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Town and Village

Guilford forms finance committee

GUILFORD—As part of preparing for the Fiscal Year 2016 budget process, the Guilford Selectboard decided to establish a finance committee, separate from the Selectboard.

Board Chair Anne Rider noted the Selectboard has been acting as the de facto finance committee for previous budget creation processes.

She suggested the finance committee consist of the Town Clerk, a few Selectboard members, and a few residents.

“Two farmers, two fixed incomes, one road crew, and one Town Clerk — that would be my idea of a [finance] committee,” said Board member Dick Clark. “I just feel that there’s nobody that has to do a budget any better than a farmer.”

Clark suggested that “the less ‘moneyed’ people we get on the finance committee, the better off we are.”

Board members discussed the role the finance committee would take in creating the budget, and how it would interact with the Selectboard.

Town Administrator Rebecca Stone told board members that in her experience working with other towns, “they’ve always had a finance committee,” typically containing five members. “They are advisory only, but they are so helpful, because it takes some of the pressure off the Selectboard.”

Stone said it is not crucial to have a representative from the board on the finance committee “because they’re going to report back to you anyway.”

Having a finance committee will ensure that, even if “people move on and off... every year there’ll be someone who has institutional knowledge” of its workings, said board member Gabrielle Ciufredda.

Board members agreed that forming a finance committee is a good idea, and they will contact the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for advice, and write a draft of the committee’s role to present at the next regular board meeting.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #326 (Wednesday, October 7, 2015).

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