Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thus far, I am the only volunteer to be re-appointed to the Town of Brattleboro Finance Committee. I was re-appointed shortly following last March's Representative Town Meeting.
The Town Charter calls for the existence and work of the Finance Committee. This is the wording in the Charter:
Section 4, Subsection C. Finance Committee: The representative town meeting shall establish a finance committee for the general purpose of reviewing proposed and actual expenditures by the town, town school district, and such other budgets which affect the taxpayers of the town of Brattleboro, including Brattleboro Union High School District 6. A review will include making recommendations to the representative town meeting and the voters. The committee will work with the town finance director, school finance director, and other town officials in assessing the recommendations and impact of the proposed annual budget and all finance policy including fund balances, debt management, capital improvements and the capital plan. It is also recommended that the committee review all auditor’s reports and any other matters of financial import that impact the voters of the town. The representative town meeting shall fix and from time to time may alter the number of members, the manner of their selection, their terms of office, their compensation if any, and other duties and functions. The committee may choose its own officers.
The existence of the Finance Committee is very important in the Town of Brattleboro system of checks and balances in government, as it is one of the only bodies that does not report to, or is not held accountable by, the Selectboard, but rather by Representative Town Meeting.
I have spoken with Moderator Lawrin Crispe about pulling together some volunteers to meet a few times before Representative Town Meeting in March to discuss giving them a report with recommendations, as called for in the Town Charter. He encourages this.
I have also spoken very recently with several Town leaders about the matter. I have yet to receive any solid offers by anyone to volunteer.
Please be in contact with me, or with Town Moderator Lawrin Crispe, if you are interested in helping with this. Lawrin Crispe's office address, phone, and email are:
114 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301
802 (dash) 254 (dash) 4441
lcrispe (at) crispe (dot) com
Volunteers should be skilled in the analysis and interpretation of financial and economic issues, and should be able to read and interpret financial statements. It would help if they are willing to analyze the financial aspects of a particular branch or two of Town Government, the Schools, etc. They should be willing to meet a few times on weekday late afternoons or evenings before Representative Town Meeting in March. A relevant college degree would be helpful but may not be necessary if you can establish your credibility, background. or experience otherwise.
You do not have to be a member of Representative Town Meeting to serve on this Committee.
I have in mind preparing a succinct report for the Town Representatives. I have not made up my mind on any specific issues to address, and would be happy to receive suggestions from the general public. It is desirable that our report be a product of the entire Committee, once it is formed, and not just myself.
John V. Wilmerding, MBA
802 (dash) 254 (dash) 2826
wilmerding (at) myfairpoint (dot) net