Thursday, December 18, 2014

FHS wrestling and girls hockey team post wins

From Hockomock Sports we get the results of Wednesdays high school sports action.


Foxboro, 26 @ Franklin, 41 - Final

Girls Hockey

Franklin, 6 vs. Bishop Stang, 4 - Final

screen grab of Hockomock Sports website
screen grab of Hockomock Sports website

For all the results around the Hockomock League check this link

MassBudget: Massachusetts Ranks in Middle for Taxes in FY 2012

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Massachusetts Ranks in Middle for Taxes in FY 2012  

Yesterday the US Census released its annual update on state and local finances. It compares how much is collected in taxes in each state to help pay for all those things we do through government, such as: providing quality public education and police and fire protection; building and maintaining roads, bridges and other infrastructure; protecting the environment; operating parks, playgrounds and libraries; and ensuring that we have a safety net to protect access to health care and other supports families depend on - particularly when they are faced with acute challenges.

The census report finds that in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, Massachusetts ranked in the middle of the pack for overall state and local taxes. Our total tax level, as a share of income, was a little below the national average and 21 states had higher taxes as a share of income. Taxes as a share of income were down a little from the prior year in both Massachusetts and the US.

To read our related Facts-At-A-Glance, please click HERE.  

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

In the News: Emmons St, Library Building committee

A local developer eyeing the town property on the corner of Emmons Street has objected to the idea of limiting the kind of businesses that could set up shop there. 
Roger Calarese, the developer behind the Franklin Village Mall, submitted a proposal to raze the current building at 150 Emmons St. and replace it with a 5,300-square-foot commercial property with a drive-through. 
But the Franklin Downtown Partnership, a consortium of local businesses, opposes the prospect of a restaurant and drive-through, such as a coffee shop.
Because of its location at the entrance to the downtown, the property has been the subject of debate. And most of the suggestions for how the town should develop the property have come from downtown business owners, who see it as a "gateway" to the area.

Continue reading the article here: (Subscription may be required)

Franklin Public Library
Franklin Public Library

A building committee was created Wednesday to oversee the $6.6 million library expansion. 
Committee members must consider the building’s recognizable exterior, inspired by ancient Greek architecture, as they plan out a 6,000-square-foot, two-story addition, to include a community room, coffee shop and young adult wing. 
The town has enough debt capacity to borrow the money for the project – up to 3½ percent of its revenue is reserved annually for general fund debt, helping foot the bill for most capital improvements to the recreational fields and municipal buildings. 
Three town councilors were appointed to the committee, Matthew Kelley, Thomas Mercer and Judith Pond Pfeffer, along with members of the library's Board of Directors and residents with experience in budgeting for large projects.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Live reporting - Legislation through to closing

1. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-742:Changes to Chapter 185-§4. Districts Enumerated – 2nd Reading Requires 2/3 Vote

motion to accept, seconded

technical corrections, no substantial changes, just minor typo corrections to language

Pfeffer - why weren't these caught before hand?
The review by the Town Clerk's office caught these, some of the terminology has changed over time and it was not caught before

vote via roll call, 8-0

2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-743:Changes to Chapter 185-§20. Signs - 2nd Reading Requires 2/3 Vote
motion to accept, seconded

technical corrections, no substantial changes, just minor typo corrections to language

Kelly - I know we talk about how hard it is but I got someone to do a new sign for us and in one meeting it was done. I was impressed

Joking about him being a councilor!

vote via roll call, 8-0

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-744:Changes to Chapter 185-§31. Site Plan and Design Review - 2nd Reading Requires 2/3 Vote

motion to waive reading, seconded, passed 8-0

motion to accept, seconded,

vote via roll call, 8-0

4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 15-745: Amendment to Chapter 185, Attachment 7, Part VI, Use Regulation Schedule, Residential Uses, Office Zoning District – Referral to Planning Board

note amendment being changed to 15-745 from 14- as it would not be accepted until 2015
motion to change, passed 8-0

Nutting - recap of discussion on the RFP for Pond St, which while it was late did include a residential component. The Council could chose to include it, or leave it out, to limit the number of units, etc.

R6 zoning doesn't exist on the map, if anyone should get it, we can take the first crack at it
it is not considered spot zoning as it is the whole zone

the business zoning we are talking about will include multi-family
Need to make the zoning change before redoing the RFP

motion to refer to planning board, passed 8-0

5. Resolution 14-87: 2015 Town Council Meeting Schedule
motion to accept, second, passed 8-0
looking for Feb 18th meeting to be moved to the 11th to avoid school vacation

motion to change, seconded, 8-0

vote on amended resolution, 8-0

6. Resolution 14-88: Legal Notices

motion to accept, seconded, 8-0
annual requirement, and there currently is no option

7. Resolution 14-89: Creation of a Library Building Committee
already covered earlier in meeting

congratulations to Mr Dellorco, welcome back
thanks to all the town employees

the culvert problem was resolved in short order

Franklin Fire Dept has a home visit program (look for on website)

posting no parking on Main St to Pleasant on outbound side, parking remains on inbound side

Cottage St has same parking problem but it is not currently enforced (per Vallee)

free parking is still for a 2 hour period, they will be ticketed

railroad property has been posted with a for sale sign up (finally)
price to the Town was $600,000 what it is to the marketplace is unknown
zoned for C1, deed restrictions will apply

comments on the sanding situation Dec 2, not forecasted by any meterologist
police should be notifying the DPW

we go through this every year with the first snow or ice, people forget how to drive

Kelly- happy holidays

Vallee - the common is looking good, another 4-5 trees and we'll really be good

motion to adjourn, seconded, passed 8-0

Live reporting - Habitat for Humanity


2015 Annual Alcoholic Beverages Licenses Renewals
a few licenses are being held
Padula - recused himself

motion to approve (with the holds as noted), seconded, passed 7-0

• Habitat for Humanity
Bill McKenna, Manny Cunard

Expanding their program from building house to also helping home owners repair their houses. Income requirements do apply

The application form is online or it can be sent to them via mail
Applications are reviewed and based upon need can be funded, there is some 'sweat equity' involved

This is the first time that Habitat has modified its mission to do more than building homes. As a result of this transition, we can serve more.

Additional brochures will be made available at the Library, Senior Center, Food Pantry and other sites around town.

Economic Development
voted to move both the Pond St and Emmons St properties for the first meeting in January at the Town Council

Live reporting - Library Building Committee

7. Resolution 14-89: Creation of a Library Building Committee
motion to accept, seconded, passed 8-0

Library Building Committee – Vote Resolution 14-89 First (voted above)
Nancy J. Rappa - 25 Queen Street
Matthew T. Kelley - 75 Crescent Street
Judith Pond Pfeffer - 37 Arlington Street
Thomas D. Mercer - 14 Mercer Lane
Christopher K. Feeley - 5 Taft Drive
Felicia Oti - Library Director
Monique Doyle - 3 Greenfield Road
Sandra Brandfonbrener - 8 Beech Street
James M. Roche - 152 Daniels Street
Joseph Mullen (added during clerk reading of motion)

Live reporting: Town Council - Dec 17, 2014

Present: Padula, Mercer, Kelly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Bissanti, Williams
Absent: Feldman

Swearing in - 

Robert Dellorco sworn in by Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri (photo to be added later)

newly elected Town Councilor Robert Dellorco and Town Clerk Deboroah Pellegri
newly elected Town Councilor Robert Dellorco and Town Clerk Deboroah Pellegri

August 6, 2014, December 3, 2014
motion to approve, seconded, passed 8-0

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting is being recorded by Franklin Matters.

Del Arnold - recognition of service to Historical Commission (photo to be added later)

Council chair Bob Vallee with proclamation recognizing Del Arnold
Council chair Bob Vallee with proclamation recognizing Del Arnold

Marlene Oliver - recognition of service to Historical Commission

Richard Griffin, resident
last ice storm, sand trucks were called out at 5:00 AM, too late to do much
DPW makes the call but he lives in Swansea and he didn't know there was ice here
school was on, kids waiting for buses, some one is going to get hurt.
those 5 truck routes are only doing the streets, not even doing the schools yet
the routes take 3 hours to ride, you can do that, there has to be better communication between the town and the schools

Economic Development Committee - Dec 17, 2014

Economic Development Committee: Andy Bissanti (Chair), Bob Vallee, Matt Kelly, Peter Padula. 

Meeting location was changed to be held in the 3rd floor training room to accommodate the larger group present. Approx 24 folks in room. I was late to the room and if there was a formal acknowledgement of the committee at the meeting opening I missed it.

Open statement by Jeff Nutting providing an overview of the status of the RFP and the one response, not legal as it came in after time and added items not part of the original request.

Discussion effectively around should the RFP be re-issued? and if re-issued should it be re-issued as is, or modified. Modified to include a re-zoning of the property to include residential in a multi-use proposal.

There would be public hearings as part of the process for the zoning change. First before the Town Council as the bylaw change would be recommended to the Planning Board. There would be the Planning Board public hearing and due process. Ultimately assuming referred back to the Town Council, there are two additional readings (and hearings) for public input before final vote.

Discussion around the benefit of the apartments vs. condominiums (from a tax base perspective).
Traffic studies would be part of the approval process of what ever proposal is brought forward by a developer.

The larger concern is revenue for Franklin. How much revenue can the property bring to the community?

Planning Board Chair, Tony Padula said that the developer for the Starbucks hired an independent traffic consultant for a study. The Town also did their own study of traffic input. Both studies agreed the traffic should not be an issue for the area.

The real issue with the site is that the location and land is really located on water and next to the Charles River. That will limit what can be done on the land.

Andy Bissanti - The land is a beautiful piece of land, it is right near i495. It is underutilized. Putting it back out is the best thing to do. The residential component should be able to help 'sell' the property.

Discussion on including or not the residential component. Suggestion on putting it out without restrictions and see what someone may propose, maybe a use we have not considered.

Sandy Verhagen - What is the rush? If the land has been unused for 30+ years, what is wrong with waiting a little longer to get input from the community and do it right.

Joe Halligan - You can't say it is not going to be built, it can be built with mitigation (wider lanes, turn signals, etc.)

Peter Padula - All the hard questions need to asked here so we can do what is in the best interests of Franklin. What will come of it? I don't know but let's get it started.

Nutting - provides an overview of the next steps in the process (as summarized above)
In addition depending upon the nature of the proposal, the Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals maybe required.

Bissnti - motion to make recommendation to the full council on the proposed zoning change. Motion accepted. (Will check on committee members later - hard to determine who they are in the mix of folks present)

Second item on the agenda

Kelly- recused himself from this discussion but remained sitting in his same position

Nutting - provides a summary of Roger Calarese the developer who made the proposal for the Emmons St property

(photo to be added of rendering of his proposal)

Roger Calarese (right) and Jeff Nutting (left)  at Economic Development Committee meeting
Roger Calarese (right) and Jeff Nutting (left)  at Economic Development Committee meeting

Joe Halligan - I think we have beaten this property to death. This is going on forever. We know his work, His is the only proposal.

Lisa Piana - Downtown Partnership Executive Director - objects to the possibility of a food drive through.

Padula - I'd like to make the recommendation to bring this before the council for a full vote.

Jane Curran - objecting also to the possibility to of a food drive through

Padula - with draws his motion as he is confused. He had not realized that the proposal as written would allow for a food drive through. He had assumed it would be a bank drive through.

Bissanti - the EDC meeting had not restricted the RFP that Mr Calarese had responded to

Nutting - that is a policy decision. You can make the change and re-do, or are you going to restrict it as it moves forward?

Bissanti - I wanted it open as there are lots of potential uses and wanted to get the best option we could. I don't think we can dictate what the market says can go there.

Padula - Here is my proposal, I would not be in favor of any drive through with a food establishment on it.

Calarese - the site is too small for a Burger King or McDonald's. It could be a coffee shot but there are issues with the location and how it would fit. It is not a done deal.

Verhagen - I like to go to a downtown where I can spend time and money at a shop downtown. The money doesn't only have to come from the sale of the land it can come from the sales of the goods and services

Joe Halligan - for everyone that is against the project, there are likely going to be more that would be for the project.

Beth Simon - I am here not be to against something. I am here to ensure that the integrity of the town is maintained. I change the color of my signs (Simon's Furniture) and I got calls from folks talking about the 'new' signs. The signs have been there for years. All I did was change the color so I am glad they got noticed.

Brian Kelly - let's be clear about what we are talking about. is it a drive through or sit down place?

Calarese - I don't see that as a detriment that a brand could be located on the corner, someone could in to Town to do something at Dean, see the sign, drive through, and then go to their event. Students could cross from campus almost everyday all year.

Susan Dewsnap - That is going to be an extremely busy intersection. You got a ton of traffic going through there.

Joe Halligan - all the improvements downtown are not going to increase the traffic, it is supposed to help improve the through put? The traffic will still go through the town

Lisa Piana - the streetscape is coming and that will be making changes to the traffic. Let's wait and see what will happen after that project is done.

Bissanti - this has been beat to death. He submitted an RFP with a drive through. I think we need to move this forward. We are going to get another bite at it when it comes to the Council.

Halligan - you have to give something to the developer to get something that will improve the estetics

Recommendation to go forward for discussion at the next Council meeting

move to adjourn, passed

Rebel without a Cause = FHS Drama - Dec 17, 18

This year, the FHS Drama Club will be performing Rebel Without A Cause on December 17 and 18. 
Mrs. Waters, the director of the production, is doing a great job leading the club as she does every year. 
Franklin’s production is based off the original film, which was written and directed by Nicholas Ray in 1955 and starred James Dean. The overall story involves one main character, Jim Stark, who moves to Los Angeles. From there, the angsty 17 year-old deals with typical teenage struggles from the time period, such as popularity and fitting in.

screen grab of the pantherbook webpage
screen grab of the pantherbook webpage
The show is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM.

This was shared from:

Both FHS Basketball teams top Canton

Hockomock Sports reports on the results from action across the Hockomock League on Tuesday in part by writing:

Boys Basketball

Franklin, 67 @ Canton, 36 - Final - Marcus Giese registered a double-double for the Panthers with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Dylan Reno and Tim Prunier each chipped in with nine points apiece. Canton's Griffin Jerrier scored a team-high 14 points for the Bulldogs.
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Girls Basketball

Canton, 26 @ Franklin, 70 - Final - Lexi Martin had 12 points for the Panthers. Aubrie Kutil added 10, Jillian Spolidoro had nine, Julianne Pisani had eight, and Olivia Adiletto scored seven for Franklin. Canton was led by Gabby Kenefick and Shannon Foley, each with nine points. 

For all the scores in the Hockomock League action on Tuesday, visit here

Franklin Library: LEGO Club - Dec 18th

The LEGO Club will meet on Thursday at the Franklin Library. Open for ages 3 to 12, this starts at 4:00 PM on Dec 18th.


This was shared from the Franklin Library page here

In the News: new courses at FHS, election results

Franklin High School is expanding its course offerings next year to make full use of the equipment and technology at the new school, including a forensic science class that will have students analyzing blood splatter and finger prints. 
The school will add or modify courses in art, business, English, math, physical education and science. 
"I am excited that our faculty work tirelessly to continually develop and offer new courses to meet the needs of our students," said FHS Principal Peter Light. "FHS has an incredible faculty who have developed courses which I believe are on the cutting edge of a 21st century high school curriculum."
Continue reading the article at:  (subscription may be required)

The presentation document for the Program of Studies was published here

Robert Dellorco was the sole choice Tuesday to fill the open Town Council seat, having run unopposed in a special election that saw less than 1 percent turnout. 
Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri is to swear Dellorco in at the start of Wednesday's council meeting. 
The resignation of councilor Glenn Jones in October triggered the election. The nine councilors, elected to two, two-year terms, form the highest municipal body, responsible for approving the budget and setting the tax rate. Even with the absence of a contested race, both state law and the town's charter stipulate that an election be held.

Continue reading the article at:  (subscription may be required)

The results of the special election were reported here

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Special Election results - Dec 16, 2014

There were 217 votes cast today in the Franklin Special Election to fill the open Town Council vacancy. 60 of those votes were cast via absentee ballot meaning that only 147 walked into the Franklin High School gym today to vote.

Robert Dellorco received 202 votes, 3 votes were recorded as 'blank', another 12 were write-ins for the total of 217 votes.

Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri will be at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday to swear in Dellorco. After the swearing in, he can participate in his first council meeting also coincidentally the last one of 2014.

only a few voting booths were set up for each precinct anticipating a low turnout
only a few voting booths were set up for each precinct anticipating a low turnout

The agenda for the Town Council meeting on Wednesday can be found here

Holiday Gifts at Akin Bak Farm - Dec 20th

Holiday Gifts at the Farm

Saturday December 20th 

10am- 5pm

Stocking stuffers, organic soaps and salves, 
wooden toys and birdhouses, knit and crochet items, 
maple syrup, honey, pomegranate hand scrub, snowmen and more

Santa visits Akin Bak
Santa visits Akin Bak (Photo by Akin Bak)

Santa will be here 12 noon until 2 pm. Bring your camera!

Akin Bak Farm360 West Central StreetFranklin

For more info you can find them on the web here

or on Facebook here

Franklin Youth Hockey: Holiday Skate with Santa

Come skate with Santa Claus! Sunday, Dec 21 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at Pirelli's Veteran's Arena, 910 Panther Way. Cost $5 per person.

Additional information on the Franklin Youth Hockey Association can be found on their website

Franklin Library: Doggie Tales returns

Doggie Tales returns to the Franklin Library on Wednesday, Dec 17th from 6:30 to 7:30 PM 

doggie tales returns
doggie tales returns

This was shared from the Franklin Library page here

In the News: 13 yr old fund raising, 25 yr old arrested

AJ Bremser may be only 13 years old, but already he's making a difference. 
The eighth-grader at Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School recently raised more than $1,600 for Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Hematology as part of a capstone community service project that all students at his school must complete to continue on to high school. 
Bremser raised $1,660.18 by holding a “Penny Wars” fundraiser for two weeks during his lunch period. This fundraiser involves collecting coins and dollar bills from students and faculty.

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required) :

A Franklin woman was arraigned Monday in Wrentham District court on charges of robbing two East Central Street businesses last week, threatening that she had a gun. 
Audrey Gorman, 25, was arrested at the Franklin Commons Apartments on Gatehouse Lane Friday after police swept the area searching for the suspect in two reported robberies that day. 
Gorman was arraigned on two counts of armed robbery while masked. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf, and Judge Emogene Johnson Smith ordered her held on $15,000 bail. 
Johnson Smith also ordered Gorman to undergo a drug treatment program at MCI-Framingham on the recommendation of a forensic psychiatrist, who testified that Gorman has a heroin addiction.

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)