Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final Councilor comments (audio)

Councilor comments at the end of the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08

Feeley, Nutting, et al

Time: 4 minutes, 24 seconds



MP3 File

Councilor Pfeffer (audio)

Councilor comments at the end of the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08

Time: 45 seconds



MP3 File

Councilor Doak (audio)

Councilor comments at the end of the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08

TIme: 2 minutes, 10 seconds



MP3 File

Councilor Zollo (Audio)

Councilor comments at the end of the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08

Time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds



MP3 File

Councilor Vallee (audio)

Councilor comments at the end of the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08

Time: 54 seconds




MP3 File

Councilor Whalen (audio)

Councilor comments at the end of the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08

Time: 1 minute, 56 seconds




MP3 File

Other Action Items (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08, acceptence of $5,000 from the Friends of Franklin Public Library, discussion and vote on veterans benefits, discussion and move to second reading the utility rate change

Time: 6 minutes, 42 seconds



MP3 File

Override Date 6/10/08 (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting on 4/30/08, the discussion on the override date (6/10/08), Tuesday vs. Saturday, and absentee ballot information.

Councilors Whalen and Mason questioned Town Clerk Debbie Pellegri on Tuesday/Saturday

Time: 5 minutes, 11 seconds



MP3 File

Town Council Mtg Summary 4/30/08

The listing here is in the reverse chronological order of how the segments occured during the course of the meeting.

Final Councilor comments (audio)

Councilor Pfeffer (audio)

Councilor Doak (audio)

Councilor Zollo (Audio)

Councilor Vallee (audio)

Councilor Whalen (audio)

Other Action Items (audio)

Override Date 6/10/08 (audio)

Override Amount (audio)

Citizen Comments - Chandler Creedon (audio)

June 10th - $2.8 Million - Yes/No for Franklin's s...

Live at the Town Council meeting 4/30/08

Town Council Agenda for April 30th 6:00 PM

Override Amount (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08, the council spent all of one minute reading and voting on the override amount with NO discussion.

Override passed with a 7-1 vote. Pfeffer voted no, McGann was absent.

Time: 1 minute, 7 seconds




MP3 File

Citizen Comments - Chandler Creedon (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/30/08, Chandler Creedon, President of the Franklin Education Association (fondly referred to as the teacher's union) speaks to clarify some misinformation.

Time: 1 minute, 31 seconds



MP3 File

June 10th - $2.8 Million - Yes/No for Franklin's schools

The choice is now in the hands of the voters.

Make it an informed vote:
  • Visit here often for informational updates
  • Read the news papers
  • Talk with your neighbors
If you are not registered to vote, visit the Town Clerk's office and register.

If you will be out of town on the 10th, apply for an absentee ballot.

There is no reason why you should not vote.

How you vote is up to you!

Live at the Town Council meeting 4/30/08

6:00 PM and a few folks are not here yet
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Started at 6:05
Proclamation for municipal clerk's week

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Chandler Creedon, statement repeated from School Committee Citizen Comment
(recording to be posted when time permits)
clarification on teacher health insurance information that had been printed and circulated erroneously

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Updated 6:11

override question -> $2.8M
no discussion, 7-1 passed

override date - 6/10/08, Tuesday
discussion on choice of Tuesday vs. Saturday

only once in last 24 years have there been an election on a Saturday
per Debbie Pellegri

absentee ballot process
available by request, can vote at the office once the ballots
or via mail

registration required 20 days prior to the 10th

approved unanimously
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Approved donation from Friends of Franklin Library
unanimous

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updated 6:20

discussion on veterans benefits
town obligated to pay, reimbursed by state at 75% in following year
money being switched from town health insurance due to health coverage changes

unanimously approved

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updated 6:25

moving amendment to second reading
passed unanimously

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4 corners building status on next week's council agenda for discussion

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Councilor Comments

Whalen encourage to spread word, need to get the vote out

Vallee claims the Town Council has not sponsored the override

Zollo put the vote to the people, respect the vote of the people
regardless of the outcome, the voter turnout should be 80-90%
before voting, be informed, ask the right questions

Doak now it is up to the residents, everybody gets one vote
it is no secret that costs are rising faster than revenues
it is no one's fault, it is not that no one did their job
it costs more to provide quality services
why is the amount so high? we have been tapping the stabilization fund
we can no longer do that

Pfeffer does not support the override, but will not work against it

Nutting will refresh to elected officials the guidelines around their conduct during the election

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motion to adjourn at 6:35

In the News - School Committee override options

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff
GHS
Posted Apr 30, 2008 @ 12:29 AM
FRANKLIN —

The School Committee last night agreed to present the town with two override scenarios - one for $3.1 million, the other for $2.8 million plus Medicaid reimbursement money. Both would enable the board to keep teachers, staff and programs intact next year, Superintendent Wayne Ogden said.

The School Committee's budget subcommittee had planned to seek a $3.3
million override question to be placed on a June ballot, but Paul Funk, the
interim finance director for schools, announced last night the district has
$180,000 more in its budget than he previously calculated.

The money was undetected because of a Microsoft Excel error in which the software did not subtract athletic revenues, Funk said.


Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Live from the school committee meeting 4/29/08

meeting resumes from a brief break with a discussion on the override amount

options from budget subcommittee
1 - $3.1 M
2 - $2.8 M if the town restores the Medicaid funding

discussion on Medicaid data capture

discussion on Arlington plan, the 3-5 year plan upon which an override would be based and then not to come back during that period

decision to go forward with the larger level service amount

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1. I recommend FY2008 Budget Transfers as detailed. (approved in meeting earlier)
2. I recommend acceptance of two checks ($5286.00 and $200.00) for field trips for Davis Thayer Elementary School.
3. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1500.00 from the Oak Street PCC for the Oak Street Gift account for 2 field trips.
4. I recommend acceptance of the donations totaling $5,030.00 for the Friends and Family of Katie Streeter Best Buddies Scholarship to be awarded to a FHS senior who has participated in the Best Buddies Program.
5. I recommend approval of the Annie Sullivan Middle School’s 8th Grade Washington, DC Trip planned for May 23 – 25, 2008.
6. I recommend approval of the Remington Middle School 8th Grade math trip to Providence Place Mall on May 2, 2008.

action items were approved unanimously. The Remington vote had one abstention.

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Wayne talking talking about some discussion in town about closing the Davis Thayer school. The space subcommittee is still working. The 19 portables will require replacement shortly. Closing that building would be a mistake. The 19 portable classrooms have more capacity than the Davis Thayer building. Putting 300 Davis Thayer students and putting them elsewhere would be a major mess to re-district. Can not do so right now.

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subcommittee reports
(see recordings)

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July 8th
August 2nd and 4th Tuesdays

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motion to adjourn at 10:35 PM

Live from the School Committee meeting - facility consolidation

Jeff Nutting opening comments
proposal made last year but put on hold last year due to override and other items
reiterates the proposal points made previously

bigger the pool, the more flexibility
trades re-assigned to Mike D'Angelo

focus on school and education not the facilities
coordination of safety training

can't say we will save any money
in long run will be looking to add folks to the facilities department
should move forward, trial basis for three years
all involved in Memo of Understanding

work well together on a wide variety of issues


-----------------------
Jeff Roy

principals need to maintain control and autonomy over their buildings
referenced an appellate case in MA that the School Committee does not have right in this area, the state has defined that to be for the principals
13 page memo
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Jeff Nutting
original draft was 4 page memo
not a lawyer, not interested in really changing things
is interested in making this work

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Jeff Nutting
principle are the same intent
need to wordsmith to ensure that the principals will maintain control
he agrees to disagree with some of Jeff Roy's points

----------------------

Rich GilDeRubio
makes his statement as President of the custodial union

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Jeff Nutting
building custodians would be under Mike D'Angelo
the ground positions would be transferred to the DPW

----------------------

Don Gilboy
raised question on agreement that Jeff Nutting had signed several years ago

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would remove facilities from the school budget to the tune of approx $5.5M

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Mike D'Angelo
does not see any real benefit for the school or the town to make this change
about 5 towns have done this, Danvers on the north shore
not an impressive organization, top heavy with supervisors
and outsourced to a contractor who actually did the cleaning
does all the facilities work for the town
without an agreement yet the schools pay his salary
if you need an agreement that is 13 pages long to get something done

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Jeff Nutting
see an opportunity for Mike to spend some time on the educational side
good timing with other than the library and the museum, nothing much will be done

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Roberta Trahan
does not see the benefit but is looking for one

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Sue Rohrbach
if there is a loss of responsibility, there is a loss of control

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Mike D'Angelo
the three trades do their work well, it is not their fault that there have been problems with things not getting done, until we complained things did not get done
there were two people eliminated in the move

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Jeff Roy
the agreement I drafted ensure that it will stay the same
the goals are the same, how are we going to get there?
there are concerns, if you and Wayne can come to terms on the agreement
we're on the same page but we are about 9 pages apart

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Deb Bartlett
not speaking for all the town council but this is how she came to this
revenue side - takes revenues from various resources, only $1.8M net new revenue
both budgets get an increase but not an enough to provide what both sides should
technology departments combined for savings and efficiencies
combine like departments and regionalize with other local towns to force the state to reconsider
yes it is change, and some won't like it but it is necessary

----------------
Mike D'Angelo
school department had already been bidding utility costs ahead of the town
schools are such a large portion of the town purchase they can work with vendors to get good pricing

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Wayne Ogden
what ever you and the town council decide I will work with Jeff and make it happen
I am opposed and just in the last several days I have managed to figure it out
"I feel I'm going to loose something"
both opponents and proponents are talking about data
no one is talking about the data as to why this makes sense
take the town's best data people and do a financial analysis on what makes sense
library, food services, there are opportunities
lets see what the data says, so we can take the feelings out of the argument and go with the data

feelings and turf are so embedded in this, we need a clear set of guidelines

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Jeff Roy
it is my hope that you work together to draft an agreement

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Ed Cafasso
if the law gives the principals that much authority, if you can come to an agreement on language that satisfies that responsibility, then we should do so

Live reporting from School Committee meeting - FY 09 budget hearing

There is a slight change in the overall amounts due to a miscalculation where $180,000 of athletic revenue was not offset against the expenses reducing the overall totals by $180,000. This could reduce the pay to ride from $100 per student to $50 per student.

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Updated - 8:00 PM

Average wage increase, negotiated settlement plus step and lane changes an educated guess would be about 5% for all teachers - per Wayne in response to question from Jim Roche

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Updated - 8:03 PM

Deb Bartlett question on athletic fees that were not calculated properly was really the result of a spreadsheet calculation error. The formula was in the sheet but it did not subtract properly.

Due to efforts covering the audit shortfall during FY08, there really is a 15% difference in that those funds will not be provided during FY09. So the level service year to year is not perfectly providing the same services due to this 15% amount.

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Updated - 8:12 PM

Linda Waters answering some questions on special education and providing appropriate services. Could you use contracted services to provide the services instead of hiring a school psychologist? You would not save much if any money nor would you always be sure of meeting the service needs of the students.

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Updated - 8:17 PM

Mike D'Angelo answering question on custodial salaries. Due to the layoff of the 8 custodians from last year, they came from the least senior employees in the department but where they ended up was not equitably distributed per the budget and the buildings for an effective operation. The budget changes are mostly to correct this and reflect an accurate picture of the operations. For example, ECDC is 10% of the Horace Mann/Oak Street complex with Horace Mann and Oak Street picking up 45% to account for the staff supporting the buildings.

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Updated - 8:20 PM

In response to Ms Armenio: It is fair to say that there will be less text books in schools next year due to the attempts to keep the teachers and maintain class size numbers.

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Updated - 8:25 PM

Overall sense of micromanaging the budget probably due to the lack of trust in the process and numbers from prior years. Spending an awful lot of time on piddling items when the real big issues remain unaddressed at this point. My 2 cents.

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Updated - 8:30 PM

Ed Cafasso on the High School budget. Paul Funk speculating that the amounts were added in and not subtracted properly leaving $180,000 plus on the Athletic side.

This budget goes to fix a number of items that the auditor found as well as other items that were found in the process of the forensic audit. This budget with all the scrutiny provided is really a much more accurate budget.

Wayne provides an example to use the $180,000 to offset the pay-to-ride and therefore the fees would increase to $50 instead of $100 (in a no override, level funded budget).

Could use the $180,000 for 2 teachers and retain the late bus also.

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Updated - 8:40 PM

Discussion on substitutes and ESPs at the high school, takes a best guess, amount should really be more to reflect actuals but that would mean additional cuts elsewhere.

Snow removal varies, 07 had only one storm to plow.
Security guards cut operationally a couple of years ago but really cut from the budget this year. Small amount.

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Updated - 8:45 PM

Created separate line items for lane changes and other salary related items so that they could be tracked easily. These had been "buried" in other accounts. These are projections based upon the people and their degrees.

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Updated - 8:50 PM

Level funding reduces the amount of professional development for teachers, nurses and others in the school community (approx. $57,000). No funding for building based initiatives on professional development days. Reading specialists were able to go to some state programs for training this year, next year with level funding this would be cut. The cut in the curriculum teams (no math, science, social studies) under level funding would significantly affect the MCAS action plans for next year.

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Updated - 8:55 PM

Ed Cafasso struggling with the transportation items.

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Updated - 9:00 PM

Ed drilling in a the technology spending. Software fees moved from each individual school into the central fund. 25% maintenance of the computers.

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Updated - 9:00 PM

Jim Roche - what are the expected revenues, where are they in the budget? Is there a spot that lists all the revenue that comes in that either offsets or like Medicaid this year is not coming in and accounts for some of the increases.

Paul Funk - previous budget did have those items summed and accounted for after the budget but that also contributed to the forensic issue due to the mishandling.

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recommendation from Wayne to obtain the hold questions in advance so the answers can be provided more crisply.

This concludes public hearing on FY 09 budget

Town Council Agenda for April 30th 6:00 PM

The agenda for the Town Council for Wednesday's meeting at 6:00 PM can be found here

--- Note that the starting time is 6:00 PM not the normal 7:00 PM

Items for interest on this agenda:

  1. there is an open space on the amount for the override
  2. there is an open date on the approval for holding an override
What number would you put in for the override amount?
I would go for a minimum of $3.3 million (to cover the school shortfall).
I would consider additional amounts for the Fire, Police, DPW and Library but probably not to exceed $5 million.

I would also endorse a 3 or 5 year plan similar to Arlington. We need to put the plan together to provide for the future without coming back late to the plate asking for more.

The best summary of the Town problem was made by Shannon Zollo at the 4/16/08 meeting.
Listen to this if you have not already.

In the News - School Committee override numbers

GHS
Posted Apr 28, 2008 @ 10:53 PM

FRANKLIN —

School officials will likely make a dual request of Town Council tomorrow: a $2.8 million override question and the return of Medicaid reimbursement money, said School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy.

The School Committee's budget subcommittee yesterday morning agreed to seek enough funding to "keep everything status quo" (meaning no teacher layoffs or program cuts), which amounts to a $4.1 million increase over last year's budget, Roy said. Tonight, the School Committee will vote definitively on how much to seek in a June Proposition 2 1/2 tax override question.

Tomorrow night, Town Council will vote on putting an override question on the ballot (though it unofficially agreed to do so April 16), and how much they will seek based on feedback from representatives of the Finance Committee and schools.

Medicaid revenue this year would give schools about $475,000, so if Town Council denies the committee's request, representatives will seek a $3.3 million override question to go before voters in June, said Roy.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Reminder the School Committee meeting is Tuesday at 7:00, the Town Council meeting is Wednesday at 7:00 PM.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Franklin School Committee Meeting

April 29, 2008


Municipal Building – Council Chambers


7:00 PM


OPEN HEARING – FY09 BUDGET



AGENDA

Call to order Mr. Roy

Pledge of Allegiance

Moment of Silence

  1. Routine Business

  • Citizen’s Comments

  • Review of Agenda

  • Minutes:

I recommend approval of the minutes from the March 18 and March 25, 2008 School Committee Meetings.

  • Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly

  • Payroll Ms. Armenio

  • FHS Student Representatives

  • Correspondence:

  1. Guests/Presentations:

    1. Annie Sullivan Middle School -CSI Presentation (Colleen Ahern)

    2. Annie Sullivan Middle School –Latin Exam Awards

    3. Annie Sullivan Middle School –Boston College Science Poetry Contest winners

    4. FY2008 Budget Transfers

  1. Discussion Only Items

  • Open Hearing – FY2009 Budget

  • Facilities Consolidation

  1. Action Items:

  1. I recommend FY2008 Budget Transfers as detailed.

  2. I recommend acceptance of two checks ($5286.00 and $200.00) for field trips for Davis Thayer Elementary School.

  3. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1500.00 from the Oak Street PCC for the Oak Street Gift account for 2 field trips.

  4. I recommend acceptance of the donations totaling $5,030.00 for the Friends and Family of Katie Streeter Best Buddies Scholarship to be awarded to a FHS senior who has participated in the Best Buddies Program.

  5. I recommend approval of the Annie Sullivan Middle School’s 8th Grade Washington, DC Trip planned for May 23 – 25, 2008.

  6. I recommend approval of the Remington Middle School 8th Grade math trip to Providence Place Mall on May 2, 2008.

  1. Information Matters:

  • Superintendent’s Report

    1. End of Year Events

  • School Committee Sub-Committee Reports

  • School Committee Liaison Reports

  1. New Business:

  • To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

  1. Adjourn

In the News - Dean renovation, empty homes

GHS
Posted Apr 27, 2008 @ 09:37 PM

FRANKLIN —

Instead of lamenting the lack of library use on campus, Dean College President Paula M. Rooney is capitalizing on the Internet-driven trend.

By the time students return to classes Sept. 8, $8 million worth of construction will have converted the E. Ross Anderson Library to "The Library Learning Commons," home to more than 60 staff members, a new cafe, and a more efficient library, Rooney said.

"This is a big deal for us," said Rooney. "It's terrific for our students - it'll be the hub of activities in the center of campus. It is a very strategic decision on our part," bringing faculty, learning support, and knowledge together in one place, she said.

"It will pay off day 1, because both students and faculty will have a much better learning environment and (extra) space. When they need to come together, they will be able to," Rooney said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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GHS
Posted Apr 27, 2008 @ 09:42 PM

FRANKLIN —

In the 24 years Deborah Pellegri has served as town clerk, she has never seen as many vacant homes as this year: 805, she said.

On every street in Franklin, there are houses that are vacant or for sale, Pellegri said.

"A lot of people come in and say, 'We're moving down south.' The costs are less and they (don't) have the heating costs there," Pellegri said.

Pellegri doesn't necessarily view the record high number of vacant houses, apartments and condominiums as a problem for the town, per se, she said, but the statistic begs a few questions.

"You ask yourself, 'Why is this so high this year?' and I think the answer is, the way the economy is today," Pellegri said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Franklin recognized for open government

WEBSITE SUPERSTAR - Franklin is one of only 24 communities in the state whose website has been designated a "superstar" by the Massachusetts Campaign for Open Government. The organization recognized municipal websites that make it easy for citizens to obtain access to key government records online. Franklin was honored for making its Town Council agenda and minutes, budget information, and general bylaws available to visitors at franklin.ma.us. - Rachel Lebeaux

A small piece in the Boston Globe, so small I won't make you go find it, but if you wish the article is here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where in Franklin? #47


Where in Franklin? #47, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Hmm, where you see this in Franklin?

The guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.

Where in Franklin? Answer #46


Franklin_80322 036, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Yes, the white bubble shown in picture #46 does belong to the Adirondack Club on Chestnut St here in Franklin.

I see twin bubbles during the winter from the train as it passes the Adirondack. Then around the middle or end of May (depending upon the weather), the bubbles come down for the summer only to go up again come September.

Thanks for playing.

Stay tuned for the next opportunity to play "Where in Franklin?"

Vallee has budget amendment for Brick School

Rep. Vallee did file a budget amendment for the Brick School. It reads as follows:

Mr. Vallee of Franklin moves to amend the bill in section 2, in item 7007-0900, in line 16 by inserting after the word “commonwealth” the following: -“provided further that not less than $25,000 shall be expended for the Red Brick School in the Town of Franklin;” and in said item by striking out the figure “$12,352,414” and inserting in place thereof the figure “$12,377,414”.
The full listing of Rep. Vallee's amendments can be found here

Section 7007-0900 reads as follows:

7007-0900 For the operation and administration of the office of travel and tourism; provided, that performance-based standards shall be incorporated in all contracts executed by said office for the procurement of tourism marketing and advertising services; provided further, that the organizations shall be required, as a condition of receiving a grant, to submit a total operating budget which identifies each source and use of operating and capital funds; provided further, that not less than $1,250,000 of the amount appropriated herein shall be expended for the operation and administration of the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission, provided, however, that the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission shall be the official and lead agency to facilitate and attract major sports events and championships to the commonwealth and provided further, that the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission shall establish a division within the Commission which shall be the official and lead agency to facilitate motion picture production and development within the commonwealth............................................................................................ $12,352,414

Tourism Fund........................................................... 100.0%

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So as I understand this, the amendment would modify the section to read as follows:

7007-0900 For the operation and administration of the office of travel and tourism; provided, that performance-based standards shall be incorporated in all contracts executed by said office for the procurement of tourism marketing and advertising services; provided further, that the organizations shall be required, as a condition of receiving a grant, to submit a total operating budget which identifies each source and use of operating and capital funds; provided further, that not less than $1,250,000 of the amount appropriated herein shall be expended for the operation and administration of the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission, provided, however, that the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission shall be the official and lead agency to facilitate and attract major sports events and championships to the commonwealth and provided further, that the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission shall establish a division within the Commission which shall be the official and lead agency to facilitate motion picture production and development within the commonwealth provided further that not less than $25,000 shall be expended for the Red Brick School in the Town of Franklin; ................................................................... $$12,377,414

Tourism Fund........................................................... 100.0%

---------------------

If this amendment passes, what does this mean for Franklin and the Brick School?

In the News: artificial turf, wood carving, Vallee, earmarks

GHS
Posted Apr 26, 2008 @ 11:46 PM

When synthetic turf fields soak up sunlight and reach high temperatures, some area officials and local residents believe there is a danger the fields can release chemicals into the air.

Weston Public Health Director Wendy Diotalevi said she has measured temperatures on the surface of Weston's artificial turf field on Wellesley Street at 122 degrees.

Last fall, Wayland resident Tom Sciacca said he measured a temperature of 142 degrees at the Wayland turf field surface.

Those reports prompted officials like Diotalevi, Franklin Facilities Director Mike D'Angelo and Wayland Health Director Steve Calichman to post warning signs at turf fields or consider running more tests on synthetic fields in their towns to see if chemicals are released when the turf heats.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

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GateHouse News Service
Posted Apr 26, 2008 @ 07:42 PM

Franklin —

In the eyes of Basil LeBlanc, a piece of wood is never simply a piece of wood.

It’s a native warrior sitting with proud posture atop a strong horse.

It’s a majestic buck standing sentinel.

It’s a graceful bird, or a walking cane with butterflies fluttering about the staff.

For LeBlanc, wood is like a blank canvas that requires only his vision, and application of his various hand tools, to realize its artistic potential.

For more than 50 years, says the Franklin resident, woodcarving has been a passion.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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GHS
Posted Apr 26, 2008 @ 10:00 AM

BOSTON —

One local legislator is campaigning on Beacon Hill to bring money back to his district that would lead to new technology for a fire department, the completion of a senior center addition, and a memorial for veterans who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The items are among the nine earmarks state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, filed to the House's budget proposal last week. Earmarks are a common way for legislators to bring state money back to their districts to pay for local projects.

"This is money that cities and towns don't have when they are struggling to meet expenses," he said. "These aren't things that I come up with, they're things that the towns have come up with."

Vallee has put in an earmark of $100,000 to bring new digital and wireless technology to the Franklin Fire Department. Fire Chief Gary McCarraher said it would allow the department to enter the modern era.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Friday, April 25, 2008

In the News - subcommittee passes the buck

GHS
Posted Apr 25, 2008 @ 12:50 AM

FRANKLIN —

After debating several tax override scenarios, the Town Council Budget Subcommittee last night agreed to put the onus on the School Committee in choosing a figure to put before voters this summer.

"Ask the schools - they're the ones who asked (for an override). Ask them what they want," Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting told Town Council Chairman Christopher Feeley, Vice Chairwoman Deborah A. Bartlett and Councilor Robert R. Vallee.

Every $1 million of a Proposition 2 1/2 tax override means an $87 tax hike for the average homeowner, said Nutting.

Bartlett, the subcommittee chairman, pressed for a two-year plan, and said she expects the School Committee to submit a proposal that covers their needs for fiscal 2009 and 2010.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

This is a town problem, the town should decide to include all the departments in the override total. If it comes out solely as a school override, I don't believe there will be enough support for it to pass.

What do you think?


Thursday, April 24, 2008

In the News - late bus

GHS
Posted Apr 24, 2008 @ 10:00 AM

FRANKLIN —

As a single mother and teacher, Joni Magee relied on the late bus to take her daughter home throughout her middle school years, she said.

Without it, her daughter, Angelica, would not have been able to hone her debating skills in student government, mock trials, Model United Nations, or develop her creativity in the Art Club, Magee said.

They live four miles from the school, which is about an hour walk, she explained.

"The late bus really did allow her to have these extracurricular activities. I really couldn't have picked her up and she wouldn't have been able to participate," said Magee, who teaches at Stacy Middle School in Milford and is the Franklin High School Parent Communication Council vice president.

School Committee members said earlier this month that a Proposition 2 1/2 tax override could prevent teacher layoffs, increased pay-to-ride fees next year, and save the late bus. Without it, students like Angelica, who depend on the late bus every week, would have to forgo clubs and activities, and many students who get detention would have to trek home, whether that means carrying 40-pound backpacks several miles or dodging traffic across Rte. 140.

Read the remainder of the article in the Milford Daily News here.


Globe misses with article

The Boston Globe has some sloppy second hand reporting on their recap of the current override situation. Nothing new in the article that you can read here.

Why sloppy?

Shannon Zollo is referred to as "she"... come on! You should know better than that!

In the News - Milford tax break for seniors expanding?

GHS
Posted Apr 24, 2008 @ 12:54 AM

MILFORD —

Penny-pinching senior citizens may be able to breathe easier, if Town Meeting votes next month to offer elders a bigger tax break.

An "aye" for warrant Article 24 would increase the maximum amount the town can reduce a qualifying senior citizen's local property tax bills to $650 a year, up $150 from the current maximum abatement of $500.

It would also lower the age of eligibility for the special tax program from 70 to 68.

"We like to think it's an avenue to help some senior citizens and keep them in their homes," said Town Administrator Louis Celozzi. "Property taxes increase every year and these folks are on fixed income."

The town's senior citizens ad-hoc committee, led by selectmen Chairman Dino DeBartolomeis, sent the article to selectmen, who are sponsoring it.

Annual Town Meeting will take up the issue on May 19.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.


How does this compare to what Franklin has?

How does this compare to what was just passed in the House?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Where in Franklin? #46


Where in Franklin? #46, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Hmm... now where would you see this in Franklin?

The guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.

Where in Franklin? Answer #45


Where in Franklin? Answer #45, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Yes ltsjs, the correct answer to picture #45 is the Verizon building on Main St.

Thanks for playing "Where in Franklin?"

Stay tuned for the next opportunity!

In the News - Franklin pays Medway,

GHS
Posted Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:27 PM

MEDWAY —

The town will receive more than $115,000 in sewer fees from Franklin for homes there that are tied into Medway's system.

In a 1995 agreement, homes on a handful of Franklin streets near the town line were allowed to connect to Medway's sewer system, but neither town followed through on collecting money for the service. There are now 213 homes connected on those streets.

Medway officials said yesterday they plan to use the money for their ongoing sewer upgrade at the town's main industrial park.

Top officials from both towns, who were not the ones who made the agreement, said they did not know it existed until Medway officials discovered it recently while researching the sewer upgrade for the industrial park.

"It was the responsibility of everybody and everybody failed to implement it," said Town Administrator Suzanne K. Kennedy.

Franklin will pay Medway about $99,000 from a rebate it was receiving from the Charles River Pollution Control District, the regional sewage treatment authority, on a design project. The pollution control district has reduced its annual assessment to Medway for fiscal 2008 by about $16,000 - and assigned it to Franklin - to cover the balance of the $115,000.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

Podcasts in plain English

In our continuing series exploring the technology of Web 2.0 and social media, the folks at Common Craft have a new presentation on podcasts.

What is a podcast?

Watch this and find out the basics. Enjoy!






By the way, I will be at PodCamp New York on Saturday. What I learn there, at SOBCon08 and PodCamp Boston 3, you will eventually see the results of.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Over 50? - Take this survey, please!



Ronni Bennett and others in the elder blog world
have put together a survey.
The goal is to find out what elderbloggers are like, how we may be similar and how we are different, how we relate to technology, how we came to be bloggers or blog readers, how we feel about it and what our demographics are.

There are 57 questions, many of which are required so that there is the largest possible population from which to draw conclusions. They are straightforward questions, mostly multiple-choice, and it shouldn’t take longer than about 15 minutes to complete.

If you are over 50, please consider taking the survey.

Franklin has an important elder community, we should be fully represented in this survey.

I just took the survey myself, it is quick and easy to do.

By the way, there is no registration, no identification to provide as part of the survey and it knows that once you complete it won't let you come back for a second round.


Updated 4/23/08 5:00 PM - If you tried the survey link and it failed, you can try again now. From this time forward it should be working properly.

Franklin (MA) School Department budget reductions through the years 2003 - 2009

School vacation week, subcommittees scheduled to meet in preparation for the Town Council meeting April 30th to determine what the amount of the override should be, time to bring back this post for new visitors in case you missed it earlier this month.

Note: there is a School Committee meeting scheduled for April 29th to determine their final budget plan and to discuss the proposed maintenance consolidation.

----------

Times are tough. Budget reductions again for the school department. Level service is hard to maintain. The "good to great" budget as shocking as it was last year in light of this analysis should really be seen as a restoration of cuts that have occurred since 2003 and not a "wishful dream/pie in the sky" reach. Of course, the reality is such that it still may very well be wishful thinking.





Note: version 2 was replaced by this more updated version 3 (minor updates)

One other item of note caught my attention as this came together. The recent Forensic Audit Report highlighted problems with accounting transactions that "all of a sudden" appeared in 2006 with an employee who had been in good standing for several years. Did you know/recall that the Assistant Director of Finances was one of the positions cut from the FY 06 budget?



I have been very careful in this presentation, if there are inaccuracies, let me know what is incorrect and I'll make the update.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where in Franklin? #45


Where in Franklin? #45, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Where in Franklin would you find this building?

The guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.

Where in Franklin? Answer #44


Where in Franklin? Answer #44, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The well pictured in #44 can be found on Jordan Road.

One of my favorite running routes, Jordan Road rolls up and down a bit and appropriately placed about 200 yards from the top of the last roll (heading from Chestnut towards RT 140) is the well. A subtle reminder to dig deeper if you need to, there should always be something in the well.

Thanks for playing. Stay tuned for the next picture for "Where in Franklin?"

In the News - overide deju vu

Milford Daily News
Posted Apr 19, 2008 @ 10:07 PM

FRANKLIN —

Echoing the sentiments of many older residents in town, Franklin High School sophomore Antonia Scannapieco wondered aloud why last year's override wasn't enough to cover the town's needs.
Eating ice cream with her sister, Catherine Scannapieco, and friend, Melissa Saunders, outside the Brigham's Ice Cream on Rte. 140, she said, ``I don't know where all the money went from the past override.
``They shouldn't need the money. They should have asked for more last time,'' Scannapieco said, referring to the $2.7 million tax increase voters overwhelmingly passed last year to prevent massive cuts in schools.
At the time, override advocates and leaders like Town Councilor Stephen Whalen, Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting, and the Finance Committee cautioned $2.7 was insufficient, and the schools still had to make reductions.
Last year, ``Nostradamus Nutting,'' as one town official referred to the administrator at a recent meeting, accurately forecast the town would have an approximate $3 million shortfall this year.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Franklin Blogger: Martinator's Bicycling Blog

The Hitchhiker Team found Martinator's blog in January. Martin lives here in Franklin and writes of himself:
I am a Web Designer. Actually, I am more on the interface coding side of web design. I like to bike and ski, though I haven't skied in quite a while. I am also a gadget freak and I try to incorporate technology into everything I do.
If you are interested in bike riding, this is one site to check out regularly.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the News - let voters decide, luxury tax

GHS
Posted Apr 17, 2008 @ 12:51 AM

FRANKLIN —

Taxpayers will have an opportunity to vote for a tax override early this summer, the majority of the Town Council decided last night.

Every seat in the Town Council chambers was filled, and about 20 more people stood at the back of the room at last night's meeting, all in favor of an override.

No one but Councilor Judith Pond Pfeffer spoke against the permanent tax hike, which would be used to prevent about 45 layoffs in schools, program cuts, and possibly boost other town departments' budgets.

School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy, as well as a handful of residents, including Finance Committee members, Town Council Chairman Christopher Feeley, Vice Chairwoman Deborah A. Bartlett, and members Stephen Whalen, Shannon Zollo, Joseph McGann and Thomas S. Doak all spoke in favor of putting an override question on the ballot.

Councilor Robert Vallee, who had gone on record as being opposed to an override, passed at the chance to voice his opinion last night.

Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche, who spoke as a taxpayer and father, urged the council to let the town vote.

"This is more than just a school problem - it's a townwide problem," said Roche.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

---------------------------

The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Apr 17, 2008 @ 12:50 AM

My first thought was to drop a dime to Susan Wornick.

I know my rights. I know the law. Clearly, the sporting goods store was no authority on clothing tax.

But after a teenaged manager took the $1 off my bill, I calmed down enough to see involving Channel 5's consumer guru wasn't the way to go.

Instead, we need to make the state tax code even more confusing.

Conventional wisdom on Beacon Hill has been to balance the budget on the backs of the monkeys on Massachusetts residents' backs.

Got a vice? We'll tax it. Then we'll tax it some more. And when that isn't enough, we'll just push Lottery tickets a little harder.

Look, we don't want you to gamble if you're an addict. No, seriously. See, we put all sorts of disclaimers on Keno broadcasts and around convenience stores that sell scratch tickets. Here's the number for Gamblers Anonymous. Call if you think you have a problem. Just wait until after you buy another Megabucks ticket before you call, OK?

Casinos may be off the table for the moment, at least casinos of the state-run variety, but an extra tax on smokers is all but a done deal.

Dirty, rotten smokers. Make them pay for miscalculations in what it takes to run a state.

There was some talk about upping taxes on wine, but so far that hasn't gotten much traction. It'll likely be revisited when the number of people who buy cigarettes in Massachusetts dwindles to financially unacceptable levels.

Meanwhile, there's a sensible solution no one's talking about.

Read the remainder of the article to see the sensible solution in the Milford Daily News


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Attention Franklin: Override ballot question coming

Per Chris Feeley this evening, there will be a new Town Council meeting added on April 30th to vote on the override ballot. Between now and then various subcommittees and committees will be working on what number should be put forward to address this town problem.

The vote should occur in June, I heard him say June 15th, that is a Sunday so it is likely he meant either June 14th to go with a Saturday vote, or June 17th to stay with a traditional Tuesday vote.

Either way, the voters of Franklin will have an override to decide to maintain their Top 10 rankings or not.

Our choice. Listen. Learn. Be prepared to cast an informed vote!

Councilor Comments: Shannon Zollo (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/16/08, Shannon Zollo lays out the argument for the override vote so the town can decide and recommends how each can prepare for the vote.

Time: 11 minutes, 42 seconds



MP3 File


Editorial Comment: Remember this one, come back here to listen to this often. I have not heard as complete and compelling an argument put forth as convincingly as this was. Thank you Shannon!

Town Council Mtg Summary 4/16/08

Attention Franklin: Override ballot question comin...

Councilor Comments: Shannon Zollo (audio)

--- 2 minutes break ---

6 - Citizen's Comment: Andy Donaldson (audio)

5 - Citizen's Comment: Kaitlyn Cronin (audio)

4 - Citizen's Comment: Jim Roche (audio)

3 - Citizens Comment: William Hawes (audio)

2 - Citizen's Comment: John Niece (audio)

1 - Citizen's Comment: Jeff Roy (audio)

Town Council Agenda 4/16/08


additional segments of the meeting will be posted as I have time to process them.

Citizen Comments: Andy Donaldson (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting on 4/16/08, citizens comment. Andy was the last of the citizen comments, the council took a two minute break after this.

Time: 1 minute, 5 seconds



MP3 File

Citizen Comments: Kaitlyn Cronin (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/16/08, citizens comment.

Time: 35 seconds



MP3 File

Citizen Comments: Jim Roche (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting of 4/16/08, citizens comment. Jim Roche of the Finance Committee advocating for an override vote for the town wide problem for the full set of voters to decide.

Time: 1 minute, 45 seconds



MP3 File

Citizen Comments: William Hawes (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 4/16/08, citizen comments

Time: 55 seconds




MP3 File

Citizen Comments: John Niece (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting of 4/16/08, citizens comment. A Benjamin Franklin Charter school parent speaking for an override vote to be held.

Time: 59 seconds



MP3 File

Citizen Comments: Jeff Roy (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting on 4/16/08, Jeff Roy, School Committee Chair, addresses the Town Council during the citizen comments portion of the meeting advocating for an override vote to be put before the town so the town can decide what level of service they want for their schools and other services.

Time: 5 minutes, 25 seconds



MP3 File

The text of the full statement can be found at the School Committee blog here.

Town Council Agenda 4/16/08

The agenda for the Town Council meeting can be found here

Proposed FY 09 budget (PDF)

Proposed budget information page

FINCOM Meeting Summary 4/14/08

FINCOM votes to adjourn (audio)

FINCOM: Mike D'Angelo's statement (audio)

FINCOM: School Budget vote (audio)

FINCOM: Ken Norman (audio)


Additional segments from the meeting will be posted as I have time to prepare them

FINCOM: Ken Norman

After the 5 minute break, the Franklin Finance Committee returns to business missing two members. Ken Norman opens the discussion on the override with his statement calling for a multi-year plan.

Time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds



MP3 File

In the News - override, Council meeting

GHS
Posted Apr 15, 2008 @ 09:36 PM

FRANKLIN —

Tonight, Councilor Joseph McGann and School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy will both urge the Town Council to put an override question before voters this year to prevent layoffs and cuts in schools and town departments.

"I would like to see the people express their voice on it," said McGann, adding, "I don't think it's going to fly."

Still, McGann wants the council to put feelers out in the community to get a sense of whether people want to pay more to keep the 45 teachers and school staff expected to be laid off in the budget proposed by Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting, which the Finance Committee voted to support Monday night.

Individual members of the Finance Committee supported a tax increase. Chairman Jim Roche and Pat Goldsmith both made motions to recommend the Town Council place a $1.5 million override question on the ballot. The board as a whole, however, did not take action because they had no time to prepare an adequate plan, they said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

----------------------------


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

FINCOM: Mike D'Angelo's statement

From the Franklin Finance Committee meeting of 4/14/08, this segment is the statement (very well done, by the way) of Mike D'Angelo laying out what is really going on with the schools providing the support for the town wide facilities already and recommending NOT to go ahead with the consolidation.

Time: 8 minutes, 20 seconds



MP3 File

My notes made during Mike's statement:

One facilities dept already, the school manages the town facilities
Four people on facilities, all happen to be school employees
Part time custodians and trade staff are town
1M vs. town 200,000 sq ft
School required to for certifications, schools are in a lot of business
Tim (Raposa) runs town technology
School runs the food services
Town gets a lot of benefit from the schools
School grounds staff does a good job
Took town employee to a seminar for the first time
Schools are a different entity, 38 folks work hard today
Reduced staff from last year, work around children every day
They want to be involved in schools, cleaned areas that are larger due to cuts
Folks are working harder

Reality is school is doing a lot for the town
Really is the tail wagging the dog

Jeff Nutting knows my opinion
School guys there to do the floors
Debate on the 29th will be good
No MOA to let Mike do what he is doing
His recommendation is not to move, to keep it as is
All this was done out of good will for last five years

FINCOM: School Budget vote

From the Franklin Finance Committee meeting on 4/14/08, this segment skips ahead of all the discussion and get right to the motion for the School Committee budget. They approved the Town Administrator recommended level funded budget with this vote.

Time: 3 minutes, 2 seconds



MP3 File

Ed Cafasso - Citizens Comment Appeal

Any parent who supports a level service school budget issue should try to attend the 7 p.m. Town Council meeting on Wednesday (tomorrow) and use the “Citizen Comment” period right at the start of the meeting to ask the town councilors to look into their hearts and find a way to help the schools fund a level service school budget -- either through existing resources, an override or some combination of both.

The schools are not on the meeting agenda, so “citizen comments” will be the only chance to be heard on this issue. Committee Chairman Jeff Roy will make a statement, and the vocal support of parents would be appreciated.

Ed Cafasso

Member Franklin School Committee

in the News - FINCOM Meeting - 2 articles

GHS
Posted Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:30 AM

FRANKLIN —

Despite support from most individual members of the Finance Committee, last night the group collectively decided against recommending an override to Town Council because they did not have enough time to properly plan.

After School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy requested the board discuss putting an override question to the public to prevent 45 layoffs in the schools, Finance Committee members spoke in favor of a tax hike.

Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche made a motion to ask the Town Council to place a $1.5 million override question on the ballot to support the school, police, and fire departments. No one seconded his motion.

Read the full article here

-----------------------------

GHS
Posted Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:46 AM

FRANKLIN —

After a lengthy presentation from school officials advocating for a $58.6 million budget, the Finance Committee last night voted to recommend the $55.4 million budget proposed by Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche said he wanted to be clear that the school budget is not being cut, "it's just not getting increased by as much" as officials say is necessary to maintain teachers, other staff and programs in schools. Nutting's recommended budget represents a 1.5 percent increase, or about $800,000 over this year's $54.6 million budget.

Even if the School Department gets the $58.6 million it is seeking, schools will not be able to hire new teachers, Superintendent Wayne Ogden said.

Read the full article here


Monday, April 14, 2008

FINCOM votes to adjourn

Yes, that was one major highlight of the long evening Monday 4/14/08.

After hearing and reviewing the school budget and the need for an override,
with two members not returning from a five minute break,
the eight remaining could not reach an agreement on two motions for an override,
both motions ended up being withdrawn,
which quickly lead to the motion to adjourn at approx 10:20 PM.

So the FINCOM has yet to vote a full budget (schedule to be determined).

The Town Council probably won't get the budget until their second meeting in May (at this rate).

Which cuts it almost impossible to schedule a town vote for an override before June 30th.

So as it stands the school budget voted is the level funded Town Administrator approved budget which is short $3.3 Million and will result in 45 folks going out the door in June to not return in September.


Oh, and the school committee has yet to vote on their final budget. That comes on April 29th.



more details and recordings to be made available as I have time to process them

In the News - override views mixed, FINCOM to hear school budget

GHS
Posted Apr 13, 2008 @ 09:08 PM

FRANKLIN —

Dale Lippert, a retired instructor from Dean College, didn't pause before expressing his thoughts on a tax override to save the schools from drastic layoffs and cuts this year.

Sitting at the Honey Dew Donuts on Rte. 140, Lippert shook his head, and looking to his friend, another senior, said, "It's not going to happen."

"The bucket is only so deep. I don't think it's a Franklin issue - I think it's a U.S. issue, an economy issue," said Lippert, lamenting the rising cost of gas, milk, and bread.

People on fixed incomes can't meet their basic needs, and others are losing their homes, he said.

"I was a teacher, and I'm 150 percent in favor of education, but there has to be fiscal responsibility. They can't just keep asking people (for more)," Lippert said.

If Franklin puts a tax override question on a ballot this year, he predicted, "a gray revolution" - the senior generation organizing to fight it - adding that he'd be "on the front line."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News

----------------------------

GHS
Posted Apr 13, 2008 @ 08:33 PM

FRANKLIN —

Tonight, School Committee Chairman Jeff Roy will make two financial requests of the Finance Committee: To support a tax override and agree to a $58.6 million budget for schools - $3.2 million on top of Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting's proposed $55.4 million budget.

The School Committee is seeking the tax hike to fund a budget sufficient to maintain the same level of services, teachers and staff at schools.

An adequate tax override would prevent 45 layoffs (mostly teachers) in schools and increased pay-to-ride fees, and save the late bus.

"I'm hoping the Finance Committee will support an override, or at least an override question. I think it's the only real option, because there aren't any real sources of (additional) revenue," he said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Poll #2

Thank you for your feedback to the first poll.
My second one is now along the right column under the subscription options.

How do you prefer to catch up on what happens with a meeting?

You have three options and can choose one: audio files, audio and text, or text.

I have experimented with all three delivery methods over the last several months. I have my preference. Now you get to express your choice.

Letter From Ed Cafasso

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a restful weekend. As promised, here is an update on school budget matters, including a schedule of important public hearings that you may wish to attend.

The School Committee this week voted unanimously in support of a level service budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That means we will ask the Town Council for approximately $4 million in additional funding, enough to cover our increasing costs so that we can support the same level of service students and parents currently receive.

As you know, Town Administrator Jeff Nutting has proposed that the schools receive only $800,000 in additional revenue for fiscal year 2009. If the Town Council accepts Mr. Nutting’s proposed funding level, the School Committee and Supt. Ogden would need to impose $3.2 million in cuts, including:

- 15 teaching positions at elementary level

- 12.5 teaching positions at middle school

- 17 teaching positions at FHS

- A $100 increase in the pay-to-ride bus fee hike, and

- The end of late bus service for students who need to stay after school for academic, clubs and extracurricular programs.

To date, we have not received any indications that the Town Council is willing to support additional funding for the schools beyond Mr. Nutting’s proposed appropriation. In light of this, the School Committee also voted unanimously to authorize Committee Chairman Jeff Roy to pursue the possibility of placing a Proposition 2½ override on the town ballot.

Dozens of you have written to me and to other members of the School Committee to express your deep concern over the impact of these potential cutbacks, including inappropriate class sizes, reductions in arts, music and extracurricular offerings, intolerable burdens for working families; destabilized property values, etc.

I appreciate all of the messages of support I have received and the great many smart questions parents are asking. I urge you to make your opinions known to the elected members of the Finance Committee and the Town Council. I have included their email addresses below, arranged in easy cut-and-paste blocks.

Finance Committee members:

RobustAlternatives@comcast.net; feldjamin@hotmail.com; pmessere@earthlink.net; rebecca65@comcast.net; mark.cataldo2@verizon.net; jfc322151@yahoo.com; pat@cbsfinances.com; csmaire@aol.com; wnorman18@comcast.net; rfvitale@msn.com; John.redwine@fmr.com; jnutting@franklin.ma.us

Town Council members: cdds2@comcast.net; bartlett.family@comcast.net; judpfeffer@verizon.net; TDoak@comcast.net; smason2@comcast.net; DMC2466298@aol.com; Vallee480@aol.com; whalen_stephen@hotmail.com; szollo@mbbp.com; jnutting@franklin.ma.us There are several public meeting opportunities coming up at which you also can ask questions of your elected officials and express your views as voters and taxpayers. These include;

Monday, April 14: The Finance Committee will hold a hearing to examine the School Department’s proposed FY09 budget at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Municipal Building.

Tuesday, April 15: Town Administrator Jeff Nutting and School Supt. Wayne Ogden will appear at the meeting of the Franklin Schools at 9 a.m. at Horace Mann Middle School.

Tuesday, April 29: The School Committee will hold its public hearing on the school budget at 7 p.m. on 2nd floor of the Municipal Building.

Wednesday, May 7: The Town Council will hold its hearing on the School Department budget at 7 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the Municipal Building.

Thanks again for your feedback and support. I will do my best to keep you informed. The next three to four weeks will be crucial in determining the state of our schools this fall. Stay tuned. Stay involved.

Ed Cafasso, Member

Franklin School Committee