ATFC Annual Meeting

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Date and time: 
Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 8:15am to 2:30pm
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, Pond Street, Franklin

This meeting will offer workshops on topics including budgeting 101, municipal credit and bond ratings, social media and online services for finance committees, shared/combined services between towns, capital planning, and a potpourri session designed to get any question answered.
Available for the first time at the meeting will be the 2017 edition of the Finance Committee Handbook, which incorporates all of the changes associated with the Municipal Modernization Act. The handbook, last revised in 2014, is going digital, and will be available online for the first time.
Dues-paying members will receive information to download the Finance Committee Handbook and share it with fellow committee members. Any member community that doesn’t attend the meeting will receive this information shortly afterward.


8:15-9:30 a.m.
Registration, Breakfast, Networking
9:30-9:40 a.m.
President’s Welcome
• Ira Miller, Sharon Finance Committee
Business Meeting
9:40-10:30 a.m.
Opening Speaker: Margaret Hurley, Assistant Attorney General, Director of the AG’s Municipal Law Unit
The Municipal Law Unit offers guidance to local officials on a variety of topics. Hurley will give an overview of the services her office provides, particularly assistance with bylaws and ordinances. Many towns don’t document the role of their finance committee in bylaws or a charter, and this can lead to miscommunication and discord with other boards and departments. This interactive session will explore some of the ways you can address this before conflict arises and build a better working relationship with the other committees and boards in your town.
Concurrent Workshops
1. Budgeting 101 for New Members

This session will give an overview of everything a new finance committee member needs to know, from the small details to setting financial policy in your town.
Jeff Nutting, Town Administrator, Franklin
Allan Tosti, Arlington Finance Committee Chair and ATFC Treasurer
Moderator: Ira Miller, Sharon Finance Committee and ATFC President
Handout: Budgeting 101: Before the Numbers (80K PDF)
2. Social, Open and Public: How to Blog, Tweet and Share Within the Requirements of Public Records and Open Meeting Laws
Social media is increasingly popular with the general public and offers a quick, convenient way for cities and towns to communicate with residents and for boards to communicate among themselves. How can governments use these tools, including Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor, texting and email, without violating the open meeting law and while remaining in compliance with public records law?
Jonathan Sclarsic, Assistant Attorney General and Director of Open Government, Attorney General’s Office
Brian Faulk, Attorney, Mirick O’Connell
Moderator: Christine Muir, Dunstable Finance Committee and ATFC Director
Handout: Social, Open and Public: How to Blog, Tweet and Share Within the Requirements of the Public Records Law (2M PDF)
3. Managing Your Town’s Credit and Bond Rating
This session will focus on unique issues regional school districts face, including using the EQV, planning for capital expenditures, and developing regional agreements. The speakers will leave plenty of time for Q&A.
Cinder McNerney, Managing Director, First Southwest Company a division of Hilltop Securities, and ATFC Director
Kathy Parker, Treasurer, Plainville
Moderator: Jennifer Gonzalez, CFO at the Massachusetts School Building Authority and ATFC Past President
Handout: Managing Your Town's Credit and Bond Rating (1.5M PDF)
1-2:30 p.m.
Concurrent Workshops
1. Capital Planning: Buying the Big Stuff
Developing and implementing a successful capital plan is on every finance committee’s wish list. Speaker Charlie Foskett will review his work on Arlington’s plan over the last 20 years, explaining how to get started and how to keep on track. Jamie Hellen has worked in smaller communities and will share his experiences as well as his current work on Franklin’s capital plan. This session is a must for anyone who wants to begin or further this kind of strategic planning in their town.
Charlie Foskett, Chair, Arlington Capital Planning Committee
Jamie Hellen, Deputy Town Administrator, Franklin
Moderator: Brian Boyle, Bolton Finance Committee and ATFC Director
Handout: Capital Planning in Arlington: A 30 Year Learning Process and Still Evolving (4M PDF)
Handout: Capital Planning: Buying the Big Stuff ( 6M PDF)
2. Finance Committee Potpourri
Three experienced finance committee members and an attorney will answer questions from the audience and share ideas on some of the trickier situations finance committee members face. Attendees should bring their questions!
Allan Tosti, Arlington Finance Committee Chair and ATFC Treasurer
John Trickey, Pelham Finance Committee and ATFC Director
Doug Heim, Town Counsel, Arlington
Moderator: Carolyn Brennan, Wilbraham Finance Committee and ATFC Director
Handout: Explanations for the Attorney General's Revisions to the Open Meeting Law Regulations (23K PDF)
3. How to Make Sharing and Regionalizing Services Work for You
Regionalizing services has gained traction over the last decade and the Community Compact has given towns more tools than ever to regionalize and share services. This session will be an overview of the resources available and highlight some of the best practices from around the Commonwealth.
Zach Blake, Chief of Technical Assistance Bureau, Division of Local Services
Bob Dean, Director of Municipal Services, Franklin Council of Governments
Moderator: Bruce Cates, Plainville Finance Committee and ATFC Director
Handout: FRCOG: Towns Sharing to Provide Better Service and Save Money (2M PDF)
Handout: How to Make Sharing and Regionalizing Services Work for You (2M PDF)
ATFC Policy: Payment must be made in advance or on the day of the meeting.
Meeting cost is:
$45 for first-time and new (less than one year on the committee) attendees for all finance committee members of ATFC dues-paying communities
$55 for all finance committee members of ATFC dues-paying communities
$65 per attendee for all other local officials and finance committee members from non-dues paying communities
This cost includes all meeting materials, continental breakfast and a hot luncheon buffet.
If you are unsure of your membership status, please call Jessica Obasohan at the MMA at (800) 882-1498.
Cancellation Policy: If you register but are unable to attend, please notify us by October 17. Otherwise, you will be billed for the meeting.



MMA Senior Member Services Coordinator Denise Baker

Association of Town Finance Committees