Board of Finance finishes year

The final Board of Finance meeting of the 2013 calendar year began with the election of officers. With no surprises, and the usual lighthearted approach of the board, Warren Serenbetz was re-elected to serve as chairman.

“Warren has done such an excellent job that I think he should continue,” Lynne Vanderslice said, followed by a second from Al Alper.

Mr. Serenbetz was unanimously returned to the position, with Ms. Vanderslice joining him as vice chairman.

“I can’t operate as chairman without Lynne as my vice chairman,” he said.

James Meinhold said he will be leaving the area eventually, and believed it would be best for him to resign as clerk. He nominated Richard Creeth, who was also unanimously elected.

Rob Daniele, of the firm O’Connor Davies CPA, presented the final audit review.

He said revenues came in favorably at $1.5 million as compared to the final budget, with taxes collected at 99.3%. Mr. Daniele described that as “extremely positive.”

Expenditures saw savings in all categories, with the exception of Public Works and the Fire Department. He attributed that to overtime and storms.

“Overall, it was a well-managed budget, where expenditures came in under budget, with the exception of the two categories that I previously mentioned, and most of that can be attributed to the storm damage,” Mr. Daniele said.

Mr. Daniele’s report needed to be approved by the board, and passed unanimously.

Chief Financial Officer Sandy Dennies reviewed the status of selecting an auditor for 2014, and urged the full board to be a part of the process.

Ms. Vanderslice indicated she would be away, but that if she had a copy of the presentation, she might be able to be involved via telephone. Mr. Serenbetz said it is best to get the issue resolved in January, with budget planning getting deeper in February.

“So it’s going to be everyone to the extent that they’re available,” Mr. Serenbetz said.

Ms. Dennies said she will gather the information and facilitate the interviews so the process stays “open and transparent.”

She updated the board on the status report.

“Licenses, permits and fees are interesting because our largest contribution came from the town clerk. The conveyance tax was collected because there was an increase in the number of properties that were sold through the year.”

Beyond that, she said, everything appeared to be on target, with the exception of the education revenues, which “always come in late in the year.”

The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22.