Budget Process

Building Hopkinton School and Town Budgets


Town Charter Budget Timeline

Fiscal Year

July 1 through June 30

By October 1:

Annually, not later than the first day of October, the Town Manager, with the agreement of the Board of Selectmen, Appropriation Committee and School Committee, shall establish and issue a budget schedule, which shall set forth the calendar dates relating to the development of the Town’s annual operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year. The budget schedule shall set dates for:

  1. The issuance of a budget policy statement to be issued by the Board of Selectmen;
  2. The deadline for submission of budget requests to the Town Manager;
  3. The deadline for the submission of the Capital Improvements Program to the Board of Selectmen and the Appropriation Committee;
  4. The deadline for the submission of financial articles to the Appropriation Committee;
  5. The deadline for the submission of a comprehensive draft budget from the Town Manager to the Board of Selectmen;
  6. The adoption of a budget by the Board of Selectmen and submission of such budget to the Appropriation Committee; and,
  7. A public hearing on the budget to be held by the Appropriation Committee.

At least 14 days before Town Meeting:

At least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the Annual Town Meeting, the Appropriation Committee shall issue recommendations and detailed explanations of all financial articles in an annual Appropriation Committee Report. In preparing its recommendations, the Appropriation Committee may require the Town Manager and representatives from any Town Department, board or committee to appear before it and furnish it with such additional financial reports and budgetary information as it may deem necessary or appropriate.

First Monday in May:

Annual Town Meeting begins

Third Monday in May:

If the budget increase exceeds 2.5% over the previous budget (and any excess levy capacity), an override must be passed at the Annual Town Election, held the third Monday of May. Any debt exclusions that cause the tax increase to exceed 2.5% must also be passed at Annual Town Election, for example for the construction of a new building or another large capital expense.

Building of the School Committee Budget


Budget Instructions and timeline are sent to HPS administration including reference to School Improvement Plans (SIPs) and district priorities. The Superintendent, Director of Finance, principals and administrators meet and put together a preliminary budget. The School Committee (SC) does a preliminary review of potential Capital and Community Preservation Committee (CPC) requests. The SC frames budget issues and opportunities.


The Superintendent and Director of Finance present the Preliminary Budget overview related to strategic initiatives and overall cost to the School Committee (SC), answer questions and receive feedback to help refine the budget. The SC approves CPC requests and Capital Improvement Plan for submission to Town Manager. Individual principals and department heads present their budgets to the School Committee. They also answer questions and receive feedback to help refine the budget.


The School Committee holds a public hearing on the budget and votes on a budget to submit to the Town Manager.


Joint meetings may be held as needed with the Selectmen, Appropriation Committee and School Committee. The Appropriation Committee holds one or more public hearings on the budget.

Capital Improvements Program

The Town Manager shall annually submit a Capital Improvements Program to the Board of Selectmen and Appropriation Committee in accordance with the budget schedule established each fall. The Capital Improvements Program shall be designed to address unmet, long-range needs and to implement the capital goals and objectives of the Town, and shall include all Town activities, all Town Departments including the School Department, and all enterprise funds. It shall contain:

  1. A clear and concise general summary of the Capital Improvements Program
  2. A list of all capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the following ten (10) years, with supporting information as to the need for each capital improvement.
  3. Cost estimates, potential methods of financing and recommended time schedules for each improvement; and,
  4. The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining each facility and item of major equipment involved.

The Capital Improvements Program information shall be reviewed annually by the Town Manager to determine the status of capital improvements still pending or in the process of being acquired, improved or constructed.


School Committee – A board of five members, elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis. The School Committee is responsible for voting on an annual budget and overseeing all spending during the year; maintaining school buildings and overseeing any improvements to them or construction of new buildings; negotiating with collective bargaining units; and developing policies to help govern the school district. The School Committee is also responsible for hiring the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Business Manager.
Official Website: https://www.hopkinton.k12.ma.us/about/school-committee
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Board Of Selectmen – A board of five members, elected for three-year terms on a rotating basis. The Board serves as the chief executive of the Town, and is responsible for policy making, granting licenses, and appointing the Town Manager, Town Counsel, Police Chief, Fire Chief and members of multiple member bodies for whom no other method of selection is provided by the general laws.
Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/bos
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Town Manager – Appointed by the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager serves as the chief administrator of the Town. He or she is responsible for the efficient and coordinated administration of all Town functions, appoints department heads and other personnel upon the approval of the Board of Selectmen, and negotiates with collective bargaining units.  http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/departments/townmanager

Appropriation Committee – An appointed committee charged with delivering a balanced budget to Town Meeting each year, based on available funds and the budgetary requests of all boards, departments and committees in town.
Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/appropriations

Capital Improvement Committee – An appointed committee charged with planning for long range capital spending and maintenance for expenditures of $25,000 or greater.
Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/capital

Permanent Building Committee – The Permanent Building Committee’s Responsibilities include: Inventory of Town Buildings, Active Capital Projects and Town Buildings’ Long-Term Needs. http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/pbc

Town Meeting – Annual meeting, open to all registered voters in town and, during which legislative actions occur. The Annual Town Meeting starts on the first Monday in May. Town Meeting attendees approve budgets and other spending articles and approve changes to by-laws. The Town Moderator, an elected position, regulates the proceedings, decides all questions of order, and makes public declaration of all votes. The Town Clerk records all votes.
Town Clerk Official Website: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/departments/clerk