Wiscasset budget committee members offer to help Simmons

Wiscasset City Manager Dennis Simmons can get help with time-consuming tasks that help him write budgets. They and he spoke on July 18 about tasks such as determining how much was spent on fuel last year or how much waste was transported. Things like going through bills take a lot of time, Simmons said.

“So sometimes sometimes, if you have availability, I want to give you something…” And he said that could also help inform them about what the city is doing and the details of the budgets of the departments.

Member Tom Joyce brought up the idea based on discussions at the last budget committee and some work he contributed to that he said wasn’t much, but helped him have fewer questions when budget discussions. “At least I knew what some of those things were.” He added that it would help if Simmons asked for help when he wanted rather than bothering him “with stuff you don’t want to be bothered with.”

Also on July 18, Simmons expressed hope that the selection committee will complete a 2023-24 budget proposal by mid-March. That’s when it should be done, not on the wire for the June city vote as this year’s proposal did, in part because the awards haven’t stopped to increase, Simmons said.

The committee members were interested in getting involved in certain things earlier, in order to be efficient and to make the best use of the members’ abilities. “But we don’t want to be in a position to push the selectors into having a meeting on ‘one point or another,’ Joyce said.

Perhaps if the budget committee had voted on the waterfront committee’s port expansion proposal before elected officials addressed it, and if the budget committee had then presented its findings to elected officials, the article might not have been voted on in June, Dolce said. The Budget Committee opposed the proposal. It was the only article rejected by voters. Simmons said the vote showed the weight of the budget committee with voters.

Members made President Joyce and Clerk Dolce.

Watch the meeting where Wiscasset Newspaper did, on the YouTube channel, “Wiscasset Town Office”.

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