Sunday, July 9, 2017

Town Council recap for June 28, 2017

The Town Council approved the creation of a Cultural District, disapproves of a solar canopy for the Franklin/Dean MBTA station, and retained the current Library board of Directors structure as the proposal for changes to it was not approved.

The Council opened the meeting at 6:45 PM, went into executive session and then returned (approx 6:50) to re-open the meeting at the normal time of 7:00 PM. The Executive Session covered the real estate decisions that came up later in the meeting agenda. Two parcels of land Franklin had right of first refusal to purchase and passed on both.

Firefighter James Polito was introduced by Chief Gary McCarragher and then sworn in by Town Clerk Teresa Burr

Firefighter James Polito was introduced by Chief Gary McCarragher
Firefighter James Polito was introduced by Chief Gary McCarragher
Firefighter James Polito was sworn in by Town Clerk Teresa Burr
Firefighter James Polito was sworn in by Town Clerk Teresa Burr

Lillian Gould was appointed to the Cultural Council, the election workers for the Town election in November were appointed. The Franklin Advisory Committee (formerly known as the Citizens Committee) was also reappointed. This action had been left out of the normal year end appointments approved in the prior Town Council meeting.

I was among several members of the community who spoke for the creation of the proposed Franklin Cultural District. Several Town Councilors spoke for the measure which was approved. The map of the proposed district is already submitted to the State for their review. The formal application for the District can now be submitted by Franklin. A committee will be appointed to oversee the coordination of activities to create awareness on the wealth of cultural assets within Franklin and to help use those assets to increase business.

The current Steering Committee will continue to organize the Annual Cultural Festival and likely form a 501(c)3 to help foster fund raising with tax deductions for the individual donors.

In the Legislation for Action portion: 

  • the Council disapproves of the solar panel at the Franklin/Dean station not for the solar aspect, Franklin clearly has demonstrated desire and executed on solar. The process by which the MBTA is going about their solar installations is what caused the most issue for the Council. Over the past several years the Council have been trying to get the T to do something with the station with little or no success. Then to have the T come along with their work and not include the Town in the planning effectively was the 'last straw'. This letter and leveraging other networking elements hopefully will bring about a successful discussion.
  • the Council passed on the two properties where Franklin has right of first refusal. Both properties can no be sold to other buyers. 
  • the Council approved replacement of the stage at the Town Common. After the bid process, the stage would likely be ready for 2018.
  • the proposed tasting room bylaw received final approval
  • the proposal to bring the measure creating the Library Board of Directors up to current language was defeated by a 7-2 vote (2 for the change, 7 against). This leaves a desire to change the Board of Directors makeup on the table without a current proposal on how to do so. So no change for the moment. Stay tuned in for this one as it develops.


The action taken document can also be found on the Town of Franklin website

My notes reported live during the meeting can be found here

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