Sunday, June 8, 2014
Important Positions Quietly Filled
With no fanfare or even just a basic announcement (other than updating the town website), Moderator Jim Pistrang made two appointments -- Stephen Braun and Bernie Kubiak -- to the all important Finance Committee, a sort of watchdog financial adviser to Town Meeting.
Former FinCom Chair Andy Steinberg resigned after winning a seat on the Select Board in the 3/25 election, and rookie member Sarah Swartz recently resigned for personal reasons. Probably the bigger of the two losses since she had experience running a small business.
Oddly, FinCom does not make recommendations concerning the viability of projects financed with Community Preservation Act money.
Which always seems to be used for funding controversial articles, like the recent $1.25 million in public money spent to keep 41 private units of housing at Rolling Green Apartments affordable.
Yes, the FinCom recommendation was unanimously in favor of that warrant article. With any CPA article, however, their deliberation is to simply confirm the purchase falls within the state guidelines for use of CPA money -- and not on the merits of the purchase itself.
And I'm quite sure more than a few Town Meeting members do not get the distinction.
Since the town attorney also goes over any use of CPA spending for legality issues, the Finance Committee duplication is a waste of time.
This becomes even more important as Town Meeting voted to place an increase in the CPA surcharge from current 1.5% to 3% on the November election ballot.
I shudder to think of the excesses we will see at future Town Meetings if that double down is enacted. All of them unanimously approved by the Finance Committee.