full voting member for tonight's meeting.

Ms. DeSousa reported that First Selectman Menard met with all town department heads and asked them to consider give backs.

A discussion followed concerning the Broad Brook Library, which has money in a checking account, savings account, cd's and stocks equaling over $11,000.

Ms. Menard presented a legal opinion from the Town Attorney which states,
"Relying on figures generated by the Board of Finance about estimated expenditures, reduced by estimated revenues from non-tax sources, and adjusted for the estimated collection rate, the Board may determine the mill rate necessary for 2008-2009 revenues.  The Board of Selectmen, with the approval of the Board of Finance, is not limited to the prior year's line items.  The Boards have the discretion to set the new mill rate based on the operating budget earlier requested, even though it had been disapproved by the referenda.  The Charter, and the State Statutes, vest broad authority in Boards of Selectmen, with Board of Finance approval, to set tax rates for their towns when the defeat of a town budget has created a vacuum.  Despite voter disapproval, the Statutes and the Charter provide the only mechanism by which presently accruing town bills shall be met, even if they exceed a prior year's budgetary line item.  Consequently, the Board of Selectmen, with the approval of the Board of Finance, could very welll select a mill rate higher than that set, and rejected, for the fiscal year 2008-2009 budget.  Once the Boards agree as to projected income and estimated expenditures for the 2008-2009 budget, the final step in the process is for the Board of Selectmen to set the mill rate, with the approval of the Board of Finance, for the amount necessary to pay the current

expenses of the Town.  The Charter does not allow any further budget meetings, nor public hearings, with respect to the 2008-2009 budget."

Ms. Menard presented a survey of like communities' spending increases and mill rates.  She said East Windsor is in the ball park at 5.30% and a 21.02 mill rate.  She also presented a list of the Board of Selectmen's proposed further reductions.

A lengthy discussion was held concerning the Board of Education.  The Board of Selectmen's proposed reduction to their budget was $75,000.  That cut, along with the others would bring the 2008-2009 budget to $32,058,428, a mill rate of 4.88%.

More discussion followed.  Ms. Menard said that the budget should be presented and approved at the meeting.  

The Board took a recess at 7:33 p.m. and returned at 7:45 p.m.  

Mr. Mannette protested that making a decision tonight would not give the voters another chance to vote.  He said that salaries and benefits are keeping the town from doing other things in town.  Ms. DeSousa said that the departments came back with a budget they could live with so that they don't have to come back for appropriations.   Ms. DeSousa said that the Board of Education's budget has been cut over $500,000 and would take away all of their initiatives.

Ms. DeSousa said that the Board would be doing a disservice by leaving the budget at a zero increase.  She added that the Board's job is to put forth a budget that will keep the town running.

Mr. Bowsza presented a hand-out from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities which showed that out of 149 Connecticut towns, East Windsor ranked in the 33rd percentile and in our District Reference Group, 53rd percentile.  

A discussion followed concerning how the school department has saved the town money by Superintendent Howes negotiating health benefits and oil for the town.  The town shares IT services with the schools and there is discussion about sharing a financial director and human resource services.   

Mr. Floyd commented that a 4.88% mill rate was not out of line.  Ms. Pippin also agreed to a 4.88% mill rate.  

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To cut $50,000 from the Board of Education budget.  

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Pippin
Opposing:  Floyd, Little, Mannette
The motion did not pass.

Mr. Floyd moved, and Ms. DeSousa seconded, a

MOTION:  To cut $75,000 from the Board of Education budget.

Voting for the motion:  Floyd, Little, Mannette
Opposing:  Bowsza, DeSousa, Pippin
The motion did not pass.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Mr. Floyd seconded, a

MOTION:  To cut $62,500 from the Board of Education budget.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $500 from the Historical Society.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $500 from the Treasurer's Account 610; $2,066 from the FICA and Medicare Account 201; $15,000 from Retirement Enhancement Account 204; and Parks and Recreation Employees Benefits FICA and Medicare Account 201, totaling $18,714.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $2,600 from the Conferences and Training Account #325 from the following:  Selectmen, $300; Assessor, $800; Planning, $300; Police, $1,000; Fire Marshall, $200.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $3,800 from Travel Account 580 from the following:  Selectmen, $1,500; Assessor, $500; Planning, $1,000; Building, $300; Human Services, $500.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $4,200 from Other Supplies #610 from the following:  Town Clerk, $500; Registrar, $400; Town Property, $1,000; Public Works, $2,000; Human Services, $300.


Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $1,000 from Printing #550, and Photo #560 from Planning.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To remove $9,278 from Libraries as follows:  Broad Brook Library Account 865, $7,000; Warehouse Point Library Account 866, $2,278.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, DeSousa, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
Abstaining:  Floyd
The motion passed.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To postpone $11,000 for a TC dehumidifier to the 2009-2010 CIP.

No motion was taken on removing $1,300 from the Historical Commission Account 1015.

Upon motion by Ms. Pippin, seconded by Mr. Bowsza, it was unanimously

VOTED:  To recess at 8:45 p.m.

The Board returned at 9:12 p.m.

Mr. Bowsza moved, and Ms. Pippin seconded, a

MOTION:  To set the 2008-2009 budget at $32,072,228 and a mill rate of 20.9135, a 4.92% increase.

Voting for the motion:  Bowsza, Floyd, Pippin
Opposing:  Little, Mannette
The motion passed.

Ms. DeSousa thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication.


IV.     ADJOURNMENT

        Upon motion by Mr. Mannette, seconded by Mr. Floyd, it was unanimously

        VOTED:  To adjourn at 9:17 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Nolan
Recording Secretary