I don’t think anyone would disagree that last year’s budget process was a challenging one, least of all the town officials and department heads who spent hundreds of hours slogging through the numbers. This year the Board of Selectmen have vowed to work together with the Advisory Committee to improve the budgeting process.
The Metrowest Daily News reports the two groups talked last week about the importance of coming to a consensus on budgets before Town Meeting.
Advisory Committee Chairwoman Claire Reynolds said the boards need consensus this year so that special-interest groups couldn’t come in and “go rah-rah for a certain budget.”
Last year, there seemed to be some resentment among town leaders about the way in which the School Committee’s budget passed, with Superintendent Charles Gobron giving a spirited speech that was followed by a number of parents wagging fingers at selectmen.
Selectmen Vice Chairman John Rooney – the target of many of those wags – said it’s imperative for the boards to get on the same page and hopes that the school district follows suit.
“If they elect not to, then leave it to Town Meeting to decide,” he said.
In their first act of unity, Selectmen and the Advisory Committee asked town department heads to submit draft budgets that are reduced by 1% compared to the current year.
You can read more in this article by the MWDN.
What do you think? Do special interests rule the Town Meeting vote? Would more consensus among town officials help level the playing field? Share your thoughts in the comments.