Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Town Council Mtg 07/01/09

Delayed reporting via a review of the video archive on the Town website


: Whalen, Mason, Valle, Bartlett, Feeley, Pfeffer, Doak, Zollo
Missing: McGann


recognition for the Veterans Memorial Committee
Bob Fahey, Bob Gannon, Ken Norman, Charles Oteri, Steve Williams, Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi, Dave Roche, Franklin DPW, Franklin Garden Club


Charter Commission Report

Presenting: Paul Cheli, Michael Walker Jones, Larry Benedetto

A question from Deb Bartlett on the comparison between the information supporting the recommendation of changing the Town Treasurer from an elected position to an appointed position versus the lack of similar information for the Town Clerk sparked a long discussion that eventually still did not answer her question. Would the commission add information so that the folks reading the report could come to a valid understanding of the duties of the Town Clerk?

The discussion instead resulted in the Commission members pledging several times that the current elected officials perform outstandingly well for Franklin. The fact remains that once elected, there is nothing written anywhere that actually requires them to perform their duties or furthermore to allow either the Town Administrator or the Town Council to take corrective action prior to the next election.

The discussion revealed that while there is substantial information about the technical requirements, qualifications and state certifications for the Town Treasurer, there are not similar items for the Town Clerk. Hence the recommendation for the Town Treasurer to be changed to an appointed position and the Town Clerk to remain as an elected position.

These and other items in the Charter Commissions report will now be the subject of a new sub-committee to work the report into a format (primarily adding the legal language required) for the report to be submitted to the State Legislature. Assuming the Legislature votes to accept the recommendations, then the citizens of Franklin would then be required to vote to accept the recommendations before they actually became law. According to Jeff Nutting at the meeting, this could be more than a two year process.

One other item of significant discussion was staggering the terms of the Town Council and School Committee. I encourage you to view at least this section of the Town Council meeting. The segment lasts just over an hour but it is well worth understanding the positions and arguments pro/con. These items will help determine Franklin's future.

You can view the Town Council meeting in the video archive here

You can review the full detail of the Charter Commission report (PDF) here

The Milford Daily News got around to writing about this portion of last week's meeting with an article today here

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