Sunday, October 5, 2008

FM #16 - 5 Things you should know

#16 in the series of podcasts on what matters in Franklin, MA. This one focuses on the 5 things you should know about Franklin this week: (1) the late bus decision, (2) zoning bylaw rescheduled yet again, (3) Financial Planning Committee, (4) Energy $ense Series at the Library begins and (5) Question 1 on the ballot in November.

Time: 20 minutes, 59 seconds

MP3 File

Session notes:

Music intro

FM #16

This podcast for Franklin Matters will focus on the 5 things you need to know about what happened this week.

First, the Town Council approved funding for the Late bus. Yes, this is the Late bus that due to the override was out of service. In late July, it seemed like the bus could be provided. By the end of August, the bus was back out. As noted in the School Committee meeting of 9/23/08, the Holmes bus company had reduced the cost of the late bus for this year from 40,000 to 10,000. The middle school PCC’s got together and pledged to pay for it. The School Committee worked with the Town Council and Town Administrator and it became know that the Town Council would consider it at their meeting 10/1/08.

In this clip from the Town Council meeting on 10//1/08, we hear the full discussion and vote
- insert clip on Late bus -

I think the Late bus is a good thing but I don’t like how it is being paid for. Money was “found” in an account that could be used for public transportation. This does nothing to restore confidence in Town government. The townies who are keeping track just put another notch in their belt, ha more found money, they did it again.

Second, the bylaw to rezone some parcels along RT 140 near the Knights of Columbus and Dunkin Donuts ended up being rescheduled for yet another meeting as it was evident that the matter was not going to gain enough votes. Two councilors were absent (Bartlett, McGann) with a two thirds majority required to pass. Due to the reschedule we don’t not know of the outstanding information was provided.

Third, the working sessions for the Finance Planning Committee (FPC) continued earnest this week. The Dept of Public Works (Brutus Cantoreggio) and Facilities (Mike D’Angelo) came in to review their departmental operations, their forecast for the next several years, cost drivers for their areas and answer a number of clarifying questions from the committee. There will not be any presentations at the next FPC meeting as they begin to digest what they have learned from the first four departments. The School budget is scheduled for review at a meeting in November.
You should recall that the FPC is charted with developing a long term plan for the Town, assuming there is an override next year (very likely) what is the long term outlook, how many will there need to be, or is something like the Arlington plan going to work in Franklin. This is important work. I encourage you to keep track of what is going on here. There is a whole lot of great data and information being presented. I am doing my best to report it live but if you have a chance to attend, please do so. It will be worth your while.


The Friends of the Franklin Public Library are pleased to sponsor The Franklin Area Climate Team’s “Energy $ense” Series for residents starting on October 6, at 7:00 p.m. The Franklin Area Climate Team has developed a four part speaker series titled “Energy $ense for Franklin Residents” that will feature energy professionals from around the state who will provide practical solutions on how to reduce your energy costs and improve the environment at the same time.
The schedule is available on the Town website, as well as on Franklin Matters.

Fifth, I still believe Question One is the most imminent danger that Franklin faces. Question One is on the ballot in November.

The State Income Tax Repeal is also known as Massachusetts
Question 1. It is an initiated state statute that will appear on the November 4,
2008 ballot in Massachusetts.[1] If the measure passes, it will end the state's
current 5.3% income tax on wages, interest, dividends and capital gains.

You can find objective information at this link:

You can find the Yes position here:

You can find the No position here:

Where would you cut $11 million from the Town Budget?

Public safety is about 9 M, Central Gov’t Services is about 9 M. Public Works is about 6 M. If 2.8 million cost the town 44 teachers, what would loosing $11 million dollars cost the town?

The idea of the commonwealth is for all of us together to work and pay for the community services we need. If you think taking $11 million dollars out of the Franklin budget would bring you the community you want, I’d like to know what it would look like.

These are the five things that matter to Franklin this week:
  1. Late bus back in
  2. zoning postponed again
  3. FPC meeting
  4. energy $ense for Franklin residents
  5. the imminent danger of Question 1
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This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow Franklin citizens and voters by Steve Sherlock

For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

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