Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Live reporting: Town Council - May 22, 2019 - Budget Hearing #1

Present: Hamblen, Casey, Dellorco, Kelly, Mercer, Jones, Padula, Pellegri, Earls 
Absent: none

Agenda ItemSummary

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast Channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by others.
Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the agenda.  The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.

A Earls - Saturday, June 1
a 90 minute course on how to run in Franklin 
sign up on website, seating is limited

Dale Kurtz - Veterans Officer
hosting Memorial Day parade, 10:30 AM
finishing at Town Common at noon

Kathy Mahler - Skyline Estates residents
objection to sideways being removed, streets being narrowed, truck turning issues, bus turning issues
response from Town Administration to keep sidewalk on her side
rationale is that the road override failed
now turn to get streets paved, water pipes installed
only at meeting Apr 23 was it notified that the roads would be narrowed; replacing with lesser product life cycle
4th changed in this way
look out your window, what would you do if yours would be changed
creative suggestions on speed mitigation, I have 80+ signature to keep it approved
I am prepared to pursue this to the extent possible

Dan Ballenger - Skyline Estates
purchased based upon what was there
Town planning on changing the neighborhood experience
an argument to the change might violate the ADA regulations; change in quiet enjoyment, dispute in value
what your doing is planning is changing what I purchased

FY 2020 Budget Hearing: 7:10 PM

open public hearing on FY 2020 budget
thanks to all for the countless hours to prepare this document for your consideration

tax levy will increase 2.7M
overall state aid declining about 900K
net revenue under 2M for first time
used our reserves, School will talk about their budget
we will make it work this year but for FY 2021 shortfall likely in neighborhood in area of 4M

state aid might change but not likely to get an update until this summer, could change before rate is set in the Fall

no dramatic changes, schools being funded by less than 2M
eliminating road budget of 600K for next year to save jobs
we will survive this year and move forward

Town Council- Kelly
councilor and school committee are volunteer positions
doing it because we choose to do it

Treasurer/Collector - Padula
we had a position overlap for training, and now the retirement will happen in Aug

Information Technology - Earls
Tim Raposa, Director
overall spending? large portion of the budget is bascially subscription fees
for permitting software, website, 5-10% is break fix
website hosting, board and service fees
the phone calls for snow days, etc. (Brutus's call)
printer service covers toner and paper as well as break fix

- Pellegri
Where is your salary?
we're all volunteers - the School budget holds that
14 years ago, the IT efforts merged and the School have run the combined IT since
a few years after that we took over all the facilities
something to discuss for future

Facilities - multiple holds
contain operational cost to contain costs and future costs
even though we use the solar farm, we bid our electric and ended up with a contract for 4 years, fixed price 10 cents/KW
currently electric is generally rising, to avoid future increases, almost 85% LED saving more
spoke at a NationalGrid conf, using their grants
we are a partner with them not an adversary, we're getting 15-20 % back
changed the way we bring dial tone for all schools and all town properties, Siptrunking - dial tone over internet services, saving lines and cost
saved $2600/month used to purchase new phones
became a green community, maintenance program working well
illness and infections occur in a building, used to spray everything in the room
actually not cleaning it is disinfecting, machines and products examined to do it easier
one person can spray a room in hours rather than 4-5 folks spending a day

Pellegri - electrician and plumber to be hired to save money
how can you explain spending all that and what was the saving?
we also used a contractor to do projects as opposed to the day-to-day work
the hired person was also out for illness and we had coverage via the contract for that
1.3M sq feet of building but one person can't do it all

Dellorco - i agree one is just not enough, even of we hired a HVAC guy we'd still need outside
how fast do you get to your work orders?
depends upon the trade? if life safety, out within hours; usually have several work orders at any given time
How puts the priority on the orders?
how come you haven't been to Parmenter for the mold?
spent weekends cleaning using the disinfectants etc. painting etc.

Kelly - difference between last and this? what are we doing in raises for public property
no raises, no steps and levels, we added part-timers for Library
approx 70K for raises; OT in high school added for lunch time

how many employees do you have?
12-14 part-timers, custodians, about 56?
at least 3 part-time, big turn over
I don't get how many you have and how many your trying to fill
turning over new people

we have a number of sprinkler failures and folks coming to us with complaints?
I am concerned about this line item
I'd like to understand what's going on, one in particular twice if not 3 times

it is not from you I am hearing it, I am hearing it from others, teachers

Fire - Casey
mutual aid going to other towns, do we get reimburse operational costs for those
No? they may come over to us many times as well
if there was a medical call, that would be billed
about a couple of hundred times a year

mutual aid agreement

how you saved money since the regional dispatch?
budget for this year was more due to their delay, moving forward so there will be some savings

Regional Dispatch
question was just answered, thanks

Opened on May 9, opened couple of weeks, 911 works great
working on reporting issues to get resolved shortly

meeting regularly to work out all the bugs
still a few more issues to be worked by 4th of July, by middle of summer should be good

Schools -
Town Council  doesn't have control of the individual line items
School Committee and administration handles the details
Special Ed annual issue; one of the drivers
other include salaries (76%), health insurance, transportation
look at student needs first and foremost
some of the areas escalation are the out of district tuition
out of district transportation also an issue which is generally revealed later
legally required to provide a free education
decisions made carefully, costs watched carefully, providing services
advocating with our legislators to ensure that State funding is fully funded
transportation is not currently included and we hope to advocate for it

you have used your reserve funds the last several years, the end is near or here?

strategically we have been spending down the revolving funds to balance the budget
we are spending our revolving accounts in the year as it goes
for FY 2021 and FY 2022, could not use anymore than we have
this budget uses 4.87M in revolving

enrollment? opened at beyond capacity at the High School
separating K-8 from high school
at 1750 this year, 1780 last year
we are expected to be stable next year as well as low 1700's for the year after

the FY 2022 will start seeing the decrease in enrollment currently in the elementary grades
K-8 stable this year for the first time, as opposed to decreases prior years
middle school seeing the dip; possible smaller K enrollment
expansion of charter school K-5 will take some students
census and birth rates down, do see move ins during the summer

what is the future of the Davis Thayer school?
we do have a policy around the building use
we have known of the fiscal issues coming, we have looked at
comprehensive closing factors, planning and study done
emotional impact is large, not taking lightly
looking at over the next few months

1924, an old building, once the Franklin High School

Casey - SEL issue? what costs go up associated with this issue
we have always been focusing on teaching the whole child, there is a renewed focus on the SEL development, lots of causes to point to, impact of technology and children's brains, disrupting our social fabric, is one part of it; increasing information exposure, school being seen as more social service agencies rather than just an educational institution; coordinating efforts with Franklin Food Pantry as well as the Y for our food insecure community
schools are increasing counseling services on site to better service
providing intervention and curriculum support as well as for teachers
from pre-K to 22

are still pursuing substance abuse prevention through all our schools
Substance Abuse task force also helping in this arena
wellness classes were asked for at middle schools but it is an unmet need

do you have a social media message program against vaping etc.?

1.4M per year over ten year increase; that doesn't look sufficient?
it is sad that it is still not enough to meet our needs

You did a good job coming back to us with cutting 2M from it
by next year, it may be more?

what would your range of class size be?
bby and large within school committee guidelines, some in elementary in teens
some in low to mid 20's
middle aimed for 20-24, shoudl see that
high school does exceed our guidelines, not supporting to reduce class sizes
27-28 some of the norms larger than we would like
we did attempt to add at high school but it wasn't feasible in this budget

health insurance and transportation?  anything else that we can do?
group of all the union  heads have worked well together to save money
relative to transportation, include special ed in circuit break calculation would be a help
we appreciate your support of our capital requests, i;e. the recent van purchase helped us keep costs down

when we built the high school was for 1650 and dictated by the state, they wanted it at 1600, after fighting we we got it to 1650, after it opened it was 1750

Norfolk aggie
just a tuition cost, don't get the final number until February

can you explain the impact to the budget for the 600K in roads
last year we had limited funds for roads, usually around 200K
this year worked we have done at Lincoln St
we're going to additional parts of Pond St, it will affect how much we get done
easy to point out the mill and overlays
we all get calls on the roads, it is a concern
because of where we are now, we cut the 600K
do better with less

$40M to get to the backlog, the council supported a dedicated override in 2014 that was voted down
that 5 year plan turned into a fifteen year plan

point well taken but there is nowhere to get the money

March MMA advocacy for Chap 90 (road funds)
you can go out to bid until you get the money, we hold our Chap 90 funds to use
Gov Baker gave more and we got about 300K of it

basically a million/mile
crack seal really cheap;

stormwater management law suit with EPA
Franklin took the lead on the lawsuit, approx $5K
we are leaders in stormwater; we are in mediation right now
still a disconnect with the conservation groups, could cost us $40M
even if we win, there will be a cost, it will be huge

our wells, conservation plan
our wells have recovered, our ground water is permitted by the state, starts after Memorial Day

Library -
floor to be completed in fall per Felecia and Mike

Debt Services
policy to not to exceed 3.5% for debt
currently in 2.5%
we have moderate per our financial advisor, will continue to decline
level principle and declining interest, to build capacity to take on other projects
we want to keep reinvesting in our facilities

Employee Benefits
over 5M for pension obligation
health insurance, threefold active, retired, school employees
active work with unions to provide fair and good plans
work with employees to be fair to them and fair to the town
health going up 8% a year, not really in our control

town pays 68% , employee pays 32 %

it is right to be cynical about the health insurance industry, we have worked well together
we spend time on it to keep the numbers down

looking back at 2010, 99M
129M 30 M difference 3% per year
only allowed to asses 2.5%
avg 3-4% inflation, crippled by the 2.5% process
we're falling further and further behind

Live Reporting: Legislation for Action to Closing

Resolution 19-34: Expenditure Limits for FY 2020 on Departmental Revolving Funds Established by Franklin Town Code Chapter 73, as provided in G.L. Chapter 44 Section 53E1/2, as Amended (Motion to Move Resolution 19-34 Majority Vote (5))

motion to waive reading, seconded, passed 9-0

requirement to authorize yearly

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

Resolution 19-35: Compensation Plan, FY 2020 (Motion to Move Resolution 19-35- Majority Vote (5))

annual rate plan, 1.5% adjustment for use in hiring process

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

5. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORTthanks to the Garden Club and Downtown for the beautification

respond to the folks for their sidewalks and streets
as you have heard from Brutus, we have done this for many year
no knowledge of issues in those areas where we have changed; if we stop and change the plan, we lose
we are adding a sidewalk on Lincoln St which wasn't there
what we are doing is not out of reason

if we turn back, then how could we legal mechanism to do so; as well as huge financial issues, it is great plan
we are taking the Town of Franklin's street and doing what we need to do
6. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMSwould like to add to agenda CPA to discuss

7. COUNCIL COMMENTSthanks for the volunteers for beautifing Franklin
thanks for the budget work it was painful

thanks for the work, these are tough times

condolences on the passing of JR (Johnny) Padula

reiterate to join us for the veterans breakfast and Memorial Day and 75th anniversary on June 6

more than half of K students didn't know the street they lived on

Thanks for all the efforts in bringing the budget in

Condolences to the Padula family; he started the pasta dinner and the next one is coming up; thanks for the budget, it was a daunting task with the budgets cuts to be made

Condolences to Padula family, so many great stories

motion to adjourn, seconded, passed 9-0

On this day: May 22, 2007 Franklin voted for the first operational override

On this day, twelve years ago, 8759 Franklin residents went to the old high school field house to cast their votes for an operational override. The vote was successful and historic. 

While Franklin has successful passed debt exclusions for several school buildings (including most recently for the new high school in 2012), this was the only operational override passed.
"The votes came in to pass the first operational budget override in Franklin's Prop 2 1/2 history.
The final tally was 5,028 for and 3,722 against with 9 blanks and 8,759 total votes cast."

The override collection for the 2007 vote can be found here

Yes, this was the beginning of Franklin Matters. The domain and new website came online in November 2007. Links to the prior posts on my personal blog are still valid in the archive where needed.

Franklin failed to pass operational overrides in 2008 and 2010 and has not had a vote scheduled since that time. However, next year maybe an opportunity.

Franklin override collection for 2010 (FY 2011)

Franklin override info for 2008 (FY 2009) (not a single collection; I learned as I went along to do so)

On this day: May 22, 2007 Franklin votes for first operational override
On this day: May 22, 2007 Franklin votes for first operational override

Local Artist Series presents The Baxter Hall Trio at THE BLACK BOX - May 24

THE BLACK BOX Local Artist Series will present The Baxter Hall Trio with opener Dwayne Haggins on Friday, May 24 at 8 pm.

The Baxter Hall Trio is an experimental rock band which began in early 2019. The group consists of Baxter Hall on guitar, Mike Jones on bass, and Lukas Bratsos on drums. Baxter is a nineteen year old guitarist/singer-songwriter from Millis, MA, who has shared the stage with many blues musicians throughout New England and beyond including Duke Robillard, James Montgomery, George McCann, Sam Gentile, and many others. Baxter Hall's official debut album is set to be released sometime in late 2019. This album is being produced by Grammy nominated guitarist and producer Duke Robillard.

Since early 2017, Dwayne Haggins has been on a quest to make a living playing music, leaving his mark on dozens of bars, restaurants and clubs scattered across eastern and central Massachusetts. His distinctive sound, which delivers a brand new take on the traditional country-blues and soul that he loves, has generated a rare sense of excitement and possibility throughout the area's musical community.

THE BLACK BOX venue features a full bar to accompany an evening of great music. Tickets are available at, by calling the box office at 508-528-3370, or at the door. THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 W. Central St. in downtown Franklin.

Local Artist Series presents The Baxter Hall Trio at THE BLACK BOX - May 24
Local Artist Series presents The Baxter Hall Trio at THE BLACK BOX - May 24

Franklin in Focus: A short course on running for a Town Election seat

RUN! A short course in what it takes to run for elected town office in Franklin...

Many people think about getting involved in town government but are unsure of the process. With town elections coming this fall, from 10:30 AM to noon on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the studios of Franklin TV, Franklin in Focus will present a 90-minute short course that will discuss the paperwork, the rules, the risks, and the rewards of running for elective office. 

We will be joined by a former school committee member who will describe his experiences and "lessons." We will also discuss the alternative of getting involved with the town's appointed boards. Audience space is limited. 

If interested in attending or if you have any questions, please use the Contact form on the bottom of the home page at

Franklin in Focus: A short course on running for a Town Election seat
Franklin in Focus: A short course on running for a Town Election seat

FHS boys lacrosse and girls tennis post wins; Unified Track competed at King Philp

Via HockomockSports and Twitterwe share the results of the FHS sports action on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Boys Lacrosse = Franklin, 15 @ Canton, 7 – Final
– Franklin raced out to a 5-0 lead after a quarter but Canton chipped away to get within two (9-7) early in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers scored the final six goals to pull away and secure a perfect record in Hockomock League action. Jake Davis had three goals and three assists for Franklin while Owen Palmieri scored five goals, Ben Greco had a goal and four assists, and Jacob Alexander (who had a strong day at the faceoff X) added two goals. Griffin Roach (assist) and Andrew Canto each had three goals for Canton while Tommy Vaughan had one goal and two assists. LSM Nick Mackay had his best all-around game of the season and won some key faceoffs for the Bulldogs.

Girls Tennis = Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final
– Franklin swept doubles action and earned one more point with a victory in singles action to beat Attleboro. Krissy Stoyonova earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles, the team of Brynn Jacobs and Ashvika Boopathy won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at first doubles, and Vagmi Kantheti and Tessa Cacioppo teamed up for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at second doubles. Attleboro’s Ella Lynch-Bartek won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 at first singles and Bri Aronne picked up a 6-4, 6-0 win at second singles.

For other results around the Hockomock League

Photo gallery from the Hockomock Unified Track meet

Photo from the Hockomock Unified Track meet ( photo)
Photo from the Hockomock Unified Track meet ( photo)

Per Pupil Spending Increased per US Census Bureau (2017 data)

The US Census Bureau announced
"There are around 48.6 million children enrolled in public elementary and secondary education in the United States. But how much are we spending on their education? 
The nation spent a total of $694.3 billion on public school systems in fiscal year 2017, up 4.4% from FY 2016, according to Census Bureau statistics released today. 
It was the largest yearly increase in total expenditure since 2008."

Continue reading the article online

U.S. School Spending Per Pupil Increased for Fifth Consecutive Year, U.S. Census Bureau Reports
U.S. School Spending Per Pupil Increased for Fifth Consecutive Year, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

Franklin is not a large school district with only approx 5,400 in-district students and per the 2018 numbers from the MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education spending $12,504 in-district and $13,310 for the total 5948 students.

DESE: Franklin - Per Pupil Expenditures, All Funds
DESE: Franklin - Per Pupil Expenditures, All Funds

Franklin's Dress Barn to close - date TBD

The Franklin Village Drive store is one of 650 stores nationwide being closed.

"Dressbarn's owner Ascena Retail Group said Monday its closing all of its roughly 650 stores, as it hopes to stabilize its business. 
Ascena has built up a portfolio of apparel brands over the past decade through acquisitions, including plus-size retailer Lane Bryant and women's apparel brand Ann Taylor. But as shopping has shifted online and styles have evolved, Ascena has been grappling with sagging sales and a large debt-load. 
Same-store sales for the year ended July 2018 were down 2%, according to Factset. The company had $1.33 billion in total debt, in the same period. Shares of the company, which have a market value of $214.4 million, are down 55% year-to-date 
Looking to stem the losses, Ascena is turning to pruning its less successful brands."

Continue reading the DressBarn article online

MA Store listing

US Store listing

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

FPAC to present Cabaret - Jun 14-15

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) will conclude its musical season with Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret June 14 and 15 at THE BLACK BOX. In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920’s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. 

Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken by English singer Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish. Musical numbers include well known show tunes such as “Willkommen,” “Cabaret,” “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Two Ladies.”
Zoë Kassay as Sally Bowles
Zoë Kassay as Sally Bowles

FPAC’s production stars Zoë Kassay as Sally Bowles. A former Equity actor, Kassay’s regional credits include Legally Blonde (Elle Woods), Hairspray (Penny), 9 to 5 (Doralee), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Deelee), Footloose (Ariel Moore), Singin’ in the Rain (Lina Lamont), and a stint as a mainstage performer with Disney Cruise Line. Originally from Franklin, Kassay’s FPAC credits include Into the Woods (Cinderella), ‘Tis the Season, and more. She has a BFA in Music Theatre from the Hartt School of Music and a Masters of Arts in Theatre Education from Emerson College.

Aaron Frongillo, a musical theater junior at Wagner College, will return to FPAC to play Clifford Bradshaw. Frongillo toured for three years with Electric Youth and has been seen in FPAC productions of Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), and THE BLACK BOX Sings...Frozen (Hans). 

Former Equity actor Nick Paone will reprise his role as the Emcee. His professional credits include Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, Oklahoma, Red Roses, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Romeo and Juliet. Nick has written and directed numerous shows, produced an evening of one-act plays in NYC, and traveled extensively performing with TheatreWorks USA.

Cabaret will be choreographed by NYC’s Chris LeBeau. LeBeau toured internationally with Chicago the Musical and was featured in Crazy for You at Lincoln Center starring Laura Osnes and Tony Yazbeck with choreography by Susan Stroman. He was most recently seen as Davey in FPAC’s production of Disney’s Newsies earlier this season starring Broadway’s Christopher Rice with choreography by Chaz Wolcott. 

Additional choreography will be by Kellie Stamp. Stamp has a Masters of Performing Arts Degree from Emerson College and she continued her tap and jazz training at the On Stage Academy for the Performing Arts, as well as with Rosemarie Boyden and at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Kellie has also studied Dance for Musical Theater with Broadway actress and choreographer, Leslie Woodies.

Cabaret runs June 14 at 7:30 PM and June 15 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM at THE BLACK BOX in downtown Franklin. Tickets are available at or by calling the box office at 508-528-3370. You can follow FPAC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message

If you are reluctant to read the PDF copy, a good portion of the Budget Message is shared here. The link to the Full PDF copy is at the end.

Executive Summary FY 2020 Budget

While fiscal challenges remain, our resolve to overcome them is relentless.

The FY 20 proposed budget will be balanced with use of approximately $390,000 from our
Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day account), which will bring the balance of that account to zero. Further, both the School Department and the Town will cut budgets to make ends meet While this will work for one year the FY 21 budget will require policy decisions on how to handle the budget shortfall. The fiscal forecast suggest a shortfall of approximately $4,000,000 +/-

We continue to face challenges in properly funding the annual operating budget, Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) and roads. We should continue to maintain the capital plan and debt capacity in the annual operating budget to fund capital improvements.

The Town’s property tax revenue (not including debt exclusions) will increase by 2½ % plus new growth, or about $2.7 million. Local receipts, which include the excise tax and permit and license fees, etc. will increase $240,000, mostly due to increased motor vehicle commitments. Net State Aid (based on the House budget) will decrease $861,500. The FY 20 “net” revenue increase is estimated at about $2.5 million dollars. The final amount will not be known until the state has adopted a FY 20 budget

Proposed FY 20 Highlights

Town Administrator - The office will be reconfigured with the recent retirement of the Town Administrator. The staff will include the Town Administrator, Assistant to the Town Administrator and the Administrative Assistant/Marketing Coordinator. This will save money and help the town to continue to expand its communication and marketing efforts.

Police – The police have added five positions through the collective bargaining process while saving money from the new schedule change and the employees of the PD and Command staff should be commended for their innovative outside the box approach.

Regional Dispatch – The dispatch center opened in May 2019.

Franklin Schools – The recommended School budget is far short of the School Committees request by over $2 million dollars. The proposed FY 20 State Aid is about $900,000 less than in FY19. The reduction is related to the lack of proper funding for Charter Schools. We are working with our elected officials to try and mitigate the problem.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School – The school is relocating to its new location on Washington Street in 2019. The increase enrollment from Franklin diverts funds from the Franklin Public Schools to the Charter School. This is a flaw in the funding formula (see above)
in state law.

Library – The Library will continue to meet the Minimum Appropriation Requirement of the State
Library Commissioners.

Historic Museum - The part time archivist wages have been moved from the Town Administrators budget to this budget into a separate line item for the Museum.

Employee Wages/Benefits – All collective bargaining expire on June 30, 2019. The town is currently in negotiations with the Unions, Pension costs increased by about 10% or about $540,000, OPEB is funded at $600,000 and health insurance continues to be a challenge. Thanks once again to the employees for working together to constrain health insurance increases. This is critical to maintaining staffing levels.

Budget Overview

In compliance with Article Six, Sections 6-3-1 through 6-5-2 of the Franklin Town Charter, I am submitting the proposed FY 20 budget to the Town Council and Finance Committee.

Each department is required to submit a proposed budget to the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator, the Comptroller, and the individual Department Heads review their budget request.

The Town Administrator also reviews the highlights of the Town’s fiscal plan with the budget subcommittee of the Town Council. Based on input and the meetings with the Department Head, the Town Administrator makes a budget recommendation to the Town Council and the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee reviews the Town Administrator’s proposed budget and forwards their recommendations to the Town Council. The Town Council holds two public hearings prior to adopting the budget.

Financial Policy Summary
While the budget process identifies issues and concerns that the Town will address on an annual basis, it also must do so based in a framework of sound financial management. The Town Council has adopted fiscal policies in the past and should continue to update and review them on a regular basis. The Finance Committee and Town Council reviewed and adopted new Financial policies in 2019. Below is a summary of current policies:

Balanced Budget
● Annual costs funded from current revenues.
● Do not defer current costs to future years.

Current status – Whenever possible we refrain from using one time funds to balance the budget. FY 20 is an exception due to extra challenges we face. We are all the funds left in the Budget Stabilization account, $390,000 to prevent further reductions in staff. We have not addressed our (post-retirement health insurance) although this year we have budgeted $600,000 to continue to fund the obligation of about $74 million (2018 actuarial study). (Editor's note: FY 2019 was also an exception as some of the Budget Stabilization Fund was used to balance the FY 2019 budget. The remainder of that fund is being used this year; hence two consecutive exceptions.)

Compensation and benefits
● Budget with current revenues
● Compensate at market rates

Current status – We have nine municipal unions. All unions have collective bargaining agreements through June 30, 2019.

● Estimate annual revenues in detail and project for the following five years.
● Maintain full and fair market value of property assessments.
● Ensure fees charged cover costs incurred.

Current status – Future revenue projections are included in the budget. New growth and local receipts have been adjusted to reflect the trends in actual collections. Included in the projections are the enterprise funds direct and indirect charges that pay back the general fund for costs attributable to those funds. Again this year we are charging the water and sewer enterprise accounts for their OPEB obligation.

Financial Reserves
● Adequately fund and maintain reserves (Stabilization, Free Cash, Overlay Surplus)
● Maintain Stabilization account at $6 million or 5% of recurring general fund revenue (less debt exclusions and SBA reimbursement).
● Short-term revenue surpluses shall fund non-recurring projects.
● Free Cash will be used to fund the capital budget and for unforeseen expenses.
● Overlay surplus will be used for capital budgets and non-recurring expenses.

Current status - the General Stabilization fund balance is just about $6 million, which is recommended by our auditors and

Long-Term Debt - Proposed
● Reserved for large capital projects.
● Net general fund debt service (not including debt exclusions) shall be targeted at not more than 3.5% of recurring general fund revenue. We are currently well below that number.

Read the full message online

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message
Fiscal Year 2020 Budget pie by category of budget expenses

FHS girls lacrosse and boys tennis teams post wins in stormy weather

Via HockomockSportswe share the results of the FHS sports action on Monday, May 20, 2019. The stormy weather played havoc with the schedule. Many games were shortened and/or rescheduled.

Baseball = Franklin @ Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.

Softball = Attleboro @ Franklin – Postponed to TBD.

Boys Lacrosse = Franklin @ Canton – Postponed to TBD.

Girls Lacrosse = Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 11 – Final 
– Franklin seniors Annie Walsh and Hailey Toolin both had solid performances for the Panthers in a rain-shortened contest.

Boys Tennis = Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final
– Franklin defended home court and picked a 5-0 sweep over Attleboro. Liam Marr didn’t drop a game at first singles in a 6-0, 6-0 win while Rohan Herur won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and Shoumik Sompally picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Saketh Saripalli and Lucas Gulick secured a 6-3, 6-0 win at first doubles while Ryan McSweeney and Thomas Broyles won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

Girls Tennis = Franklin @ Attleboro, 3:45

Photo gallery from the rain shortened baseball game

For other results around the Hockomock League

Cooper Ross at bat during the rain shortened game ( photo)
Cooper Ross at bat during the rain shortened game ( photo)

Furry friends of the Franklin Dog Park Volunteer Committee: Beer & Wine tasting fundraiser - June 2

Furry Friends of the Franklin Dog Park volunteer committee are having a Beer & Wine tasting fundraiser on Sunday June 2, 2019 from 1 PM to 4 PM, at Pour Richard's Wine & Spirits, 14 Grove Street, Franklin, Ma. 

The purpose for this fundraiser is to raise money so we can purchase supplies for the dog park and in the future purchase a water fountain for our furry friends. 

Tickets can be purchase at the door for $10.00 per person. We will be selling raffle tickets at this event for $1.00 per raffle ticket for some awesome prizes.

Here is a list of prizes to be raffled off:

  1. $100.00 gift card from Vet Med
  2. $50.00 gift card from Restaurant 3
  3. Coupon book for 5 exterior ca washes from Franklin Car Wash
  4. AAA Northeast membership for one year and can be redeemable at all offices of AAA Northeast
  5. Complimentary one hour service at Massage Envy includes Massage, Facial and Totally Body Stretch

We will have entertainment provided by Mike the piano player and snacks


Dacey Field dog park
Dacey Field dog park

Franklin Public Library: Hungrytown Folk duo - May 22

This Wedbnesday at the Franklin Public Library, you can listen to some great music!

Hungrytown Folk duo, Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 PM

After more than a decade of world-wide touring and three album releases, Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson--otherwise known as the folk duo Hungrytown--have earned a reputation for the quality and authenticity of their songwriting: "It's great to hear an act eschew sentimentality in favor of honesty and to prove that you don't have to go raiding the memory of others to find the stuff that really good songs are made of," writes Jedd Beaudoin of Popmatters. 

Lyricist Hall is credited with compositions "that sound as timeless as any traditional songs" (Northern Sky, UK) while producer/multi-instrumentalist/husband Ken Anderson is lauded for his "remarkable affinity for instrumental embellishment" (No Depression) and for crafting Hungrytown's "gorgeous vocal harmonies" (Folk and Roots, UK).

They released their first CD, Hungrytown, in 2008; Any Forgotten Thing in 2011; and Further West in 2015. The couple continue to spend more than half of each year on the road, especially roads in North America, Europe and New Zealand. Hungrytown's music has received extensive radio airplay worldwide and has appeared on several television shows, including the Independent Film Channel's hit series, Portlandia.

For more information, please visit . This performance is free and open to the public.

Franklin Public Library: Hungrytown Folk duo - May 22
Franklin Public Library: Hungrytown Folk duo - May 22