Tisbury Town Meeting: $20.2 million
A fiscal year 2010 (FY10) operating budget up 2.8 percent over last year and an annual town meeting warrant with 37 articles await Tisbury voters on April 14. Given the history of marathon annual sessions, the meeting in the Tisbury School gymnasium will start at 7 pm, a half hour earlier than has been customary, as agreed on by voters last year.
There's heavy betting on how many nights the meeting will run, especially because the question of granting licenses for selling beer and wine in restaurants and inns is once again before the voters.
If approved, it would authorize the selectmen to file a Home Rule Petition with the state legislature to put the question to voters on the next annual town election ballot in 2010.
Voters approved a similar article, vintage annual town meeting 2007, after long and emotional debate. The wording is somewhat different this time around, however, which may spark controversy.
The warrant, which is printed in today's Times and posted online at mvtimes.com, includes three debt exclusion items, six capital exclusion items, and five capital appropriation items, as well as articles to appropriate money from the town's passenger ferry embarkation fee receipts and Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds.
Tisbury's proposed FY10 $20.2 million operating budget represents a 2.65-percent increase, or $524,000, over FY09. A Voter Guide prepared by Tisbury's Finance and Advisory Committee (FinCom) notes that in the FY10 town budget, excluding schools, salaries, wages, and benefits will increase about 4.3 percent over FY09. All other expenses in the FY10 budget, again, excluding schools, will decrease by about 3.7 percent.
At annual town elections on April 28, voters will address nine ballot questions at the polls at the American Legion Hall, including three requiring Proposition 2.5 overrides, and elect town officers.
How it adds up
The largest shares of Tisbury's $20.2 million operating budget, up from $19.7 million in FY09, go towards education, employee benefits, and public safety.
The budget for Tisbury School and the town's assessment for the regional high school, which include a portion of the shared expenses for the superintendent's office, account for about $7.9 million, or 39 percent of the FY10 operating budget.
Educating approximately 306 students at Tisbury School, based on the 2008-2009 school census, will cost $4.9 million, up from 297 students in 2007-2008 and $4.75 million in FY09.
Tisbury's assessment for the regional high school decreased slightly this year, from $3.08 million in FY09 to $3.03 million in FY10, because the number of students from Tisbury attending the high school dropped, from 186 in 2007-2008 to 170 in 2008-2009.
Salaries, wages, and benefits for town employees make up 40.4 percent of the total budget, excluding schools, according to the FinCom's Voter Guide.