Budget Committee | 6/27/19 Meeting Summary

The BC met last night @ 7PM. All members were in attendance and the following actions were taken and points discussed:

Litchfield Budget Committee Meeting – June 27, 2019

1) New Hampshire Municipal Associating Budget Law Training. NHMA provided an overview of budget law for the Committee and reviewed various RSA’s that dictate the laws & process the Budget Committee must follow. The role of the BC includes:

  • Review current year expenditures
  • Review proposals, request information
  • Prepare budget
  • Schedule & hold budget hearings
  • Forward final proposed budget to governing body
  • Does not control spending
  • 10% rule in towns with official budget committee
  • Budget can not surpass YoY increase >10%
  • In 2017 Litchfield passed a local tax cap on the town side where the budget can not exceed an increase >$175k.

2) Acceptance of 5/23/19 Meeting Minutes
3) LEA Teachers Contract Update

  • The Superintendent provided the BC with an update on teachers contract.
  • On 6/27, the School Board held an Emergency meeting and voted to approve a renegotiated collective bargaining agreement with the LEA.
  • Terms of the new agreement include:
  • A total 3 year cost of ~$854k. This is a reduction from the failed March 2019 warrant article which was ~$1.1MM.
  • Year 1 would reflect a 1% Cost of Living (COLA) increase, Year 2 = 1.5% COLA increase, Year 3 = 1.75% COLA increase
  • Primary renegotiated points to support the decrease in cost are:
  • Health insurance is more in line with industry standard and shifts from ‘Cadillac Plan’ to a deductible/co-insurance based plan
  • No make up in step increases to account for past years where there was no contract
  • Longevity payments have decreased

Next steps are for the Superior Court to review the petition for a Special Election as well as for the Budget Committee to formally vote to recommend/not recommend the contract. The Budget Committee will have a special meeting planned for the evening of Monday August 5th to vote on the LEA ContractThe Superintendents goal is to have the special election at the end of September. Working back from that timeline, there will be a deliberative session planned for early September and the BC vote should be recorded by August 9th.

4) School Update

  • A review of year end encumbrances were performed. Total encumbrances = $197,593
  • Estimated fund balance (as of 6/19/19) = $331,845.77

5) Town Update

  • Two lawn mowers were purchased to replace failing equipment

6) School Capital Planning Committee Update

  • The BC discussed member participation on the School Capital Planning Committee. While the Committee is very much in favor of the Capital Planning charter and putting together a district wide strategic plan, the BC voted 2-7-0 to not participate in this committee. Reasoning for the failed vote was primarily related to maintaining independence as a Committee as well as how effective one member would be speaking on behalf of the BC, when the BC has not met to discuss.

Note: Any public comments or questions can be addressed to the Budget Committee during the next public meeting, a special meeting to vote on the LEA Teachers contract, planned for August 5th. Budget Committee responses to questions are not permitted via social media.

As shared by Andrew Cutter via Facebook on 6/28/2019.

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