League of Women Voters: observing town government in action: 2-23

Members of the League of Women Voters of Marblehead, front row from left: Shari Pressman, Marta Bach, Alexa Singer, and Tom Krueger; second row from left: Judy Gates, Bonnie Grenier, Lee Mondale, Kathy Breslin, Polly Whitmore, and Mimi Hollister; and third row from left: Don Gardner, Kathy Leonardson, Nancy Powell, and Phil Blaisdell, gather in front of the Old Town House. Photo by Spenser Hasak

Observation reports are submitted by Marblehead League of Women Voters members who have attended meetings of various town boards and commissions. Observers are solely responsible for accuracy of the information.  Complete reports can be found on the LWV of Marblehead Website www.lwvmarblehead.org.


FINANCE COMMITTEE –  February 13, 2023

LWVM Observer – Katharine Redmond

Members Present: Alec Goolsby, Pat Franklin, Cameron Staples, Timothy Shotmeyer, Terra Samuels, Michael O’Neil, Molly Teets, Eric Knight, Michael Janko

Guests: Thatcher Kezer

Thatcher Kezer’s update on the fiscal year 2024 Budget Submission/Review Process:

The town has reached a long-anticipated budget crisis.  Ongoing base line expenses have grown faster than available revenues for yet another year, and there is not sufficient “free cash” to close the gap.  There is a structural deficit and to submit a balanced budget at Town Meeting, departments will need to make budget cuts, which will be visible and painful to all.

Thatcher is working with department heads, and Finance Committee members are meeting with their liaison groups developing these painful budgets.

At the same time, Thatcher and the Finance Committee liaison groups will continue meetings to hammer out an alternative budget which would require an override to Proposition 2 ½.   Thatcher aims to create budgets which accurately reflect the cost of doing the town’s business.  Part of the discussion will be to decide if the override should address the problem for FY 24 only – or build a more long-term plan.  (The “Town of Marblehead State of the Town” presentation is very informative.  It is posted on the Town of Marblehead website under “Home/News”).

Tentative Schedule of Finance Committee Meetings to Review Budget

Monday March 20: Health and Waste, Library, Retirement Board

Monday March 27: Recreation and Parks, Assessor, Cemetery, Town Clerk

Monday, April 3: Select Board, Schools, Water and Sewer Department

Monday, April 10: Warrant Hearing