I. Sub-committee objective
At the July 2009 BOF meeting, Chairman David Hosmer appointed a three-person sub-committee consisting of BOF members Cass, Cabana and McCoy, charged with the responsibility of researching the past practices of both the Woodstock Town Treasurer’s office and the Board of Finance, when calculating the annual town budget under Prop. 46.
This action was taken in response to a citizen’s contention that the practice of incorporating emergency and “one time” expenditures into a budget, and the failure to subtract those items from the subsequent year’s budget, is a violation of Prop 46.
II. Research process
The subcommittee held eight meetings over a seven-month period, interviewing former
BOF chairpersons: S. Ahola, S. Boldry, E. Shepard, M. Alberts, S. Rapose and Town Attorney DeCrescenzo.
Each former chairperson received a standardized questionnaire with the following questions:
1. During which years did you serve on the board of finance?
2. What was the procedure used to calculate the annual budget?
3. Were “one time and/or emergency expenditures” which were included in the budget for any given year, then subtracted back out the following year?
4. Were there any unusual circumstances that occurred during your term of service on the BOF?
5. During your term, do you recall if the method of calculating the budget according to Prop.46 was consistently applied or did it change during any particular year?
6. In your opinion, was the level of service provided by the town impacted due to Prop 46?
Each of the answers that we received from the former chairpersons were consistent. This
Sub-committee is satisfied that the formula used to calculate the annual town budget was applied consistently from year to year and with close oversight by the BOF. In fact, Mrs. Ahola, Mr. Boldry and Mrs. Rapose each related that they would sit with the town treasurer and do the math together, so there was never a question as to the method or formula that was used. Each person also stated that to the best of their recollections, “one time or emergency” budget items, if they occurred, were never subtracted back out the following year.
Prop. 46 Subcommittee Report
E. Shepard stated that “by keeping those items within the budget, allowed for a small margin of growth, which helped to offset inflation and the increased cost of doing business as a town. As Prop. 46 is vague in this area, the BOF had to exercise its discretion in this matter”.
III. Recommendations Read the rest of this entry »