NOVEMBER 13, 2017


Chairperson DeFelice opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m.  Present were Steve Hamilton, Andy Palmer, Gail Guertin, Julia Jones, and Bob Wright (ex-officio).  Also present was Jessie Freedman, who was auditing the meeting.  It was moved by Palmer and seconded by Hamilton to approve the minutes of the October 30th meeting.  This passed without dissent.

The Committee discussion covered the duties, responsibilities, and budget of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Linda Ford.  Prior, the Chairperson reminded the Committee of the following:

  • This would only be a discussion, wherein no decisions would be made.
  • Budget Sheets would be provided next week for the Budget of each Department.

The Town Clerk first responded to the written questions:

  1. No CIP, although it’d be a good idea regarding the software, coming up on $21,000 software needed ($2,000/year)
  2. Would appreciate a larger office and additional storage, as all files must be retained forever, and must be a level temperature and dry conditions
  3. Building generator
  4. Access to server

This Minutes will not include the full attachments provided to Members of the Committee by the Town Clerk.  It provides backup and detail of both the budget and duties of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector.  The minutes shall refer to certain budgetary areas.

ELECTIONS:  Total $6,700; iTEM 4-140-600 Supplies, reduced to $300 at recommendation of Town Clerk.



Areas of Review:

  1. Continuing education at $1,000 without scholarship.  The Committee requested that the Town Clerk provide information as to the nature and type of classes provided and its benefit to the voters of the community.  The Town Clerk is a certified Town Clerk/Tax Collector for the State of New Hampshire.
  2. The Town Clerk reviewed the myriad of services that are now available via computer:  dog licenses; property taxes; motor vehicle registration; credit card payments; title searches; and integration with other town computers (interware).  There are some areas in which information is only available to the Town Clerk.
  3. The Town Clerk then reviewed the increased hours to perform her job.  There was a discussion of public hours of availability and its notice requirements, and the necessary non-public time for preparation.  There was also discussion on the effective shelf life of both software and computer hardware.  Refer to CIP item.
  4. Budget:
  • 4-150-505 Equipment Maintenance to remain at $3,500, as some of this would go back to the executive budget.
  • 4-150-625 Postage, the Town Clerk recommended the purchase of a postage meter.  The Town Clerk will review town postage costs during the period of time we had a postage meter, as opposed to the stamp purchases, and provide this information to the Committee.
  • 4-150-631 Mileage Reimbursement is down from $800 to $550, due to a change in banks and less driving time to deposit (going from two checks to one check)

Additional Topics Reviewed:

  1. The Town Clerk also reviewed her work situation, recognizing that it is a salary and not an hourly position.  The Town Clerk pointed out the increased workload.  This may be mitigated in the future, as the new computer systems are in place and become more familiar.  But there is an increased time requirement in order to get the work product done.  This will be further pursued and further details are to follow.
  2. The Chairperson reviewed the responsibilities of the Budget Committee.  As the only full-time elected employee of the Town of Sutton, the Budget Committee does have some influence in overall salary.  But the Committee does not enter into merit pay increases, but devotes itself into COLA increases.
  3. The Town Clerk and Committee Members were pleased with the new format, which provided for the following:
  • Allowing more time with each Department
  • Stretching out the budget process
  • First meeting with discussion and analysis, and the second meeting with each Department for Committee recommendations, prior to the public hearing.

The Committee adjourned at 7:38 p.m.  Our next meeting will be at 6:00 p.m., November 20th, at the Town Hall (or as close to that as possible, as there will be a public hearing regarding solid waste fees at 5:30 p.m. on November 20th, also at the Town Hall).


Respectfully submitted,


Robert W. Wright Jr.

Substitute Scribe

References:  TC Budget requests, TC narrative, TC income comparisons, old and new computer steps for required services, and TC written responses to pre-questions from the Committee.