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..........



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Massachusetts Department of Revenue
A Guide to Financial Management for Town Officials  (Excerpted)
Role 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.


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
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
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
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

Tuesday, July 29
Jazz in Provincetown
Tuesday, July 29, 9:30pm, No Cover

Fred Fried, Featuring Marcelle Gauvin
Marcelle Gauvin (vocals), Fred Fried (guitar), Michael Lavoie (bass) & Bart Weisman (drums)

Bubala's Restaurant
185 Commercial Street
Bubala's Restaurant



Voted Best Festival on Cape Cod, 2013!
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3 Freeman Street, Provincetown, MA - 508.487.2313

Monday, July 28, 2014

The New Revolution With Housing For All

Public Meeting

The Provincetown Community Housing Council will hold a Public Meeting at
1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 28, 2014, Veterans Memorial Community Center Building,
2 Mayflower Street, Provincetown, MA 02657.
Votes may be taken under any agenda item.
Meeting Agenda:...

1. Public Statements
2. DART Program start-up discussion with Town Planner Gloria McPherson
3. Little Fix Program outreach & recruitment
4. MassDocs utilization discussion
5. Fire Station #2 upstairs future development discussion
6. Minutes: 7/14/14 7. Any other business
8. Meeting schedule

when they have their acolytes flooding town meeting and voting taxpayer money
funding for their pet projects.
4:11 pm edt 

Re: High Cost of Provincetown

"High costs of ptown accommodations and restaurants..."

I asked the two restaurants why they ended salads to their
Meals,they claimed they were spending over $50k on lettuce.
Out of curiosity,I have asked other Massachusetts restaurants
The same question,each time I was told that was baloney.

This is another example of the greed in ptown.
I also looked on tripadvisor for hotels in Boston,you can stay
In the down town area of Boston for $225  and lower.
4:08 pm edt 

Re: 90 Shankpainter

"It was a burn dump and the chemicals that still lie there are

Just a curious question, If the land was so bad, would the trees and grasses and
all the animal life be able to live there safely as they had before they tore it
all up? If it was that horrible? I know someone who lives there that has a
garden and they are in above ground in boxes, not in the ground soil, so if it
is bad, the fruits and veggies should be fine! Thank goodness.
4:07 pm edt 

Re: Theme Weeks - Bear Week

"It seems like there are many people here who do not like bear week. A
lot actually."

Really?  I think you might mean "some" not "many" and what percentage is a "lot"
and how did you determine that.
4:04 pm edt 

"It seems like there are many people here who do not like bear week. A
lot actually."

Really?  I think you might mean "some" not "many" and what percentage is a "lot"
and how did you determine that.
4:03 pm edt 

Re: Provincetown High Taxes - No Decrease

"The post regarding reasons why our taxes have not gone down is
partially incorrect. Yes roads and town hall needed attention but the library
and the school system have and continue to be money pits. The library should
never have been moved, we had a fixable building. The high school should have
been sold, period."

Again with selling of the school. Where would you like the children to go to? Or
is it that you are "one of those" who do not want ANY children in this town?
Sure sounds like it. Many people send their children to school here in
Provincetown because it is a great school and a safe school.
Enough already, leave the school and the kids alone once and for all!!!!! It is
so annoying, irritating, troublesome and disturbing.
12:39 pm edt 

Re: 90 Shankpainter

The Lists of carcinogens at 90 Shankpainter Was Presented at a town

There was a motion to delay the work at 90 Shankpainter when there were still
fabulous tall pines circling the land. but the motion was denied and the DPW,
with the fakey white suits, began digging up the land immediately town meeting.
The land was to be covered up after the more dangerous carcinogens were supposed
to be removed.

It was a burn dump and the chemicals that still lie there are serious.

This was all public but the irrational push for lower cost housing--as you still
here over and over today--led the votes to go forward--no matter what.

Don't eat the vegetables that might be growing there! You will be glowing in the
12:37 pm edt 

Re: High Cost of Provincetown

About the high costs in our town, two of my favorite restaurants, 
            and             , as of this year have stopped their side salads
with the meal. For me, I did not need to order an appetizer because the salad
was so good. That perk is gone so now adding the appetizer and zoom the cost of
a meal is a week and a half of groceries. So good bye to visiting those two
About the bears, they don't just come for the weather they come for the
friendships and personal connections. So wouldn't they come in June or September
if moved to the shoulder so the general population can be more freely
accomodated.. Just asking?
12:33 pm edt 

Re: Theme Weeks - Bear Week

"RE:  So, couldn't get any plainer. For all those defending Bear Week,
etc it's apparent that theme weeks DO influence our main source of income, our
tourists.  As usual, the VSB is asleep at the switch, allowing theme weeks to
overtake our short high season. Bear Week used to be held off season. Slowly
over the years, the organizers have edged it up and now it occurs during one the
busiest weeks!
Not great planning"

You couldn't be more wrong.  Id say its great planning.  The Bear theme week
brings in thousands of tourists, unless you dont think the bears are tourists
that is?  They rent our rooms.  They eat in our restaurants.  They party in our
bars and spend in our shops.  That is precisely what we need tourists to do.  We
need more weeks like this and fewer day trippers who only come on weekends
wander the streets, people watch and dont spend much other than the twenty bucks
they pay to park and maybe purchase an ice cream cone or a box of taffy.

Since you seem to agree that tourism is key to our economy, why you dont take a
poll of businesses in town and see whether or not they think the Bear theme week
is good for our tourist economy.  Moving it to the off season wouldnt work. 
People dont want to vacation at a beach unless its beach weather.

Why on earth would you want to mess with something that has become one of the
busiest and most financially lucrative weeks all summer long?  Why would you
shoo away thousands of big spending Bear tourists to attract a couple of ice
cream cone buying day trippers?

If you want people to come in the off season then why dont YOU come up with some
ideas to attract them here?  Lets hear your ideas to attract tourists to a beach
community when the beach weather is long gone or yet to arrive.  I'll be waiting
to hear your ideas, but I won't be holding my breath.
10:07 am edt 

Re: Change the Subject Matter - Please!

The post regarding reasons why our taxes have not gone down is
partially incorrect. Yes roads and town hall needed attention but the library
and the school system have and continue to be money pits. The library should
never have been moved, we had a fixable building. The high school should have
been sold, period.
9:37 am edt 

Re: Theme Weeks - Bear Week

"Just because one person doesn't like Bear Week does not build consensus."

 It seems like there are many people here who do not like bear week. A lot
actually. But I think the real issue that a lot of people that I have spoken
with about is the fact that it is in the middle of July. I understand the bears
want to vacation here like everyone else, just maybe move it a couple weeks
further on the calender. Right after the 4th does seem too much. And like many
of the other posters on here, we should try to do more in the off season months.
It really would benefit everyone who lives and has a business here. How could we
do that? That would be a topic that I am interested in discussing. Is anyone
else? How could we get people to visit in the "slow months" and has it been
tried before?


Cant we all just get along?
9:34 am edt 

Re: 990 Shank Painter?

Where is 990 Shank Painter Rd. I thought the numbers only went to 100.
9:32 am edt 

Re: High Cost of Provincetown

"Maybe they are here on weekends but on the whole, they are hardly eating at our
restaurants and hardly taking rooms in our guests houses.

Something is different. Why? We have yet to analyze this! "

Did you ever think its because of how ridiculous the prices are to eat and lodge
here???  I understand the whole economics of running a tourist town, but when
one business raises their prices and then ALL the other ones follow suit. Why
not be different and lower the prices slightly and maybe just maybe you will see
an increase in people coming to your business. When every single place is
charging 8-10 bucks for a darn burger, what makes YOUR burger stand out?
Nothing..... Its like when a tourist asks "Wheres the best and cheapest seafood
restaurant to eat at?" I laugh every time. FACT
9:29 am edt 

Re: New York Times - 36 Hours in Provincetown Mass

"But if youre after warm weather and high-season theatrics, arrive in
July, August or early September. Be careful about what summer week you choose.
Many have a theme, and your Provincetown experience will differ whether youre
here for Family Week, Girl Splash or Bear Week.
-New York Times"

So, couldn't get any plainer. For all those defending Bear Week, etc it's
apparent that theme weeks DO influence our main source of income, our tourists.
As usual, the VSB is asleep at the switch, allowing theme weeks to overtake our
short high season. Bear Week used to be held off season. Slowly over the years,
the organizers have edged it up and now it occurs during one the busiest weeks!
Not great planning.

Theme weeks need to be scheduled during the shoulder season.
9:24 am edt 

Re: Talk About Chemicals

"I believe we will be sued for anyone who gets sick there who is
living there. It is filled with carcinogens."

Ok, but your belief, as you state so often, means nothing.  He we go again.  How
about a list of the carcinogens and the certified source of your info.

More stupid crap without any proof or data.
9:21 am edt 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

When Postings Involve the Same Issue

Often it is because it strikes a nerve and people feel strongly about the issue.
that is why theme week comes up and up. We do get tired of this and then others
stay away preciously because of certain weeks. I know those who dread the coming
week. Just too much of one thing!
7:47 pm edt 

Re: High Cost of Provincetown

It's nearly impossible to find a vacation stay anyplace in the
developed world for $100 dollars per night or less.  Provincetown has certainly
gotten more expensive as has the rest of the world.
7:32 pm edt 

Talk About Chemicals

Remember 990 Shankpainter Was a Burn Dump

It is loaded with chemicals and they never removed them all. I hope no one is
gardening there! the carrots will glow at night.

The town still owns this land and we rented to the land for $1 a year for I
think 99 years. thank you Sharon for another great deal! I believe we will be
sued for anyone who gets sick there who is living there. It is filled with

This is why Cumberland farms wanted to sell it to us for a million. We paid a
millions and then gave it all away to some Boston company but we still own the
land and we still own all liabilities. another great thinking by our town

And please to those who say we haven't been involved with affordable
housing--this town has give and given to affordable housing. all our CPA monies
and just look into Ted Malone's bank account. We have given him millions and
then he turns a once affordable condo into a market rate one and everyone is
laughing all the way to the bank.

That the town has been plain stupid is the problem. We give monies away and get
little for our investment. We have been foolish and naïve and I see some on the
BOS in the same position. What are they thinking? Perhaps they are not.
7:29 pm edt 

Re: Change the Subject Matter - Please!

I corrected your spelling. No worries.

Your taxes have been reduced -- significantly -- by the sale of the Manor. But,
just like Bernie Madoff's massive shell game, your taxes have increased because
of the enourmous amout of new projects our little town took on. Some were long
overdue (street repaving and sewering), but a few were required because of
derelict attention to maintenance by former town administration (Town Hall was
inhabitable and then there was the issues with the schools).

Bottom line:

Don't believe everything you hear.

You get what you pay for.

7:20 pm edt 

New York Times - 36 Hours in Provincetown Mass

JULY 24, 2014

"Perched at the tip of Cape Cod — or at the end of the world, as locals like to say — Provincetown is a quirky beach community favored by artists, drag queens, L.G.B.T. people, heterosexual families from the suburbs and oddballs on the run. Provincetown combines small-town charm with big-city spunk, and it’s nestled among miles of peaceful dunes and seashore. If you want solitude, come in the winter when hardly anyone is here — or anything is open. But if you’re after warm weather and high-season theatrics, arrive in July, August or early September. Be careful about what summer week you choose. Many have a theme, and your Provincetown experience will differ whether you’re here for “Family Week,” “Girl Splash” or “Bear Week.”
12:39 pm edt 

2014.07.01 | 2014.06.01 | 2014.05.01 | 2014.04.01 | 2014.03.01 | 2014.02.01 | 2014.01.01 | 2013.12.01 | 2013.11.01 | 2013.10.01 | 2013.09.01 | 2013.08.01 | 2013.07.01 | 2013.06.01 | 2013.05.01 | 2013.04.01 | 2013.03.01 | 2013.02.01 | 2013.01.01 | 2012.12.01 | 2012.11.01 | 2012.10.01 | 2012.09.01 | 2012.08.01 | 2012.07.01 | 2012.06.01 | 2012.05.01 | 2012.04.01 | 2012.03.01 | 2012.02.01 | 2012.01.01 | 2011.12.01 | 2011.11.01 | 2011.10.01 | 2011.09.01 | 2011.08.01 | 2011.07.01 | 2011.06.01 | 2011.05.01 | 2011.04.01 | 2011.03.01 | 2011.02.01 | 2011.01.01 | 2010.12.01 | 2010.11.01 | 2010.10.01 | 2010.09.01 | 2010.08.01 | 2010.07.01 | 2010.06.01 | 2010.05.01 | 2010.04.01 | 2010.03.01 | 2010.02.01 | 2010.01.01 | 2009.12.01 | 2009.11.01 | 2009.10.01 | 2009.09.01 | 2009.08.01 | 2009.07.01 | 2009.06.01 | 2009.05.01 | 2009.04.01 | 2009.03.01 | 2009.02.01 | 2009.01.01 | 2008.12.01 | 2008.11.01 | 2008.10.01 | 2008.09.01 | 2008.08.01 | 2008.07.01 | 2008.06.01 | 2008.05.01 | 2008.04.01 | 2008.03.01 | 2008.02.01 | 2008.01.01 | 2007.12.01 | 2007.11.01

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