Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where in Franklin? #51

Rainbow_Blue_80621 002, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Continuing a blue theme, can you identify where you would find this building in Franklin?

The guidelines to play Where in Franklin? can be found here .

originally posted 7/9/08 at 9:53 PM

"we're more interested in feeding people"

Posted Jul 16, 2008 @ 10:56 PM


As he grabbed a handmade deli sandwich at Anne's Market and reflected on the return of Anne Brunelli's clan, faithful customer Scott Resley had just one question: "Are you guys doing porketta again?"

Yes, Anne's porketta is back - as are the homemade meatballs, manicotti, hand-stuffed cannoli, and other Italian fare Franklin has been missing since she sold her locally famous store in 2003.

"It's excellent - the best porketta ever," pronounced Resley, who has missed Anne's recipes.

"I'm psyched. I'm really happy they're putting (the store) back in the family," said Resley, who estimated he has been a customer for up to 15 years.

Anne's Market will once again reflect the Brunellis' love of food - Italian in particular, said Mark Brunelli, patting his belly.

You can read the full story in the Milford Daily News here

School Committee Meeting 7/15/08

The collected postings for the School Committee meeting of Tuesday 7/15/08

School Committee meeting 7/15/08 - agenda

The meeting was also summarized in a podcast:
5 Things You Need to Know from this meeting

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"there's a huge appetite for busing"

Posted Jul 16, 2008 @ 12:17 AM


It looks like the School Department will be able to save the late bus, thanks to more students than expected paying to ride the regular bus.

The department's fiscal constraints had threatened to end late bus service this year, but school officials subsequently committed to finding a way to continue offering the popular bus.

At last night's School Committee meeting, Superintendent Wayne Ogden outlined four options regarding late bus service for middle and high school students: using a fee-based system in which all students pay about $10 per ride; partnering with GATRA; eliminating the late bus altogether; or funding the late bus through pay-to-ride bus fees. The late bus costs $40,000 a year to provide, and it runs from Monday to Friday.

Ogden recommended using pay-to-ride revenue to keep the service intact, to which the committee responded favorably.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

live update - subcomittee reports

Kelly and Trahan reported on their participation in the Financial Planning committee. They heard the presentation on the Arlington plan last week.


Armenio - any update on the State EdReform programs?
Ogden - the Governor will be at the Superintendent's meeting

live update - Supt Report

EDNets - glitches with MAC computers which are incompatible with the software, Attorney says the schools could be liable if parent information was exposed. Trying to work with EDNets to provide school what they are looking for, have not yet heard back from EDNets.

Roy - talked with Tim about the cost to the schools, the only cost was a hosting fee. This goes away as there is already work underway to move from the current hosting provider to an in-house system


School choice - historical numbers provided. Program has grown from 14 in 2004 to 76 in 2007-2008. School choice has been approved for this year but no adds are proposed at this time until we are absolutely sure what the numbers will be. Some employees are pending but under the blind draw, we could not guarantee any one in particular.

Sabolinski - The place we would have some slots are in kindergarten but we have not moved at this time.
Mullen - When would you know?
Ogden - I would hold off until mid-August. 50% of the school choice who come in for kindergarten, leave after kindergarten. But if they don't leave, we are committed to keep them. Given the other class size issues we have, accepting additional would only put pressure on the upper grades. If we wait until mid-August, it gives us a little more confidence in the numbers.
Mullen - Can people still apply?
Ogden - We have pulled the application from the web site. We would have to re-open the applications before running the lottery. We would want to put it on and let folks know about it for a couple of weeks.


Annual report
Drafted a template to solicit input from the building principals.

Cafasso - the annual report available from the Town has varied dependent upon participation, timing, etc. This is attempting to be more consistent and informative.


Live update - action items

  • I recommend budget transfers as detailed on the attached memo. Approved
  • I recommend acceptance of Action Plan to implement FY07 audit recommendations. Approved
  • I recommend acceptance of the donation of paperback books from Rose Cafasso for the Oak Street Elementary School. Approved
  • I recommend acceptance of six checks totaling $4,800.00 from the Horace Mann PCC for the HM In-house Enrichment program. The PCC gift to HMMS for in house enrichment was for teacher stipends and therefore was removed from the agenda, due to the fact that it was not inline with the targeted gift policy. As covered in the comments by Asst Supt Sabolinski reported earlier.
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,000.00 from the Parmenter PCC for supplies for the Parmenter Elementary School. This was tabled due to the fact that a description regarding supplies were not provided on the donation form.
  • Based on School Committee policy IJOAB/ Extended Field Trips, the revised proposal for the band trip to Disney World in April 2009 is not in compliance with district policy so I am unable to recommend approval. Would have missed one period (via plane), now would miss a full day (via bus) - Roy and Armenio recuse themselves from the vote as they have students involved. Discussion on approving anyway, tending not to. The policy is to not miss school, saving money is not an alternative, someone else down the road may also push the envelop. Big increase was seen in the cost of transporting the muscial instruments. Issue with public schools and equity. Roy has made reservations that are non-refundable. Motion failed to pass 0-5, 2 recused.
  • I recommend declaring the Remington Middle School inventory list as surplus. Approved

live update - superintendent review process

Cafasso - like last year's overall process, just would like them sooner

Ogden - would also like them sooner than January as last year.

consensus to proceed

live update - building use policy

First reading of the building use policy KF.

Fee schedule will looked at quarterly to see and ensure that the fund breaks even.

Kelly - question on need of inspector to check the connections?
Trahan - will check on, don't believe so

Kelly - does fee schedule cover the custodial services?
Sabolinski - yes, that is built into the fee structure. The building coordinator was not previously part of the fee structure, it is now.

Looking to cover our costs and to provide the buildings for the community to use in a fair way.

Mullen - finds a number of minor typos and inconsistency all minor and no real issue of policy just looking to make the document read well. This is a nice document and well done.

Folks have already been told that the new building use fee schedule will be coming as of July 1.

Rohrbach - have prohibition against alcohol and smoking, what about adding drugs?

Motion to move to second reading

live update - pay to ride/late bus

Supt Ogden reviewing what has been done in these areas.

Pay to ride currently at 1754, just about the same amount as this time last year. There had been a forecast of a ridership loss with the increase. With the current and projected enrollment in ridership with the increase in fee, we could cover the late bus with this additional fee revenue.

Last year 'pay to ride' was 1801 for the year. We might very well be able to break even and cover the late bus.

Cafasso - hard to fathom given the circumstances with the increase, that the ridership is holding strong. This is a good thing though. The recommendation makes sense.

Horace Mann and Remington were the most subscribed for the late bus schedule.

School Dept working with GATRA to see what options they can provide by way of additional route.

Amount of manpower and effort to recover the $1 for the late bus riders who are not on pay-to-ride or reduced lunch. If the funding continues to run as expected (increased ridership and increased fee, totals an overall increase in revenue).

live update - audit update

Miriam Goodman talking about the Town Audit Report and impacts for the school department.

Town Comptroller will make the ledger entry for the School Department
The process currently is for the request to go from Miriam's office to the Comptroller's Office. This has been in place for some time (since last year). It continues under her role now. It will continue under her control.

The auditors findings are for the systematic access to be removed. That will not happen right away but should happen to be in compliance with the audit. The Town controls that overall access.

Overall the findings pertaining to the school department are minor. Amount was against this line item instead of that line item. Meeting to adjust as required to be in compliance going forward.

school committee - Live update

Approx $251,871 unencumbered at this time against the FY 08 budget. Some minor bills are still outstanding and normally will appear to be used against this amount.

Motion to accept line item transfers for FY 08 financial report.

Underbudgeted in classroom teachers, health insurance, maintenance (buildings and grounds and security), curriculum development...

Overbudgeted in substitutes, library media, guidance councilors, athletics...

Fee structure for community use of school facilities was underfunded for the use provided this year. This is on the agenda for discussion later.

Motion approved

School Committee meeting - live update

Miriam Goodman presents the revised budget reflecting the override adjustment and the facilities consolidation adjustment.

No questions

motion to accept the FY09 budget in total for $49,940,242
motion passed

School Committee - Live update

Citizens comment

Mr Hunter - representing Brick School Assoc
checks on agenda appear to be in violation of the targeted gift policy

Asst Supt Sabolinksi
request to modify the agenda, the two checks in question did get on the agenda without prior review of Supt Ogden or herself and should be removed. They do not meet the guidelines of the new policy on targeted gifts and will be returned. The principals have been notified.

In the News - Senior Center, Concerts, Walgreens

Openings at Franklin senior center program

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

The Supportive Day Program at the Franklin Senior Center is accepting new clients.


A not-so-common concert series

By Tanya Girgenrath/Daily News correspondent

For most, Wednesday is known as "hump day" - that is, unless you are spending the summer in Franklin.


Walgreens developers give Planning Board overview

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

A developer last night gave the Planning Board an overview of its plan to develop a Walgreens pharmacy at the site of former Four Corners School.


School Committee meeting 7/15/08 - agenda

Franklin School Committee Meeting
July 15, 2008
Municipal Building – Council Chambers
7:00 P.M.


Call to order Mr. Roy
Pledge of Allegiance
Moment of Silence

Routine Business
• Citizen’s Comments
• Review of Agenda
• Minutes:
I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 24, 2008 School Committee Meeting.
• Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
• Payroll Ms. Armenio
• FHS Student Representatives
• Correspondence:
Budget to Actual


Discussion Only Items
  • Review Budget spreadsheets for $49,940,242 FY09 Budget
  • FY08 End of Year Financial Status
  • Summary of Audit Implementation of Recommendations
  • Late Bus Options
  • Policy KF / Building Use 1st Reading
  • Superintendent Evaluation Process

Action Items
  • I recommend budget transfers as detailed on the attached memo.
  • I recommend acceptance of Action Plan to implement FY07 audit recommendations.
  • I recommend acceptance of the donation of paperback books from Rose Cafasso for the Oak Street Elementary School.
  • I recommend acceptance of six checks totaling $4,800.00 from the Horace Mann PCC for the HM In-house Enrichment program.
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,000.00 from the Parmenter PCC for supplies for the Parmenter Elementary School.
  • Based on School Committee policy IJOAB/ Extended Field Trips, the revised proposal for the band trip to Disney World in April 2009 is not in compliance with district policy so I am unable to recommend approval.
  • I recommend declaring the Remington Middle School inventory list as surplus.

Information Matters:
• Superintendent’s Report
a. Ed Nets Update
b. Pay to Ride Update
c. School Choice / Historical Data
d. Annual Report
• School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
• School Committee Liaison Reports

New Business:
• To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

Executive Session
• Contractual Negotiations


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Franklin Matters: Recap of Week ending July 12, 2008

Another in a series of podcasts about what matters in Franklin, MA. This session covers the Town Council meeting I missed, the Milford Daily News articles on the Arlington Plan and the Brick classroom status. It also looks out to the upcoming School Committee meeting on July 15th.

Time: 11 minutes, 20 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes

Intro - This is Steve Sherlock with another in a series of podcasts for Franklin Matters.

In this session we’ll recap the Town Council meeting, the Arlington plan, the upcoming School Committee meeting, and topics on its agenda including the audit report and Brick classroom status, and finally the new town web site

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

I missed the Town Council meeting this week due to the scheduling problem I already wrote about. I had recorded Jeff and Chris talking about the first meeting in July being the second weds (as it normally is) but for some reason the official schedule (resolution 07-46) said the first meeting is 7/16.

Vallee made a fool of himself again. After declining to participate in any of the override information sessions, he opens discussion on looking to raid the stabilization fund for a million dollars to save some of the teacher layoffs. He was lucky to get enough votes to get it on the agenda. 4 councilors missed that meeting and he only needed a simple majority to get the agenda item. He had two votes, his and McGanns until Feeley put his in to put it on the agenda but with full disclosure that he would appreciate a good discussion on it but could not support it. With 3 of the 5 present he had a simple majority, with all nine present last Wednesday, he did not stand a chance.

Instead of simply withdrawing his motion, he claimed that since no one from the schools were there to support it, he would withdraw it. What a cheap shot? Generates a sound bite with no recourse.

I am beginning to wonder what value he does add to the council? He came back supposedly to lend his expertise. He has shown no leadership. He has shown no expertise in solving problems. He has shown time and again that he might be better off saying nothing.

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

The Arlington plan was reviewed on Thursday night with the special Financial planning committee. Arlington does differ from Franklin in a number of ways. They do have considerably less commercial development within their tax base.

They would not have kept the promise of their five year plan without an unexpected windfall increase of state funds. Read the article in the Milford Daily news. Our planning committee will have their work cut out for them to try and replicate the Arlington plan for Franklin.

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

The school committee does meet this Tuesday July 15th. The agenda is not yet posted for review but that usually is there late Monday so it is still early.

The school dept should be going to the town council meeting on the 23rd to provide an update on the forensic audit. That should be an interesting meeting. New Finance Administrator Miriam Goodman, Superintendent Wayne Ogden, Chairman Jeff Roy, and others from the committee are likely to attend.

The Brick situation remains unresolved. The Milford Daily News reports in Sunday’s edition of the BSA presence at this coming meeting.

Several councilors are quoted in favor of keeping it open but respectful that the decision is in the School Committees hands.

This is a tough choice. The study showed that in sq foot terms, it was the most expensive classroom to operate in the district. The last school committee Asst Supt Sabolinski talked about the fact that it can’t service special needs children in the classroom.

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

New town web site turned on this weekLost some links to the prior meeting agendas. The minutes for the meetings in 2008 up thru May 7th are available but nothing prior to that yet.

The look and layout is cleaner. It will take some getting used to getting aroundWhat do you think of it?

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

This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow Franklin citizens and voters by Steve Sherlock

For additional textual information, please visit

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

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

In the News - McGann Jr, Brick, Gas prices

The Milford Daily News has three articles of interest or reference to Franklin today.

Joseph McGann Jr. hasn't slowed down much since nailing two
state championships in wrestling at Franklin High School and a national title at
Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., in 2001.After wrestling for North Carolina
State, McGann kept a low profile, training in Eastern-style fighting at United
States Mixed Martial Arts in Bellingham, under Ultimate Fighting Championship
professional Jorge Rivera.

Read the full article here

Franklin -
Supporters of the Red Brick School are continuing their
efforts to keep the historically distinctive building open for classes this
year.Members of Brick School Association plan to "have a very visible presence''
at the School Committee's July 15 meeting, said association treasurer Herbert
Hunter. "We'll certainly provide plenty of input,'' Hunter said. The group is
not officially part of that meeting's agenda.The School Committee's Subcommittee
on Building Use has said it will likely recommend declaring the Red Brick as
surplus and return it the town, essentially ending the building's standing as a
one-room red brick school in continuous operation, recognized by the National
Historic Register. The School Department has announced there is no money in its
budget to continue running a kindergarten class there. About 1,000 residents
celebrated the school's 175th anniversary this June, said Deborah Pellegri, town
clerk and Brick School Association member.

Read the full article here

Franklin -

In Franklin, developer John Marini is mixing downtown
apartments with shops and office space, all a stone's throw from a downtown
commuter rail stop. Westborough's Bay State Commons, which opened last year,
combines everything from a Roche Brothers supermarket to 44 luxury

Read the full article here