Beginning this month both the Board of Selectmen and School Committee will be holding a series of separate budget workshops as part of the process of developing the Townıs FY 09 budget. This budget will cover Town expenses from July 1, 2008 until June 30, 2009. On the municipal side the budget process will begin in earnest with requests from each town department. These requests will be reviewed by the Board of Selectmen in a series of public workshops during the month of February. The Selectmenıs budget sessions will be held on each Thursday evening in February at the Island Hall. These will get underway at 6:00 pm. The first workshop is scheduled on February 7 which will cover the various public safety services to include Fire, Rescue, and Law Enforcement. A schedule of these will be posted. The School Committee budget workshops will on each Tuesday evening at the school.


At some point in March the School Committee and the Selectmen have agreed to meet in a joint session to further discuss and report on the status of their respective budgets. Notice of this session will also be posted for Town residents and will provide yet another opportunity for their participation. It is important to all of our elected officials that the public have as many opportunities as possible to provide input that will inform them of your views and opinions. To encourage the communityıs involvement we have tried to schedule School Committee and Selectmen budget sessions on different nights. (Tuesdays for the School Committee and Thursdays for the Selectmen) In addition, the schedule of all workshops is being posted for the entire month will be posted in advance to help our residents plan ahead.


By being informed and involved at the front end of the budget process, it is our hope citizens will be in a better position to understand how the spending levels evolve as well as the merits, justification and estimates that support the budget. At their recent joint meeting, both the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen agreed to work together to reach the financial goal of trying to maintain or lowering the current tax rate. How this plays out is something we want you to be a part of and that is why we hope you plan to attend the Town and School Budget workshops and informational meetings. We look forward to seeing you there!