August 17, 2005
The Board of Finance held a special meeting on this date at 7:30 p.m. at the Police Station meeting room. Members present were Glenn Frishman, Chairman; John O’Brien; Bryan Bentz; Dudley Wheeler and Kevin Burns. Andrew Rines, Secretary was absent.
Also present were Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance; George Sylvestre, Director of Administrative Services and William Brown, First Selectman.
Mr. Frishman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Frishman informed the members of Andy Rines illness. It was agreed by all members present that Mr. John O’Brien would act as Secretary until Mr. Rines return.
Policies & Procedures
Mr. Frishman referred to the letter sent to Mr. Brown and Mr. Sylvestre regarding pay rate policies and Healthcare costs. He welcomed Mr. Sylvestre.
Mr. Sylvestre came before the Board accompanied by two representatives of The Segal Company to address Healthcare costs. Mr. Frishman asked what steps the Town can take to minimize or slow down the escalating costs and what are the contributing factors to the increasing costs. Steve May of Segal Company responded that self-insurance is a risk with a 13-15% overall trend increase. He added that the Town has had 7 large claims. Mr. O’Brien asked if the Town is too small to be self-insured. Mr. May replied that no it is the most efficient plan but the Town will absorb the volatility. They then briefly discussed IBNR’s (Incurred But Not Recorded) this is recognition of a potential claim.
Also discussed, the quality of the benefits package, increasing co-pays, use of consumer driven health products, wellness programs and drug benefits.
Mr. Burns asked if the Town could reduce costs by combining a benefits package with another Town. Mr. May replied that 94% of CT. is already with Anthem Blue Cross but wouldn’t work because of conflicting unions and benefits packages.
At this time First Selectman Brown joined Mr. Sylvestre before the Board to discuss policies and procedures in regard to merit raises. Mr. Sylvestre referred to a February 24, 2005 memo. Mr. O’Brien stated that a memo is fine but the questions they have is why mid term raises are not reflected in the budget figures. Mr. Sylvestre replied that the mechanics present a problem; he added that there have been transitions to key positions and salary levels have varied to fill these positions and maintain staff. The members all indicated that they agree and understand this but still feel it should be indicated in the budget figures. They suggested a footnote showing any merit raises given through the year. Mr. O’Brien also asked where the funds for these merit raises come from. Mr. Sylvestre
stated that it is from Labor Negotiations. Mr.Sylvestre stated that the issue will be addressed and he will come before the Board prior to printing of the next budget.
Request from William Brown, First Selectman for an additional appropriation of $361,000. Mrs. Stevens provided for the members a summary of Generator expenditures. After a brief discussion Mr. Bentz made a motion to approve and recommend to Town meeting an appropriation of $361,000 for the purchase of a 600kw generator and associated equipment for a completely functional emergency shelter at the High school, a budget line will be created under Emergency Services titled Generator. Mr. O’Brien seconded and voting was unanimous. Mr. Wheeler questioned Mr. Paul Sartor, Chairman of the K-12 Building Committee who was in the audience why the committee returned funds to the Board of Education.
Director of Finance
Budget Transfers- Mrs. Stevens provided for the members a document listing all transfers, which included Department, Account number and account name. She also provided the draft form of the Budget Amendments. This item was table to the September meeting.
Mr. O’Brien made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 9 meeting as presented. Mr. Wheeler seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.
Letter from M*A*S*H (Mystic Area Shelter and Hospitality, Inc.) thanking the Town for renewed funding.
Mr. O’Brien reported that the High School project is on schedule.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Wheeler made a motion to adjourn. Mr. O’Brien seconded and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:11 p.m.