Events: 2009 Archives
We honor those who have served the United States in this Monday's Memorial Day Observance.
All are invited. To march along, go to the Community Center parking lot between 9:30 and 10.
The observance will start at the World War I memorial in front of the Community Center at 10. From there it's a short walk to Oyster Pond to remember those lost at sea and those who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The procession will then head to Sears Park on Cross Street via the rotary and Main Street where Chamber of Commerce President Scott Hamilton will read the Gettysburg Address and a wreath will be placed at the base of the Civil War memorial.
Finally, the participants will proceed back to the rotary (named the Veterans Memorial Traffic Circle) for the major event of the observance, approximately at 11 o'clock.
The Chatham High School Band, led by Chris Roberts, will play. Speakers will include Ron Eppler, senior vice president of the Chatham Veterans of Foreign Wars, who will speak on behalf of post commander Mark Butler, who is currently on active duty in the Air Force. Jan Crowell, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, will also speak. Lt. Kate Hansen of the Chatham Fire Department will play “Taps” at each memorial, and Keith Bradley, choir director at the First United Methodist Church, will perform “God Bless America.”
The Cape Cod Chronicle has prepared an excellent map of the route, which is reproduced below. Click on the image for a larger picture, which can be printed out by right clicking on the larger image.
This is also a good time to remember to donate to help those who have served and are in need. There are three excellent charities listed on the right side of this page which one can click directly to to make a donation.
Finally, from noon to noon from Sunday to Monday at the K-Mart Plaza in Hyannis there is a rally to show that Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops organized by a 16-year old from Brewster. For details, click here. You can drop off a Care package for troops or make a donation online.
Bring your copy of the Warrant to the meeting.
Bring your copy of the Warrant to the meeting.
GET READY FOR TOWN MEETING.
LEARN THE ISSUES.
DECIDE HOW TO VOTE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
TAXPAYERS CAN WIN
The Selectmen's agenda for their regular Tuesday meeting at 4 has changed and a special meeting has been set for Friday at 4. Responses from the unions and the non-union employees to the Selectmen's proposal for an across-the-board compensation freeze to avoid property tax increases and staff layoffs were asked to be in on or before Tuesday's meeting. Now the union response is scheduled for Friday's special meeting.
This is the revised Tuesday agenda dealing with ATM Warrant Articles, the discussion to be led by Town Manager Hinchey:
• Article 8 – Cost of Living Increases -- (CCT comment (that's Chatham Concerned Taxpayers): federal statistics show we are in a zero inflation environment and such discussions are premature before receipt of the employees freeze response.)
• Article 9 – Stabilization Fund
(Police/Fire Overtime; Library; Circuit Breaker) (CCT comment: Funding excessive Police and Fire overtime is not the purpose of the Stabillization Fund.)
• Article 11 – Five-Year Capital Authorization (CCT comment: Should the Town not take a "pause" in its building plans during such financially stressed times?)
• Article 12 – Stabilization (Trailers) (CCT comment: Trailers for the Recycling Area from the Stabilization Fund?)
General Discussion - Hotel/Motel Tax; Meals Tax W. Hinchey
( CCT comment: Presumably this is about possible State House legislative action to permit cities and towns to expand taxes for local retention. These punish second home owners and hurt local businesses.)
General Discussion – Operating Budget Goals W. Hinchey
(CCT Comment: The Selectmen's stated goal on record is to avoid overrides in connection with the FY10 budget. CCT's goal is no property tax increase for FY10.)
The agenda for the Friday's Selectmen's meeting at 4:
Article 6 – Operating Budget W. Hinchey
• Union Response (CCT comment: If they say yes, they realize how taxpayers are suffering, taxpayers save $700,000,)
• Additional School Cuts (CCT: needed, but not that much, only $300K)
• Additional Town Cuts (needed, but not that much, only $300K, with the Schools)
• Article 10 – Lighthouse Beach (swiim or sand only)
• Other Action (CCT comment: Stand up for the taxpayers)
• Ballot Question (CCT: Ratify that taxpayers will be heard and property taxes will not be increased)
The Selectmen have been going through the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2010 very carefully. They have raised numerous questions about increases asked for in the budget that will drive property taxes up about 5% for all Chatham taxpayers. It could be even more if other revenues the town receives fall off, such as hotel/motel and motor vehicle excise taxes. Chatham Concerned Taxpayers has been monitoring meetings of the Selectmen and the Finance Committee as they go over the wish lists. The School Committee presented what appears to be its biggest increase request in percentage and dollars in recent memory and has thus far made no adjustments to its requests.
The Selectmen have expressed significant concern about hitting property taxpayers with more taxes during these financially disastrous times. To hold the line on spending and to keep the property taxes flat, the Town has to peel back desired increases by about $1 million from the operating budget. The Selectmen by a 4-0 vote asked the unions and other employees to agree to an across-the-board compensation freeze for fiscal 2010, which would reduce excess spending from $1 million to $300 thousand. Chatham Concerned Taxpayers pointed out that the nation is currently in a period of zero inflation, so cost of living increases (and other increases) for town employees in such a time seem bizarre for private sector taxpayers who aren't getting any bump-up in income. The union and other employees were asked to respond to the Board on or before this Tuesday, February 24.
Assuming town employees take account of the difficulties of town taxpayers, the additional reduction in spending increases of $300K should be doable in a $32 million budget, less than 1%.
Property taxes are also impacted substantially by capital projects, which are planned outside the operating budget. To hold the line on property taxes will require a freeze on capital spending for FY10 as well. In other words, during these tough times, should not the town take a spending break on capital projects until economic times improve? The so-called debt dropoff used in recent years should be used to reduce property taxes or to build up the Stabilization Fund to save for emergencies in FY11.
As the agenda set forth below shows, this coming Tuesday the Town Manager will present his proposals about capital projects to be brought up at the Annual Town Meeting on May 11th. Such proposals can have very significant impacts on the property tax. The Selectmen may disclose the response of town employees to the across-the-board freeze proposal. Without such a freeze, personnel layoffs are almost certain unless the property taxpayers are forced to pay for such pay raises in increased taxes.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Board of Selectmen meets, Town Hall, Channel 18, 4 p.m.
Sean Summers, Chairman
Agenda on ATM Warrants
Article 6 – Operating Budget
Article 8 – Cost of Living Increases for Town Employees (in a zero inflation environment)
Article 9 – Stabilization Fund – Use of funds for PD/Fire overtime and library
Article 11 – General Obligation Bonds – five year capital plan
Article 12 – Stabilization Fund – use of funds for transfer station trailers
Articles -- May discuss hotel/motel tax revenues and possible State House actions on same and meals tax
Ballot Question – Operating Budget
Today, Thursday, February 19, 2009
Finance Committee, Town Hall, Channel 18, 7 p.m.
Coleman Yeaw, Chairman
Budget Review Agenda
FY 10 Health & Human Services Budget
FY 10 Cemetery Budget
FY 10 Parks & Recreation Budget
FY 10 Highway Department Budget
FY 10 Transfer Station Budget
The following is the revised agenda for the February 4th morning meeting kick-off of Chatham Concerned Taxpayers.
February 4, 2009
Chatham Community Center
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
1. Welcome and explanation of why we're gathering -- Fran Meaney.
2. Role of Selectmen, School Committee, Finance Committee and voters at the Annual Town Meeting in the FY10 spending program and the outlook for the balance of this fiscal year (five months left), FY 2010 and 2011 -- Chairman of the Board of Selectment Sean Summers.
4. PowerPoint presentation -- Phil Dupont. This will cover the growth of town spending, the names of the key decision makers, the proposed spending plan, cost of living, the schools and other matters at town meeting that can impact the property tax,
5. Discussion by attendees of what actions might be undertaken by concerned taxpayers
5. Volunteers for work assignments
6. Next Steps
7. Other matters
NOTE: It is essential that we get the email of everyone who believes this is a time for fiscal restraint. Email will be our principal mode of communication because it's fast and cheap. The website www.chatamct.org will be frequently updated with pertinent information as well.
Coffee, tea and donuts for all.
Meeting schedules for the Selectmen, School Committee and Finance Committee can be found on town websites. The main town website is http://www.town.chatham.ma.us/Public_Documents/index It contains a great deal of information. It has schedules of meetings and lists the names of people serving on town committees and public officials, except for the School Committee and the Superintendent: Their names and schedule can be found on the separate website http://www.chatham.k12.ma.us/
Also online at the main town website, anyone can sign up to be emailed the agenda for each Board of Selectmen’s meeting.
Here are the usual meeting schedules as they now stand:
Board of Selectmen, weekly, Tuesdays at 4 p.m., Town Hall
The Board will be scheduling special extra meetings on town spending in these tough times. The first is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 4, 1 to 3 p.m., Town Hall, Channel 18
First Wednesday of each month at 7:00 P.M.
Elizabeth Reynard Library
Chatham Middle/High Schools
425 Crowell Road 02633
February 4, 2009
March 4, 2009
April 1, 2009
May 6, 2009
School Committee Policy Meetings
5:00 P.M. Superintendent’s Conference Room
Next on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Finance Committee, Thursdays, 7 p.m., Town Hall, Channel 18.
Channel 18 broadcasts of the meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee are posted on the town websites promptly after each meeting and can be watched on an "On Demand" basis through the town website.
Because of the changing financial situation and the concern about holding the line on spending, additional special sessions are likely to be scheduled.
Taxpayer participation can make a difference. Show up, listen, ask questions, give views and be heard.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Selectmen meet on town budget, 1-3 p.m., Town Hall
Selectmen's regular meeeting, 4 p.m. Town Hall
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Chatham Concerned Taxpayers, 8 a.m., Chatham Community Center (volunteer group)
School Committee meets, 7 p.m., 425 Crowell Road
Thursday, February 5, Finance Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall