Provincetown Association of Concerned Citizens

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The Declaration of Independence


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which

have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station

to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires

 that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

 certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any

 Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute                                   

new Government..........

 

 

Click Here to see the complete Declaration of Independence

Click Here

To Read the MOPC Goodrich Report Click Here

Click Here For Details that explain the driving force behind all of the Town Hall machinations..... "Connecting the Dots"!

Click Here For a Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law

Click Here For Marcum Report

Click Here for Police Union Rebuttal to Marcum Report

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
   
A Guide to Financial Management for Town Officials  (Excerpted)
   
Role of the Finance Committee 
   
Chapter 5.1:WHAT ARE THE BASIC ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE?
The finance committee is the official fiscal watchdog for a town. Because it is difficult for all taxpayers to be completely informed about every aspect of a town’s finances, finance committees were established so a representative group of taxpayers could conduct a thorough review of municipal finance questions on behalf of all citizens.The role of the finance committee is described in the Massachusetts Finance Committee Handbook published by the Association of Town Finance Committees. A new edition is published every few years, with annual supplements published in the intervening years. It is an excellent resource on the role of the finance committee.The primary duties of a finance committee are to advise and make recommendations to town meeting on the budget and other areas of finance. It has statutory authority to make transfers from the town’s reserve fund (a contingency fund usually created as part of the annual budget appropriations) to departmental budgets for extraordinary or unforeseen occurrences. It may approve with the selectmen some budget transfers during the last two months of the fiscal year and the first 15 days of the next year in order to close out the town’s financial records.In addition to its research and advisory role at town meeting, the committee can play a vital role in the financial planning of the town. In some communities, the finance committee develops long-range revenue and expenditure forecasts, which are very useful in scheduling large capital acquisitions and identifying major changes in the operating budget of the town.
   
The Association of Town Finance Committees
   
Finance Committee Handbook (Excerpted)
The ATFC has received many calls involving the duties and power of the finance committee. These have usually been instigated by clashes with the board of selectmen or town administrator, who are often getting more assertive in claiming a role, or even asserting sole responsibility, in presenting the budget to town meeting. This preface will duplicate parts of the following chapters, but I feel it important to bring together key elements of this issue.This preface will summarize this “discussion” into the broader framework of the division of powers within local government. I see this division of powers as comparable to that at the state and federal government. The board of selectmen and town manager/administrator/executive secretary are part of the executive branch of government. It is their job to collect budget information, developbudget priorities and formulate a balanced budget,the same as a president or governor.Once developed, that budget is presented to the finance committee, representing the legislative branch, the town meeting. In effect, the local finance committee has the same role as the House Ways and Means Committee in the State Legislature. It is the finance committee’s responsibility to receive the budgets from the executive branch (either as a collective whole or individually by department), analyze them, have hearings where the department heads and the public can testify, and present a balanced budget to town meeting. That budget should reflect the finance committee’s decisions based upon their best judgement of the issues and finances of the town.The budget before town meeting is the finance committee’s and it is their job to explain and defend it. This does not preclude department heads or the town administrator, if any, from being called upon to answer questions or explain items in more detail, but it is the finance committee’s budget. 
 
Without finance committee independent review, the town meeting would be at a severe handicap in voting on financial matters when all of the recommendations are coming from one source. Separation of powers was designed by our founding fathers for a reason—Defend It.

Respectfully,

Allan Tosti,

Chair, Arlington Finance Committee

Treasurer, ATFC

Editor, Finance Committee Handbook

Chapter 1 Town & Town Government 
The finance committee’s prime responsibility is to make recommendations on all financial matters,including the budget, to town meeting. The committee has oversight responsibility for all municipalfinancial matters, as well as other statutory authority granted to them by town bylaws Page 1-5
   
Chapter 2  Municipal Budgeting Finance Committee
The finance committee is a town’s official fiscal watchdog. Its primary responsibility is to advise and make recommendations to town meeting on the budget and other areas of finance, although in many towns they prepare and submit the budget as well as comment on it. The state statutory authority of the finance committee does not vary from community to community, but the role and process does. Page 2-7 
   
Town Meeting
Town meeting is the legislative body and appropriating authority of a town. As such, it enacts bylaws (i.e., local laws), approves the operating and capital budgets, authorizes the town to borrow funds and may ratify major policies concerning the financial management of the municipality. Page 2-8 
   
The Finance Committee Report
The finance committee should promote the implementation of a budget process that results in a clear and meaningful budget document. The annual budget is the opportunity to present the voters with a clear picture of town government: what it is, where it is, and where it is heading.The finance committee report is the extremely critical end-product of the budget development process. This document should inform town meeting of the proposed budget and its recommendations on all financial articles. Further, the report often establishes the appropriation framework for the upcoming year.Whether or not the finance committee prepares the town’s budget, the committee is responsible for submitting recommendations on the budget and other financial warrant articles to town meeting.The finance committee report provides analyses,explanations, and justifications for its recommendations. Although the level of detail varies from town to town, more informative reports include financial and statistical data, often trace historical trends and specific appropriations. However, there is no need to duplicate information already presented in a comprehensive budget document.The town’s financial condition, the issues posed by the budget, local bylaws, customs and traditions,and the interests and skills of committee members will all shape the finance committee report. Often,town staff assists the finance committee in preparing the report, and in larger towns the finance committee may have its own staff. Pages 2-11 & 2-12
 
Summary
A local government’s budgeting process should provide a forum for the community to understand,evaluate, discuss, and determine the financial planfor the coming year. The budget document and the finance committee’s report are the media that should guide and influence these resource allocation deliberations and decisions. Properly prepared and presented, these comprehensive documents will meet the tests of excellence in budgeting as espoused by the GFOA, the national, stateand local government standard setters. Page 2-13
 
Chapter 3 THE FINANCE COMMITTEE:
  
STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS
In 1870, a group of Quincy citizens banded together to restore financial order in their municipality,creating the Commonwealth’s first finance committee.In 1910, the Massachusetts courts ruled that a municipal finance committee was legal (Sinclair v. Fall River, 198 Mass 248). In that same year, the Massachusetts General Court also acknowledged the need for municipal finance committees statewide, requiring all but the smallest municipalities to establish such committees to assist in dealing with emerging municipal challenges (St 1910, Ch.130, s 2). Several additional legislative assists (i.e.,St 1923, Ch. 388 and St 1929, Ch. 270), reinforced the mandated or permitted existence of municipal finance committees. Page 3-1
 
Basic Legislation
The present basic legislation, Chapter 39 s16M.G.L. reads as follows:“Every town whose valuation for the purpose of apportioning the state tax exceed sone million dollars shall, and any other town may, by bylaw provide for the election or the appointment and duties of appropriation,advisory or finance committees, who shall consider any or all municipal questions for the purpose of making reports or recommendations to the town; and such bylaws may provide that committees so appointed or elected may continue in office for terms not exceeding three years from the date of appointment or election. In every town having a committee appointed under authority of this section, such committee, or the selectmen if authorized by bylaw of the town, and, in any town not having such a committee, the selectmen,shall submit a budget at the annual town meeting.”Almost every town across the state interprets this statute differently and has established its local finance committee to meet the community’s specific needs. In some towns, for example, the finance committee may prepare as well as comment on the budget. It is generally agreed that finance committees may consider any matter they feel will have a fiscal impact on the town, as well as any other matters the committee feels are relevant. It may reasonably be argued that little comes before town meeting that does not have a potential fiscal impact on the town. Page 3-1
 
Budget
Down to Basics The budget is a finance committee’s major concernand is likely where the bulk of the committee’s time will be spent. Depending on whether a givenf inance committee is responsible for developing the town budget from scratch or for reviewing and making recommendations on a budget developedby the selectmen, town manager or executive secretary,the finance committee will meet fairly regularly for three to six months before town meeting. Most of that time will be devoted to budget development and review.Throughout the budget cycle, the committee’s main goals should be:
• to optimize the value of each dollar spent;
• to address the town’s long range as well as immediate needs;
• to present a balanced budget to town  meeting; and
• to present budget recommendations in a clear and readable format, with sufficient detail and explanation so that town meeting members can understand the basic goals, policies,tradeoffs and constraints that shaped it.
Experienced finance committee members learn to read between the budget’s line items and see the policy decisions, and indecisions, built into the numbers. The finance committee should be willing to share that insight with town meeting. Page 3-6
  
Ideally, the finance committee can support its recommendations at town meeting without alienating advocates for opposing viewpoints. Where compromise is possible, the subcommittee should also work with the opposing sides come to a responsible resolution of their differences. Although the finance committee can and should advocate for its own position, its reports should make it clear that a given position was reached after fair and thoughtful deliberation. No matter how important or controversial the issue at hand may be, the finance committee must remember that its first responsibility and loyalty is to town meeting and the integrity of the town meeting process.Pages 3-8 & 3-9

                                                                                                                                                   

Release the 100 Emails!

To: Provincetown Board of Selectmen

We understand why the previous BOS withheld the 100 Emails. But why are they now still being denied publication?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Speaking of the Charter

For all the hullabulou about the changes in the charter and the Ad Hoc committee
to Revise the Charter and the present Charter Commission, well nothing changed.
All that hoopla, all the many meetings, and official revisions proposed,
nothing.

Such is the state here and the no change, in this case, was the right decision.

Another Candyland [et al] fantasy that went kaput!
12:18 pm est 

Shellfish Warden

Does anyone know what a Shellfish warden does 5 days a week, 52 weeks
a year?  Is it really a full-time year-round position?
12:17 pm est 

Town Positions Have to Be Posted

This David Gardner did not do. He is quilty of personal picking--that is
patronage--and people land in jail for doing this. These are public positions
and the job description and qualifications need to be legally advertised. and
then, from the list, Gardner can select. But he cannot simply pick anyone on the
street for any position. Poor management here, that is for sure.



Mr. Gardner may appoint someone to a temporary 'acting' position and no posting
is required.  Should he want to hire a permanent assistant town manager he is
required to post the position.
12:16 pm est 

Re: Brian Carlson

Community Development Department

Was Mr. Carlson the head of Community Development and the regulatory boards?
That's news to my ears because when going before  the regulatory boards we
always worked with the former Permit Coordinator Ms. Notaro (who by the way we
miss very much) and now the present one who is Mr. Hamnquest. The only times I
was told to speak with Mr. Carlson is if I had any septic or conservation
involved in my applications because Mr. Carlson handled health and conservation.
12:14 pm est 

Banner Cover Page - Is the Big News Here the white Fox?

Is this what the Banner now has to offer? Is this news analysis? Headlines and
"analysis"? We are down to this. No news. No interpretive analysis. No grasp of
what is actually happening.

We may not need the Banner. Too little, too late.
12:13 pm est 

Re: Duarte's Parking Lot

"Second, who the heck are you to decide that the life's work of a
family should not be sold at whatever price they can get for it."



An appraiser told me that in eminent domain cases the owner always gets more han
the property is worth on the open market.
12:10 pm est 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Brian Carlson - Wellfleet assistant Town Manager

Given What Brian Carlson Presents as His Responsibilities in
Provincetown

Why didn't David Gardner appoint HIM acting town manager? He says he ran and
managed the community Development Department and then he has done even more--he
ran and handled all regulatory boards. Who knew? Amazing!

why didn't most of us know this? He must have been running around so fast and
furiously, we missed his leadership and management of everything down there.
Wow!
10:47 am est 

Assistant Town Manager

Town Positions Have to Be Posted

This David Gardner did not do. He is quilty of personal picking--that is
patronage--and people land in jail for doing this. These are public positions
and the job description and qualifications need to be legally advertised. and
then, from the list, Gardner can select. But he cannot simply pick anyone on the
street for any position. Poor management here, that is for sure.
10:44 am est 

Town Charter and Bylaws

Before people post they should do their research and read what the charter and
bylaws of our town have in writing and adopted. If you are not sure of something
check with our Town Clerk who is very knowledgeable of our laws including things
such as State Ethics and the Open Meeting Laws.
10:43 am est 

Re: They Come, They Go! Nov. 16th

"What's this mean. Is Mr. Carlson leaving to take a job in Wellfleet.
He's not the only one that had protection by Sharon Lynn. There were others of which a
few have left with a couple more that should go. We taxpayers have been paying
decent salaries to some with not much productivity."



Agree, like the         Administrator
10:39 am est 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Brian Carlson

Brian Surely Will Be Over Hid Head

Good luck Wellfleet! maybe Carlson should have taken Gloria with him!
10:57 pm est 

Housing Informational

50 people attended the desperate housing informational

Yowza. Year after year we hear these stories of housing desperation. Experts are
brought here--and from The attendance from Town Hall, the powers that be in town
and the staff associated with housing and the public comes to a total of 59
people.

People from Town hall and housing groups have more people than that all told.

Sheesh..the taxpayers are being sold a bill of goods.
10:55 pm est 

Re: 100 E-Mails

Have they received any answer on the 100 emails?
Thought they were supposed to be provided, OR an detailed explanation given as
to why not.
10:54 pm est 

Jaran's Arbitration

Oh please oh please let the rumor be true that Donegan is going to be
nailed for the town losing to Jaran's arbitration. How awesome would that be!
10:52 pm est 

Duarte's Parking Lot

So all of the super smart people on fb are now trying to figure out a
way to take Duarte's Parking lot by eminent domain. WTF. First, I won't vote at
town meeting to spend  2,3, 4 or whatever million dollars needed to buy the lot.
Second, who the heck are you to decide that the life's work of a family should
not be sold at whatever price they can get for it. Why not just take the Harbor
Hotel, demolish it and build a police station there say for a million dollars.
Why not take the Ted Malone's property of of Race Point Road, say for 200
thousand. Come on. Put a parking lot where the VFW is and move on.
10:51 pm est 

Re: David Gardner

"Respect Goes With Respectful Actions

They are linked. Act aggressively and authoritarian, and you lose respect"


Personally I kinda like it when someone can act with deliberate speed.  You can
call it aggressive.  Others might call it assertive.  As far as being
authoritarian, what does that mean in this context?  I suspect it means that you
don't like what Gardner did.  Oh, weel, there is a solution.  Apply for the TM
job.  Then you can be on the receiving end of all this BS.

It sure does, and your opinion counts as much as Gardiner's (but really a lot
less since you don't work at town hall). I thought that the BOS had to approve
the hire.  is it safe to say that they did or is it up for a vote at some future
agenda?
10:48 pm est 

Re: David Gardner

David Gardner please take the Town Manager's position. This nonsense
with the BOS search committee and lack of a new police chief has to stop. Please
take the position because you are better than anyone at town hall when it comes
to ignoring the crazies.
10:45 pm est 

Re: Cheryl Andrews

It has become painfully obvious that Cheryl Andrews thinks she would
be a better Chairman of the Board of Selectmen than the Chair elected by the
Board majority.
She is constantly making faces, looking disgusted with the Chair, and trying to
either discredit or challenge his effort to make meetings productive.
Maybe if she supported this Board, and I am not saying agree with everything,
but SUPPORT the efforts and not try to discredit any idea that is not her own,
maybe we could move forward with an agenda.
Ms. Andrews, we challenge you to be the person you said you would be during your
campaign. You have become the "Austin Knight" of this new Board, and you are
slowing progress with your selfish, self-centered behavior. Many of us who voted
for you are rethinking our votes.
It isn't to late to change.
10:43 pm est 

Re: David Gardner

"Until now. This act of personally appointing--without any public
posting of the position--without anyone else being able to apply--changes my
attitude of him. what is he going to do next? Appoint a new police chief?
Appoint a new Health Director--and all in a patronage manner? This is bad policy
and poor decision making."

"all in a patronage manner"? What does that mean?


From what has been posted here it seems that Gardiner has both the right and
duty to appoint certain employees.  Where do see any laws or rules that say that
he can't do this or that it must be done according to a certain guideline?

From what has been shown, he is just doing what the charter says that he can and
should do.  So maybe he deserves praise for doing his job according to the rules
instead of damning him for not following your made-up stuff.
10:40 pm est 

Re: Cheryl Andrews Has Our Back!

At the Board of Selectmen meeting the Residential Tax Exemption was rejected in
a 4-1.   Selectwoman Andrews cast the only vote to support the exemption.  What
was Cheryl Andrews' explanation for this vote.  As a part time resident, I'd
like to hear her justification.  I heard that she reads this blog daily, so
maybe she could respond and make her position clear.
10:38 pm est 

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