From: "TOWN OF FRANKLIN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Oct 31, 2011 2:50 PM
Subject: October Storm Update 10/31/11
On October 27, 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed Chapter 142 of the Acts of 2011, which appropriated $65M in a supplemental budget for cities and towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This additional local aid will be distributed to municipalities on Monday, October 31, 2011.
The file for your distribution can be found at http://www.mass.gov/Ador/docs/dls/mdmstuf/LocalAidDist/65million.xls.
Please be advised that this revenue may be used in any one of the following ways:
• Applied as estimated receipts when setting the FY12 tax rate;
• Appropriated as an available fund during FY12, or;
• Any funds not appropriated must be closed to fund balance (free cash) at the end of FY12
The topic was teacher evaluations, a system that is to be discussed, and very likely changed, in the negotiations for the Franklin Education Association contract.
"The current evaluation system is out of date. It has been out of date for a long time," said union President Chandler Creedon, who spoke along with union Vice President Donna Grady, as well as Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski and Assistant Superintendent Sally Winslow. "When we finished this past contract, one of my concerns was that we hadn't touched this."
Creedon said the current evaluations, which rely in large part on an administrator sitting in on a single class, breed distrust.
"In the past, the goal was always to get through the observation," Creedon said. "You would have to perform. Someone would have to come watch you perform. There was always that feeling that somebody was out to 'get' you."
A theme of prioritizing health, public safety and education became apparent, and candidates also stressed the importance of improved communication among boards and departments and with the public.
"The biggest issue is money," Jones said. "(It) has and always will be the biggest issue."
When asked directly, Dellorco and Pfeffer, citing deep municipal cuts already, said they could support a Proposition 2 1/2 override or debt exclusion.
"Obviously, we have to get the money somehow," Dellorco said. "I'm not objecting to an override if that's what it's going to take to make Franklin a better town."
In his opening statement, McGann brusquely addressed questions about his less than 50 percent attendance at council meetings this past year by pointing to better attendance in previous years. He declined to discuss the reasons, which he termed as personal.