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



This Week at the Provincetown Public Library

Library Closed in Observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28

                                                                                                                                                   

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?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Illustration: Thanksgiving dinner

Happy Thanksgiving Provincetown

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to All

I can only hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Being here in
Provincetown is great and having Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends
just so wonderful.

To one and all: Happy Thanksgiving!
9:06 pm est 

It's Important to Know the Town

You don't have to be born here but you should know the town. You should know its
history and value its past.

I find too many who are here know little of the past and sadly care little. they
know almost nothing of the artists who lived here, where they lived and what
they painted and wrote.

They come in, too arrogantly, and believe history begins when they arrive. that
is a problem and it separates and divides the town.

It seems like a purposeful amnesia and ahistorical if not anti-historical
approach. this is a small town with so much history that needs understanding and
respect.
9:05 pm est 

Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!  ".......And the Greatest of these is LOVE"
10:20 am est 

Gardner The Charter and Our "Laws"

We have a charter and we have laws, local laws and state laws that we must abide
by but do we? Are they saying  inside they make their own laws and disregard the
laws that must be upheld. Wasnt there talk on this blog about an employee
shirking ethics laws. Don't we hold seminars or training on certain things for
our towm employees. We don't just go out and hire people to be cops without
first having them trained do we.i would like to think and know as a taxpayer
that the people that work for us are doing the right things and are above board.
10:18 am est 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Re: They May Be Running This Town---But Who Are They?

"Outsiders. People who were never born here. Others who live here but
hardly know this town."



In your opinion the only way to know the town is to be born here,eh?  What if
someone came here at 1 year old? how about 7?  Would twelve work?   How about 30
but really smart and with lots of energy?

Your attitude defies belief.  Where one is born has absolutely nothing to do
with ambition, ability, work ethic or anything else that is required to know and
understand a place, its people and its problems.  Granted that a person who
shows up on Monday and by friday wants us to believe that they really know us
and the town, is full of it.
10:25 am est 

Re: Shellfish Warden

What Tony did will take at least two people to do but isn't that always the way
when a long time employee leaves and someone new is hired. Dedication and
dedication and dedication is what Tony has. Truro is very lucky to get him. Let
me guess, Truro offered more money than we did so he's going to Truro? What's
wrong with us that we would let a very dedicated long time employee go who knows
his job very well. We will end up paying two people what we had in one. NICE!
10:24 am est 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Post Away on the Blogs

Show how sad you are. How unhappy with his death.

Do you think they care?

Do you think they even know who you are sad for? Who this wonderful man really
was?

I doubt it. Write on, my friend, but you write for a non-audience.
9:20 pm est 

They May Be Running This Town---But Who Are They?

Outsiders. People who were never born here. Others who live here but hardly know
this town. And then the others, yes the others who want what they want
regardless of what rules they break.

Sad to see who is now running this town.
9:18 pm est 

Re: David Gardner - Appointment of Assistant Town Manger

"What an utterly ignorant remark! It is amazing that one can find fault with
quoting the law. The Charter defines the rules and procedures by which
employment is implemented.

Your remarks define your contempt for due process and label you as
devoid of wit!"


I don't get it at all.  Too many people here on any side of an issue
have a real problem with fact.  For example,  there is a post that seems to
quote the law about hiring employees for the town.  I read it several times but
for some reason it gives no information about te source.  Then we have a couple
of posters who start a cat fight over te charter.  Well, I went to the town
website and can't find anything in the charter about hiring employees.  So I
went to the by-laws and bingo,there it is.

So folks the lesson is:  do a little research on easily obtainable info before
spouting off
9:05 pm est 

Re: David Gardner - Appointment of Assistant Town Manger

So Few really Know the Charter

and yet quote it, write it, reframe it. Yet they hardly know the law.
6:51 pm est 

Re: David Gardner - Appointment of Assistant Town Manger


"Here is the law about employment. It states very clearly that all positions
must be advertised in the newspaper. But, it allows an appointment for short
duration while the advertising is ongoing. I wonder if the TM job was ever
advertised locally and has the ATM job been advertised. Too often the BOS does
not know the charter and by-laws and acts as they feel is ok. Not maliciously
or conspiratorially , but ignorantly."


""Oh, right! Quote Us the Charter
give us a break. so unintellectual. Keep on quoting, kid. Keep right on.""


What an utterly ignorant remark! It is amazing that one can find fault with
quoting the law. The Charter defines the rules and procedures by which
employment is implemented.

Your remarks define your contempt for due process and label you as
devoid of wit!

6:25 pm est 

Re: David Gardner - Appointment of Assistant Town Manger

"Town Charter

"6-2. Employment.

6-2-1. Solicitation of candidates.
No employee shall be hired by any agency of the town without there first being
solicitation of candidates for the position in a newspaper of general circulation
in the town at least two consecutive weeks.

6-2-2. Temporary appointment to continue essential function. This bylaw is not
applicable to temporary appointments of not more than six weeks duration, made
for the purpose of continuing an essential function while the
solicitation-selection process proceeds under this bylaw."

"Here is the law about employment. It states very clearly that all positions
must be advertised in the newspaper. But, it allows an appointment for short
duration while the advertising is ongoing. I wonder if the TM job was ever
advertised locally and has the ATM job been advertised. Too often the BOS does
not know the charter and by-laws and acts as they feel is ok. Not maliciously
or conspiratorially , but ignorantly."



Oh, right! Quote Us  the Charter

give us a break. so unintellectual. Keep on quoting, kid. Keep right on.
5:33 pm est 

Re: Shellfish Warden

Why Not a Part-time shellfish Warden?

Half time with Tony Jackette is full time for anyone else. Why don't we hire him
half time?
1:27 pm est 

Re: David Gardner - Appointment of Assistant Town Manger

Town Charter

"6-2. Employment.

6-2-1. Solicitation of candidates.
No employee shall be hired by any agency of the town without there first being
solicitation of candidates for the position in a newspaper of general circulation
in the town at least two consecutive weeks.

6-2-2. Temporary appointment to continue essential function. This bylaw is not
applicable to temporary appointments of not more than six weeks duration, made
for the purpose of continuing an essential function while the
solicitation-selection process proceeds under this bylaw."

Here is the law about employment.  It states very clearly that all positions
must be advertised in the newspaper.  But, it allows an appointment for short
duration while the advertising is ongoing. I wonder if the TM job was ever
advertised locally and has the ATM job been advertised.  Too often the BOS does
not know the charter and by-laws and acts as they feel is ok.  Not maliciously
or conspiratorially , but ignorantly.
12:03 pm est 

Re: Shellfish Warden

Tony Jackett will be sorely missed as the Warden for Provincetown. He is
even-tempered with a level head on his shoulders and is always there to listen
and help and he knows his job more than very well. Let's hope we don't end up
with some pompous full of him or herself looking for power and to make a name
for themselves. Maybe we need to clam in Truro once in a while just to pay a
visit to Tony to let him know how much we will miss him.
12:15 am est 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Executive Director of HOW

Has anyone heard that the newly hired Executive Director of HOW is no
longer with the organization, her last day was Friday.

What happened?
8:12 pm est 

Re: Shellfish Warden

Anyone Who Loves clamming Has Much Respect for Mr. Jackette

He is always there and present. He takes his job seriously and has for many
years. He is knowledgeable. a great guy and a great harbormaster. Part-time with
him appears to be full-time anyways.
2:02 pm est 

Re: Shellfish Warden

Tony Jackett is the Best

I think he is doing part-time work here in Provincetown and full time in Truro.
I would hate to lose him. He is always there on the flats and is so
conscientious. tony is a great asset and a wonderful shellfish warden.

He can do it all!
12:19 pm est 

Re: Shellfish Warden

You can do one of two things or even both, ask tony or get the job description
from the Town Hall. Don't rely on someone else who thinks they might know,
instead go directly to the source.
10:01 am 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?


I WANT TO KNOW HOW CAN HE BE THE SHELLFISH WARDEN FOR BOTH OTOWN AND TRURO?

How dies that work?
9:59 am est 

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