Thursday, March 12, 2009

09/10 Budget - March 12

The Budget Committee had its first meeting tonight on the 09/10 operational budget. The main items discussed were the mill rate, revenue, ee bene's, pensions, Registrar's office and the Town Clerk.

Besides the likelihood that state funding is going to be cut... the item that caught my interest most was a relatively small number. It was mentioned in terms of revenue, but also relates to pensions.

Here's my concern...

For different reasons, Town ee's are paid to work by someone other than the Town. For instance, over the past few years the police have worked quite a few hours for the state on the I-84 job. And one of the concerns I've had is reimbursement by the state for the total cost of those hours. That is, those hours worked may impact the pensions of Town ee's. And that being the case, the Town should get reimbursed for all those costs. And that is the case.


Based on the discussion tonight, I understand those reimbursed funds to be going to the general fund - not the pension fund.

This may be nothing more than an accounting entry, but the pensions are underfunded by $20,000,000. For the sake of the employees... I think the Council may need to institute a policy that directs those reimbursed funds to the pensions. Otherwise, we're essentially taking revenue today and paying the cost tomorrow... with unrelated revenue. That's not right. It needs to be fixed.

Of course, these numbers may be immaterial. In that case, it may not be a big deal to me. But I certainly don't want to move forward with this retirement offer... only to save (and spend) some dollars today that really should be going to the pension plan.

Tim White

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