Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 26, 2013

Town manager unveils retiree benefits payoff plan


Stapczynski’s plan raised some red flags for a few people attending the meeting.

Finance Committee member Joanne Marden said Stapczynski’s plan assumes free cash would be built up to $3.2 million — the 20-year average for the account — in order for $800,000, or 25 percent, to be put toward funding OPEB costs annually.

“In all of the planning, being able to take 25 percent of free cash and getting this kind of significant number means you’ve planned to have this kind of free cash,” she said.

Seminole Circle resident Bob Landry also questioned the plan, saying it is being funded “out of balance sheet items” and fails to address the “bigger issue.”

“When you’re in a hole, you stop digging. How do you stop digging?” Landry said. “I’m seeing, 'outsource things. Hire more full-time employees rather than part-time.' ”

John Pasquale of Whittier Street, meanwhile, took issue with the town’s use of water and sewer enterprise dollars.

“Last year at Town Meeting, I asked the town manager, ‘Are we going to have a water (tax) increase,’ and his answer was `no,’” Pasquale said. “Four weeks later, at the water commissioners meeting, they voted in an increase.

“Now I see a slide that he’s going to start taking out of the reserves. Somebody’s going to say, ‘What are we doing to make tax increases to fund something else other than water and sewer?’”

But Selectman Brian Major defended Stapczynski’s plan, saying that town boards “don’t know exactly what the assumptions will look like. But that’s what the board is here to do — to have these discussions and build the plan that will hopefully get us out of this hole.”





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