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Jarvie proposes financial management review

Jim Jarvie, candidate for Westford Board of Selectmen
Jim Jarvie, candidate for Westford Board of Selectmen

Like many communities across the Commonwealth, Westford is facing similar budget pressures – rising healthcare and retirement costs in addition to limited state aid and mandates. So the question must be asked. Are we doing everything we can to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible? If you ask me, I believe more can and should be done. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Our community can only benefit from reaching out to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Division of Local Services (DLS) and making a formal request for a FREE financial management review. That’s right, FREE! A financial management review is a study of a municipality’s financial operations and condition to determine its strengths and weaknesses. The DLS has been a resource for local officials on matters of municipal finance, technology and government structure for over 25 years. You may be just as surprised as I was when I first learned the last time Westford conducted a similar review was back in 1985. To continue to delay this action is a disservice to the taxpayers (residential and commercial) and a threat to Westford’s commitment to providing our children with a quality education and all residents with essential town services.

Financial management reviews can help communities:

·       Operate more efficiently and effectively

·       Improve budget and capital planning procedures

·       Cost-out municipal services and analyze user fees

·       Expand the use of technology

·       Improve cash management

·       Analyze school finance and regionalization impacts

·       Analyze shared cost and service consolidation impacts

·       Restructure municipal government

For more information regarding the Department of Revenue Financial Management Assistance Program, click here - http://1.usa.gov/1bLj6AA

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Vincent DiRico February 10, 2014 at 07:20 AM
This is a good idea but not FREE. I did a really quick read of the Tyngsborough 2008 report, many of the high level suggestions will be a difficult sell. Good luck!
Jim Jarvie February 10, 2014 at 08:49 AM
The assessment is free to municipalities, which will result in a report that is presented to the BoS along with recommendations. Obviously, there would need to be discussion on what would be needed from the town with regard to resources, but it's a good place to start since the last time Westford requested a financial management review was back in 1985. A lot has changed since then. Wouldn't you agree?
Sam February 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Now you are talking!
Sam February 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM
The problem is that now all the "sky is falling" elected officials have to become transparent with finances and agree to that. Fat chance!
Jim Jarvie February 10, 2014 at 12:33 PM
Let's work together to change that. I'm ready and committed. All I need now is your vote.
Nick Caraway February 10, 2014 at 02:30 PM
The Ross duo is not going to open the house to transparency, I hear the independent fire audit from the WFD arbitration case will raise some eyebrows though
Sam February 10, 2014 at 03:13 PM
You had my vote last time and will have it again!
Jim Jarvie February 10, 2014 at 04:08 PM
Thanks, Sam! :-)

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