Audit reviewed; Select and School Boards reorganize

MANCHESTER - With town meeting over and members reelected, it was back to business as usual for the select board during their first regular meeting Tuesday.

As is customary after Town Meeting, the board was reorganized and the rules accepted. Ivan Beattie, Wayne Bell and Lisa Souls remain as chairman, vice-chairman and clerk of the select board. The school board also reorganized last night. Katy McNabb is still the chairwoman, but Brian Vogel is now the clerk.

The rules were also adopted for this session of the select board. After the reorganization and adoption of rules, a draft of the town's annual audit was presented. Steve Love, of Love, Cody and Company, CPAs, worked on the audit. The select board received a draft of the audit for fiscal year 2013, which has not yet been completed.

"The audit isn't completed until we issue a signed, final financial statement," Love said. "These statements are a draft. Normally we would not be presenting draft financial statements, but the administration was eager to have us at least get some numbers to you."

John O'Keefe said that the numbers provided by the town to the auditors matched up well with the town's records. He said there are some differences between the town's budget process and the audit, but that the numbers still all add up and come out the same. In fiscal year 2013, the town spent a total of approximately $12.2 million, a majority of which came from federal money to pay for the Roundabout, O'Keefe said.

In other business, town moderator Michael Nawrath and the board discussed how Town Meeting went this year, as well as ways to potentially streamline the process in the future. Nawrath mentioned changing the set up of the room or placement of the justices of the peace to count voters as a way to speed up the process.

"There is a tradition in our town of Town Meeting, and that's great, but my concern is that we not love it to death," Nawrath said. "I think we're at that point and even the board itself felt that there were some items that they wanted to see on Australian ballot because there is not as many people coming to this meeting."

Nawrath made the suggestion of possibly moving the school meeting to Saturday morning, with the town floor meeting following. He said they could also offer early voting that day for those that can only take one trip, but still keep the polls open on Tuesday.

Beattie said the select board will think about building a committee to look over suggestions to create a more streamlined and efficient Town Meeting.


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