In light of the many issues that have arisen during the FY14 budget deliberations, especially those concerning enrollment pressures in the Public Schools of Brookline (PSB), the Board of Selectmen seeks to determine whether substantially more revenue capacity than what is currently anticipated will be necessary to maintain desired levels of services and fund future liabilities of the Town and PSB, and, therefore, whether a voter-approved override or overrides of Proposition 2 ½ will be necessary to raise that revenue. The Board of Selectmen — acting as the only Town body with authority to call for an override ballot question — hereby establishes an Override Study Committee (OSC) to perform this assessment, to be co-chaired by a Selectman and a School Committee Member, appointed by their respective boards. The Co-Chairs shall be non-voting members of the Committee.
The OSC evaluation should be a comprehensive examination of Town and PSB finances, services, expenditures, and capital needs, building on similar investigations of the OSC of 2007, the findings of the Efficiency Initiative Committee (2009), the Facilities Master Plan for the Schools (2008/2010), and the findings and recommendations of the Brookline School Enrollment and Capacity Exploration (B-SPACE) committee (2013). The committee should consider the following, among other possible areas:
• Evaluation of long-range financial projections (including future needs & liabilities, factors driving cost projections, and revenue projections)
• Evaluation of long-range demographic projections, particularly projected PSB enrollments and potential impact of residential development/expansion
• Potential efficiencies and best practices in PSB and Town operations, programming and staffing, and in the use of capital facilities
• Evaluation of the impacts, including operating and capital, of any recommended expansion of facilities or alternatives
• Examination of costs (operating and capital) and potential non-override revenue sources (including costs, feasibility, potential savings, and impacts of potential changes in PSB nonmandated areas)
• Comparability to other towns of Town and PSB programs/expenditures/revenues
• Review of Town bonding capacity
• Examination of Town/taxpayer capacity for an increased tax burden
To the extent that the OSC concludes that an override and/or debt exclusions are deemed necessary to meet FY15 and longer-term needs, the Committee should make its recommendations to the BoS by March 1, 2014 specifically with respect to FY15 needs and , to the extent feasible, projected longer term needs and/or plans for further examination with respect to longer-term needs, including 1) the level(s) and purpose(s) of any override(s) and/or debt exclusion(s), and 2) an analysis of the impact of failure of those recommendations to win public support.
The official meeting notices and agendas can be accessed here.