Back to Advisory Committee Minutes
May 26, 2011 Meeting Minutes
Hingham Town Hall
Present: Committee Members Manning, Asher, MacCune, Dwyer, Innis, Johnson, Kirven,
Marwill, O'Meara, Power, Pyles, Ellison, Friedman
1. Call to order
Chairman Jack Manning called the Advisory Committee meeting to order at 7:31 PM.
2. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the April 12, 2011, April 14, 2011 and April 21, 2011 meetings were approved by a vote of the members present. Dennis Friedman (4/12/11, 4/14/11, 4/21/11), Tom Pyles (4/14/11) and Dave Ellison (4/21/11) abstained from voting with respect to the dates indicated as they did not attend the corresponding meetings.
3. Benchmarking Study
Laura Marwill provided an update on the status of the benchmarking study noting the study was close to completion and the benchmarking sub-committee hoped to present its findings at an AdCom meeting in September. There was a discussion among the members present as to the most effective frequency, who should "own" or "drive" the process, who would be responsible for gathering the necessary data and what are the relevant benchmarks that should be tracked, with consideration given to qualitative or non-monetary benchmarks.
Jack requested the benchmarking committee make a report at the June AdCom meeting.
4. Capital Outlay By-law Proposal
Dennis Friedman discussed his thoughts regarding changes to the current capital budgeting process to expand the longer-range planning horizon to 10 or 20 years. There was agreement among many of those present that a longer term outlook beyond the current 5 year horizon would be beneficial, but concerns that longer-range data would have limited usefulness due to imprecision and changing priorities.
Jack suggested that Dennis' proposal merited consideration, but that any discussion should start with the capital outlay committee. Jack encouraged Dennis to work with capital outlay to advance the proposal.
5. Protocol for Addressing Questions from the Floor at Town Meeting
Jack asked the AdCom to consider how questions from the floor should be addressed. Specifically, who should be responsible for answering questions regarding financial matters or town operations that might arise? The consensus was that department heads, who, it was emphasized, should be expected to attend Town Meeting, should address questions affecting their respective departments and that the Town Administrator should address questions on broader matters.
6. Reserve Fund Transfers
The AdCom considered three reserve fund transfer requests as follows:
a. Restore Town Clerk budget Deferred pending further explanation.
b. Emergency water Approved unanimously
c. Repairs to Town Pier Deferred at request of Town Administrator
There was a brief discussion among the AdCom regarding the timeliness of reserve fund transfer paperwork.
7. Middle School Building Project
Dennis provided the AdCom with an update on the Middle School building project noting that a project manager had been retained and that a design firm had been selected for negotiations. Currently, costs are expected to be approximately $245 per square foot which is below the $275 per square foot noted in the Town Meeting warrant.
8. Election of Officers for 2011-2012
The nominating committee presented the following slate of officers for the upcoming year:
Chair Jon Asher
Vice-Chair Karen Johnson
Secretary Greg MacCune
The proposed slate was approved by a vote of 9-0. Jon, Karen and Greg abstained.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.
Greg MacCune, Secretary