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

Wednesday, July 23
9th Season of Summer Jazz with Bart Weisman at PAAM

Featuring Shawnn Monteiro

Wednesday, July 23, 6:00pm, $15


Shawnn Monteiro (vocals), Fred Boyle (piano), Rich Hill (bass) & Bart Weisman (drums)

Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM)
460 Commercial Street, Provincetown

Want to find out more about musical events on the Outer Cape? Join the Outer Cape Musical Events Email List
Outer Cape Musical Events Email List

Friday, July 25, 2014

Re: Hiring a New Town Manager

"Looks like we're well on our way to hiring another crappy town
manager. Whose brilliant idea was it to put a former library trustee in charge
of the search committee?"

Job as former library trustee.
Evaluation:  Fail

Job as chair of town manager search committee.
Evaluation:  Fail

And her next job will be as a member of the finance committee.  Does anyone
think these things out?
10:47 am edt 

Re: Lewd Behavior

Aw, put a sock in it. Townies were griping about this in exactly the same terms
50, even 60 years ago. Excerpts from stories about it occasionally turn up in the
Banner's Archives column. They're a hoot to read. Your complaints, not so much,
because they fail to recognize that naughtiness is a timeless quality of our
little corner of the world. That point seems to be lost amid the salivating over
the new, "sleek and upscale" (i.e., whitebread) P'town.
10:02 am edt 

Re: Theme Weeks - Bear Week

I am your typical tourist who has been coming into town during July
since the 1980s. This year, my trip coincided with bear week. It will be the
last time. I did not enjoy getting muscled off the dance floors by
over-enthusiastic, sweaty partiers or getting run over when they charged down
Commercial Street or into stores. Why should a certain group be allowed to
overrun an entire tourist destination during the busy summer?
10:00 am edt 

Re: Recreational Director

"Mr. Motta Runs eleven adult programs out of the recreation center."

If running an adult program means giving a room to someone who needs a place to
hold their activity, you don't need a $50,000'a year town administrator to do
this. And the one thing he's dully accountable for, the gym room, is a piece of
crap.  There are 2 treadmills, and one he has left unrepaired for almost a
year.  With greater vision, leadership and self-i initiative, that place could
be run much better.
9:58 am edt 

Some Businesses are Suffering

There is much talk in town about how few tourists are here in the week. 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!
9:55 am edt 

Was This Carrie Notaro?

She was a       of     . but she is gone. good. she had few ideas and her
absence is not missed.
9:52 am edt 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Re: Recreation Director

Mr. Motta Runs eleven adult programs out of the recreation center.  He also runs
multiple programs for children in Provincetown.  The programs are EASILY
researchable on Provincetowns website.  He earns every dime of his paycheck
every day and is passionately involved in the Provincetown community.  He is a
professional that is open to any suggestion to enrich the towns culture through
the recreation department.  He truly is a passionate contributor to Provincetown
and I have seen his good work.  If you have questions about him I urge you to go
have one conversation with Mr. Brandon Motta at the recreation dept.  Your
opinion will change quickly.  He does everything he can with the budget that he
is allotted each year.
9:58 pm edt 

Re: Affordable Housing Slight of Hand

Yes,you are correct about ptown being slick and upscale,
And ptown is not the first community ruin by condo craziness.
They came,they bought and like other towns,they changed it to
Fit themselves. How sad for ptown.
4:07 pm edt 

Hiring a New Town Manager

Looks like we're well on our way to hiring another crappy town
manager. Whose brilliant idea was it to put a former library trustee in charge
of the search committee?  Has ANYONE been paying attention to that fiasco?  Why
don't you just ask lyn Kratz and Mick Rudd to choose the new TM?  They'll
probably choose               and then we can get right down to the business of
firing her.
4:05 pm edt 

Adult Programs at Rec Department

Go to the Recreation Department tab on the town website, then click Adult
Programs.    If you can read you will see there are quite a few programs listed
12:51 pm edt 

Affording Nice Things

If you do not spend your money on frivolous things like cigarettes, alcohol, gas
gazing vehicles, you can afford to nice things and go places.  If you spend your
spare time working side jobs or producing art instead of worrying about how or
why someone else is getting by you can obtain extra money, or barter, or look
for bargains.
12:49 pm edt 

Affordable Housing Slight of Hand

How is that these folks living here for years and taking trips hither and yon
and paying their rent and going out and about--and suddenly are eligible for
affordable housing?

People want to live here and they have a right to live here and if they are able
to buy a condo and make Provincetown a part of their life, more power to them.

The powers that be CAN NEVER "un-condo" Provincetown. You can't forbid people
from turning the multi-family homn affordable unit ores into condos either. You
can't tell people to make a unit a section 8 unit or to rent below market value.

The tax breaks are a joke. You want property owners to take a hit and to rent
below market rate. More and more may go summer only after hearing how some
winter rentals were wrecked by people who stayed at some establishments over the
winter. The police were called, apartments were ruined etc.

If you only build low income housing--how are these people going to keep the
economy going? Paying over ten dollars for a cocktail? $25 for a pizza? Paying
$80.00 each to go out for a date night dinner at one of the upscale restaurants?

Provincetown has become upscale and gentrified and you can't undo it. You can't
take a cut worm that has turned into a butterfly and turn it back into a cut
worm again.

You can't take our Provincetown and turn it back into the funky place our
parents talk about. It is sleek and chic and upscale.
11:54 am edt 

Re: Theme Weeks

I agree with previous posters, theme weeks should not be promoted in
July or August, save Carnival. The town as a whole was subjected to a lot of
inappropriate behavior with bear week. Now comes family week, why really why?
The VSB should not allow a business owner to vote on grant funding for events
that directly benefit his establishment, more so than any other place in town.
11:50 am edt 

Route 6 - Shankpainter Intersection

Yesterday , at Rte.6 & Shankpainted, there was almost
an accident , because Hardley anyone stops at the stop sign. I think the police
should watch this intersection. Very dangerous situation.
11:48 am edt 

Re: Recreation Director

"Mr Motta does an excellent job for the children and adults in the

Can someone enlighten me about the excellent things Mr. Motta does for the
adults in this town, please.
11:47 am edt 

Re: Carrie Turner

"A Provincetown citizen, parent and proud supporter of the Provincetown
Recreation Program."

"This from a former die-hard member of the school board who said THE HIGH SCHOOL

Look how THAT ended up."

Ha ha ha, this is comical, I have known Carrie for years and she was NEVER on
any school board, and whose daughter was in the last graduating class at PHS.
She never said the high school would never close. Sign your name next time       
so people can see who is spreading lies. The only thing I know Carrie to be a
die hard fan of is her children and the truth. Wrong Carrie perhaps? Very nice
of you to ASSUME you know what you are talking about. haha
11:45 am edt 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Re: School Committee

I do not remember a Carrie Turner on school committee. I remember a Carrie
Notaro and a Kerry Adams.  Does anyone ever fact check on here?
That being said Mr Motta does an excellent job for the children and adults in
the town.
11:09 pm edt 

Affordable Housing Recipients

By the time the affordable housing gets built, the main beneficiaries of this
housing will be the growing children of the summer workers who now live here
year round.

They live together in a house so they have a cheap rent, work more than one job
so they are sacking away money and bringing their kids here to live too.

Down the road, it is these kids who will be living in the affordable housing.

11:08 pm edt 

Provincetown High School

Does anyone know why a private landscaper mows the high school lawn?
Why doesnt the DPW do it?
11:06 pm edt 

Re: Theme Weeks - Bears

"Re: They are here to have fun and they are much nicer and more
intelligent than the average tourists."

Not to mention small minded mean spirited townies.
11:04 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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