Budget Process

Building Hopkinton School and Town Budgets

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Town Charter Budget Timeline

November 1 Charter calls for Board of Selectmen to issue budget statement by November 1, with recommendations on how much if any increase over current year’s budget departments should target in budgets.
January 1 Town departments, including Police, Fire and DPW, put together budgets and submit to Town Manager by January 1.
February 1 School Committee submits budget to Town Manager by February 1.
March 1 Town Manager submits town budget, including school and town budgets, to Board of Selectmen by March 1.
March 15 Board of Selectmen either adopts or amend Town Manager’s budget, and submit to the Appropriation Committee.
April Appropriation Committee reviews budget, holds public hearing and develops recommendations on budget.
May First week of May – Appropriation Committee presents budget to Annual Town Meeting.  School budget and town budget are separate Town Meeting articles. Town Meeting approves, amends or votes down budgets.
May Third week of May – If the budget increase exceeds 2.5% over previous budget, the override must be passed at the Annual Town Election, held the third Monday of May.

Building of the School Committee Budget

Fall Superintendent and administrators meet and put together preliminary budget.   Superintendent fine tunes budget – makes some cuts or additions.
December Superintendent presents Superintendent’s budget to School Committee.
January School Committee meets with school principals and department heads, over a series of meetings, to review their portions of the budget.  A public hearing is held to solicit feedback from town residents.  School Committee then makes its own revisions to budget.
February 1 School Committee submits a preliminary school budget to Town Manager.
March School Committee meets with Board of Selectmen and Appropriation Committee, as needed, to review budget.
April School Committee votes on a final budget to present to Town Meeting.
May First week of May – School Committee presents School Budget to Town Meeting.
May Third week of May – If total town and school budget exceed a 2.5% increase over previous year’s budget, then after Town Meeting approval, a special ballot question must be approved at the Annual Town Election.  If the ballot question is not approved, then the budget must be revised so that the total budget does not exceed a 2.5% increase.

Capital Improvements Timeline

November Before the third week in November all committees and boards in town submit a 10-year capital plan to the Capital Improvement Committee (CIC).  A capital improvement is considered any acquisition; lease or transfer of land; buildings or motor vehicles; any purchase of a piece of equipment with a cost of $25,000 or more; or any renovation, construction or improvement to town facilities or land with a cost of $25,000 or more.
January Capital Improvement Committee submits a town-wide (including schools) Ten Year Capital Improvement Program to the Town Manager by January 1.
January The Town Manager submits the Ten Year Capital Improvement program to the Board of Selectmen and Appropriation Committee.
January – May The Capital Improvement Committee, in conjunction with the Appropriation Committee, will prepare an annual report on a Ten Year Capital Improvement Program.  This report is available at Town Meeting.
January – March Any Capital improvement Town Meeting article must be reviewed by the CIC by April 1, before it can be voted on at Town Meeting.  At Town Meeting the CIC announces whether or not it supports the proposed article right after the motion is read and recommended by the Appropriation Committee.

Glossary:

School Committee – A board of five members, elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis. The School Committee is responsible for voting on an annual budget and overseeing all spending during the year; maintaining school buildings and overseeing any improvements to them or construction of new buildings; negotiating with collective bargaining units; and developing policies to help govern the school district. The School Committee is also responsible for hiring the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Business Manager.
Official Website: http://www.hopkinton.k12.ma.us/domain/89

Board Of Selectmen – A board of five members, elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis. The Board serves as the chief executive of the Town, and is responsible for policy making, granting licenses, and appointing the Town Manager, Town Counsel, Police Chief, Fire Chief and members of multiple member bodies for whom no other method of selection is provided by the general laws.
Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/bos

Town Manager – Appointed by the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager serves as the chief administrator of the Town. He or she is responsible for the efficient and coordinated administration of all Town functions, appoints department heads and other personnel upon the approval of the Board of Selectmen, and negotiates with collective bargaining units.  http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/departments/townmanager

Appropriation Committee – An appointed committee charged with delivering a balanced budget to Town Meeting each year, based on available funds and the budgetary requests of all boards, departments and committees in town.
Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/appropriations

Capital Improvement Committee – An appointed committee charged with planning for long range capital spending and maintenance for expenditures of $25,000 or greater.
Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/capital

Permanent Building Committee – The Permanent Building Committee’s Responsibilities include: Inventory of Town Buildings, Active Capital Projects and Town Buildings’ Long-Term Needs. http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/pbc

Town Meeting – Annual meeting, open to all registered voters in town and, during which legislative actions occur. The Annual Town Meeting starts on the first Monday in May. Town Meeting attendees approve budgets and other spending articles and approve changes to by-laws. The Town Moderator, an elected position, regulates the proceedings, decides all questions of order, and makes public declaration of all votes. The Town Clerk records all votes.
Town Clerk Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/departments/clerk

Formerly Educate Hopkinton. Because Information Matters, a Civic League of Hopkinton, Massachusetts