SELECTMEN NEWS Selectmen Consider Creating Finance DirectorTown Accountant Position

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen recently receive a presentation from Rick Kingsley, of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Collins Center for Public Management, after her reviewed the town’s financial management structure.The review was brought about by the forthcoming retirement of the entire Town’s Accountant’s Office, including Town Accountant Mike Morris.“Your financial structure was largely set up in your Town Manager Act, which was adopted in 1950,” Kingsley told the board. “It’s been almost 70 years since it’s been looked at in a detailed way.”During his review, Kingsley interviewed the department heads and staff members in each financial office, plus the town’s IT director. He also reviewed various documents provided by each office. He ultimately came up with several recommendations, chief among them — to create a Finance Director/Town Accountant position.Kingsley recommends elevating the Town Accountant’s position to that of the Finance Director/Town Accountant. The new position would oversee both the Treasurer/Collector’s office and Assessors’ office. The position would be responsible for the Town’s financial planning and operations, serving as the Town Manager’s right-hand person in creating and overseeing the town’s annual budget.Kingsley described several benefits that the new position would bring about. A Finance Director would create a focal point for finance and reduce the number of direct reports to the Town Manager. The Director would facilitate the formation of a financial team. The position would coordinate critical fiscal operations such as tax rate setting and tax billing.  The Director would ensure regular cash reconciliations and other sound financial controls. The would assess risk regularly to determine town vulnerabilities.Importantly, Kingsley also noted that finding a qualified Finance Director/Town Accountant is much easier that finding a standalone Town Accountant.“The labor market for accountants is highly competitive with a shortage of well-qualified accounting professionals,” explained Kingsley. “By enhancing the scope and authority of the position, you make the job more attractive, as does raising the compensation to $100,000-$125,000.”Kingsley noted that 7 of the 10 comparable towns near Wilmington already have a Finance Director position.Rather than amend the Town Charter, which would require a town vote and legislature approval, Town Manager Jeff Hull is recommending that Selectmen make a policy change, despite the fact that the approach has less permanency as future boards could easily change the position back.“It’s the suggested route because the process of hiring Mike [Morris’s] replacement is going to take place over the next few months,” said Hull. “There needs to be some measure of certainty which position that person will serve. They are two distinct roles and responsibilities, and targeting two different types of people with different skill sets.”“I would like board to consider the prospects of taking a vote to revise the town accountant position and to create a finance director/town accountant position at your next meeting,” added Hull. “As the position gets advertised, we can be clear what it is the town is seeking.”Selectmen asked for recommendations from the town’s Finance Committee and Town Accountant Mike Morris before taking an any vote.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: New Finance Director & Town Accountant AppointedIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Finalists For Town’s New Finance Director Position Revealed; Public Interviews ScheduledIn “Government”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Finance Director Bryan PerryIn “5 Quick Questions”last_img read more

Chinas lowcost carriers add more routes

first_imgXia Lili, marketing chief at a privately-owned Shanghai software firm, switched to flying with Spring Airlines after China’s first low-cost carrier took off in 2010. Her company has since made it mandatory for staff to use budget airlines when available, and has cut its travel costs by a fifth.Xia and her colleagues are among an increasing number of Chinese who are fuelling fast growth in what is often called the “last” big market ripe for low-cost carrier penetration.Since late 2013, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has encouraged budget airlines as Beijing has seen how they have taken off elsewhere. Freeing up new routes for low-cost carriers also helps develop economic growth in western China.Low-cost carriers account for 7% of China’s domestic air travel market, and that’s expected to more than double by 2020, according to OAG, an aviation data and analytics company.China, the fastest growing major air travel market, has overall passenger volume of 392 million, rising at more than 10% a year, according to official data, and planemaker Airbus predicts it will leapfrog the United States as the world’s largest domestic air traffic market within 10 years.”Low-cost travel has become a life style. Many of my colleagues would start chatting about how to get those 9 yuan ($1.41) or 99 yuan ($15.48) special offer tickets,” Xia said.As Europe’s pioneer no-frills airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet mature and move more upmarket, they are attracting business travelers as a way to stand out in the budget crowd.China’s four budget airlines offer sharply discounted air fares to full-service carriers.For example, West Air, a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines’ parent HNA Group, offers a round trip from Chongqing to the popular southern resort of Sanya and a 3-night stay in a five-star hotel for just 999 yuan ($156), for bookings made well in advance. That compares with 770 yuan for the cheapest one-way ticket offered by full-service carriers, according to Ctrip.com.In Europe, the cheapest budget airline return ticket for a similar flight — from Luton in England to Barcelona — without accommodation, costs 98 pounds ($148) on cheapflights.co.uk.All of China’s low-cost carriers, except newest entrant 9 Air, are profitable. Much of that is down to severe paring of their costs.At China United, flight attendants clean up inside the plane between flights. The airline has squeezed more seats into its fleet of Boeing 737 planes, and turned one of the jets into a flying billboard, advertising Huangguoshu waterfall, China’s biggest, said executive vice president Zhang Lanhai. With money from the local government, China United passengers are offered big discounts on hotels and tours in the area.Spring Air, China’s first and largest budget carrier, took out nearly all the light bulbs on the corridor to chairman Wang Zhenghua’s office, and staff must turn off the lights when they leave for the day. Both the chairman and president eat at the staff cafeteria, and flight attendants share hotel rooms on trips.The carrier on Thursday said it signed a $6.3 billion deal to buy 60 A320neo jets from Airbus to help it meet rising demand, tap new markets and improve fleet fuel efficiency. Spring Air has halved the size of the kitchen on some existing A320s to accommodate extra seats.Attracted by the sector’s growth potential, some state airlines have converted to low-cost carriers, and others are likely to follow suit.This year alone, China Eastern Airlines converted its China United unit into a budget carrier, and Juneyao Airlines set up a low-cost subsidiary in Guangzhou. West Air converted in 2013, and Lucky Air, another HNA carrier, is also going through that transition. China Southern Airlines is also considering setting up a budget subsidiary, executives said.The budget carriers have grown in part by flying routes that aren’t covered by the bigger airlines.China United, for example, flies to nearly a dozen cities in Inner Mongolia, more than any other carrier including Air China, which even has a branch there, said Zhang.Because Inner Mongolia’s transport network is still patchy, the quickest way to travel from one city to another is often to fly around 500 kms (311 miles) to Beijing with China United and connect there to a flight to the Inner Mongolian destination.”More and more people are doing this because it’s faster and cheaper,” said China United’s Zhang.Spring Air, which also flies to popular Asian leisure destinations, started flights in late October to Dongyin, an oil-rich city in eastern China whose only connection to Shanghai was previously by a lengthy bus trip and then by high-speed rail. The maiden flight was packed, a company executive said.Frustrated at not having enough slots at Beijing International Airport, Spring Air offered passengers free high-speed rail tickets to Shijiazhuang airport nearly 300 kms away, where it has better slots and offers more flights.As more Chinese take to the skies, one challenge for the budget airlines is to manage passenger expectations.Air travel has always been seen as a mode of transport for the privileged in China, and some passengers have been unhappy about meals and leg-room or when asked to pay for luggage or in-flight drinks.But, 9 Air’s marketing chief Huang Hui says, “Some passengers who initially complained keep coming back.”last_img read more

Ershad to join dialogue without any demand

first_imgHM ErshadJatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on Saturday said his party will take part in the scheduled dialogue with the ruling party on 5 November without any specific condition and demand on the agenda.”We’ll just ask them how many seats they’ll give us in the next parliamentary elections and will come out if they fail to satisfy us,” the former president said while addressing a public rally at Guthail High School and College playground in Islampur upazila.They (Jatiya Oikya Front) joined the talks with the ruling party with so many conditions, but the government did not accept those, he said.So, he said, Jatiya Party will not place any condition before them.”Hopefully, we’ll be able to come to power again if they (Awami League) give us the number seats as we expect,” he further said.last_img read more

Veteran Activist Paul Rieckhoff Launches Angry Americans Weekly Show With Cadence13

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Podcast company Cadence13 has launched a partnership with Paul Rieckhoff, the veterans advocate, author of “Chasing Ghosts,” founder of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and president and founder of Righteous Media.Rieckhoff, an Iraq War veteran and a political independent, is hosting the weekly podcast “Angry Americans” in partnership with Cadence13. The show, debuting this month, will explore topical issues with a wide range of guests. Willie Geist (“Sunday Today” and “Morning Joe”) is the inaugural guest. “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention,” said Rieckhoff. “’Angry Americans’ will be a place where listeners from all political and social backgrounds can come together to be informed and inspired. They will also find community — and ways to channel anger, frustration and patriotism into positive change. I’m thrilled to partner with Cadence13 on this project to elevate some of the most important issues, people and causes in America. Popular on Variety center_img “Angry Americans” will be a place for real talk, with top leaders. It will be a wake-up call that engages and empowers listeners. Cadence13 is a leader, and the Righteous Media team and I look forward to making an impact with them.”Chris Corcoran, chief content officer, Cadence13, added, “Paul Rieckhoff is a force of nature who brings passion, patriotism and purpose to everything he does. We are excited to add Paul and his passionate, independent, important voice to the podcast audience.”Rieckhoff  is a frequent contributor to “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Morning Joe,” “CNN New Day,” CNN.com, and Defense One.last_img read more

Stop treating Google as your doctor

first_imgAre you among those who log in to Google every time you are down with body ache, fever or cold, only to get more confused and scared? Many young Indians with smartphones in their hands are falling prey to the “Google-as-your-doctor” phenomenon and the dangerous trend is on the rise in the country, health experts feel.Although there is nothing wrong in checking your symptoms or trying to find more about your illness on the internet, they say that one should know where to stop. The ideal situation is to use search engines only when someone is diagnosed with a certain medical condition and wants to know more about it. The information available on internet should be used to educate oneself rather than trying to find a cure for the disease. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The biggest problem is that internet is loaded with enormous information which could be correct too but then your symptoms could be similar to some other disease which may cause confusion. Therefore, correct diagnosis of your health abnormality is very important,” said Dr Satnam Singh Chhabra, head (neuro-spine surgeon) at the Sir Gangaram Hospital.He has observed many young Indian adults getting hooked to the internet to look for every little thing, even self-diagnosis. For instance, if one has a health abnormality, then the instant reaction is to Google the symptoms before seeing an expert or a doctor. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“But one should be careful as people normally look for symptoms to get rid of curiosity and anxiety but to the contrary, it just worsens the scenario and leaves them more anxious,” Chhabra said.According to Dr (Prof) Raju Vaishya, senior consultant (orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, one should beware of getting trapped into “Google as your doctor” behaviour as this may cause more harm than good.“Yes, there is an increasing surge in young Indians with smartphones who google common health symptoms. I find more such patients coming to me with queries related to hand, wrist and elbow,” said Vaishya.  Dr R K Singal of the BLK Super-specialty Hospital had an interesting case study to share: “Once a patient in his mid-30s came to me with severe headache. He told me that he thought he had a brain tumour. After diagnosis, we found that headache was due to prolonged sore throat and rhinopharyngitis (common cold).” “The patient visited me after a month of self-diagnosis through internet. Whatever he found on the internet made him believe that he had a brain tumour,” said Singal.According to Singal, people in the 25-40 age group are more hooked on to the internet and such self-diagnosis only increases one’s anxiety. Dr. Rahul Gupta, senior neuro and spine surgeon at Fortis Hospital in Noida, is attending to many young Indians who come to him with weird health queries after scanning Google. “Self-medication via the internet can be dangerous. Patients at times do not follow our advice and waste our time with silly questions,” he stressed.Another danger of self-diagnosis is that you may think that there is more wrong with you than there actually is.“For example, if you had insomnia, inattention and depression, you may believe that you have a sleep disorder or major depression. Thus, you may make things worse by worrying more as well,” Singal noted.Self-diagnosis is also a problem when you are in a state of denial about your symptoms. One may think that generalised body aches started with a worsening of mood, but a doctor may elect to do an electrocardiogram for chest pain that reveals possible coronary artery disease, the experts felt. Are health websites trustworthy when it comes to answering health symptom queries? “I don’t see any harm in doing that because it’s about your health after all. In fact, a lot of times my patients come back with queries after surfing about their health abnormality on the internet,” Chhabra said. So, educate yourself as much before or after you visit your doctor, but let the experts do their job. Let your doctor prescribe you a treatment well-suited for your ailment.“One should be wise enough to understand which is an authentic website with relevant content as there are a lot of paid sites which exist only to make business,” Chhabra advised. Vaishya asked youngsters to share their internet-acquired knowledge with the doctor but not to force it upon the doctor to follow it.“Trust your doctor more than Google,” Gupta summed up.last_img read more