Town Council Meeting - 3/13/23
The first meeting in the month of March was a short meeting before our budget hearings later
in the week. The Town Manager presented his budget which had the following highlights:
The North Kingstown Budgeting process is a zero-based budget, meaning it is not assumed that the amount given to a department the year before will be the same or more the following year.
The proposed budget for 2024 (July 2023-July 2024) is suggested to increase by 3% . The proposed budget allots 62% to the School Department.
While the Town has a 12 million fund balance, this was built up over ten years and the Town Manager is planning to spend a portion of the fund balance on one-time capital expenses.
The Town Manager proposed using part of our fund balance is as follows:
A 350th Anniversary Celebration in 2024 for North Kingstown
Renovations for Municipal Office Building
Renovations at McGinn & Wilson Parks for basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, construct pickleballs courts, and provide additional seating.
Upgrade the Community Center
New LED lighting at McGinn & Ryan Parks
AED’s (automated external defibrillator) throughout town
Repairs and improvements to the Senior Center
Adding two police officers
Make improvements to the golf course and Allen Harbor
There was a discussion on replacing the Whistleblower ordinance with a Whistleblower policy.
All new ordinances require the Council to have the item on their agenda at two meetings and
be listed as a public hearing for citizens to comment on the ordinance; deleting ordinances also
require two readings of public comment on why the ordinance is no longer needed. The current
Whistleblower ordinance requires complaints to be heard by the Audit Committee. The Audit
Committee reported no substantial issues were raised for the past ten years. A few months ago,
the Audit committee requested the Town Council repeal the Whistleblower ordinance. The
Town Manager agreed and proposed a Whistleblower policy in which he would be the ultimate
arbitrator of issues. He suggested a flow chart for complaint procedures and stated this would
be prominently displayed on the website so the policy was easy to find, and citizens and town
workers could understand the process. This was the first time discussing the repeal of the
ordinance and implementation of the policy, so the Council will discuss this issue at a future
meeting. On Thursday we will meet for our budget hearings.
Respectfully submitted, Kim Page