This is #46 in the series for Franklin Matters. In this segment, we talk with Town Council candidate Scott Mason.
Time: 24 minutes, 44 seconds
Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-46-scott-mason
This internet radio show or podcast for Franklin Matters is number 46 in the series.
This is the first of what should be a series focusing on the candidates for the election on November 3rd. The Town Council, the School Committee and several other positions are up for election.
Today, we will spend about 20 minutes talking with Scott Mason who will be running for his third term on the Town Council.
Before we get into the conversation with Scott, let me quickly say that if you are a candidate for election this November 3rd, please get in contact with me to arrange for a similar interview. The output can be purely text, or audio (as we are doing with Scott).
The intent of the interview series is to share your information with the Franklin community. This aligns with my overall call to share information to create fully informed voters. We need to know the ins and outs of what we are voting on. Franklin Matters.
Without further ado, let's get right into the conversation with Scott. We had met initially in person and then
recorded this conversation over the phone to make this available for you.
Our conversation covered Scott's answers to the following 4 questions:
- What is Franklin's big issue? What steps should we take to resolve it?
- What is your position on the Financial Planning Committee report?
- What is your position on the proposed Charter revisions?
- What use do you envision for the Open Space Fund?
The following was provided by Scott
R. Scott Mason
9 Lee Street
Franklin, MA 02038
Wife; Patricia, Daughters: Kelly 19, Kathryn 14
Franklin Public Schools, graduated Franklin High School 1981
College: Dean College, class of 1984; Associate of Art in Communications (Graduated with high honors); Suffolk University, class of 1986; Bachelor of Science in Journalism/English, graduated with honors.
Years in Franklin:
Lifelong Franklin resident
First elected to the Town Council in 2005, re-elected in 2007
Chairman; Capital Improvement Sub-Committee, 2005 – present;
member; Town Administrator’s Salary Review Sub-Committee, 2007;
member; Senior Advocacy Sub-Committee, 2007 -- present;
Clerk; School Building Committee, 2008 – present
Social and Professional Organizations:
Reasons for wanting to serve on the Town Council:
As a lifelong Franklin resident, I feel it is essential to offer something back to our community. After two terms as a Town Councilor, I still realize that we as citizens of this town, and we as Town Councilors, have much work to do, if we value the standard of living we have come to enjoy and wish for it to continue. My goal for the new term is to work to perpetuate that standard of living for all our citizens, not just those that can afford it the most.
In order to do that, we must continue to make prudent decisions with operating and capital budgets. We must find new and creative ways to make less money reach further, and we must help those that are most hurt by a poor economic climate, such as our elderly and our young.
We as a Council must work closely with the administration to find and implement cost-saving solutions, such as regionalization. We must work closely with the School Committee to provide a school budget that provides the best educational environment for our children, and we must continually examine the efficiencies of town operations, with the goal to improve services for all.
We must also be aware of the staffing needs of our public safety and D.P.W. We cannot sacrifice our ability to respond to health and safety issues in our community, nor can we allow our infrastructure to deteriorate.
We must continue to examine the feasibility of revenue generating measures such as overrides and debt exclusions, as a last resort to maintaining our quality of life.
Lastly, we as a Council must continue to work closely with our State Representative and Senators to make sure our voice is heard on Beacon Hill.
Major issues to be addressed in the next two years:
Franklin’s annual operating budget of approximately $100,000,000.00 is inadequate to meet the needs of its citizens. In past years, Franklin has passed budgets that have made substantial cuts in personnel and/or services on both the school and town sides. Franklin voters have historically not supported Proposition 2 ½ overrides, although voters passed a successful override in 2007.
As a result of this reluctance, if we as a Council determine that an override is necessary, we must find a way to present it to the voters in order to achieve a favorable outcome.
The Council must also carefully consider other ways to increase revenues, such as taking advantage of State options for local taxing as they become available, such as the recently passed “Meals Tax”.
High School Renovation
Within the next 12 months, voters may be asked to approve a debt exclusion to fund renovations to the almost 40-year old Franklin High School. The administration and the School Building Committee is working with the School Building Authority to acquire partial funding for this renovation. If and when it is approved, the town must act quickly to procure the balance of funding.
Franklin’s capital budget is also inadequate for its capital needs. Among a long list of needs that the town has on an annual basis, which include replacement police cruisers, D.P.W vehicles and repairs to town buildings, there is also a growing need to repair and repave many roads in town, but, presently there is no source of funds within the town for road repaving.
By examining the five-year plan for capital expenditures, the Council must consider various options for funding them on a year-to-year basis.
This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow citizens of Franklin, MA
For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and East of Shirley
. The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with permission.