Sandwich Finance Committee Elects Mr. Parini Chairman

In its annual reorganization meeting, the Sandwich Finance Committee voted unanimously Tuesday evening, July 22,  to elect Gene J. Parini of Picadilly Road its chairman for the current fiscal year.

The committee voted 7-0 for Mr. Parini, with member Richard Reilly absent and the ninth seat left vacant by the resignation last month of former chairman Ellen Yaffe.

As for vice chairman, the committee voted 6-0 to elect Linell M. Grundman of Wing Boulevard East vice chairman. Member Michael J. Dwyer voted neither for nor against, and did not abstain.

Mr. Parini, who later in the meeting paid tribute to the service that Ms. Yaffe rendered as a member of the committee, said that he has enjoyed every finance committee meeting that he attends.

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He said he has found that the finance committee, which reviews all proposed town spending and borrowing, makes a “worthwhile contribution” to Sandwich.

Town records show that Mr. Parini was appointed to fill an unexpired term left vacated by the May 2011 resignation of Glenn Pare. He served out the term to June 2013, and then was reappointed for a three-year term due to expire in June 2016.

Ms. Grundman was appointed last June to a three-year term due to expire in June 2016.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, two committee members appointed June 30 by town moderator Garry N. Blank attended their first meeting. They are former school committee member Robert Guerin of Karla Lane, and Mark I. Snyder of Wolf Hill.

In further action at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The committee approved 7-0 an additional $252,904 from the town’s Fiscal Year 2014 reserve fund.

Given two reserve fund transfers approved last October and in February, that brought the overall transfers from the $500,000 reserve fund in the fiscal year just concluded to $310,704.

The sums approved Tuesday night included $138,299 for police department overtime; $31,679 for fire department overtime; $76,556 to cover unbudgeted ice and snow expenses; $839 for veterans services; and $5,530 for state education assessments.

Mr. Guerin, noting the large dollar amount for police and fire overtime, said the reserve fund transfer effectively pushed higher the final cost of the “municipal” side of Sandwich government.

Although town officials in the past fiscal year said that they were pushing the percentage increase on the “school” side of the budget higher to account for some one-time costs, Mr. Guerin said the proposed reserve fund transfers actually pushed the percentage increase even higher on the “municipal” side.

He called for more realistic budgets going forward.

The transfers approved Tuesday evening by the committee, along with the transfers previously approved last October and in February, left a balance of $186,296 in the reserve fund.

Now that the town is closing the books on the 2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30, the remaining reserve fund money will be transferred to the town’s “free cash” account, where it will be available for use as needed in the current and in future fiscal years.

• Assistant town manager Douglas A. Lapp updated the committee on plans to replace and upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Sandwich Public Library.

Mr. Lapp said the town decided to readvertise the project after the first round of responses came in higher than what the town had budgeted.

He said the second round of bid responses came in within budget. At present, the town is working out details of the project with the responsive low bidder, Seekonk Heating Services Inc. of Seekonk, which bid $434,000.

Library officials have estimated that the repair work will begin by the end of August.

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