On August 8, the Board of Selectmen unanimously ratified an ambitious fiscal year 2018 workplan developed by Town Manager Shaun A. Suhoski to improve internal financial and personnel policies while also guiding continued economic and community improvements.
The goals include review of the town’s fiscal management policies, a series of economic development initiatives, neighborhood improvements including finding a “harmonious” disposition strategy for several former elementary schools, and updating municipal operational policies.
“I think the Board of Selectmen have embraced a plan that continues to find efficiencies within town government while also keeping an eye towards the town’s longer term health,” said Suhoski, who has seen Athol ween itself from subsidizing its operating budgets with free cash while also bolstering reserve funds.
Internal goals include potential updates to the 2014 fiscal policy including an assessment of the long-term funding for capital improvements, as well as completing an updated personnel policy guidebook and “welcome” kit for new employees.
The Board also asked Suhoski to conduct more frequent “all staff” meetings to ensure departments are aligned with the overall policy direction from the chief elected officials.
External goals center around economic development to stabilize and expand the tax base and create opportunities along the South Athol Road corridor, for the former Union Twist Drill site and supporting vitality and improvements to the downtown district.
Efforts to stabilize residential neighborhoods includes continued robust code enforcement, seeking rehabilitation or demolition grants for nuisance properties and transitioning the three downtown elementary schools to the private sector in a manner compatible with the neighborhood.
Click on the attachment for a copy of the complete document.