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

To Follow the Chronicles of Harbor Home III Sailing Adventures

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

Jazz Festival
Please check out these links to Videos & Photos from the 10th Annual Provincetown Jazz Festival:

8 Videos from the Jazz Festival

Photos from the Jazz Festival



The Provincetown Jazz Festival has been awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Investment Portfolio Peers two-year grant and this was a particularly competitive category with a very high caliber of applicants from around the state

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?

      

The Smoke is White! 

We Have a Town Manager Select

On Wednesday, Board of Selectmen Unanimously Elected Richard Reinhard as New Town Manager

 

"My whole professional life I've been about improving cities, towns and neighborhoods," said Reinhard. He has held his current position, as deputy executive director of the Washington D.C. Business Improvement District, for the past seven years. Previously, he was managing director for urban development and infrastructure finance at the Urban Land Institute. He served as CEO of the Niagara Falls Redevelopment Corp. and was an executive director of a business improvement district in Buffalo, New York. He also worked as the chief of staff for the mayor of Buffalo.

Selectmen will  go into executive session to hammer out contract negotiation details

    

 

Happy Birthday Barbara Rushmore!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Re: Finance Director

"Why not point out to Hoort that the state constitution dictates that we can
only have the town meeting form of government instead of unleashing another
typical personal attack."


Why would this person say this? Because Hoort's statement WAS a personal attack
on the town, that's why. How DARE he say this to the people of the town that pay
him? It's another symptom of what has been wrong with the people at town hall.
Somehow, in the last few years, they think it's OK to post insulting things
online and have a general demeanor that they don't SERVE the town but, somehow,
it's the other way around. That's the problem here. That's what we're getting
rid of. How can a town employee insult people and say he wouldn't show up at
town meeting unless he had to? Where is this kind of insolence allowed? Let's
help him by getting rid of him, then he gets his wish and never has to go to a
town meeting ever again. I'm appalled to read that quote and everyone should be.
9:40 pm edt 

Re: Finance Director

"The Director of Municipal Finance has been around for many years. 
Dan Hoort is either the 3rd or 4th person to hold the position in its current
form. The position can actually be traced further back to the 80s when Jon
Richardson was our Town Accountant, he headed up the department that is now
municipal finance.  Further all non union positions must be a part of the
personnel compensation plan, which goes to town meeting.  Sharon Lynn did not
create the position nor did she try and get around anything.  She worked with
the structure that has been in existence for a long time.  The charter does not list every
position in the town nor should it."


Something is very wrong.  How did this post ever get on here.  Imagine, it
states fact.  It is not a personal attack.  It does not mention disputes between
the FinCom and the subject.  Is it possible that we may actually encounter
reasonable discourse?
9:37 pm edt 

Re: Finance Director

The Director of Municipal Finance has been around for many years.  Dan
Hoort is either the 3rd or 4th person to hold the position in its current form. 
The position can actually be traced further back to the 80s when Jon Richardson
was our Town Accountant, he headed up the department that is now municipal
finance.  Further all non union positions must be a part of the personnel
compensation plan, which goes to town meeting.  Sharon Lynn did not create the
position nor did she try and get around anything.  She worked with the structure
that has been in existence for a long time.  The charter does not list every
position in the town nor should it.
2:59 pm edt 

Re: Finance Director

"Why would Hoort say this? It's the oldest and most direct form of
government that exists. Democracy in all its raw and unpredictable splendor. Why
is Democracy outmoded? Oh, I get it, it's better if we have a ruling elite, like
the Charter Committee wanted, which is why the lead-up to why it was formed was
exposed and everyone ran like rats.

If Hoort doesn't like our town's citizens, or the form of government, I hope the
new Town Manager will help him find his way out by getting rid of him, that way
he won't have to suffer town meetings any longer. But let me give him a bit of
MA law: town meeting is the ONLY form of government allowed in the state due to
our low population. Mayoral system isn't allowed, nor any other form.
Furthermore he is not a Charter employee, so I'm not really sure why he's even
employed by the town. We could save some money if we got rid of the hacks and
pared back the employment rolls, shedding problems at the same time. Honestly,
this is the political intelligence of this man? To say THIS about his employer?
He needs to go and the sooner the better."



Why not point out to Hoort that the state constitution dictates that we can only
have the town meeting form of government instead of unleashing another typical
personal attack.  Hoort did not say that he didn't like the town meeting form
but that it was outmoded.  And, I believe also that it has its limitations.

There are many employees in PT that ware not 'charter' employees.  SO what. 
There is nothing more to it than the charter saying that we must have certain
positions and describing the job.  It does not mean that if the charter does not
list it, then it is illegal.

Stop with the foolish and petty stuff.
1:39 pm edt 

Sadness at Lincoln Sharpless's Passing
 
One day we celebrate Barbara Rushmore's 90th birthday and all is wonderful by
the sea. Then the next day, we are gathered by the sea but this time to honor a
wonderful person. Lincoln was such a wonderful part of this community. She gave
so much and brought much joy to so many of us.

Thank you, Lincoln, for who you were and remained through all that you went
through. With much admiration and loss, we say goodbye.
11:04 am edt 

Finance Director - Dan Hoort

Hoort is One of the Last of Sharon's Boys

Time is up. she protected your back then--but now is now. time for you to depart
and the town will be much better served. Maybe, like Russell, Truro would
appreciate your talents!
10:59 am edt 

Finance Director

How is the title of Finance Director codified as a legal funded position.
If my memory serves me correctly, the position was non-existent prior to Town
Manager Sharon  Lynn.

Sharon  Lynn created the position to cicircumvent the charted authority of the Town
Treasurer, which make the position de-facto and not de-jury.

This being the case, how is this position allowed to persist, without codefication.   
10:54 am edt 

Re: He Never Ceases to Amaze

"This is the most ignorant statement I have EVER seen publicly posted
by our Finance Director, Dan Hoort on social media (if we can call the social
media).

This is what a town hall employee is saying to the people who participate and
take the time to do their civic duty.

Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that he has run unsupervised
for so long? Do you think it is because he would rather not have people
vote,easier for him to pass his own projects without town oversight? Then he can
report to Candace and McGuire, and the poor stooges that follow him.
Judge for yourself.

Dan Hoort "The more I think about the more I realize that if I was not a town
employee I'm not sure I'd go to town meeting. I know that's probably not the
politically correct thing to say, but it's really an outdated form of town
government".



Your last sentences displays your ignorance and predisposition. If you had any
idea of what goes on outside of our little cocoon, you would know that the
debate over the current value of the town meeting form of government is being
heard all over the state.  There are legitimate arguments to be made for both
viewpoints.  Fotr you to ignorantly dismiss a serious thought about having a
better system shows how little that you understand or are willing to consider. 
getting rid of town meeting does not mean that the people will not have a voice
in government. There are many towns that have elected town meeting members.
There are many that employee the town council form.  I PT like so many other
small towns, attendance at TM is fairly small compared to the number of
registered voters.  This can lead to apathy and government by a small percentage
of residents.  It is always good to debate ideas.  Otherwise nothing ever
improves.  People like you don't understand that others may have ideas that are
well-thought out. 

Hoort is not the enemy.  He may have differences with the FinCom and others, but
he is for a better PT.
10:13 am edt 

Re: He Never Ceases to Amaze


"Dan Hoort "The more I think about the more I realize that if I was not a town
employee I'm not sure I'd go to town meeting. I know that's probably not the
politically correct thing to say, but it's really an outdated form of town
government".


Why would Hoort say this? It's the oldest and most direct form of government
that exists. Democracy in all its raw and unpredictable splendor. Why is
Democracy outmoded? Oh, I get it, it's better if we have a ruling elite, like
the Charter Committee wanted, which is why the lead-up to why it was formed was
exposed and everyone ran like rats.

If Hoort doesn't like our town's citizens, or the form of government, I hope the
new Town Manager will help him find his way out by getting rid of him, that way
he won't have to suffer town meetings any longer. But let me give him a bit of
MA law: town meeting is the ONLY form of government allowed in the state due to
our low population. Mayoral system isn't allowed, nor any other form.
Furthermore he is not a Charter employee, so I'm not really sure why he's even
employed by the town. We could save some money if we got rid of the hacks and
pared back the employment rolls, shedding problems at the same time. Honestly,
this is the political intelligence of this man? To say THIS about his employer?
He needs to go and the sooner the better.
10:08 am edt 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Re: Tools of the Elite

I am not a big Dan Hoort fan or for that matter his boyfriend either,
however he is a part of this community. He owns a guesthouse, volunteers on
boards and obviously lives here year around. Unlike many of the louder voices on
fb that do not live in town at all, maybe used to, maybe visit, maybe had sex
once under the DD, he at least lives here. He has ever right to voice his
opinion about what goes on in this town (not about stuff at town hall) and I
will listen to him because of that, the rest of you out-of-town crazies no.
9:46 pm edt 

Re: Tools of the Elite

"Dan Hoort is one of them, another carpetbagger, who was put into his
position by our FAILED town manager, Sharon Lynn. It is public knowledge that he
hates the Fincom, the Town Moderator and most of the BOS. He continues to
secretly and publicly undermine the work of both the BOS and the Fincom. I hope the voters
see this employee for what he is."


Really, "secretly" ? Then how do you know about it?  Tell us so that we can
prevent another cabal raid.  What work is being undermined?
9:44 pm edt 

Re: Tools of the Elite

"When and how was the position of Finance Director introduced as a
town government position? Is  this position defined in the Charter?"


Good questions?  two possible answers
1) get Clarence to put the Charter in his preamble
2) look it u yourself.
9:41 pm edt 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

He Never Ceases to Amaze

This is the most ignorant statement I have EVER seen publicly posted
by our Finance Director, Dan Hoort on social media (if we can call the       
               social media).
This is what a town hall employee is saying to the people who participate and
take the time to do their civic duty.
Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that he has run unsupervised
for so long? Do you think it is because he would rather not have people vote,
easier for him to pass his own projects without town oversight? Then he can
report to Candace and McGuire, and the poor stooges that follow him.
Judge for yourself.

Dan Hoort "The more I think about the more I realize that if I was not a town
employee I'm not sure I'd go to town meeting. I know that's probably not the
politically correct thing to say, but it's really an outdated form of town
government".


10:55 pm edt 

Fomer Police Chief

If the former police chief, his delusional           or any other
people (like the realtor and the            that made thousands off the sale
of the former chiefs  condo) have forgotten the town meeting where he was
suspended, let me remind you that the meeting packed town hall. There is no
support in this town for Jeff Jaran and most people including myself believe he
or his former girlfriend continue to make these idiotic posts on this blog. Jeff
Jaran was a       and a bully. Goodbye and good riddance.
8:49 pm edt 

Re: Tools of the Elite


When and how was the position of Finance Director introduced as a town government
position? Is  this position defined in the Charter?

6:33 pm edt 

Re: Tools of the Elite

I hope that everyone currently registered to vote in Provincetown sees
through this latest attempt by outside forces to give the vote and control of
Provincetown to people who only see us as their "investment" portfolio.

If a person or family wants to be part of the year-round community, every
resident here welcomes them and makes them feel comfortable However, there are
many who do not want to live here full-time, and want to vote here AND in their
hometowns.

We do not need that. The Community has already been decimated by the greed and
lack of any connection from many of these people who just want to control town
for their personal gains.

Dan Hoort is one of them, another carpetbagger, who was put into his position by
our FAILED town manager, Sharon Lynn. It is public knowledge that he hates the
Fincom, the Town Moderator and most of the BOS. He continues to secretly and
publicly undermine the work of both the BOS and the Fincom. I hope the voters
see this employee for what he is.

Watch for the people who say they support this man and his poor judgement. They
are all of the people who have been fired, quit, resigned or have some other
motivation to see Provincetown fail. FIRE DAN HOORT! (before he resigns).
6:29 pm edt 

Re: It's Coming From Inside Town Hall

It's coming from inside your head.

Now we're supposed to believe that three different people have independently
spoken to you about an investigation including someone inside, but David Gardner
doesn't know it's going on?  C'mon.  You can't fart in town hall without having
it posted on this blog.
6:14 pm edt 

Re: Tools of the Elite

RE: MaryJo vs FinCom Chair

"Folks, what you need to worry about is that there are people in our midst
who..."


Colluded before the process was even set up, as the published emails on here
proved. Secondly, there are people in our midst who immediately resigned once
all of this was published, and the committee disbanded because of the collusion.
Who does the writer think is dumb? Who does the writer thinks can't read? All
you have to do is read the emails obtained by an FOIA request and you have
everything you need to know about why the charter committee was formed, and who
was directing it. Then go and read the sections about second homeowners, the
parts about moving town meeting to be more accommodating to this elite group of
rich people, and about putting them on committees as well as all the discussions
about giving second homeowners votes. The majority of us are not fooled, we can
see a power play by the town one percenters from a mile away, along with the
hypocrisy of them crying about the residential exemption while they're
collecting one where they actually live. Please spare !
us this, we're all much smarter than you give us credit for.
6:12 pm edt 

A Band of Losers

Hoort "doesn't care who the posters are), that explains a lot. He
would rather post his one-sided and careless posts where no intelligent person
who actually cares about Provincetown as a community parks there fake asses.
Thank you, Kristin Hatch, for attempting to make some sense to the losers on the
"Beacon".

"Dan Hoort I actually enjoy this page more than most on-line. We can have some
open conversations, criticize things we don't agree with and discuss real ideas
and thoughts. I don't know who many posters are nor does it matter to me, I care
more about the discussions."
4 hrs · Like · 2


The "likes" are from Paul DeRuyter and Tony Brackett. According to our "Finance
Director", it doesn't matter who has false opinions about the town that pays his
salary, as long as someone, anyone, listens. And to back up his claim, most of
the posters on the site are NOT Provincetown voters, or they are losers who
still haven't admitted that they are in the extreme minority.

These "losers" continue to try to confuse the issues and make it difficult to
move forward, continually throwing more lies, exaggerations and name-calling on
the people who want this town to calm down and move on.

It would behoove each and every person who cares to block out the noise from
these loudmouths to do just that!
6:08 pm edt 

Re: It's Coming From Inside Town Hall

"There is NO investigation going on in town hall - and certainly NOT about a
person who may or may not be posting under a fake profile!!"


Well isn't it interesting that three different people in the last week have
mentioned this to me, one with some knowledge that led me to believe it's true
(the person mentioned specifically how they were tracing posts). This was also
mentioned in the context of a rumored real estate transaction between someone in
town hall and a well-known person in town. So after hearing this, I'm inclined
to believe something is going on. I have no idea whether this is illegal, but it
would certainly be very embarrassing for someone at town hall to be outed as one
of the false personalities on a certain Facebook page. And the Assistant Town
Manager would be the last person to know in the event one of his staff was being
investigated, quite honestly.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
6:04 pm edt 

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