Question and Answer with: Chuck Woodard

Published January 30, 2009 | Finance Committee | Updated November 7, 2014 | Automatically Archived on 2/6/2009

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The Finance Committee reviews the town and school budgets and makes recommendations to the Board of Selectmen and to the taxpayers at Town Meeting. As chairman of the Finance Committee, Chuck Woodard is front and center at the meetings – including five during the first six weeks of the year. Along with many of the Finance Committee, Woodard spends winter weekends reviewing town spending and the budget prior to making a recommendation.

At a time when the country is in a recession, Woodard brings his 35 years of experience in the financial services business to help Sudbury make sound budget decisions.

This week as part of our series about people who work for the Town of Sudbury, the Town Crier asks Chuck Woodard about his role as chairman of the Finance Committee.

What made you want to be on the Finance Committee and ultimately, serve as its chairman?

I decided that it was my turn to “give back” to the town and found that with older children (high school and college), I had the time to do so. The Finance Committee seemed a natural fit given my career in banking and finance.

Q:What’s your background and experience in Finance?

A: Thirty years in the financial services business as a banker and investment banker primarily involved in arranging large multi-million dollar financings. This discipline requires a substantial amount of due diligence around the basic question “how are you going to use the money,” not unlike some of the work of the Finance Committee.

Q: How much time do you and the Finance Committee spend working on the budget? Could you please identify the time you spend in meetings in addition to working on the budget itself?

A: Between budget hearings and other FinCom related meetings, many of us are scheduled for fifteen meetings in the first six weeks of this year. Preparation for those meetings can require a substantial portion of our January weekends. In addition, the Finance Committee attends all Town Meeting sessions where we need to be available to vote or opine on budget and finance matters. During the remainder of the year, we meet one evening a month.

Q: What makes your role as FinCom Chairman so interesting?

A: You can have a meaningful impact on the principal financial decisions of the town.

Q: What makes your role as FinCom Chairman so frustrating?

A: As one of my former colleagues put it, watching the development of the final budget could aptly be described as “seeing how the sausage is made”.

Q: In addition to encouraging residents to attend Budget Hearings this month or watch replays of them on the Sudbury Cable Channel, do you have any other suggestions on how residents can better understand the budget process and all that it entails?

A: Feel free to send an email with questions to the FinCom email address. Read the budget document on the town Web site, which includes very useful information on the budget and the demographics of the town. There are also good budget summaries for each of the two school systems on their Web sites. And finally, read the Finance Committee summary in the Town Warrant.

Q: How would you complete this sentence: I’d be lost without?

A: The Finance Directors of each department: Andrea Terkelsen for the Town, Judy Belliveau at LSRHS, and Mary Will at Sudbury Public Schools. The Finance Committee is only as good as the quality of the information it receives.

Q: Tell me about yourself. Are you married? Do you have children?

A: Married to Lisa Eggleston, Vice Chair of the Planning Board. Our son is a senior at LSRHS and our daughter a junior at Tufts. Both started in kindergarten at Haynes and have gone all the way through the Sudbury system, with excellent experience.