January 24, 2013

The budget meeting was called to order by Caryl Falvey at 7:01 p.m. in the School Department Conference Room.

Members Present:    Caryl Falvey, Raymond Estes, Carol M. Falvey, Andy Shafter, Edward Schreier, Dennis Friedman, and Paul Gannon.

Central Office Present:    Dot Galo, John Ferris, Ellen Keane, Elizabeth Flynn.

Visitors Present:    Heather Rodriguez, Pat Velie, Catherine Rein, Anthony Keady, Alec Porter, Mary Eastwood, Debbie Stellar, Jennifer Henriksen, Elizabeth O’Neill, Susan Keyes, Doug Holley, Paula Girouard McCann, James Kirkcaldy, Ted Alexiades, Laura Marwill, Linda Kutsch, Amy Farrell, Mary Power, Todd Eikinas, Margaret Conaty, and Lizzie Eldredge.

The Committee heard an update from the Town Administrator on anticipated Town resources and revenues for FY 2014 and to review changes from the last Town forecast.  Ted Alexiades reviewed the Five Year Forecast, 1/23/13, and the General Fund Balance compared to Annual Expenditures last ten fiscal years, FY 2012 Fund Balance Analysis as of June 30, 2012, and Meals Tax revenue collected.  Among the items noted: the just released Governor’s proposed budget lists Hingham as receiving an additional $500,000 over the current year; the BOS will recommend that the Town use Meals Taxes to offset future increases in real estate taxes and that OPEB exceeded its 8% return on investment by 5.5%. Caryl Falvey thanked Ted for the update.

The Committee heard an update on the status of administration’s proposed budget, with recommended changes.  Dot Galo reviewed the revisions to the 1/24/13 Initial Budget Proposal for FY ’14 including the Regular Ed Budget (+6.12%), the Special Education Budget (-.84%) and the Vocational Budget (-4.96%) and combined budgets (+4.18%), and changes to administration’s proposed FY ’14 budget by functions.  Caryl Falvey thanked Dot.

The Committee began discussion of School Committee priorities for the FY ’14 Operating & Capital Budgets.  School Committee asked questions/made comments:  support for full time elementary assistant principals, MS librarian, and custodial position (a structural need), impact on loss of elementary assistant principals, need for MS librarian and technology specialist, importance of positions supporting counselors, support for Central Office administration support position with web management skills, more support for HS counseling department and college placement, support for 1.0 elementary position at South School for a total of 2.0 elementary teachers, and support of the educational needs of our students.  Thanks to all administrators and staff who worked on the budget.

Caryl noted the School Committee meeting January 28th will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Dot Galo reviewed the proposed PARCC on line assessment plan for 2014-2015 to test grades 3-11 and impact on technology and educational preparation.  She noted that significant technology requests will need to be made in the FY ’15 Budget in order to comply with the PARCC testing procedures.

The Committee discussed and reached consensus on the scope of the Operating Budget to be presented to the Joint Meeting (Selectmen & Advisory Committee) on January 31st.  Dennis Friedman noted that 1% of the budget is related to restoring positions lost several years ago and that other town departments are also seeking to restore lost positions.

Laura Marwill, Chair of the Education Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee, reviewed upcoming Advisory Committee meeting dates.

Todd Eikinas volunteered to assist with Technology plan.

On a motion by Andy Shafter and seconded by Ed Schreier,

It was
Voted:        To adjourn the Budget Hearing at 8:32 p.m.

Carol M. Falvey

Next meeting January 31 – School Department Conference Room – 7:00 p.m.