The Selectboard and Finance Committee have been discussing fiscal year 2023 budget requests from town departments over the past two weeks, generally supporting changes proposed.

Fiscal year 2023 begins July 1. The proposed general operating budget entails an increase of around 4.8%.

According to Finance Committee Chair Jen Audley, by spring, the Finance Committee will hear Capital Improvement Committee recommendations on requests for capital expenditures, attempt to agree on a single budget proposal to bring to Annual Town Meeting, discuss reserve fund contributions and uses, and recommend articles that will appear on the Town Meeting warrant.

Finance Committee recommendations are brought to the Selectboard for approval before being brought to Town Meeting voters.

Town Clerk Deb Bourbeau requested a $36,980 increase (23.83%) from $155,173 in fiscal year 2022 to $192,153 in fiscal year 2023. Bourbeau described in her budget narrative “a huge issue” where her office has “officially run out of space,” made worse by 2023 being an election year that includes a gubernatorial race.

She framed her request as a means for acquiring additional postage and office supplies necessitated by “vote by mail” processes, paying for the coding and layout of ballots, purchasing a fireproof filing cabinet to store vital records, bookbinding and ArchiveSocial software to back up town social media accounts.