The Finance Committee is the principal financial advisor to the Town Meeting. It is a deliberative rather than a decision-making body. Finance Committee responsibilities are set forth in state law (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 39, §16), a Town Bylaw (1921) and standing votes of the Town Meeting (1976 and 2011). These responsibilities include:
Establishing a budget guideline prior to November 30 each year for the Town Manager and the School Committees;
Conducting public hearings on finance-related warrant articles before Annual and Special Town Meetings;
Publishing an annual report highlighting its recommendations on all finance-related warrant articles under which an appropriation or expenditure of money or the disposition of any property of the Town may be made;
Publishing a 5-year projection detailing what the total tax burden is likely to be on the citizens of the Town;
Managing the Town's appropriated Reserve Fund, voting to disburse money from this fund, upon the request of the Town Manager, when unforeseen or extraordinary events occur.
These responsibilities are carried out with the objective of providing sound and comprehensive advice to the Town Meeting that promotes, maintains and strengthens the long-term financial health of the town within a level of property taxation that is sustainable and supportable by the residents of Concord.
The Finance Committee is made up of 15 members who are appointed by the Town Moderator to serve for up to 2 3-year terms. The Moderator also makes appointments during the year to fill any unexpired term in the event of a vacancy. Staff assistance is provided by the Town Finance Department. The Town Finance Director provides direct staff support to the Finance Committee and attends its meetings. Members of the Finance Committee observe other Town boards and committees' public meetings to assist the Committee's understanding of current and emerging financial matters before the Town.