Friday, June 6, 2008

"turn them on to doing something positive"

GHS
Posted Jun 06, 2008 @ 12:21 AM

FRANKLIN —

Based on the results of the most recent youth risk survey for students in grades 7-12, the town has decided to reestablish the Community Health Council.

In its first meeting last night, a committee of school administrators, police officers and students discussed strategies for the upcoming year.

The survey asks students about drug and alcohol use, among other risky behaviors, and was last administered in fall 2006, with alcohol use being the most noticeable problem found.

In the past, the council had the mission to protect and provide programs for youth in Franklin.

"The major focus was on youth," said Mardi Donovan, health director for the schools. "But the council also focused on the community as a whole."

While the previous council acted as more of an advisory committee, the new version hopes to bring more action to the table.

Read the full story in the Milford Daily News here.

The MetroWest Survey was presented to the School Committee

"I want to get people energized"

GHS
Posted Jun 06, 2008 @ 12:48 AM

FRANKLIN —

Not willing to accept the loss of 17 teachers, chorus and 24 courses at Franklin High School, students have launched an online campaign on Facebook to rally behind a $2.8 million tax override.

They have shed tears over the prospect of losing their favorite teachers and classes - particularly the music program - opined about their constitutional right to pursue happiness, held pro-override signs, and argued the merits of passing two consecutive overrides.

Last year, Franklin voters approved a $2.7 million override to prevent massive layoffs, though the School Department's budget was still insufficient to avoid handing out some pink slips, school officials have said.

At least 158 people, mostly high school students and recent graduates, have signed on as members of Vote Override: Save FHS, 75 of whom have committed to vote for the override on Tuesday, said group administrator Maxwell Morrongiello.

Read the full story in the Milford Daily News here

"I'm not letting it go without a fight"

GHS
Posted Jun 06, 2008 @ 01:10 AM

FRANKLIN —

A number of students who are too young to vote for a Proposition 2 1/2 tax override on Tuesday say they are the ones who will most keenly feel its effects and have vowed "not to let go without a fight."

On Facebook, a social networking Web site, they have found a voice by teaming up with many older students who have promised to vote for the override. A number of students have logged on to the Vote Override: Save FHS Web page, where they advocate for their schools, encourage voting and plan protests.

Without the override, they say they stand to lose teachers who have motivated and inspired them, as well as courses they believe are necessary to gain admission to prestigious colleges or specific college programs, and classes they simply love, such as chorus.

Julia Buettner, who will be a junior at Franklin High School next year, is not old enough to vote, but certainly would vote yes if she could, she said, explaining that if it fails, she can't take chorus next year.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Thursday, June 5, 2008

"It's for the children, it's for the families."

GHS
Posted Jun 05, 2008 @ 12:45 AM

FRANKLIN —

At the Garelick Early Learning Center, preschoolers, their parents and teachers are happier than ever thanks to improvements made possible by an early education grant, said Child Care Director Mary Varr yesterday.

"The children are happy, their parents are happy. Our parent survey results are phenomenal: We had an 85 percent return on surveys vs. the usual 20, 25 percent" before the center received its universal pre-kindergarten grant, she said.

With the $26,000 grant, Varr was able to subscribe to a Web site that guides curriculum and assists with assessments, purchase a laptop computer for teachers, and get equipment and supplies for the program, she said.

Yesterday, early childhood education proponents gathered at the Garelick center to speak about the need for voluntary, universal pre-kindergarten and other early education reform in Massachusetts.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"would need to figure a way to balance the budget"

GHS
Posted Jun 05, 2008 @ 12:38 AM

FRANKLIN —

Town Council last night unanimously voted to consolidate the town and school maintenance functions, a $5.5 million account takeover pending approval by the School Committee.

Councilors Joseph McGann and Thomas Doak were absent from the meeting.

Custodians and groundskeepers have spoken against the move, while Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting and councilors have advocated for it, believing it will create greater efficiencies and make a good system better.

Nutting said he hopes to finish a draft memorandum of understanding with Superintendent of Schools Wayne Ogden today. In order for the merger to be legal, the School Committee, which meets Tuesday, must vote to adopt the resolution, Nutting said.

Prior to voting, Councilor Shannon Zollo asked about possible legal repercussions of the School Committee rejecting the consolidation after the council approves it.

Note: Councilor Scott Mason also missed last night's meeting, leaving only 6 in attendance which is 2/3 majority and sufficient for enacting resolutions that are legal.

Read the remainder of the story here in the Milford Daily News.

Listen to this section of the meeting to hear what happened here


Mr Winkle wakes up

Another in a series of thought provoking videos on education.



Thanks to Dr. Scott MacLeod for the pointer to this video.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Senior Center: Sunshine Club (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 6/4/08

Time: 15 minutes, 32 seconds



MP3 File

My notes taken during the meeting can be found here

Facilities Consolidation (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 6/4/08.

Time: 4 minutes, 56 seconds



MP3 File

The key piece here is now that the Town Council has approved, if the School Committee does not approve, they would also be liable to deliver the slate of services and maintain the school facilities with their budget reduced by another 5.4 million dollars that the town took assuming the town would support the facilities.

If there is no agreement, the town is only legally obligated to provide the minimun the state requires so if the school would presist in supporting their services including the facilities, they would be forced to either turn over the facilities, or make additional significant cuts.

Nothing like having a little leverage to get something done!

Town Council Meeting Summary - 6/4/08

The collection of live reporting and audio segments from the Town Council meeting on 6/4/08

Additional audio segments will be posted as I have time

Appointment of Financial Plan Subcommittee (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 6/4/08

School Committee representatives:
Roberta Trahan, Matt Kelly

Finance Committee representatives:
Jim Roche, Rebecca Cameron

Town Council representatives:
Deborah Bartlett, Steve Whalen, Shannon Zollo

Franklin citizen representatives:
Douglas Hardesty, Gwynne Willschek

first meeting to be arranged by Deb Bartlett


Time: 39 seconds



MP3 File

Other than the councilors present for the meeting, no one on the committee was present. It took all of 39 seconds to make the appointment. There was no objective or charge stated. One is forced to ask if they are really serious about this effort.

Citizens comment - Frank Falvey (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 6/4/08.

Time: 4 minutes, 18 seconds



MP3 File

My notes as recorded during the meeting were:

Citizens comment -Frank Falvey

with Fiscal year completed, audit report should have been completed by now
audit should be ready for the election, in case there is something revealed that could have bearing on the vote

why hasn't this been completed?
Audit firm probably should not be renewed for next year

procedures for comments and feedback for dialog is flawed
Inappropriate and incorrect

on an unrelated matter, what is being done in Franklin with regards to the sale of cigarettes to minors

action items, continued

Resolution 08-45: Grant of Utility Easement – off Panther Way
easement, to the right of the rink along the tree line behind the high school
they hope not to be disruptive whatsoever
passed unanimously

------------

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-617: Amendment to Chp. 185, Town Code: Water Resource District – 1st Reading

moved to second reading
approved unanimously

-------------

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-618: Amendment to Chp. 185, Town Code: Biotechnology Uses – 1st Reading

moved to second reading
approved unanimously

-------------

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-619: Amendment to Chp. 185-5: Zoning Map - Biotechnology Use – 1st Reading

moved to waive the reading, approved
moved to second reading
approved unanimously

--------------

Bylaw Amendment 08-622: Amendment to Personnel Code, Salary Structure - 2nd Reading
Yes - Bartlett, Whalen, Zollo, Feeley, Vallee, Pfeffer

----------------

Bylaw Amendment 08-623: Water Map Amendment: Spring Valley Estates - 2nd Reading
per capita use of water is one of the lowest in the state
Yes - Bartlett, Whalen, Zollo, Feeley, Vallee, Pfeffer

----------------

Town administrator report
water conservation effort is underway
4th of July celebration is coming
reminder that the election is on Tuesday, vote
addressing questions/concerns of citizens who have called are come forward wants to encourage this, appreciates this, encourages others to do so

----------------

Zollo - What is the status of the Audit report
Feeley/Nutting - it is coming up on the next agenda
Pfeffer - Franklin Country Club behind on notification paperwork for change in management for their liquor license
Bartlett - where are we in the process with the town web site

-------------

Councilor Comments
Zollo encourage the voters to get out and cast their vote on June 10th
Pfeffer - still wants the School Dept presentation on the audit results, graduation moved along very well; complaining about the speeding and recent accidents on Cottage St
Whalen - encourage vote, if you have questions please reach out; the best possible result would be a high turn out
Vallee - attended DPW Open House, there is some new equipment, a lot of old equipment that will need to be replaced
Bartlett - graduation did move along very quickly, also attended the all-night party, thanks to the Police and Fire for their assistance; encourage to vote on June 10th, vote counts more in a local election than any other election
Feeley - encourage vote on June 10th

Nutting - thanks a list of folks for the Earth Day activities in planning and making the day a success

traffic signal improvement fund

Resolution 08-43:Establishment of Traffic Signal Improvements Stabilization Fund
passed unanimously
needed 6 votes to make it official, they have 6

Resolution 08-44: Appropriation – Traffic Signal Improvements Stabilization Fund
passed unanimously
needed 6 votes to make it official, they have 6

--------------

Action items

Resolution 08-39: Unnamed Private Way Off Upper Union Street: Acceptance of Covenant
resolution keeps the road a private way
passed unanimous

--------------

Resolution 08-40: Local Acceptance of G.L. Chapter 71, Section 37M
passed unanimously

--------------
Resolution 08-41: Consolidation of School Maintenance Functions with Town’s
as amended
passed unanimously

---------------
Resolution 08-42: Amending Elected Officials’ Salaries
passed 5-1

--------------

Supportive Day Program - Sunshine Club

Karen Alves, Director of Franklin Senior Center
supportive day care program
Patty O'Donnell, program coordinator

two grants support this program
program should be self-supporting within 1 year

operates from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Monday to Friday, full day or half-day

provides a break for caregivers

they do bowling, bean bag toss, watched I Love Lucy show today
has a "Mary Poppins" closet to help provide activities if they need an idea

most senior centers do require their folks to be self-sufficient
this provides another level of opportunity
do chair exercises, do sing-a-longs
open door policy unless they are making too much noise
they are part of the whole building

Whalen - can't imagine a nicer end to a busier day than to hear this
Alves - had only two rooms in the old building, the new has much more plus the outside space, all the seniors are very happy
Whalen - a reflection of the community is how they care for their oldest and youngest and this is a good sign
Bartlett - agrees with Whalen, is there a maximum number we can take?
Alves - we can take a max of ten, have 7 now, but can handle more with the part-time status
Bartlett - can some insurance help?
Alves - not a medical program, does fill a crack, should be sustaining within a few thousand just on the fees being generated

Patty says this is her dream job, taught at Tri-County for 15 years. When she saw the sign at the open house, she talked with Karen and things came together

---------------

Live reporting - Town Council 6/4/08

Mason, Doak, McGann won't be attending tonight
With Feeley, Pfeffer, Bartlett, and Vallee present they need Whalen and Zollo for quorum

stay tuned

---------------

Zollo just arrived to provide quorum, meeting begins
Whalen arrives shortly after to provide 2/3 majority of council

---------------

approval of minutes
April 2, 16, 30, 2008; May 7, 2008; Dec 5, 2007

---------------

Citizens comment
Frank Falvey

with Fiscal year completed, audit report should have been completed by now
audit should be ready for the election, in case there is something revealed that could have bearing on the vote
why hasn't this been completed?
Audit firm probably should not be renewed for next year
procedures for comments and feedback for dialog is flawed
Inappropriate and incorrect

on an unrelated matter, what is being done in Franklin with regards to the sale of cigarettes
to minors

--------------

Finance study subcommittee announced

School Committee representatives:
Roberta Trahan, Matt Kelly

Finance Committee representatives:
Jim Roche, Rebecca Cameron

Town Council representatives:
Deborah Bartlett, Steve Whalen, Shannon Zollo

Franklin citizen representatives:
Douglas Hardesty, Gwynne Willschek

Deb Bartlett to arrange for the first meeting

-------------

"not something most schools study in the fourth grade"

GHS
Posted Jun 03, 2008 @ 11:24 PM

FRANKLIN —

Dancing princesses, 3-foot-tall knights, court jesters and queens dressed in gold and purple robes temporarily claimed the town common yesterday afternoon for a medieval festival, an event whose magic descends upon the town only once a year.

They posed for pictures gripping barbecued chicken legs between their teeth, jousted with droopy foam noodles, and churned butter with the ladies of The Society for Creative Anachronism (a historical re-enactment group).

Forty-six students crowned Judy Bergesen and Susan Davis, fourth-grade history teachers at Ben Franklin Classical Charter Public School, queens of the festival before making peacock masks and playing horseshoes - perhaps a wise choice as the students finish their studies of the Middle Ages.

"It's not something most schools study in the fourth grade. We add this additional subject to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks," said Bergesen, noting students have been reading about the feudal system, royalty and the fall of Rome.

Read the full story here in the Milford Daily News

Social Media in Plain English

The fine folks at Common Craft have done it again. This time with a good explanation of Social Media. Time for ice cream.




What flavor do you like?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"It's much bigger than the schools"

GHS
Posted Jun 02, 2008 @ 10:29 PM

FRANKLIN —

A trio of mothers is mobilizing forces to get the $2.8 million Proposition 2 1/2 tax override question passed on June 10 to preserve teachers, academic programs and the late bus in Franklin schools.

Moms Janice Foley, Kaitlyn Cronin and Sarah Loiars have filed Invest in Franklin as a political action group to educate people about the override and convince as many residents as possible to vote, Foley said.

Initially, the mothers had no intention of starting a political action group, Cronin said, but quickly decided to form Invest in Franklin after learning more about town and school finances.

They had attended a Town Council meeting in May simply as interested parents to find out why the school budget was going to be reduced, Cronin said.

They assumed there had to be more money somewhere in the budget that could be allotted to schools, she said.

"We wanted to find out what was happening. ... The more we listened to the presentation, the more we could see the money just wasn't there," said Cronin. "They kind of obviously needed an override. The amount of money they had to spend wasn't as high as other towns in the area. What really blew us away was Steve Whalen's presentation, when he compared Franklin to other towns," she said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

School by School class size if the override fails

A new slideshow based upon the reductions if the override scheduled for June 10th were to fail.

This is what the $2.8 Million budget reduction would look like at each school in Franklin.


Monday, June 2, 2008

FRANKLIN TOWN COUNCIL - Agenda - 6/4/08


FRANKLIN TOWN COUNCIL
June 4, 2008
7:00 PM

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – April 2, 16, 30, 2008; May 7, 2008; Dec 5, 2007
B. ANNOUNCEMENTS
C. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS
D. CITIZEN COMMENTS
E. APPOINTMENTS – Appointment of Financial Planning Committee
F. HEARINGS
G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS
H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS
q Supportive Day Program
q Amendments to Town Code Chp 125-Peace & Good Order
I. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS
J. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
1. Resolution 08-39: Unnamed Private Way Off Upper Union Street: Acceptance of Covenant
2. Resolution 08-40: Local Acceptance of G.L. Chapter 71, Section 37M
3. Resolution 08-41: Consolidation of School Maintenance Functions with Town’s
4. Resolution 08-42: Amending Elected Officials’ Salaries
5. Resolution 08-43:Establishment of Traffic Signal Improvements Stabilization Fund
6. Resolution 08-44: Appropriation – Traffic Signal Improvements Stabilization Fund
7. Resolution 08-45: Grant of Utility Easement – off Panther Way
8. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-617: Amendment to Chp. 185, Town Code: Water Resource District – 1st Reading
9. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-618: Amendment to Chp. 185, Town Code: Biotechnology Uses – 1st Reading
10. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-619: Amendment to Chp. 185-5: Zoning Map - Biotechnology Use – 1st Reading
11. Bylaw Amendment 08-622: Amendment to Personnel Code, Salary Structure- 2nd Reading
12. Bylaw Amendment 08-623: Water Map Amendment: Spring Valley Estates- 2nd Reading
K. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
L. OLD BUSINESS
M. NEW BUSINESS
N. COUNCIL COMMENTS
O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required
P. ADJOURN

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Q & A - Music teacher from Kennedy; Trahan (Audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Mary MacMurray, music teacher; Roberta Trahan

Time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds



MP3 File

This was also part of the Milford Daily News coverage reported here.

Q & A - get involved, Roy, Sherlock (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Jeff Roy mentions the PAC committee that has been formed.

I commented about the cuts amounting the 83 positions since 2002. We need to get a good turnout on June 10th. Need all the school parents, need recent FHS graduates, need any FHS students eligible to vote.

Time: 3 minutes, 17 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A - Whalen final comment (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

A - Whalen, it would be depressing if the turnout were less than 25% and the override lost. There is a popoulation that won't vote for an override under any circumstances.

Time: 1 minute, 18 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 10 - How do parents get a say on FHS cuts? Ogden, Cafasso respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Would students or parents have a chance to dialog with whomever on what cuts would be made?

A - The parents can always come to the School Committee meeting and voice their concerns. The students are unknowingly participating with the student cost selection data. There are 17 teachers with 85 classes to be cut, there is not much room for wiggle. The music cut is bad for the music students but there are also English teachers, Math teachers, Science teachers, physical education, etc. These are bad choices. There are no good choices with the override. Parents need to express their choices.

A - Cafasso, to re-inforce that participation is open and looked for, if you have ideas we are looking for them. The meetings are open. Citizen comments are always on the agenda. Our email addresses are available.

Time: 6 minutes, 22 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 9 - Arlington plan? Feeley responds (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - What about something like the Arlington plan? Do you think it would be wise to do that?

A - Feeley, a committee is being formed now that would look at that process.

Time: 1 minute, 32 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 8 - Ogden, Whalen also respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

A - Ogden, we are looking for other sources. The parent groups provide funding each year. The Franklin Education Foundation contributes approx. $20,000 per year. Working with a lawyer to set up an endowment. Looking at advertising revenue.

A - Whalen, he is a financial analyst by trade, it is impossible to continue to delivery high quality services at the low tax rate. Goal would be more near the median and not near the bottom.

Time: 3 minutes, 22 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 8 - Will there be continuous overrides? Nutting (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Father comes back appreciating the comment on the chorus. If there is a scale, where are we on the scale? Will there be continuous overrides? And we haven't even talked about the high school problem.

A - Nutting, Franklin gives a high quality service for a low cost. By any standard, we provide more or better service for less dollars. Overrides will not go away. Until the state and the citizens decide that there needs to be another way, it won't go away but it will not be every year. Most of the requirements are out of our control. Regionalization is an option but it will take a lot of pain.

Time: 4 minutes, 25 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A - Student comment on cutting Chorus (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Comment from a high school student regarding cut of chorus at the high school.

Time: 1 minute, 33 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 7 - How does the facility consolidation effect the school budget? Feeley (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Would like to ask the Council to address the consolidation of facilities? In a time when the schools are in need, taking the money away from the schools.

A - Feeley, the Council took the corresponding dollars and responsibility (associated expenses) were taken away at the same time.

Time: 1 minute, 41 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 6 - "emergency repair and replacement fund" Nutting, Doak, Zollo respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - What about the "emergency repair and replacement fund"? Can we dip into that?
A - Nutting, there is a minimal cost to the interest. The overall factor is that 4M on an annual budget of 100M is not a lot of cushion. It is not a lot of money in a savings account for a good business. it is similar to our debt. Our debt is going down next year to less than 3%. we are looking to continually reinvest an appropriate amount over time.

A - Doak, over the years from the power plant settlement we have benefited that we did not need to use the money for which it had been set aside to mitigate the power plant.

A - Zollo, to address another myth, 4500-5000 per year in taxes, three children in school, the Zollos are receiving a subsidy for the school education. K-12, would amount to a 275,000 subsidy. You never pay the town back to pay for your children to go through the school system. The value that the average citizen receives is great.

Time: 6 minutes, 47 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 5 - replace older teachers with younger ones? Nutting, Ogden respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Teacher rates have a greater disparity, any chance of getting some of the older teachers to leave and replaced with younger less experienced teachers?

A - Nutting, no, that kind of program is authorized at the state level. It has been done twice in the last twenty years.

A - Ogden, new teachers are cheaper overall early on but year to year are more expensive

Time: 2 minutes, 34 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 4 - Other revenue sources? Closing Davis Thayer? Nutting, Ogden respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - What about other revenue sources. Mother of 3 children, one a junior at the high school and facing significant cuts. She has heard of the 4 Corners Building, how will that help? She has also heard about the possible closure of Davis Thayer?

A - Nutting explaining that the 4 Corners Building is a capital revenue and to be used for other capital not for operational expenses. In MA, all tax authority is vested at the state level. Our industrial parks are pretty full. The Council has re-zoned some land and that is still in the process of development.

A - Ogden, referencing the space needs committee whose work is underway. There are the portable classrooms coming to an end of life that will need to either be absorbed or replaced. The school district wants to move cautiously due to problems with re-districting. There are 800 empty residences in town, there are a number of open permits for buildings to come online, there is potential for growth in the school population so closing schools prematurely could create greater problems.

Time: 7 minutes, 18 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 3 - responses continued by Doak, Cafasso (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

A - Doak, picking up on another comment to increase the revenues. We get get a good deal from the industrial and retail establishments. We have tried to foster commercial and industrial growth with smart policies. Council has encouraged good growth over the years and is looking to continue that so the residential taxpayers don't take the whole burden.

A - Cafasso, the school department has made cuts over the years to protect the classroom and to be as efficient as possible.

Time: 3 minutes, 15 seconds



MP3 File

For reference, the Franklin School Departments budget reductions over the years from 2002 to 2009 can be found here

Q & A 3 - Zollo adds his response, tackling 2 myths (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

A - Zollo, there are certain myths about town government. There is an unrealistic expectation that costs will not go up over time under normal circumstances. The town is the same situation as the schools. The Police, Fire and DPW are underfunded. We are getting a great deal. If we didn't build the Senior Center and the Fire Station we would not be in this situation. That is incorrect. Those are capital expenses and can't be used to cover the operational expenses. There are many myths that are getting perpetuated and we need to correct them.

Time: 4 minutes, 11 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 3 - Are we looking at all expenses; Ogden replies (audio

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Been here for 4 years, 3 kids in school, came here because of the schools. If we have the override, I can afford to pay it because I have 3 kids. But are we looking at all the other expenses. Are we in line? Are we looking to increase revenues?

A - Ogden, speaking to the cost control measures mentions the teacher contract with a 3-year settlement for 6% in a time when other contracts were coming at 9-11%. They negotiate long term energy contracts. They are looking at other kinds of expenses like that to leverage and reduce costs.

Time: 5 minutes, 46 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 2 - Question on next year, Roy, Nutting respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Brett Feldman, Finance Committee member but speaking on his own behalf. Can you explain what next year will look like after the override if it passes?

A - Jeff Roy, we have settled contracts and will probably be in the 3-4 million increase range which is what we were looking for this year.

A - Nutting, suggesting that this is the bottom of this fiscal scenario we should be in a better position next year. Excise tax and other revenue sources declined.

Time: 3 minutes, 42 seconds



MP3 File

Q & A 1 - School Foundation budget, Ogden, Nutting respond (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Franklin is about 10-15% above the state recommended or 'foundation' budget. Can you explain the number?

A - Ogden, the foundation amount is the minimum amount that the town can contribute to the schools. If the town doesn't contribute the state minimum, there are penalties assessed by the state.

A - Nutting, if a town strives to meet the minimum, the education will be suffering, you won't be getting a quality education. Over the last 15 years the state has picked up a greater portion of the school expense, so the town tax payers have benefited from the state funding.

Time: 6 minutes, 11 seconds



MP3 File


For reference on the historical contribution of Franklin to the school budget view this chart

"Will you take your tools and tear down some more walls?"

GHS
Posted May 30, 2008 @ 11:05 PM

FRANKLIN —

Addressing his daughter, Alicia Mary Roy, in front of a crowd of hundreds of parents, teachers, and friends of the graduating Class of 2008, School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy told her, "I still remember the first day I saw you."

He dreamed of a day like yesterday, he said.

"Your mother and I are blessed, and I don't think there's a parent in this room who doesn't feel the same" about their child, Roy said in his opening remarks at Franklin High School commencement last night.

Roy, like Superintendent Wayne Ogden and Franklin High School Principal Pamela A. Gould, then told about 370 graduating seniors what the world was like in days past.

Roy joked that his mother likes to remind him he was born in the middle of an "I Love Lucy" show in 1961, and becoming serious, told students they came into the world when the Berlin Wall came down, in 1989.

"The Berlin Wall, an iconic symbol of oppression... that wall stood a very long time, divided families, a city, and a world," said Roy, "but even impenetrable obstructions could not last."

The Berlin Wall attracted no one, it simply repelled, he said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.