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Minutes of 1/14/2022 Public Budget Hearing (Continued)

January 18th, 2022

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Public Budget Hearing
Meeting Minutes
January 14, 2022

“These minutes of the Town of Carroll Select Board have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions, and corrections by the Select Board at its next meeting when the Board votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available at this time to conform to the requirements of New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2.”

Minutes recorded by Heather Brown, Secretary
Board Members: David Scalley, Ken Mills, and Robert Gauthier

Members of the Public: Tadd Bailey, Imre Szauter, Chris Pappas, Josh Robertson

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chairperson Scalley.

Pledge of allegiance.

Chairperson Scalley opened the public budget hearing at 6:31 p.m.

Chairperson Scalley announced that this was a continuance of the public budget hearing from 1/11/2022 and this would be the last time to make changes to the budget and warrant articles before deliberative session. Scalley also notated that the worksheets tonight reflected the changes discussed at the previous public budget hearing on 1/11/2022. The budget and warrant articles were reviewed with pauses for public comment after each section.

Selectperson Mills inquired about the phone costs, noting that the Board had met with Bretton Woods Telephone. Chairperson Scalley indicated that they had budgeted for the higher amount, so they were covered, however further review of the quotes still needed to be discussed at another time.

Discussion of the Town Clerks salary. In 2021 she requested $46,687 and this year she was requesting a 5.4% increase to $49,208. The Board acknowledged that on the worksheet the increase is based on the default budget and the difference is substantial vs. actual. The secretary confirmed that the Town Clerk & Tax Collector is only requesting a total salary of $49,208, which is a $2,521 increase, and noting some of that comes out of water.

Discussion of the PD Overtime 01-4210.10-104 line. Selectperson Gauthier questioned the need for the increase, given the recent pay increase for part-time officers, which would help with coverage and decrease the need for overtime by full-time officers; Gauthier indicated he would like to see this line decreased by $5,000.

Chief Bailey explained that in 2016 the overtime was $17,000 and in 2020 it was increased to $18,000. He would like to keep it at $18,000, noting that there are 704 hours of coverage needed for the full-time officers for allocation for their vacation/personal/holiday time.

Continued discussion of PD overtime amount requested in 2022 budget. Chairperson Scalley suggested compromising and decreasing by $2,500.

Chief Bailey reiterated that he would like to keep it as presented. Selectperson Gauthier does not agree. Selectperson Mills would like to seek commitment from the Chief to try to keep it under the amount requested.

Chairperson Scalley would like to add 5.4% to line 01-4150.10-111 Selectmen’s Office Staff. Scalley reminded that in several previous discussions none of the employees under Financial Administration put in for the 5.4% increase and this line specifically is Kelly Trammell. This would be an increase of $943, which would make line $18,416. The Board all agreed to the increase.

Imre Szauter inquired about a couple of line-item names discussed at the previous meeting being updated. The Board acknowledged and confirmed with the secretary that the change of “Police Station” for electricity and heating oil would be changed to “Public Safety Building” and the
“Fire Station” for electricity and heating oil would be deleted as it sold. The Board further explained that the change could not happen until after March, because items were still open in 2021.

Discussion regarding the Town Manager position and how to fund. The Board suggested adding a line item for the position. They Board reminded the public that in previous meetings it was discussed that if the Town Manager position was approved and hired that a portion of their requested increases could be put towards the cost ($13,800). Continued discussion, noting that if a Town Manager was approved it would not be for the full year and not until after March, so the amount determined for the line this year should be prorated, similar the Fire Chiefs reasoning with the Firefighter II position.

The Board agreed and asked the secretary to put a line in under Financial Administration for the Town Manager position with an amount of $56,200, noting the Board would have a total of $13,800 to be added to that figure from the Select Board’s pay if the position was hired. The cost of the Town Manager is prorated for approx. 8 months and the following year the line should be increased to reflect a full year. The Board reminded that the amount is a total amount to include the cost of benefits, etc.

Chairperson Scalley announced that the total Financial Administration Budget with the increases should be $259,221 and further announced with the changes the Total Operating Budget is $2,782,777.

Discussion of the budget with differences from the previous year, noting the default budget and the repercussions it has on all the departments.

Imre Szauter asked the Board if the Town Manager position would make a difference, noting the increase for the position and further asking about how to educate the public on the budget. The Board explained that they cannot do it all and the additional of a Town Manager would help the Town. The Board also recognized last year that the people voted for the default budget but feel that the public may not understand that do so doesn’t just hurt the Select Board, it ultimately hurts all the departments. The Board further explained that that the Town is growing and with growth comes demand. Imre Szauter suggested postponing the Town Manager position this year and let the departments get back on track, as he feels adding the position may cause all the departments to suffer another year.

Chief Bailey is in favor of the Town Manager position but noted the last two years with Covid and last year being the default budget, he would like to get one year back to the regular budget and get departments back on track.

The Board agreed to move forward with the Town Manager position.

With no further budget questions, the Board agreed that they would like to input the new amounts on the line items discussed tonight. The Board reviewed the remaining two warrant articles that were tabled on 1/11/2022, individually and on voted on their recommendation. Warrant articles were voted and approved with a recommendation of 3-0.

Chairperson Scalley made a motion to rescinded the decision from 1/11/2022 to delete the following warrant article and bring back the warrant article to how it was originally written. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills and polled; Gauthier-AYE, Mills-AYE, Scalley-AYE.

Chairperson Scalley read the warrant article as written:

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) to be added to the Employee Benefits Expendable Trust Fund, previously established, for the purpose of funding the benefits upon an employee’s retirement or resignation. —The Board voted and does not recommend with a vote of 3-0.

Chairperson Scalley made a motion to rescinded the decision from 1/11/2022 to change dollar amount to $0 to the following warrant article and bring back the warrant article to how it was originally written. The motion was seconded by Selectperson Mills and polled; Gauthier-AYE, Mills-AYE, Scalley-AYE.

Chairperson Scalley read the warrant article as written:

The Board decided to change the sum of money from $2,000 to zero to the following warrant article:

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000) to be added to the Library Improvement Capital Reserve Fund previously established. —The Board voted and does not recommend with a vote of 3-0.

At 7:40 p.m. Chairperson Scalley made a motion to close the public budget and adjourn. Selectperson Mills seconded. Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE; and the motion passed unanimously. Chairperson Scalley declared the public budget hearing ended at 7:40 p.m.