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Budget Reviews Underway

by Press Release
January 24, 2013

Reviews for fiscal year 2014 are now underway...

As a reminder, budget planning for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) is now underway. 

The process unfolds in three stages: For departments with an oversight board (such as the Selectmen, Board of Health, Board of Assessors, etc) the oversight board first meets and approves a budget request that is presented to the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee reviews all budget requests (according to the schedule below) and makes budget recommendations that are published in the Finance Committee report. The final step is for Town Meeting to vote on a budget at the May Town Meeting. Given this process, anyone with particular concerns or issues about budgets should act now by attending the appropriate oversight board meetings to express his or her concerns. Meeting schedules for town boards can be found on the town’s web site
The budget review schedule for the Finance Committee and the Selectmen is provided below, but keep in mind that the schedule is subject to change—the posted Finance Committee agenda (available at will always reflect the most up-to-date schedule information. All meetings listed below begin at 7:30pm and are held in Town Hall Room 105; HCAT provides live television coverage for most or all of the meetings. Please note that tonight’s Finance Committee meeting will be held in Town Hall room 014 and will not be televised due to a pipe rupture (and subsequent flood) at Town Hall.
Wednesday, January 16          Auxiliary Police, Veterans Benefits, Solid Waste, Street Lighting Selectmen
Wednesday, January 23          Building Inspector, Zoning Board of Appeals, Motor Vehicle
Selectmen                                Fuels, Snow and Ice, Wastewater Treatment
Thursday, January 24              7:35 Town Clerk, Elections
Finance Committee                 8:00 Parks and Recreation
                                                8:30 Finance Committee, Reserve Fund
Wednesday, January 30          Town Accountant, Treasurer/Collector, Debt, Employee Benefits,
Selectmen                                Sealer, Animal Control, Public Buildings
Thursday, January 31             7:35 Assessors
Finance Committee                 8:00 Library
                                                8:30 Auxiliary Police
                                                9:00 Veterans Benefits, Solid Waste, Street Lighting
Wednesday, February 6          Technology, Conservation Commission, Council on Aging,
Selectmen                                Highway
Thursday, February 7              7:35 Planning Board
Finance Committee                 8:00 Building Inspector
                                                8:30 Zoning Board of Appeals
                                                9:00 Motor Vehicle Fuels, Snow and Ice, Wastewater Treatment
                                                9:30 Board of Health
Wednesday, February 13        Youth and Family Services, Fire, Ambulance, Emergency
Selectmen                                Management, Selectmen
Thursday, February 14            7:35 Town Accountant
Finance Committee                 8:00 Treasurer/Collector
                                                8:30 Debt, Employee Benefits
                                                9:00 Sealer, Animal Control, Public Buildings
Wednesday, February 27        Police, follow-ups
Thursday, February 28            7:35 Youth and Family Services
Finance Committee                 8:00 Fire, Ambulance, Emergency Management
                                                9:00 Selectmen
Thursday, March 7                  7:35 Technology
Finance Committee                 8:00 Conservation Commission
                                                8:30 Council on Aging
                                                9:00 Highway
Thursday, March 14                7:35 Community Preservation Committee
Finance Committee                 8:00 Water Department
Thursday, March 21                7:35 Police Department
Finance Committee                 8:15 Keefe Tech
Thursday, March 28                7:35 School Department
Finance Committee
Thursday, April 4                    Deliberations / Reserved for follow-up budget reviews
Finance Committee
Thursday, April 11                  Deliberations / Reserved for follow-up budget reviews
Finance Committee
Thursday, April 18                  Deliberations / Reserved for follow-up budget reviews
Finance Committee
Thursday, April 25                  Deliberations / Reserved for follow-up budget reviews
Finance Committee                 Deadline for Annual Report
May 6                                      Town Meeting begins


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Comments (1)

This is great information. If it hadn't been put up by "Press Release", I'd have have written about it myself. Everyone is very busy, and it's not easy going back out at night for meetings. But this is the time to learn about how the Town spends money. If you're someone who has privately complained about this department spending too much money or that department being wasteful, come see the detail and listen to the people who are responsible for the spending explain their budget. Waiting for Town Meeting is way too late, and you owe it to yourself to be informed and credible before launching a criticism. Unfortunately, despite several requests that I've made, neither the Selectmen nor the FinCom provide any copies of documents or displays of views of the documents they are working from. The School Committee does this regularly and you can really follow along and make sense of the discussion. The FinCom has committed to displaying the worksheets on a screen, but that requires Room 105 which is not always available. Asking the departments to bring a few extra copies of their budget to Selectmen and FinCom meetings isn't asking too much for those who make the effort to attend. I urge residents to take these opportunities to learn about how Holliston spends over $50 million every year.

- Bill Dowd | 1/25/13 12:24 PM



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