The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on July 1 and shall end on June 30, unless another period is required by Massachusetts General Laws.
Within the time fixed by bylaw, but not later than December 31, the Select Board shall submit to the Finance Committee for its analysis, comments, and recommended funding, a proposed balanced operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year with an accompanying budget message and supporting documents.
The proposed operating budget shall provide a complete financial plan for all Town funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year except as may otherwise be required by Massachusetts General Laws, this Charter, or bylaw; it shall be in the form that the Select Board deems desirable. In the presentation of the budget, the Select Board shall use modern concepts of fiscal presentation to furnish information in a complete, clear, and concise manner and in accordance with best practices of financial reporting and control. The budget shall show in detail all estimated income from the proposed property tax levy and all other sources and all proposed expenditures including debt service, for the following year. The budget shall be arranged to show the actual and estimated income and expenditures for the previous, current, and ensuing fiscal years and shall indicate in separate sections the following:
Proposed expenditures for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by Town agency and the method of financing such expenditures; and
Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by Town agency as developed by the Capital Planning and Investment Committee and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure.
Upon receipt of the Select Board's budget, the Finance Committee shall consider detailed expenditures for each Town agency in public meetings and may confer with representatives of each agency in connection with its review and consideration. The Finance Committee may require any Town official or Town agency to furnish it with additional information it deems necessary to assist it in its review and consideration of the proposed budget.
Upon completion of its initial review of the budget, at least 30 days prior to the first session of the Annual Town Meeting, the Finance Committee shall meet with the Select Board and the Capital Planning and Investment Committee to discuss any changes it recommends to the budget as initially prepared by the Select Board. After consideration of the recommendations of the Finance Committee, the Select Board shall make such changes to the budget as it deems appropriate and shall present a revised budget to the Finance Committee.
The Finance Committee shall file with the Town Clerk, at least 14 days before the first session of the Annual Town Meeting, its report on the proposed budget, including comments on any recommendations not incorporated into the budget by the Select Board. The report shall also be made available to voters of the Town by publication on the Town's website and by leaving copies of the report in at least three public places in the Town at least 14 days before the first session of the Annual Town Meeting. Additionally, copies of the report shall be made available to voters at the first session of the Annual Town Meeting. The failure to timely file the budget report with the Town Clerk or to publicize the report by posting on the Town's website or in three public places in the Town shall not prohibit the Town Meeting from voting on the budget nor shall it affect the validity of any vote taken thereon at Town Meeting.
The Select Board's proposed annual Town budget shall be presented to Town Meeting by motions made by the Select Board, which shall also present its comments and recommendations with respect to the budget. The Finance Committee shall also present its comments and recommendations with respect to the budget to the Town Meeting.
Membership. There shall be a Capital Planning and Investment Committee comprising eight members: three non-voting members who shall be the Town Administrator, Superintendent of Schools, and Finance Director; and five voting members. Voting members shall be chosen by their respective boards as follows: one member each from the Finance Committee, School Committee, and Select Board. The Moderator shall appoint two residents who do not serve as members of any other Town agency. Those two residents shall serve staggered three-year terms.
Duties. The committee shall consider matters relating to appropriations from the Capital Stabilization and Investment Fund, and shall make recommendations to the Select Board relative to the funding of capital projects of the Town and recommend priorities and schedules for such capital projects. The committee shall study proposed capital outlays involving the acquisition of land or a capital expenditure as defined in the bylaw. All Town agencies, including the Select Board and the School Committee, shall, by October 15 each year, give to the Capital Planning and Investment Committee information concerning all anticipated capital projects needing Town Meeting action during the ensuing five years on forms prepared by the committee. The committee shall consider the relative need, timing, and cost of these expenditures and the effect each will have on the financial position of the Town.
The committee shall transmit its recommendations to the Select Board not later than December 31 of the year immediately preceding the year in which the next Annual Town Meeting is to convene. The Select Board shall consider such recommendations when it prepares a Capital Improvement Program. The text and tables of the Capital Improvement Program for the following five years shall be published in the Town's Annual Report.
The Select Board shall provide for an independent audit of all financial books and records of the Town annually and whenever it deems an audit of the whole Town or of any particular Town agency to be necessary. Audits of the Town's financial books and records shall be conducted by a certified public accountant, or a firm of such accountants, having no direct or indirect interest in the affairs of the Town.