REPORT OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
Fiscal Year 2005 saw the Town of Abington move from a town administrator form
of management to a Town Manager with clear authority and accountability for the
operation of the town. The town voted to support building a new police station.
The town also voted to accept the proposed plans to turn the Weymouth Naval
Air Base into a mixed use development area. The space will be used for
industrial use as well as housing a community of new residents to the area. The
land will also have open space and recreational facilities for people who live on
the base and for people who live in the surrounding communities.
Fiscal Year 2005 saw some increases in the town's budget. The town has
continued to expand the administrative operations of the town. Abington
received excellent ratings from our annual audit. Our fiscal accounts are in
good order, and the town has set up some very sound accounting practices. The
treasurer's office along with the assessor's office have done excellent work
retrieving property tax payments, and those efforts have helped solidify the
financial foundation of the town.
Fiscal Year 2006 that started on July, 01, 2005 sees the town in better fiscal
shape than we have been in for many years. A lot of our service sectors are
lean, but the departments have done the work with the staffing levels they
have. The town continues to grow. New homes have been built. New
condominiums units have been built. More and more of the available space in
town is being developed. All of this development and growth puts additional
strain on our local resources and governmental structures. As we move forward
we need to focus more attention on staffing many of the departments in town
and how we provide services and supports to our local community.
Many of the buildings, equipment, and capital items need improvements and/ or
need to be upgraded or replaced. The cost for maintaining what the town owns
and what the town needs to service the community's demands and requirements
will be expensive. We need to make a serious and sincere commitment to
address our capital needs. This can be accomplished only by a multi-year
program done in stages. The Town Manager sees this area as one of his
priorities and will be developing a plan to address the demand incrementally
based on what is needed most and what the town has the capacity to fund.
The town also needs to pay attention to our stabilization fund. We need to put
money aside for the next down cycle in the economy. We are not prepared to
weather the next economic storm. Now is the time to put funds aside so we don't
have to cut staff and services and scale back on the town's resources to meet
the challenges of servicing the community when the economy loses momentum.
We need to develop and implement a savings plan much as we are going to do
to address the capital needs of the town. We need to be able to do the work we
need to do in a most responsive and efficient way, and that be accomplished
only when the town has the financial reserves to weather the down times.
Meanwhile, change is the one constant we can all agree upon. We have lost
valuable members of the Finance Committee, people who have served the town
well and given of themselves and their time generously. We say thank you and
good bye to Mr. Thomas Corbett and Mr. Adrian Griego. Tom was elected in this
past local election to serve as one of our Selectmen. We hope someone like
Adrian with his considerable skills and talents will consider service at some
point in the future when he has less demands on his time and life. He was a
wonderful asset to our work effort.
We have been most fortunate to add new people to our ranks. Mr. Jack
McLaughlin has stepped forward to offer us his time and talents. Mr. Jack
Freeman has returned to the Finance Committee after a brief hiatus. During the
past fiscal year the Finance Committee saw some changes and additions that
bolstered our ability to serve the town. Mr. Chris Aiello offered to fill in for the
vacancy left by Tom when he decided to run for elected office. Ms. Jen Oriola
filled a vacancy and has offered us a fresh, new perspective on many issues we
We pay special gratitude to Ms. Deb Libby, our recording secretary. She is going
into her seventh year in this position. She is a stabilizing influence for all of us.
She serves as our historian and our procedures expert. Her contributions to the
work we do are immense. We also want to extend our special thanks to Ms.
Theresa Maze who has agreed to serve another term. She has served the town
well, and we are so pleased she has agreed to continue her stewardship for
another three years.
|Finance Committee - 2005 Annual Report