Finance Committee Minutes

February 11, 2009


Members present:  Lonn Robertson, Kathy Thompson, Chris Matthiesen, David Eusted, Jacque Robertson, Jan Ophus, Bill Martin, Debra Weber, Ron Blatch, Ken Donner, Ellen Adler, Sandi Scaife, Shirley Burrus and Jennifer Heiss


Chair Robertson called the meeting to order at 6:30 a.m. and asked for public comments.  There were none.


Ms. Heiss explained the difference between fund accounting and financial accounting and reviewed how ending fund balance is determined and that it becomes budgeted revenue for the next fiscal year.  Ms. Heiss reviewed the board financial reports.  


The committee discussed the merits of conducting a survey of the community in an effort to prioritize general fund spending for the future.  Dr. Robertson outlined the task as a learning tool with the committee brainstorming to create a survey that would educate the public and staff on what the committee is reviewing and the reality of the budget problems.  The method would be to hear from a broader group and give an opportunity for input with the understanding that the questions would have to be crafted very carefully.


The committee asked about timelines and whether this survey would address short term and long term issues.  There was some concern that the survey done now would be premature in that the revenue picture is not clear.  Variables that may change the outlook are whether the state will use the rainy day fund or the economic stability fund to assist in this year’s shortfall and how the federal economic stimulus package will impact funding. In addition, Ms. Matthiesen asked if the committee should consider a public forum as additional input.


Dr. Robertson stated that it would be helpful to start drafting the survey instrument by brainstorming ideas which he requested be sent to him this week so that a document could be brought to the committee next week.



The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 a.m.