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Lack of volunteers truncates Hancock budget review.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/11/2020 12:13:57 PM

Hancock’s 2020 budget was reviewed by a Budget Review Committee, which was appointed by the Select Board after a Budget Advisory Committee failed to assemble.

“It is the moderator’s … duty to appoint a BAC,” Town Administrator John Coyne said. 

Budget Advisory Committees are typically comprised of six to eight people, and are typically put together in September to thoroughly review a town’s proposed budget.

“I had difficulty getting volunteers,” Town Moderator Richard Haskins said.

In lieu of a BAC, the Select Board appointed a Budget Review Committee to go over the 2020 budget. The difference in name speaks to the fact that the Select Board appointed the committee rather than the moderator, Haskins said, and also to the difference in review depth.

“It’s not the same process,” he said. “They don’t have all the time that a Budget Advisory Committee would want to take. It would be a more in-depth review with a Budget Advisory Committee.”

Haskins said that he and the Select Board reached out to former BAC members and interested residents to form the alternate Review Committee.

Selectman John Jordan said it was still important to the Select Board to have the budget reviewed regardless of whether a BAC could be assembled.

“We thought we needed a second look,” he said.

Haskins has been Hancock’s moderator since 2004, and said he’s had difficulty getting volunteers together in years past, as well.

Haskins said he understands that volunteership is currently in decline, and it’s more difficult than ever to compete for citizens’ free time. He said he’s identified people willing to participate in a BAC in the coming year.

“I look forward to more people stepping forward as volunteers,” he said.


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