Town meeting will be voting on this question in the coming week. On Tuesday, October 20th the Town Administrator reported that Natick has significantly more funds than we projected when Town Meeting voted the budget in July. On Thursday, October 22th, the Finance Committee voted no recommendation after hearing the proposed way of adjusting the budgets based on the new revenue numbers. This means that they were unable to come to a conclusion at that time. (The Finance Committee has since posted an additional meeting for further discussion on 10/27 and Town Meeting agreed to vote on the articles after that meeting on 10/29). The Articles that are currently being considered for changes (others could develop): Items that are being considered within these articles can be seen below. In addition to requesting that the COLAS for the Teachers unions and school staff are reinstated for approx. $1.3M, the Town Administrator is proposing additions on the municipal side. Most of the new municipal items have been on a list of potential or desired initiatives. Click here to see a list that PNF compiled from town documents about said projects. Others in motion A, like the positions requested for the Board of Health and Community Services, are cited as necessary because of Covid. See the Select Board meeting on 10/23 to hear questions and answers about the changes in Article 1.
Town Meeting also heard the TA's presentation on Saturday, October 24th about the proposed changes. Members asked questions for about an hour and then voted to postpone the vote on any motions until Thursday, 10/29. What's next? The Finance Committee will meet on 10/27 at 5:00 p .m. to further vet Spring Town Meeting articles 1, 5 and 7 and vote recommendations on each. Is this typical? No... Covid, Spring Town Meeting occurring so late have aided in adding some layers to the general process. In a typical year, the TA advises the best was to appropriate (distribute) the new funds - The Finance Committee hears the proposal, asks questions, and makes a recommendation to Town Meeting - Town Meeting members can also put forth motions to suggest ways of expending the money to the Finance Committee and/or to Town Meeting and ... Eventually, Town Meeting votes on all of the motions made about each article deciding how Natick will spend or save the money.