Monday, May 29, 2017

Town Council approves $120M budget

The recap of the two budget hearings held this past week by the Town Council can be found here. 

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The Town Council resoundingly passed a $120 million fiscal year 2018 budget at the end of a brief meeting Thursday night. 
The session featured the second of two public budget hearings required by the town charter. No Franklin resident offered a comment. 
The vote was complicated by the fact that Councilor Glenn Jones is an instructor at the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. The town’s contribution to that school was among the line items in the proposed budget. 
Council members remedied the situation by amending the budget motion into two votes: one for the $2.73 million item for regional schools, and another for the remainder of the budget. Jones abstained from the first vote, and took part in the second; both votes passed without opposition."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The FY 2018 budget document can be found here

FY 2018 budget resolution can be found here

FY 2018 budget by major budget category
FY 2018 budget by major budget category
Benefits $10,956,398 
Culture & Recreation $1,399,397 
Debt Service $6,609,708 
DPW - Hwy $4,669,497 
Education $62,586,202 
General Government $9,899,231 
Human Services $691,948 
Liability Insurance $525,000.0 
Public Safety $11,201,434 
Sewer $5,074,368.0 
Solid Waste Disposal $1,949,673.0 
Water $4,748,897.0 
Total $120,311,753

Actions Taken for 5/24/17 meeting

Actions Taken for 5/25/17 meeting

Franklin's downtown: before and after

"It took over two years and $7 million, but Downtown Franklin, MA’s road and streetscape remodeling project was worth the effort and inconvenience.  For many long months in 2015 and 2016, construction equipment and road workers disrupted the downtown area.  But now the “facelift” has Downtown Franklin looking great!  The quickest way to show you the striking success of the enhancements to the downtown district of Franklin, Massachusetts is by this series of “before and after” photos:"

“before and after” photo from
“before and after” photo from

“before and after” photo from
“before and after” photo from
Continue reading Warren Reynolds' summary of the changes including the before and after photos

Note: it was indeed more than two years for the second phase of the downtown improvement project. The first phase addressed Emmons, Depot, and Dean Sts and was funded separately from the separate phase, the combined total of the two phases was $7M.

Confirmation of this can be found on the Planning and Community Development page

Electric Youth Presents Bon Voyage Show In Advance Of 14th European Concert Tour

Electric Youth (EY) 2017, the international touring ensemble of talented singer-dancers trained at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA), presents a Bon Voyage concert at THE BLACK BOX in downtown Franklin on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. The performance comes just days before the ensemble departs on June 28 for a 2 ½-week concert tour of England, France, Italy and Switzerland. Backed by an eight-piece band of world-class musicians, Electric Youth delivers a fun, high-energy evening of family entertainment with an extensive range of contemporary pop, classic rock, Broadway and country music for audiences all ages. 
Electric Youth Presents Bon Voyage Show In Advance Of 14th European Concert Tour

Electric Youth Presents Bon Voyage Show In 
Advance Of 14th European Concert Tour

The group’s 14th European tour features several concerts along the coast of Normandy, including shows in Barfleur, Cherbourg and the historic D-Day site of Sainte-Mère-Église. The itinerary also marks the group’s debut in Switzerland with a concert in Zermatt. Venues in England include Wimbourne’s Tivoli Theatre, along with performances in Arundel, Chichester and Hastings, where Electric Youth will collaborate with students from the Hastings Stage Studio. EY also returns to Lake Como, following performances there last summer, to deliver two lakeside shows at the Hotel Britannia. 

Selected annually by audition, the group is chosen for superior musicianship, stage presence, and “triple threat” accomplishments in voice, dance, and acting. This season’s ensemble of performers, ages 15-18, studies multiple dance disciplines, voice, and acting at FSPA. Electric Youth 2017 includes Julia Buccella, Brooke Collins, Aaron Frongillo, Sydney Leach, Caitlin Woodcock and Melissa Wyner of Franklin; Caroline Merten of Hopedale; Sam Evans and Colie Vancura of Medfield; Katie Gray of Milford; Naomi Fitzgerald, Mairead Nee and Griffin Wilkins of Walpole; and Susauna Wickstrom of Wrentham. 

The EY singer-dancers are backed by Boston musicians who’ve performed, recorded and toured with music legends Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Van Morrison and many others. Raye Lynn Mercer and Hallie Wetzell are Electric Youth’s Director and Vocal Director, respectively. Choreographers include Mercer, Casey Andrade, Cheryl Madeux, Nick Paone and Kellie Stamp.

Electric Youth has released six professional albums and toured Europe 13 times, with performances at England’s Arundel Festival, Disneyland Paris, professional theaters in Bristol, London and Windsor, and such renowned venues as Sanremo’s Ariston Theatre and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Musikverein and Schonbrunn Palace. 

EY also has headlined Fourth of July shows for U.S. troops and their families stationed in Italy at Camp Ederle, Camp Darby and Aviano Air Force Base. The ensemble has performed on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, on Fox-TV and WBZ Radio, and at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, Mechanics Hall, the Smithsonian Museum Theater, the United Nations and the American Embassy in Rome. EY’s music, including the 2014 album Power Chord, is available at and iTunes. 

Tickets for Electric Youth in Concert at THE BLACK BOX are $26. To purchase tickets, visit, stop by the box office at 34 Main Street in Franklin, or call (508) 528-3370. THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. For more information about Electric Youth, visit

Franklin Federated Church Mystery Dinner Theater - June 10

Franklin Federated Church presents a Mystery Dinner Theater performance, New York Dreams, on Saturday, June 10, at 6:30 PM at the church at 171 Main Street.

The church's dining hall will be transformed into the luxurious Diamond Café of the Hotel Gem in the heart of New York City. When the power suddenly goes out, the restaurant's customers are trapped on the 35th floor. As anxious patrons await their rescue, they experience the amazing revelations of one guest's new invention. Just as freedom arrives, thievery is discovered. Now they're trapped again because everyone is a suspect.

Come help solve this mystery and join the NYC themed fun!

Tickets are $35 each ($20 for children), and include a dinner of Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice pilaf, green beans, Caesar salad, and desert.

The play is being directed by Pastor Charley Eastman and Produced by Deborah Bergstrom. The cast includes: Michelle Doucette, Lyn Pickhover, Moe Goulet, Margo Ball, Steve Kinson, Karen and Doug Leenhouts, Carrie Flynn and Larry Childs.

Purchase tickets by calling the church at 508-528-3803. Proceeds will benefit the mission and ministry of the church.
Franklin Federated Church Mystery Dinner Theater - June 10
Franklin Federated Church Mystery Dinner Theater - June 10

“We’re really excited to get going"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The Town Council has given its approval to a measure that would give local farmers a voice and promote efforts to “buy local” produce. 
At its March 24 meeting, the council unanimously agreed to establish an agricultural commission. The council would now petition the Legislature to allow for such a group. 
Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen said the idea came from a citizen. He said the hope was that the commission would encourage “buy local” efforts, educate residents about farms and provide a perspective on conflicts between farmers and neighbors. 
“There are some wonderful resources we have here,” he said. “(Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting) and I have met with proponents several times.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Find out more about the Franklin Agriculture Commission on their Facebook page

Franklin Agriculture Commission looking for your help (Facebook photo)
Franklin Agriculture Commission looking for your help (Facebook photo)

Town Offices will be closed on Monday, May 29

Town Offices will be closed on Monday, May 29th in Observance of Memorial Day and will reopen on Tuesday, May 30th at 8 AM.

Town Offices will be closed on Monday, May 29
Town Offices will be closed on Monday, May 29

This was shared from the Town of Franklin page:

Register O'Donnell Highlights Registry Customer Service Center

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Highlights Registry Customer Service Center

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reminds consumers if they have a Registry question, the answer is just a phone call away by dialing the Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101. The department is open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

"The Customer Service Center is a one-stop shop for Norfolk County homeowners and institutional users who have land related document questions," said O'Donnell. "These questions can vary such as confirming the current ownership of a particular property, or verifying if a discharge of a property's mortgage has been filed after the loan has been paid off. We are glad to help with any inquiry, whether you come through our doors or call us by phone."

Register O'Donnell further noted, "The department can also inform customers about the various cost for filing and receiving land documents. Upon a customer's request - whether by visiting us here at the Registry or by direct mail request - we can provide copies of documents for a fee of $1.00 per page, plus an additional $1.00 per document to cover postage cost."

The Registry only accepts cash or check payments. In addition, Customer Service Center staff is happy to answer questions about the Homestead Act, a law which provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

O'Donnell went on to say, "For many, trying to ascertain information on land documents can be a very frustrating and intimidating experience. Please know our trained customer service staff is well versed in all areas of land document research. By utilizing our state-of-the-art land document research system, which is also available via, people can get answers to their property questions."

Notary services are also offered by the Customer Service Center. "All staff members are notary publics. We are more than glad to notarize any land document provided the person requesting the service appears before us and presents satisfactory proof of identification by showing either their driver's license or passport," said O'Donnell.

In conclusion, Register O'Donnell stated, "Providing first-class customer service is a core objective of the Registry's mission to serve the public. We strive to ensure our customers have a positive experience when interacting with us. The bottom line is: We are glad to be of service to you."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham,, MA 02026-1831

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

52% of students do not get any music education after grade 5

For me, the key stat to take away from the School Committee meeting Tuesday, May 23 was that 52% of students do not get any music education after grade 5. Only 21% participate in elementary music nationally, while 48% do in Franklin.

Why do we do this? A good question for discussion.

School funding overall is an issue. It accounts for almost half of the total Franklin budget but is still not enough when the social emotional needs are lacking proper guidance, when music education stops in elementary and countless other short comings could be highlighted.

School funding was addressed by the School Committee when they unanimously voted and signed on a letter to the Legislature calling for a commitment to fully funding schools as the bill of 1993 laid out.

It may be a pipe dream, but a small step towards better funding for the school is a necessary step.

My notes from the School Committee meeting are found in the links below.

I would encourage you to watch the two music performances (Jefferson ukuleles and then the FHS trio).

I would encourage you to review the two presentation documents. 

The Reminisants to Play THE BLACK BOX - June 10

THE BLACK BOX New England Artist Series presents The Reminisants on Saturday, June 10 at 8 p.m. at the downtown Franklin venue. Entertaining audiences of all ages throughout New England since 1973, the oldies band specializes in music from the 1950s through the ’90s. Playing a collection of hits for all kinds of musical tastes and many generations, the popular stage act averages over 120 performances per year. 

The band has shared the stage with The Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Drifters, Chubby Checker, The Marvelettes, Herb Reed and The Platters, and many more. Formed in 1973 by three Waltham High School friends, Dom Viscione, Mike Joyal and Fran Doorakian, the band has since expanded to the current six-man group.

Tickets are $20. The home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company and a suburban hub for great music, THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street. A cash bar is available. 

For tickets and more information, visit or call (508) 528-3370.

The Reminisants To Play THE BLACK BOX - June 10
The Reminisants To Play THE BLACK BOX - June 10
For more about The Reminisants visit their webpage

FHS Baseball wins the Pedroli Classic championship

From Hockomock Sports .Com we share the results of the FHS baseball and softball games on Saturday, May 27


Franklin, 7 @ Natick, 2 – Final 
– Franklin junior Jason Ulrickson allowed just one earned run and senior Jake Lyons knocked in three runs as the Panthers recorded their first win of the day. Ulrickson scattered eight hits, walked two and struck out seven to earn the win. Lyons went 2-for-3, including a triple and also scored a run, Jake Macchi had a double, a run and two RBI and Cam Lupien scored twice and knocked in one run for Franklin.

Franklin, 8 vs. Hopkinton, 0 – Final 
– The Panthers picked up their second win of the day, shutting out Hopkinton in the Pedroli Classic championship game. Jake Noviello earned the win with five shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits and one walk. Bryan Woelfel closed the game with two scoreless innings, striking out three with just two hits allowed. Offensively, Ryan Hodgkins (two RBI), Tyler Gomes (run), Jack Macchi (two RBI, run) and Cam Lupien (two runs) each had two hits for the Panthers.

Softball = Franklin, 3 vs. Abington, 10 – Final
– Franklin’s Alexx Niss belted a two-run home run in the top of the first inning but the Green Wave plated three runs in the bottom half and never surrendered the lead the rest of the way.

For other results on Saturday around the Hockomock League

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Senator Spilka: FY 2018 Senate Budget Debate Wrap Up


Since our founding, the term Commonwealth - 'common wealth' - has served to remind us that each of us is invested in preserving our common good; that our fortunes rise and fall together.

In the context of the Senate budget, our common wealth of course refers to dollars and cents. But it also signifies so much more.

Our true common wealth is our people. And we can sustain it, even in tough times, by focusing on the fundamentals: education, health, and housing.

I am pleased to present this update on the Senate's Fiscal Year 2018 budget, passed by the full Senate on Thursday, May 25, 2017.
Education has always been Massachusetts' lodestar. We place our faith in public education as our greatest equalizer and catalyst for success.  The final Senate budget directs funding to high quality education for everyone, including: 
  • $4.76 billion in Chapter 70 funding
  • $15 million to expand access to high quality preschool
  • $10 million to boost salaries for early educators
  • $1 billion for higher education
  • $3.7 million for after-school and out-of-school programs
  • $294 million to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker
We believe we can proactively tackle the issue of rising health care costs while continuing to encourage the adoption of innovative, evidence-based practices that will make all of us healthier and more productive. Our budget includes:

  • A number of health care cost savings initiatives
  • $24 million to fully fund the Turning 22 program
  • $31 million for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
  • $144 million for substance abuse prevention & treatment
  • $91.6 million for mental health services for children
  • $13 million for Family Resource Centers
  • $3.5 million to encourage collaboration among agencies, schools and community partners to strengthen programming for early detection and screening for mental illness in children
There can be no security for individuals and families without access to reliable housing. We believe that our investments to prevent homelessness support best practices in putting individuals and families on the path towards stability:

  • $166 million for Emergency Assistance Family Shelters
  • $100 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, providing funding for 350 to 400 new rental assistance vouchers
  • $46 million for assistance for homeless individuals
  • $32 million for the HomeBASE rapid re-housing program
  • $18.5 million for RAFT, providing short-term financial assistance to low income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • $5.5 million for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program 
  • $2.5 million for housing and supportive services for unaccompanied homeless youth
The budget continues the Senate's strong partnership with municipalities in directing significant investments to local aid and community services.
  • $1.06B for Unrestricted General Government Aid to support community investments in education, health care, public safety and roads and bridges
  • $83M for Regional Transit Authorities
  • $26.7M for the Board of Library Commissioners, including $10.4M for regional library local aid, $9.8M for municipal libraries and $2.3M for technology and automated resources
  • $16.5M for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support the state-wide creative economy and local arts and culture
  • $14.2M for local Councils on Aging to strengthen programs and services in senior centers
For more information on the Senate budget, including additional investments, please see the links below or contact my Senate office at (617) 722-1640.
Important FY 2018 Budget Links

Metrowest Daily News: 5 takeaways from the Senate Ways and Means budget
Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 212, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133

Senator Karen E. Spilka, Massachusetts State House, Room 212, Boston, MA 02133

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PMC Franklin Kids Ride - Sunday, June 11

Like to ride your bike? Want to make a difference?

Come join us at the PMC Franklin Kids Ride on Sunday, June 11 from 8am-Noon.

All money raised will go directly to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for life saving Cancer research and treatment.

Ride with your friends and form a team and choose your ride: 3, 6 or 10 miles.

We even have a Tikes and Trikes Ride for those on more than 2 wheels.

Register today at

Contact Lisa Marchioni at if you have any questions

PMC Franklin Kids Ride - Sunday, June 11
PMC Franklin Kids Ride - Sunday, June 11

Total Wine & More Launches New Statewide Campaign To Modernize Mass. Laws Governing Sale Of Beer, Wine And Spirits

Consumers First initiative to promote sensible changes to update and improve Commonwealth laws regulating beverage alcohol sales

Total Wine & More today announced the start of a new statewide information and awareness campaign to support sensible changes to update and modernize the laws governing the sale of beer, wine and spirits in Massachusetts.

The Consumers First initiative is a source of information and advocacy to enhance and improve the regulatory environment and structure around the beer, wine and spirits industry in a way that promotes savings and better serves consumers across Massachusetts.

“Total Wine & More has a long track record as a proven consumer ally, and this new Consumers First campaign will promote sensible and much needed updates to Massachusetts’ alcohol sale laws – some of which date back to Prohibition,” said Ed Cooper, Vice President, Public Affairs & Community Relations at Total Wine & More. “Our entire business is built on creating a first class customer experience while providing the best value and selection in beverage alcohol. We take great pride in all the ways we serve our customers, and advocating on their behalf and being an ally is another way of serving them.”

Massachusetts alcoholic beverage laws and regulations need reform. The laws regulating and governing beverage alcohol sales should better protect consumers’ best interests.

The Consumers First initiative will use information and advocacy to demonstrate that protecting and serving consumers should be the first priority. Examples of savings and conveniences that consumers in Massachusetts are being denied include access to the best possible retailer coupon and customer loyalty programs, as well as regulatory obstacles that prevent the lowest prices from being passed on to customers from bulk wholesale discounts.

“We believe all alcohol retailers in Massachusetts should be advocates for consumers. They should favor allowing new ways for consumers to save on beer, wine and spirits,” Cooper said. “The Consumers First initiative will help give people a voice in advocating for sensible reforms.”

For more information about the Consumers First initiative, visit You can also like the campaign on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Total Wine & More Launches New Statewide Campaign To Modernize Mass. Laws Governing Sale Of Beer, Wine And Spirits
Total Wine & More Launches New Statewide Campaign To 
Modernize Mass. Laws Governing Sale Of Beer, Wine And Spirits

About Total Wine & More
Total Wine & More is America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, beer and spirits with 158 stores in 20 states. A four-time national retailer of the year award winner, the company’s vast selection of products, combined with low everyday prices and expertly trained wine associates, provides a unique shopping experience for the customer. Since opening its first store in 1991, Total Wine & More has been committed to being the premier wine, beer and spirits retailer in every community that it serves. For more information about Total Wine & More please visit

"everyone says hello to each other, even if they are a complete stranger”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"For high school students planning to attend college, there is a lot of pressure to find the school that fits. To help these students find their perfect school, the Franklin Town Library hosted its first “mini college fair” on Saturday. 
“One of the big focuses, was that students wanted more exposure to schools all around the country,” said Caleigh Ross, youth services librarian. “That is why I reached out to a bunch of people I knew from Franklin that went to some of these schools.” 
The mini college fair, put together by the Teen Advisory Board, featured: Colgate University, University of Vermont, Saint Anselm’s College, Duke University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Elon University, Washington and Lee University, College of Charleston, University of Mary Washington, Indiana University, Wheaton College (Illinois), Illinois Wesleyan University, Miami University of Ohio, University of Chicago, Creighton University, Grinnell College, Denison University, Claremont McKenna College, Seaver College of Pepperdine University and Willamette University."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

where do you want to go to college?
where do you want to go to college?

Where did the class of 2016 go to college?