The Bloomfield Township financial sustainability committee, a non-decision making advisory board comprising members of the community with financial knowledge to provide advisement to the board of trustees on financial matters, was unanimously reappointed, along with the township supervisor, treasurer, finance director and a trustee, at the board meeting on Monday, February 12.
The financial sustainability committee was created in 2015 to assist the treasurer and trustees in making better informed financial decisions.
Treasurer Brian Kepes informed trustees at the February 12 meeting, “The financial sustainability committee was established three years ago to provide the board of trustees with guidance and best practices. I am very pleased to report that since its inception, financial sustainability has greatly contributed to the township acclimatizing values and reducing expenses. It has worked with this administration to analyze and restructure investments which collectively have resulted in over $550,000 in annual net benefits to the township – so it's been pretty significant.”
Members of the financial sustainability committee are supervisor Leo Savoie, finance director Jason Theis, Kepes, trustee Neal Barnett, and general community members Dave Petoskey, Don Katz and Ken Hudson, all of whom Kepes put up for renomination to serve a second term.
Trustee Dave Buckley asked what the future agenda and purpose of the committee was, and Kepes responded that it was the same as when it was established in January 2015 – “to guide us in our finances.” Kepes said trustees would have a study session in the next few months, after the committee finished looking at all of the changes with the defined benefits and defined contributions retiree health programs.
“I wanted them to report back on those, which is going on right now,” Kepes said.
Buckley challenged Kepes, saying, “I didn't expect this to be a standing committee,” a point echoed by trustee Dani Walsh.
Kepes responded that it is “great to have the input” from experts who live in the township.
“If you're talking about any community, any university, you're talking about ongoing committees, because you're really dealing with $220 million of investments,” noted Savoie. “The question is, is the trustee on the committee Neal Barnett or another trustee. We can go one by one.”
“That's not the issue Leo,” Buckley responded. “I think the terms should be staggered.”
In the end, the nominations for all of the individuals were approved 7-0.