Saturday, October 31, 2015

Franklin candidate for School Committee - Anne Bergen

Anne Bergen and I met recently at Panera to talk about her campaign for School Committee. This is the summary of our discussion.

FM - What is your Franklin story?

Bergen – My story begins 41 years ago when I started teaching at Davis Thayer. I began as a sixth grade teacher, then reading specialist, and finally as principal for about 13 years. I was asked to move to what was then Franklin Junior High School and transform it into a middle school, making it more developmentally appropriate for students at that age. It was the first of the three middle schools we have now. 
I was involved with the renovation at Horace Mann and at the same time began planning for the Annie Sullivan Middle School. I opened that school as its first principal. We stayed there longer than planned as the renovation at Horace Mann was delayed. My time at the middle level spanned 16 rewarding and challenging years. In that time I also taught graduate level courses and spoke at many educational conferences. 
I retired not to leave education, but to find new challenges. Shortly after retirement, the superintendent asked me to be the acting head of the English Department at Franklin High School. In the six months there, I was able to visit classrooms, talk with students and teachers and learn more about the high school curriculum. 
After that, I joined the board of directors of our local cable access television station. I created and am hosting two shows. One show’s purpose is to increase public awareness about the innovative and creative initiatives in our schools. The public needs to know how we are spending tax dollars, that we are worth investing in! The focus of the second program, “It Takes a Village….” is on how we can come together as community members to guide our young people to lives of meaning and purpose. The latest series of programs has focused on the opioid crisis. 
I moved to Franklin 25 years ago because I wanted my daughter to attend the Franklin Public Schools. It was a great decision.

FM - What do you see as the challenge(s) for the School Committee?

Bergen – I believe that all public schools are facing the same challenge. Keeping testing in proper perspective. Testing does serve a purpose, highlighting student strengths and weaknesses, to inform instruction. But when testing takes on too much importance, we tend to neglect all that isn’t tested: the lessons of history, art, music, health and fitness. Tests don’t measure potential, grit, work ethic, humor and emotional intelligence. 
As evidenced by the substance abuse crisis, there are too many young people who are struggling to find their way. Our challenge is to use our resources to address not only the academic needs but also the social and emotional needs of our students. We need to find the right balance as we create our mission and vision for our schools.

FM - What do you bring to the position that would set you apart from the other candidates?

Bergen – Because I have worked at every level (K-12), I am able to see issues from the perspective of the students parents, educators and community members. I have hired staff, developed budgets, implemented policy, dealt with safety issues and managed facilities. 
In the last two years I have been writing about and speaking to parents and teachers about the latest research on motivation, learning and achievement. The expertise I have gained in this area may help to inform my work on the school committee. 
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity of serving this community which has given so much to me.

If you have any follow up questions for Anne, you can contact her via email at

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 3rd. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion.

The collection of all the information to prepare for the Nov 3rd election can be found here

Halloween safety tips and the Teal Pumpkin Project

1 - Halloween safety tips

From the blog we find this timely post on Halloween safety tips. Be safe trick or treating!
"Whether you’re still a trick-or-treater or you never lost your love of ghouls and goblins, Halloween is frightful fun for everyone. 
But even if you aren’t afraid of the dark, with more people out in the moonlight, there can be a scary side to this holiday. Watch out for dangers as you celebrate this year. 
The Department of Public Health (DPH)Department of Fire Services (DFS), and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide resources to ensure you have a safe and happy Halloween. Check out the tips below and for a full list, read DFS’s Halloween Safety and DPH’s Halloween Safety Tips brochures."
Continue reading the article online here

one of the several "Pumpkins in the Park" - in Franklin
one of the several "Pumpkins in the Park" - in Franklin

2 - What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

"Join FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project™ to help us create a safer, happier Halloween for all! 
Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season."

Teal Pumpkin Project
Teal Pumpkin Project

For more information on the Teal Pumpkin project visit them online

In the news: coat collection, fire dept efficiency

Guardian Self-Storage has partnered with Caring Partners Inc. in the organization’s winter coat collection, “Coats for Kids.” 
Donations of gently used winter coats for children and adults may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through Jan. 8 at Guardian Self-Storage, 599 Washington St. Once collected, all coats are professionally cleaned by Anton Cleaners and distributed by social service agencies to those in need within the community. 
For information: 508-528-4050.

Franklin Fire Dept
Franklin Fire Dept
While not focused on Franklin, this is an overall view of fire departments and the shifting demands they are meeting, this is very pertinent to Franklin and our future safety requirements as well as the budget.

With fires accounting for just under 4 percent of total calls to local departments in 2013, fire departments increasingly find themselves targeted by efficiency experts who apply business model measures to government functions. 
“I like to call it the ‘March of Dimes’ problem,” said Alex Tabarrok, an economics professor at George Mason University who’s blogged about the inefficiency of fire department management. “The March of Dimes was successful in curing polio then looked around and said, ‘Now what do we do?’ Firefighters face the same question.”

Continue reading the full article online

Chief McCarragher has raised this issue each budget season as he describes the shifts in call volume and the need for staffing to put on a third ambulance. The most recent budget summary can be found here:

Additional reports and their current strategy document can be found here

FHS field hockey wins, football loses on Friday

The FHS field hockey team beat KP 1-0 and the football team dropped their game to Brookline 21-16 in fall sports action on Friday. Thanks to Hockomock Sports for publishing the results that we can share here.


Franklin, 16 vs. Brookline, 21 – Final

  • 1st Quarter: (B) Kay Gakimani 1 yard rush, XP good; (F) Nick Yelle 24 yard field goal
  • 2nd Quarter: (B) K. Gakimani 2 yard rush, XP good; (F) Jacob Wolowacki 4 yard rush, N. Yelle XP.
  • 3rd Quarter: (B) Maxin Boeghman 8 yard rush, XP good.
  • 4th Quarter: (F) Luke Gordon 79 yard pass to Will O’Reilly, 2pt failed.

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Field Hockey

King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – Final 
– Kelsey McPhee scored the game winner off of stopped pass from Dana Lewandowski with just under four minutes to play in the first half. Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper credited KP goalie Abby Campbell with an outstanding game after the Panthers outshot KP 24-3. Cropper also praised the play of Taylor Reutlinger and Kenzi Pleshaw.

For all the results around the Hockomock League on Friday

In the News: Candidate profiles - Scofield, Padula, Bergen

Mary Jane Scofield looks to return to the School Committee this fall. 
Scofield is one of eight candidates seeking seven committee seats in the Nov. 3 election. She was a member of the committee from 1997 to 2007.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Twice would be nice as Peter Padula is running for his second term on the Town Council. 
A lifelong resident, Padula is one of 14 candidates seeking the nine council seats. He has run his insurance business in Franklin for the past 30 years, and his law practice in town for the past 25 years.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

School Committee candidate Anne Bergen said schools must focus on the whole child - not just test scores - to be successful. 
Bergen is one of eight candidates seeking the committee's seven seats in the Nov. 3 election. She is running for the board for the first time.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Enrollment for 2016-2017 School Year Kicks off on Monday

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School (BFCCPS) will kick off our enrollment season for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year on November 2, 2015. BFCCPS is a regional public school open to students in grades K-8 and located in Franklin, MA. We are proud of our status as a National and State award winning Character Education School. Our Curriculum is annually validated by excellent test scores.

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

Our school mission is based on supporting parents as the Primary Educator of their children, infusing Character Education into our daily curriculum, and encouraging students to plan, implement, and participate in Community Service activities.

Central to our commitment to the education of the whole child, BFCCPS offers strong programs in the visual and performing arts, as well as foreign languages. Our students are offered rich, meaningful technological experiences within their classrooms.

Siblings of currently enrolled students will continue to have priority enrollment status, thereafter applicants from all 13 communities in our school's district will have an equal chance at securing a spot for their child through the annual enrollment lottery. If the number of applicants exceeds the space available, enrollment and wait list decisions are made by public lottery.

Applications will be available online at beginning November 2. Hard copy applications will also be available in the front office at 201 Main Street in Franklin, MA. The deadline for all applications is 4pm on February 19th.

Enrollment Information Sessions have been scheduled for parents to learn more about our program and tour the building:

  • November 14, 2015 from 10 am to noon at BFCCPS
  • January 9, 2016 from 10 am to noon at BFCCPS
  • February 6, 2016 from 10 am to noon at BFCCPS

Additional information sessions will be scheduled at local public libraries. Please visit our website for upcoming dates and locations.

If you have any questions, please contact Joanne Basile at or at 508-541-3434 x140.

The latest from Mass Poetry

Festival headliners announced; Proposal deadline extended, Plein air poetry, Poem of the Moment, Archives, Coming up on the statewide calendar and more
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Announcing a partial list of #MPF16 headliners!

Marie Howe, Sandra Beasley, Mark Doty, Ada Limón, Gregory Pardlo, David Rivard, and Charles Simic are coming to Salem! This is one festival you won't want to miss! 

100+ readings, panels, and workshops. All poetry, all day, for three days! If you haven't already, save the date for April 29 - May 1 in Salem! Info on button sales, hotel room blocks, and more coming soon.

Have you been working on or considering a festival proposal?

We are extending the proposal deadline to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 1. Get those great ideas in! Read the guidelines and submit.
Check out "What is Poetry: Scenes from the 2015 Festival" and revisit our 2015 photo gallery & video gallery!

Plein Air: Poetry in and About the Natural World  

What is plein air poetry and what are its roots?

"En plein air is a French term, literally translated as 'in the open air.' So simply put, plein air poetry is poetry written out of doors. The tradition of identifying artistic work as plein air began in the mid-nineteenth century with the Barbizon, Hudson River, and Impressionist Schools of painting. Although artists had often painted outside, during this period, painters became particularly interested in painting in natural light, and the invention of paints in tubes facilitated this practice." Continue Reading.

Check out our archives!

Articles, poems, books, oh my!

Articles: We publish at least one story every week on, and all stories from the past year are now available on our article archive page. Stories will be added to the archive page when they come off of our current articles page, which always features the latest eight stories. 
Poems: Our website features an archive of all Poems of the Moment that have been featured weekly for the past several years. If ever you are in the mood to browse poems by Massachusetts poets, the Poem of the Moment archive is the spot for you! 

Extra, extra: Okay, so this isn't an archive! But be sure to check out our New Books By Massachusetts Poets page, which features--you guessed it--new full-length books of poetry by Massachusetts poets. (Pub date within a year.) At the bottom of the new books page, you'll also find all past interviews from our "Getting to Know" poets with new books series.

Poem of the Moment

Joyce Peseroff: HitchBOT

HitchBOT, you look like a toy in a war zone,
a photograph staged
to crack the heart.

HitchBOT, you're like my kid's old Barbie,
dressed and undressed, decapitated
with familiar contempt.

HitchBOT, you're the highway's first
dweeby victim in a horror movie
franchise, Son or Revenge Of.
Continue Reading.

Coming up on the Statewide Poetry Calendar:

Saturday, October 31:
Sunday, November 1:
Monday, November 2:
Tuesday, November 3:
Wednesday, November 4:
EXTENDED DEADLINE! Submit your proposal for the 2016 Massachusetts Poetry Festival by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 1.

• Nov 1 Deadline: Apply to be Common Threads 2017 Guest Editor
• Nov 6 Deadline: Submit visual art to our Common Threads cover art contest on the theme of "threshold moments." Guidelines/instructions on our website.
If you love the work we do to support poets and spread the love and power of poetry to students, T riders, and more, please consider supporting us with a recurring monthly donation of $5-$10 per month.
Donate Now
Copyright © 2015 Mass Poetry, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
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Friday, October 30, 2015

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 10/30/15 - THU 11/5/15

FRIDAY 10/30/15
12-6pm   *LAST* of the season Franklin Farmers Market at The Town Common
6-8pm   Pumpkins in the Park at the Sculpture Park (next to the Franklin Police Station)
7-10pm   Halloween Middle School Dance at Tri-County HS (open to grades 5-8)
7:30pm   FSPA presents “The Addams Family” at The Black Box
8-9:50pm   Frozen Friday DJ Public Skate at Pirelli Arena
9pm   Comedy Night at “3” featuring Louis Ramey

8am-12pm   Frankenstein 5K Run, Walk and Stomp at Bellingham HS
1pm-5pm   Howl-O-Ween at Pour Richard’s - grab your four legged companion, have picture taken to support a good cause
2pm   FSPA presents “The Addams Family” at The Black Box
8:30pm   FSPA presents “The Addams Family” at The Black Box
***Don’t forget to set your clock 1 hour back before bed, DST ends at 2am on Nov 1st***

SUNDAY 11/1/15
7:30-10:30am   Weekly Sunday morning breakfast at Franklin Rod and Gun Club, open to public.

6am-8pm   Franklin MA Biennial Town Election, Franklin High School
Special offer from Elizabeth's Bagels! After you vote, show your  "I Voted" sticker that day to get 20% off your meal or morning coffee!

6:30pm   Franklin Art Association Meeting, Palette Knife Demonstration by Ann Gorbett

THURSDAY 11/5/15
8:30am   Franklin Downtown Partnership Meeting at Dean College (Golder Room), public welcome!

For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

Franklin Candidate for Town Council - Robert Dellorco

Robert Dellorco and I met recently at Panera to talk about his campaign for Town Council. This is the summary of our discussion.

FM - What is your Franklin story?

Dellorco – I grew up in Hyde Park but my father was born in Franklin in the same house as Horace Mann. And now I am on the Horace Mann Statue Committee. Interesting how things come around! I lived here most of my life, with my wife and three kids. They all went through the Franklin schools and on to college. My father had strong ties to Franklin. My mother was born in the same house as her mother in Hyde Park. It would have taken something really significant to get her out of Hyde Park. They made a pact, they would live in Hyde Park but my father would be buried in Franklin. So my father was coming out to Franklin every week. On Thursday nights. He worked in Walpole for 44 years. The one night he missed was during the blizzard of ’78. Other than that he was here. 
In the Dellorco family, the cousins are like brothers. When it was time to move, there was really no other choice but to come to Franklin. When we first came here, I got involved coaching youth sports. Coaching my cousins, then my own kids. CYO basketball, Pop Warner. Some of those kids are always going to be my kids.

Sitting on the porch with a couple of kids talking about the opioid problem, we can’t be quiet about it anymore. We need to be talking and sharing together to tackle this problem. 
Debbie Pellegri got me involved with the 225th Anniversary of Franklin. So I drove the bus around. Come to find out, that was what my father had done for one of the earlier ones. There was really no place for me to go but here. My brother moved out at the same time. I saw Chief Benedetto at Dunkin and he said, what’s with all the Dellorco’s coming to Franklin?

FM - What do you see as a challenge for the position of Town Council?

Dellorco – The budget obviously. Hopefully State aid won’t get cut or too badly. Our representatives at the State House will take care of us. I have made some connections too. I had worked for the first Tom Menino campaign for City Council. He taught me one of his favorite sayings: “People are going to come to you and ask for help. Some of the things you can do, some of the things, you won’t be able to do. But bottom-line, they asked you for help, so do the best you can.” I never forgot that. You learn to keep an open mind and listen to everyone. The biggest thing that bothered him was ‘It’s not in my backyard.’ It bothers me too.

The opioid problem really concerns me. You know how involved I am with that. It is a terrible problem. I am doing what I can to help. Ben Waters is helping connect some of the high school kids with a program we are going to do with Franklin TV. Ben is a good kid. 
What also concerns me is the roads, we have to do something. We had the override for the roads and it didn’t pass. Maybe we didn’t do enough for it to spread the word. We need to do something. The folks that came to the Council to complain about their roads, like the roads off Northgate, or Uncas Road, the roads are horrible. Uncas is getting fixed now. As well as the other roads in that area, Crocker and Lewis Sts. 
I am concerned about the Medway power plant. I am not sure why we haven’t done much with that. It seems to be a Sitting Commission issue rather than a Medway decision. We should find out what we can do. That and the Spectra pipeline, it was off, and now it’s on again. Some are saying we can’t do anything about it. I think if we get enough people to send a message then we should be able to do something.

FM - What do you bring to the position that would set you apart from the other candidates?
Dellorco – Obviously, I have voted the other way on some issues. I am not just going with the flow. I have an open mind. Because I have been a union steward, and have negotiated contracts, I can be an advantage for the Council in negotiating contracts with our unions. What I do at MassPort, we are in charge of all the vehicles. Purchase, maintenance, etc. So I have some connections with spec’ing out the new ambulance, fire truck when it comes to it.

When this is a new council, we need to work as a team. I’d rely on Tom Mercer if there is a building question. Or Brett on something with power or solar. Or Steve Williams on something in public safety. Or Andy on something with zoning. We need to work together to leverage each of our specialties. At the end of the day we are a team. We have to operate as a team. 
The hardest thing, sometimes are hands are tied. Somethings we can do, somethings we can’t (like Mayor Menino’s comment). We can do better by letting the folks know the difference. That we need to do. 
Right after football, I am going to start working with Sidwell on getting additional JV teams for lacrosse both girls and boys. They have enough kids in the youth programs coming up but the high school teams are limited. I also heard that they are trying to get a gymnastics team at the high school. And it is not just sports for me, if someone were to say we are cutting the band, I’d be involved. Anything we can do to keep the kids busy and off the streets is good.

If you have any follow up questions for Robert, you can contact him via email at

You can also visit his Facebook page

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 3rd. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion.

Franklin Candidate for Town Council - Sean Slater

Sean Slater and I met recently via phone call to talk about his campaign for Town Council. This is the summary of our discussion.

FM - What is your Franklin story?

Slater – I am a first time candidate running for Town Council. I have an amazing wife Kerry and an adorable son, Devin. I have a deep commitment to my family and my Catholic faith. Kerry and I consider ourselves very fortunate to be living in a great town like Franklin. After searching for a house on the North Shore and in neighboring towns around Franklin we came to the conclusion that Franklin was the best choice. The small New England town charm and character combined with all Franklin has to offer convinced us that this is where we wanted to be. 
I want to work with people who want to keep Franklin one of the most sought after towns in the state to live in. The collective voice of the Franklin citizens is more important than anything else in terms of how Franklin’s future should be planned out. I am fiscally conservative when it comes to my own household spending. I think it is reasonable for the average Franklin resident to expect that same fiscal discipline from their town officials. 
I believe our town officials should not lose sight of the fact that they are spending the public’s money. I am running for this seat so Devin can grow up in a community that is as safe and affordable tomorrow as it is today. I want the current generation of Franklin citizens to have peace of mind knowing that their children and grandchildren decide to stay in Franklin for the same reasons that we all chose to move here. 
I have worked in the financial services industry for over 22 years; specifically at State St Bank, Bank of America and Fidelity. I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Stonehill College. I have an MBA from the Sawyer School of Management. I am employed as a Senior Project Manager with Fidelity Investments responsible for coordinating and delivering multimillion dollar IT projects on-time and on-budget. While at Fidelity, I received my Six Sigma Black Belt certification in 2006 and my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2008.

FM - What do you see as a challenge for the position of Town Council?

Slater – I think the biggest challenge is the lack of transparency and the relentless pursuit of overdevelopment. 
The perception, right or wrong is that there is a groupthink mentality to how decisions are made and how public information is or is not shared with residents. There are too many unanimous votes on the Council. Let’s try to bring some critical thinking and fact based analysis into the Chambers. I want to know how the town is defining a “growth” strategy. I will not be a rubber stamp for every real estate development that comes across the desk but I will not vote down every proposal either. 
The accountability is on the interested party proving to me how this will benefit the entire Franklin community, not the selective few, in the short term and long term. Proposals need to be vetted with as much deep dive analysis as required in order for us, as Council members to make better informed decisions. Those proposals over a certain dollar amount should require another level of scrutiny. 
Any growth or five year investment plan regarding Franklin’s future needs to be balanced and conservative and requires full disclosure on how it will impact not only the industrial, commercial, residential portfolio mix but more importantly how that mix impacts the taxpayer’s wallet. 
I certainly understand the need to bring in more revenue, especially as a resident tax payer but we need to tap the breaks a little until unknowns becomes knowns. Trust, then verify. 
Traffic studies are great but they are almost irrelevant in the big picture. You need a comprehensive infrastructure analysis that deals with the demand and supply side. This needs to be done before any voting or fast tracking of decisions. Full disclosure on what the financial burden of the development will demand upon the existing town resources, this is your baseline. 
What is the demand on future or net new services? That gap between current state and future state is what needs to be solved for from a revenue as well as an expense perspective. You take that current state and the future state assessment, document and validate it and hold people accountable to it. 
This is not mind blowing stuff here, this is about transparency and accountability. I do not know if this is happening already or if all of the relevant decision makers are part of the process but we owe it to our residents to ensure that it is. Too many times, the most common knee jerk reaction is to identify a single source of revenue to solve for some or all of that gap; the residential taxpayer. 
Another significant challenge will be the $93M unfunded liability for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB). This is a non-pension guaranteed benefit entitlement. We are accounting for it, it is on the books and we are allocating dollars to it each year. What we need to be doing is solving for how we control the costs that are not only inevitable but will ultimately be unsustainable if we have to write that check someday. 
Those that have contributed and are entitled to that benefit should have peace of mind knowing that those dollars will be there when they need it. The taxpayers should equally have peace of mind knowing well in advance that we as a Council are accountable for coming up with solutions to reduce that tax burden, by reducing (not eliminating) those interest costs within the scope of our town charter and bylaws. 
I mention costs going up as inevitable because health care costs will move in one direction for the foreseeable future. It is like paying only the interest on a credit card or mortgage, the principal balance isn’t going anywhere but the total loan balance only gets bigger. 
We are limited on what we can do because of state regulations and reporting requirements but what we are not limited to is thinking outside the box. We should address this and not ignore it. We have to find a way to make this sustainable. If it needs to funded and fully on the books for 2028, according to the current accounting rules, it will be a big challenge to deal with.

FM - What do you bring to the position that would set you apart from the other candidates?

Slater – First thing I want to get on the record is that for me there is no conflict of interest in my motivation to run for this position. I am not looking to gain any political favors by getting elected. I am not looking to gain financially or grow my business from the votes that I would take on the town’s behalf. I am running with a clear understanding that my first priority is the resident of Franklin. I would not compromise my integrity in achieving that goal. 
What I bring to the table is 22 years of problem solving expertise in the private sector. I am bringing a relentless effort to improve the transparency which is suspect as of today. I am dedicated to ensure that I and my fellow Councilors are proactively engaged in really keeping our community more informed, not just on votes and decisions, but on the overall process leading up to those votes and decisions. I am by default, trained to understand, reject and revise budget items that look questionable at best and completely unreasonable at worst. 
At my current job I demand accountability from people I work with and they demand the same of me. I do not have the luxury of throwing money at a problem to solve for it. I will not get into the override debate here because I could write endlessly on that topic. Know this, to ask the Franklin resident for more taxes in the form of an override is to insult their intelligence. The inconsistent and sky is falling override rhetoric would not change whether we had a $113M budget or a $213M budget. 
On transparency, we need to do better than allowing 3 minutes for residents to express their concerns. Right now it does not do anything to inspire confidence when meetings are a one way conversation after a three minute allowance. We can do better than that. The Town Council does abide by the open meeting law, lead time rule or whatever we call it next month, which is 48 hours but we as TC, accountable to about 33,000 residents should aspire to a higher standard. 
For “special business” or something that has a sweeping impact to the community, those notifications should be done with significantly more lead time notice. I know we are not able to force people to show up but what I am talking about is engaging the public well beyond the Town Council meetings. The citizens need to have a Town Hall style format or at least a forum where there is a more collaborative model with the Town Council. The TC still drives the meeting, agenda and the majority of content in order to keep the meetings efficient but the opportunity for the collective citizen voice to engage requires a reset. I think that open collaboration is vital to getting where we need to be. 
One of the other things that I would suggest; our names should be attached to everything we vote on and posted publicly. Reading 9-0 or 8-1 really provides no insight into who is doing what. We should have our names on each of the votes. It builds trust, period. It will allow citizens to focus on who to engage, who to compliment, who to voice concerns with during meetings or in informal interactions. 
The voters have a pretty clear choice to make with the 14 of us. With the level of engagement between us the last three weeks, it should be clear by now where I stand on issues that I introduced or issues that were introduced to me. I have no problem speaking my mind on anything. 
What I will do is bring a taxpayer focused mindset to the Council. I will bring an objective and common sense approach to every decision I make on the resident’s behalf. I will not accept something as validated based on assumptions. 
Lastly, I will reinforce that crazy idea that fiscal discipline is not optional when the dollars are coming from the taxpayer’s wallet. I will work closely and reasonably with fellow Town Councilors in keeping Franklin a town we will always be proud of calling home. 
I humbly ask for your vote on 11/3.

If you have any follow up questions for Sean, you can contact him via email at

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 3rd. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion.