Selectmen and Budgets
Board of Selectmen met on Wednesday, February 13th and reviewed department budgets.
The agenda for the February 13th meeting of the BoS concentrated on the budget plans of the Youth and Family Services, Conservation Commission and the Fire Department.
The board collectively commended Tom Smith and the Highway Department for the excellent work in maintaining the roads and sidewalks during Blizzard Nemo, and stated that Holliston was in better condition than some neighboring communities.
Margaret Fitzpatrick presented the report of Youth and Family Services. This year has been an unprecidented Court Diversion year as 45 clients were seen in the program this current year. Each client provides 20 hours of commiunity service which was valued to $7,200 based on minimum wage. Service was provided to the Recycle Center, Senior Center, Town Hall, Food Pantry, Celebrate Holliston and the Senior Center Fall Fair. The savings to the town by not requiring police officers paid overtime for court attendance was $7,425. The proposed budget, within guidelines will result in a reduction of Court Diversion Coordinator's hours, no professional services/consultation, no new program development. The current fiscal year budget has an unfunded balance of $1,207.62.
The department goals include continued high quality therapeutic services to the town, continued assessment of community needs, continued collaboration with the Holliston Business Association's Community Action Fund, maintaining the internship program to help increasing clinical needs and research grants to offset budget reductions.
Conservation Agent Chuck Katuska was next on the agenda to present. The Conservation budget came in according to the guidelines, level funded. Salary increases for both staff positions was included for the first time since fiscal year 2011. A change in the job classification of the present Assistant Clerk to Principal Clerk was recommended. The revised job description authorizes the Principal Clerk to function at a higher level in the absence of the Conservation Agent. A revised office schedule is also requested to have office hours on four rather than three days a week. The budget plan was accepted by the board.
Bill Dowd approached the board during public comments and stated that he has personally solicited the West Suburban Health Group for documents relative to Holliston, but has yet to be acknowledged. The board questioned his authority to do such as a resident. Dowd responded that the Secretary of State allows such inquiries. He is concerned that the Group does not answer the BoS regarding the surplus funds maintained by the Group.