FY 2005 will be a much better year than was FY 2004. Instead of budget
cutbacks and losses of services and employment for some town workers, the
Town was able to begin the process of restoring some of the shortfalls from
the previous budget. FY 2005 is not a year for growth. This year will really be a
year for stabilizing our financial situation. The state economy started to
rebound, and our town finances are heavily dependent on state aid. Abington
benefited from an increase in state aid for FY 2005 from what the town had
received for FY 2004. The increase in state aid to the town made a significant
difference in what we were able to support and recommend to the Town
Meeting for our annual budget for FY 2005.

The Finance Committee enjoyed a really good working relationship with the
Town Accountant's office, the Treasurer/Collector's office, the Town
Assessor's Office, and the office of the interim Town Administrator over the
past budget cycle. The Finance Committee appreciated the information and
the budget figures that all of these departments made available to us on an
ongoing basis throughout the budget process. We hope to build on and
continue our good working relations with the Town Departments as together
we craft our budget recommendations for FY 2006.

The structure of town government will be changing due to the will of the
townspeople to change the Town Charter from the position of a Town
Administrator to the position of a Town Manager. At the Annual Town Meeting
the Town approved an article whereby we can put funds aside on an annual
basis for capital improvements. The town also approved an article for a small
amount of money to go into a stabilization fund. These are good
measurements for the Town to adopt for future financial practices.

The Finance Committee lost four really good people from our ranks. Jack
Freeman served on the committee for 6 years. John Cawley served on the
committee for 4 years. Jim Frenier served on the committee for 2 years. Paul
Breadmore served only 1 year but was unable to continue due to other
obligations. They provided the Committee with a level of commitment and
professionalism that we will miss. We want to thank Jack, John, Jim, and Paul
for their time, their contributions to the process of preparing budget
recommendations for Town Meeting, and for the care and attention each put
into the work they did on the Finance Committee.

Fortunately for the Finance Committee we have four eminently qualified
people who stepped forward to fill these positions on the Finance Committee.
Mr. Dennis Bergin, Mr. William O'Hara, III, Mr. Leo Provost, and Ms. Jennifer
Oriola are new members of our group. These people will join the ranks of
incumbents Tom Corbett, Rich Cunningham, Adrian Griego, Terry Maze, and
Frank Quinn.

We are a young committee in terms of experience and background on matters
of town budgeting process and the financial operations of the town. Our
recording secretary, Ms. Deb Libby, anchors us. Deb will have her hands full
keeping us in line with procedural rules and time schedules.  She will also
serve as the source off our institutional memory and historian of actions
taken by the former Finance Committees.  Deb will be very busy as we
continue to learn our roles and functions.  She is an integral part of our team.
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