ATM continues at LHS tonight, 7:15
Town Meeting will convene tonight in the auditorium of Lexington High School, 251 Waltham Street. We'll begin at 7:15 for the annual ceremony honoring LHS and Minuteman High School seniors, then take up the financial articles, beginning with Article 4: Appropriate FY2017 Operating Budget (Article Motions, pp.2-4).
While the Town’s FY2017 operating budget has many complexities, please note:
The budget process begins with the Selectmen's Goal Setting in June. In developing the annual operating budget, the Board of Selectmen continued to adhere to the following principles in order to preserve the Town’s long-term financial condition:
1. Continue to set aside funds into the Capital Stabilization Fund as part of the comprehensive long-term strategy for funding critical school and municipal projects.
2. Core services currently provided through the operating and capital budgets should be maintained, recognizing that changes in service demands may require that additional resources be provided in certain areas.
3. Resources should continue to be provided for road, intersection, traffic calming and sidewalk improvements and to address deferred maintenance in these assets.
4. Recurring revenues, not reserves or one-time revenues, should support operating expenses and debt service.
5. Debt will not be used to fund current operating expenditures.
6. Adequate reserves and contingency funds will be budgeted, consistent with the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Financial Policy Committee (2006) as adopted by the Board of Selectmen.
7. The use of reserves to fund operating expenses should be limited to cover temporary revenue shortfalls, consistent with the recommendations of the Selectmen’s Ad Hoc Fiscal Task Force (2009).
8. Sufficient funds for building maintenance will be budgeted to properly maintain facilities and equipment as well as foster energy conservation.
9. One-time revenue use should be limited to funding one-time expenses (e.g., capital projects) or used to fund reserve accounts.
10.Continue to provide funding for the post-employment benefits liability (OPEB)
Also, note information about this year's Revenue Allocation Model:
It has been the Selectmen’s practice to equitably share Town revenues between the municipal departments and the School Department. Based on a model developed by the Town Manager and Superintendent of Schools and accepted by the Board of Selectmen, School Committee and financial committees, projected revenues are allocated, on a preliminary basis, such that after shared expenses are funded, 73.3 percent of all projected FY2017 general fund revenues were allocated to the School Department and 26.7 percent were allocated to municipal departments.
More information may be found in the following documents and reports:
Town Manager's Recommended Budget and Financing Plan