Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Finance Committee, May 08, 2024

SEIU Agreement and Article 65 Revote

The meeting included a discussion on the recent agreement with SEIU, the last union in negotiations, which ratified a wage deal identical to others covered in a previous meeting. They will receive a market adjustment similar to the AFSCME group and a change in how holidays are observed, resulting in increased salary reserve funding by approximately $76,000, affecting every department. Due to this, the salary reserve appropriation would be $534,251, with $573,031 moved for contracts. The community members then motioned and unanimously voted to reconsider Article 65, and after discussion, it was moved and unanimously approved as presented by the deputy town manager.

Error Correction and Article 64 Revote

An error was noted in the numbers relating to the override stabilization, and members unanimously voted to reconsider Article 64. The correct number was confirmed to be $4,374,790, which was a $90,000 difference due to a typo. After a second round of unanimous voting, Article 64 was approved with the corrected figure.

Inquiry into Transfers and Future Meetings

A member inquired about reserve fund transfers and departmental transfers, intending to conclude business before June 17 in anticipation of a celebration. The deputy town manager was tasked with preparing the transfers for an early June meeting. Regarding scheduling, Mondays or Wednesdays were proposed as possible meeting days, with consideration to be given to hosting a virtual meeting if transfers are minimal.

DPW Building Shortfall and Electricity Cost Overruns

The committee questioned potential shortfalls with the DPW building and if there would be a need for transfers concerning electricity costs, particularly within the facilities department. They were informed that an update would be given on the building project’s financials, and transfers for electricity costs were likely necessary.

Long Range Planning and Updated Five-Year Plan

The deputy town manager stated there would be an updated five-year long-range plan issued soon after the town meeting’s conclusion. Although changes to the plan would not be made until the state budget finalizes, an updated appendix D would be released before the end of the town meeting.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes from May 1st and May 6th were reviewed, and minor corrections were made. Following motioning, both sets of minutes were approved with members either affirming or abstaining based on their attendance at the previous meetings.

Party Planning and Adjournment

Discussions pivoted to party planning for June 17, with accommodation requests for dietary restrictions and logistical considerations regarding folding chairs. There was an indication of inviting other team members to celebrate the approval of budgets during the town meeting. The meeting concluded with a reminder that meetings had been posted for the upcoming Monday and Wednesday but would only be held if necessary. Additionally, the committee discussed a member’s interest in speaking on mandatory allowance of pets in a future discussion.



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