AYER -- As the Finance Committee considered which members would sit on what committees, FinCom member Brian Muldoon cut the committee by one with his resignation.

"As of Oct. 31, Mr. Muldoon is leaving us, so we are going to do our re-appointments for some of the other subcommittees and groups," FinCom Chairman Scott Houde said.

With three members remaining, Houde took the spots on the Personnel Board and the Financial Policies Board. FinCom Vice Chairman John Kilcommins will step onto the Capital Planning Committee.

"I want to thank you for your service to the Finance Committee," Houde said to Muldoon.

"Thank you guys and good luck," Muldoon said. "I feel bad for leaving you guys, but I just have to move on. I just have some things I have to take care of."

"Don't worry, I'll be in the audience with Mary Spinner asking all of the questions from now on," said Muldoon.

"We have advertised and socialized the need for additional committee members but there has been no interest since June," Houde said.

Without Muldoon, there are only three members, which is the minimum number for a quorum. Houde discussed later the difficulty of operating with a minimum of three.

"The timing is hard because of upcoming department budget meetings," Houde said. "I requested to town counsel, through the town administrator, an opinion of what a committee or board can do without quorum. The department budget meetings are informational discussions about budget requests, which involves Q&A and occasionally deliberation and votes on items. Even if the present members at a budget meeting do not deliberate, there must be quorum for the meeting. This will lead to a lot of juggling of the meeting schedule to work around the committee members' schedules."

Houde said if other obligations, like Personnel Board, for example, meet at the same time as FinCom, the Personnel Board will not have a quorum.

FinCom is currently seeking two new members.

The committee also drafted a mission statement for review. The draft states:

"The Finance Committee is the representative and advisory committee for Town Meeting, the legislative body of government. The committee's primary responsibility is to present a balanced budget for annual Town Meeting, which provides an efficient use of available funds by maximizing revenue streams and ensuring expenses are justified. The committee reviews and provides recommendations on all monetary municipal warrant articles. The committee provides information on the town of Ayer's financial health, financial processes and financial efficiency to the voters to make educational decisions. The responsibility of the Finance Committee is to act in the best interest of the taxpayer; however, actions of elected officials are out of our hands."

The next regular FinCom meeting was not scheduled during the meeting.

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