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Capital Expenditures Committee Spoken Report to the 2019 Annual Town Meeting <br /> Under Article 2 <br /> Madam Moderator. I move that the report of the Capital Expenditures Committee be <br /> accepted and placed on file with the Town Clerk. <br /> Madam Moderator. Town Meeting Members. Members of the Board of Selectmen. <br /> As you can see, my colleagues have produced yet another extensive report. As always, a <br /> huge thanks to our editor and Vice-Chair Mr. Kanter, the rest of the Committee members, <br /> and our recording secretary Sara Arnold. I want to give a shout out to Mr. Parker and the <br /> Appropriation Committee—our partners in Town Meeting financial review—for their <br /> collaboration and good work on the capital-related articles. Thanks to the School <br /> Committee and the school staff. And finally, welcome to our new Town Manager, <br /> Mr. Malloy. We thank you and your staff, especially Carolyn Kosnoff and Jennifer Hewitt, <br /> for their extensive assistance with our report. <br /> We anticipate that Mr. Malloy will continue to refine the annual capital-budgeting process, <br /> all the way from departmental preparation, creating the Town's Preliminary Budget, <br /> advising the Board of Selectmen, presenting the Budget to Town Meeting, and on through <br /> to long-range strategic planning and the all-important, comprehensive, debt-service <br /> modellings. <br /> On the topic of planning, some citizens have criticized the Town for not having a strategic, <br /> long-range, capital plan. By statute and charter, this Committee is tasked annually with <br /> producing exactly such a plan, a challenge we eagerly undertake. You will find our <br /> recommended plan starting on page 10 of our report. It's the big spreadsheet printed in <br /> landscape mode with lots of footnotes. Our five-year plan is built from the Brown Book's <br /> five-year plan. The differences between ours and the Brown Book's are generally <br /> infrequent in the current budget year, more frequent in the out-years, but always explained <br /> in the table's footnotes. <br /> Focusing on this budget year, you might think that if we were doing our job, then there <br /> would be more disagreements between our capital recommendations and the Town's. And <br /> you might expect to see those disagreements playing out with debate and amendments on <br /> this floor. But you don't. Rather, you generally observe consensus on the capital articles. <br /> This is because every year, budget discussions among Town staff, boards and <br /> committees, begin six months before the Annual Town Meeting. Starting in the fall, all <br /> proposed capital projects come to us directly from the staff in written form, each with a <br /> purpose and justification. Sometimes we find that projects need more refinement or <br /> justification, and after direct discussions with proponents, they tune their plans, budgets, <br /> and estimates. Those refinements are then discussed in a series of summit meetings with <br /> the Town Manager, finance staff and the other boards and committees. All of the many <br /> hours of meetings, summits, and presentations typically lead to a strong consensus. That, <br /> in turn, should give Town Meeting members more confidence when it comes to voting <br /> millions of capital dollars at Town Meeting. <br /> I want to mention a few of the many Articles before you this year. First, Article 4, which <br /> seeks to roll back the Community Preservation Act surcharge from 3% to 1%. Even though <br /> we understand that this Article will be indefinitely postponed, we still call it to your <br /> attention. This is an important debate and it is not the first time it has arisen in the 13 years <br /> since Lexington adopted the Community Preservation Act. Our Committee supports <br /> periodic surcharge review; however, evaluation of each of the Community Preservation <br /> Committee's projects is the responsibility of this Committee and all Town Meeting <br /> Presented, 27 Mar 2019,by Charles W. Lamb, Chair Page 1 of 2 <br />