First of all, what is an ad hoc committee? BusinessDictionary.com defines an ad hoc committee as:
a committee formed for a specific task or objective,
and dissolved after the completion of the task or achievement
of the objective.
The ad hoc budget advisory committee met for four months and thoroughly reviewed Amberley's budget going back to 2006. They have prepared a Report, which is now published on AmberleyVillage.org, and they, as well as I, have talked about their ongoing work publicly. I have been emailed a copy of the Report, though I have not studied it thoroughly. Nor has it been formally presented to Council, which is the completion of the task the committee set out to do. Council does not meet as a full body other than at Council meetings, which are held on the second Monday of every month. Every meeting is published on the Village calendar and in other publications and the dates are established by Amberley's Charter. The next full meeting of Council will be on March 12th. At that time, I predict that the ad hoc advisory committee will present their findings to Council and Council will have the opportunity to publicly thank them for their hard work and refer the recommendations to one of Council's standing committees -- most likely the finance committee -- but other issues may be discussed in the Long Range Planning committee, or Compensation & Benefits. There is also a Land Development committee, which may be tasked with examining one or more of the ad hoc committee's recommendations.
It would be inappropriate, in my opinion, for me to comment on any particular one of the Committee's recommendations without first having the opportunity to listen to the ad hoc committee's presentation of their Report to Council. Having seen the Report, it appears on the surface that there are some items that I can get behind and some to which I have questions. It is unfair to the committee, which is comprised of members of our community, for Council to publicly either vet or criticize any component of the Report before it is formally presented to us. Righting Amberley's budget is not going to happen overnight. If the Police Levy passes, it is merely one piece of the puzzle and represents the beginning of a lot of hard work and changes to come. Many changes have already occurred and they have been discussed here as well as in public venues with Police Chief Wallace and Manager Scot Lahrmer.
We value our resident committees -- whether standing committees or ad hoc committees such as this one or the Amberley Green committee -- and do not want to jeopardize the willingness of our residents to serve on committees by undermining their work before they have made it official.
As always, I invite you to attend committee meetings and learn more about the inner workings of your Village. Every meeting is publicized on www.amberleyvillage.org. You can subscribe to meeting notices in any area that particularly interests you and your input at meetings is always valued. Residents who attend meetings are never required to sit silently and watch, but are invited to share their input and expertise.