Saturday, October 10, 2009

Recyle that plastic slide

Have your kids outgrown that plastic slide or turtle sandbox? Franklin now has a spot for recycling those large plastic items.

More details are available in this issue of Recycling News:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

To have news from the Town, Police, and recycling be delivered to your email address, you can subscribe on the Town website here

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document.

In the News - Library book sale

Friends of Franklin Library seek volunteers for book sale

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Berry Ins collecting kids costumes for Halloween

Berry Insurance collecting new Halloween costumes for Children’s Hospital Boston

In the News - long term plan, state budget woes

Franklin planners: Override or cut services loom

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Ashley Studley/Daily News staff

Minor corrections to the article. The reports distribution will be to the committee for final review, then to the Town Council to prepare them for their meeting Oct 21. Once finalized, then the report will be available to the current Town Council candidates and to the general population.

The report currently on the Town website is the version reviewed at the open forum held April 27 and reported on here.

Bottom line, the report was brought up to date with the current numbers. When developed earlier this year all the numbers were projections for the FY 2010 budget. Now that the budget is finalized, those numbers were updated throughout the report.


State budget gap could grow from bad to worse

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee

Attending: Bartlett, Sabolinski, Roche, Kelly, Hardesty, Whalen, Nutting, Cameron,
Missing: Wilschek, Trahan, Zollo

Also present: Glenn Jones (Town Council candidate), Ashley Studley (Milford Daily News reporter)

Reviewing the updated slide deck, slides have the most recent numbers from the FY 2010 budget cycle.

A couple of numbers here and there require further checking.

The train left the station for the high school renovation project, the only question is how many folks jump on. In first or second quarter of 2011 we should have an opportunity to vote on the final number. The state would pay during the early construction period. We would only have to pay our portion in 2012 and after.

We have a good record in that we have built three schools for a total of about $200 per tax bill.

Discussion on how to estimate the high school cost. We will know sometime around next October what the number could be but we don't know now.

Should we include a slide on the roads? Many towns try to budget for road repaving, we don't budget anything. We use Chap 90 and Water funds when we can rebuild the road. We need to acknowledge that the State gives us a lot of money to fix our roads.

You can plan to put something aside for the roads in an up economy that you can't do in a down economy. We should start building a road fund similar to what we have done with the snow/ice.

Municipal per capita spending was added, to provide a comparison against the peers, neighbors and the state average.

The adjustments can be corrected this weekend. Get it to the councilors as soon as completed. They will have time to review it before the next council meeting. The last one before the election.

Hold the date - Nov 7th for LaidOff Camp

I am leading a team to bring the unconference peer-to-peer learning format to the unemployed. Hold the date, Saturday Nov 7th, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Who should attend?

  • Are you unemployed 
  • Are you exploring entrepreneurial activities 
  • Are you currently employed and willing to help

If you answered yes to any one of these, then the LaidOff Camp is for you.

The peer-to-peer learning format of the unconference will

  • facilitate sharing the tips and tricks we have all learned while looking for work 
  • provide additional networking opportunities 
  • empower the unemployed to take the next step in their job search with more knowledge and confidence

Additional details and the registration process will be available by the end of this week.

Veterans Day Breakfast - Senior Center

The Annual Veterans Day Breakfast to honor Franklin's veterans will be held at the Senior Center on Friday, November 6th at 9:00 AM.

Additional details including how to reserve a spot can be found in this flyer:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Town Council Mtg Smry 10/07/09

The collection of live reported posts from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday 10/7/09

T The posts are a little out of order as I arrived late to the meeting and the agenda was being juggled to fill in time before starting the brownfields public hearing at 7:10 PM. I picked up where they were and then proceeded to catch up with the other items.

In the News - teen sex, Town Council meeting

Coordinated by the Franklin Community Health Council, the first of a series of workshops to help parents talk with their teenagers about sex will be held tonight at Mercer Auditorium at the Horace Mann Middle School on Oak St.

Tonight will be the first of five free workshops Craver will lead throughout the school year. Parents are invited to the school's auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to ask questions and participate in a detailed discussion.
For additional information on the series read:

Workshop to help Franklin parents talk to kids about sex

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 


The actions from the Town Council meeting were reported here

Franklin OKs $1M bond for high school renovation study

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Live reporting - Closing

The Town Council returned from Executive Session to Open Session  8:20 PM with the only comment being a request for a motion. Motion to adjourn, passed 8-0

Note: there may have been a good reason going into the Executive Session but coming out to say nothing and adjourn seems like a waste of time.

Live reporting - Appointments


- Municipal Affordable Housing Trust
Mary Ann Bertone

Motion to accept - passed 8-0

The agenda was juggled during the meeting this evening to meet the schedule for the public hearing at 7:10 without having some "dead time". I came in late to observe the Library resolutions and one added from the Rotary Club (another $500 gift for the Library). I confirmed that this did get approved with reporter Ashley Studley from the Milford Daily News. We compared notes and confirmed names of individuals that spoke during the meeting in a conversation with Bob Dean while waiting for the Council to return from Executive Session.

Live reporting - Councilor Comments

McGann - raised question on how to allow the Franklin Police Dept to provide some information on the status of the Quinn Bill.

Feeley - They can use Citizens Comments with 5 minutes per person. The item is really part of the overall negotiation.

Motion to go to executive session and to return to open meeting
Passed 8-0

Two minute recess

Live reporting - License transactions

Applebee’s – Transfer of Stock/New Officer & Director  Motion to approve - passed 8-0

Alumni Restaurant & Bar – Change of D/B/A  Motion to approve - passed 7-0 (1 abstain, Feeley)

Franklin Wine & Spirits – Transfer of License Motion to approve - passed 8-0


Live reporting - brownfields grant hearing

F. HEARINGS -   2010 EPA Brownfields Grant Application – Public Hearing - 7:10 PM

Mr Compton complained about the lack of notification. He is a property owner of the land surrounding the property. Until he called, he was not aware.

The Town would need to supply 40,000 to match if the grant was awarded by the EPA.

Live reporting - Town Council - action items

Attending: Whalen, Mason, Vallee, Feeley, Pfeffer, Doak, McGann, Zollo
Missing: Bartlett

Late to meeting - picking up with Legislation for Action

1. Bylaw Amendment 09-634: Amendment to the Franklin Conservation Bylaw Chapter 181-8D: Term of Years- 2nd t Reading  Motion to accept - Passed 8-0

2. Bylaw Amendment 09-635: Amendment to the Code of the Town of Franklin, Chapter 25 – Personnel Regulations – 2nd  Reading  Motion to accept - Passed 8-0

3. Bylaw Amendment 09-636: Amendment to the Code of the Town of Franklin, Chapter 25 – Human Resource Management – 2nd Reading  Motion to accept - Passed 8-0

4. Resolution 09-61: Appropriation – FHS Feasibility Study  Motion to accept - Passed 8-0

Similar discussion to that before the Finance Committee on Tuesday 10/6/09.
Likely for a full project vote only in 2011, will have better estimates as we go along the process

5. Resolution 09-62: Human Resources Policies and Procedures
Motion to accept - Passed 8-0
6. Resolution 09-63: Authorizing Application for EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant
Motion to accept - Passed 8-0
7. Resolution 09-64: Acceptance of Gift – Franklin Public Library
Motion to accept - Passed 8-0
8. Resolution 09-65: Acceptance of Gift – Franklin Public Library
Motion to accept - Passed 8-0

Register to vote by October 14th

If you want to vote in the Town Election on November 3rd, you need to register to vote by the close of business next Wednesday, October 14th.

You can go to the Town Clerk's office at the Municipal Building. As you walk in the main entrance, bear to the left. There is a short corridor and at the end of the corridor is the door to the Town Clerk's office.

If you are going to be out of town on November 3rd, you can still vote via absentee ballot. Absentee ballot applications are also available at the Town Clerk's office.

When I called Debbie Pellegri to check on the ballot for the November 3rd election, she said that there had been no changes in the slate of candidates announced previously. All were officially certified. No one had withdrawn their application.

There does remain one open ballot spot for election of a member of the Board of Assessors. If someone would like to run for that spot as a 'write-in' candidate, please contact Debbie Pellegri (508-520-4900) for details on how to conduct that type of campaign. It is important to have the name added by the voters in the same manner. These write-ins will require a manual count and it would be easier if they all were entered the same.

Additional information on voter registration process can be found here

Note: candidate signs can begin to appear no earlier than 14 days before the event, in this case the election on November 3rd. (Hence, signs can be posted beginning October 20th)

There is a Town bylaw to cover election signs. These bylaws are voted on by the Town Council.
6) Signs shall not be erected sooner than 14 days before the event to which they pertain (i.e., the offering for sale or lease of the premises, the commencement of construction or the election) and shall be removed within seven days after the conclusion of the event to which they pertain.
The full sign bylaw can be found here

In the News - auction, high school renovations, Patriots TV

As reported during the Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday October 6th, the DPW will be the site of a used vehicle auction. The Town is looking to see if they can obtain more money via the auction than they have obtained via trade-in.

Auction of used Franklin vehicles tomorrow

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS 


The first step o the long road to finding out exactly how much the high school renovation (including a possible addition) was taken Tuesday with the approval 11-0 by the Finance Committee of a $1 million bond. The bond will be used to take the next steps per the State process on getting the services of a project manager and architect. There will be at least one more appropriation request before we know the total dollar amount that the project will cost. It will likely not be until late 2011 before the Town gets to vote on some amount of debt override to complete the process and authorize the funds to actually break ground.

Franklin may spend $1 million on high school study

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS 


The headline should be corrected to read "Franklin students tackle Patriots TV host spot"

Franklin students tackles Patriots TV host spot

Finance Comm 10/06/09

The collection of live reported posts from the Finance Committee meeting held on Tuesday, October 6th can be found here:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Live reporting - Finance Committee - cont'd

Free cash is the money left over from the prior budget year. The State needs to verify and validate that amount. We should have that number in a November timeframe. We will have free cash but we won't know about how much until later.

FY 10 - State has a revenue shortfall, it is very likely we'll be looking at local aid reductions of some kind. The Governor will propose, then the Legislature will need to accept. We have a couple of vacancies open and on hold in anticipation of what may come. As long as the State is in trouble, we are in trouble. We get 38% of our revenue from the State. The State funding for Chapter 70 went down for the first time in years. Probably not for the last time.

The good news is we work very well with the Schools. If it is a small cut, we'll figure it out. If it is a larger cut, we'll need some help deciding which way to go.

The Governor prepares his budget in February. We'll have an idea of what FY 11 will look like from that estimate.

The Legislature takes a break around Thanksgiving so if he makes his recommendation before then, they should take some action. We should know by Thanksgiving.

Our revenues at a local level. We have collected 99% of our property taxes.

The Meals tax fund, started Oct will show up as a quarterly payment on our Cherry sheet. The DOR gave us an estimate based upon the prior years activity. Some of that is already built into our budget.

The other one is our Hotel/Motel tax. The Town Council voted to increase that. In this fiscal year, we figure it might be about 70,000. In a full year, it would be about 150,000. This goes into the Open Space fund. We have about 1.7 million in the fund now to potentionally buy some open space as it becomes available.

The policy has been to use it for Open Space. The Council can review that. When folks see the long list of capital requirements, they would be an opportunity to use it elsewhere.

Net school spending chart to be added later.
The numbers have been trending down, currently at 1.3% over the State required minimum level.
Dropped from 4.9 to 1.3 in one year. Once it drops below zero, the pressure is to take money from elsewhere.

In 1993, local taxes paid for 70% of the Town budget, now it is down to 48%.

We have a reasonable fund balance. We don't dip into reserves. We make decisions. Financial stability is important to the bond market. We have a long term team with a good track record.

Quality education is not about spending the minimum. It is not just a legal issue it is the quality of education.

Auction at DPW at 9:00 AM.
They will try an auction in lieu of trade ins. $100 minimum for all but four items.

Q - How is the librayr sharing arrangement going.
A - Actually have a meeting this Friday per our arrangement to meet quarterly and review. I think we need to do more of this.

Q - Senate special election covered by the State
A - yes, that is what they have said

Q - Did we get any Federal Stimulus money
A - We applied for a lot but didn't get any.

Q - Museum renovations, how are they going?
A - Except for the windows, the lead time is long, the work is on schedule and on budget.
Bandstand under construction with donated money.

Town Council Candidate forum 10/26/09 at 7:00 PM in the Town Council Chambers
Also at the Senior Center, Weds, 10/28/09 at 9:30 AM

In a tough economy, driving around things are looking good.

Water rates may be in jeopardy of an increase if consumption continues to decline.

Motion to adjourn, passed 11-0

Live reporting - Finance Committee

Linda Huempfner
Pat Goldsmith
Craig Maire
Tina Powderly
Jim Roche
Phyllis Meserve
Jaun Rivera
Robert Texiera
Mark Cataldo
Rebecca Cameron
Brett Feldman

Action item
Bond authorization for $1 million for Franklin High School renovation process

This is the beginning phase of a long process to get the Project Manager for an initial design,
we will be back at least two times for additional money to continue the process

State reimbursement up to 31%
Town has to front the full amount for the State to do the reimbursement

estimating 3% but rates are currently 1%
Bond issue would keep us under the debt service plan develped previously

We are looking at a renovation and possible addition, not a new school.
1 - Project Manager
2 - Request for services for architect
3 - meet with the State to agree or modify the plans
4 - give and take on the schematic design
5 - with a complete schematic desgin, back before FINCOM to get authorization to hire the Project Manager and architect to complete the designs and come up with estimates
6 - return with final cost estimates

Will be some determination on what the State will pay versus what the Town will need to cover
For example, the curbing around the

Approx 10% of the total cost would be the PM and architect
How to cover will still need to be decided later (a year to 18 months)

By committing what we are doing now, what does that get us? How much more before we get the full estimate?
Round numbers, 10% of the total cost.

SBA will be managing and monitoring the process.
Yes, we want their money so we will play ball with them. If we wanted to do it on our own, we would be further along.

It is a fair and open process but they are being much more prudent about their commitments.
Let's assume the total comes out to $40 million. The SBA may say that they will exclude 5 million from what they will cover us at the 30-40% reimbursement. Franklin will need to determine if we really need the $5 million and if we will pay for it on our own.

Best case could break ground at the end of 2011.

The SBA has a timeline. Each section of each phase has a timeline. The State requires approval for each step.

We have a year once we start the OPM to get the schematic done. We would get the OPM until January.

We could use the money from the Four Corners, that's about 800,000 left in that account. But we need to front the full amount and then get the State reimbursement. Once we get the authorization of the bond, we may not need to execute the bond and use cash. But we need to do this now to be prepared for options.

Motion to approve Resolution 09-62
Passed 11-0

"The administration never saw it coming"

The headline is an interesting quote from Clay Shirkey in this brief (5 minute) video on the use of social media tools. He discusses this while raising the question on what should be the skills taught in the classrooms to prepare our students for the 21st Century?

50,000 school students organized in 48 hours. Now there is motivation around a purpose!

What would it take to get 10,000 Franklin residents out to the polls to vote on November 3rd?

Note: there are over 19,000 Franklin registered voters but off year elections generally turnout around 3500. Off year elections are those not associated with a national election (every four years). An override election can draw up to 8,000.

Thanks to Mr Bryne at Free Technology for Teachers for the tip to the video

FCC mandates disclosure

FCC mandates disclosure for bloggers receiving freebies/payments

from Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

My disclosure statement has been updated a couple of times since I started writing online over 5 years ago. The most recent update occurred with the short-term contract position I accepted on 9/28/09. As circumstances change, the disclosure will be updated. I intend to keep this as my public service effort  to provide quality information on what matters in Franklin.  

We face significant challenges.  

We need informed and engaged residents to make good decisions when it comes time to go to vote.

In the News - flu update, grant money

Dr. Daddario to head Franklin swine flu clinics


Franklin, Medway awarded cultural grants



From the Town web site:

As we begin a new month, the Franklin Health Department and the Board of Health continue to finalize our plans for large scale public H1N1 influenza clinics.   To date the Health Department has recruited over 70 volunteer medical professionals to staff our flu clinics.  At a September special meeting of the Franklin Board of Health, Dr. Dianne Daddario of Franklin was appointed as the Medical Director of our volunteer medical staff.  Dr. Daddario will assist the Health Department with the planning and operation of all H1N1 flu clinics in Franklin, and will provide direct medical oversight of our medical volunteers.
The Franklin Health Department completed the H1N1 vaccine registration process with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in September.  As a registered vaccine program, the Franklin Health Department is now eligible to receive H1N1 vaccine direct from a central vaccine distributor in order to supply our public clinics.  What we do not know at the present time is how much vaccine we will be allocated, and when the vaccine will be delivered.  What we do know is that the initial number of doses allocated for Massachusetts will be much reduced from what we originally expected.  In addition, we can fully expect not to have sufficient supplies of H1N1 vaccine available for large public clinics until sometime in November.  The first doses to be received in Massachusetts which is estimated to be approximately 30,000,  will be sent to select physicians’ offices and other medical practices for healthcare workers, pregnant women and very young children.  Again, the initial supply of vaccine will be only a small portion of the states total allocation.  We have been assured that deliveries will continue each week or thereabouts, until all vaccine has been distributed.  
Once the Franklin Health Department receives enough H1N1 vaccine to hold a public clinic, we will identify our target group as directed by the CDC and the MA DPH and schedule our clinics.  Clinic dates and locations will be widely advertised and parents and individuals will receive important information such as consent forms and vaccine information statements well in advance of the clinics.
As always, if you have any questions regarding H1N1 influenza or the department’s vaccination plans, please contact the Franklin Health Department via our dedicated H1N1 email @, or you may call our office at 508-520-4905.

David E. McKearney, R.S.
Public Health Director
Franklin Health Department

Franklin Board of Health
Bruce Hunchard, Chair
Paul Cheli
Donald Ranieri, Jr.

Walk to School Wednesday

Yes, today is Tuesday. Tomorrow is Wednesday.

Consider walking to school as part of the International Walk to School Wednesday!

Check with your local Franklin school to see what routes are set up.

Check with the MASSRides website for state level information on this program!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fire Dept - Open House

The Franklin Fire Dept held an open house at the King Street Station on Sunday. This kicks off Fire Prevention Week.

When I arrived, they were showing how they would remove the roof to get a someone trapped in this car:

Kids could get involved and try holding the fire hose:

Kids could walk through a simulation of a fire in a school bus. The 'smoke' was safe. The demonstration reinforced the stay low and keep moving idea.

Tower 1, the newest addition to the equipment available was on hand to view.

The tool kit on the Tower is well stocked.

This looks like a top notch medical room. Actually, it rides on wheels. This is the inside of one of the EMT vehicles. Hopefully, you'll only get to see the inside on days like this Open House. If it is needed, you can rest assured that the Franklin Fire Dept is well equipped to provide good care.

Captain Frank Hagerty was at the platform end of Tower 1, letting folks climb inside and describing the equipment and tools available to them. The tower can extend up to 110 feet and from that vantage point be an effective platform to either fight a fire or rescue someone from a building.

There will be more opportunities to view the equipment and talk with the Fire Dept personnel at future Open Houses. Consider participating in the next one!

My thanks to Chief Gary B McCarraher and all the Fire Dept personnel who prepared this for us.

Additional information about the Fire Dept can be found on the Town website here

Town Council - Agenda - 10/7/09

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September 16, 2009




E. APPOINTMENTS  - Municipal Affordable Housing Trust

F. HEARINGS -   2010 EPA Brownfields Grant Application – Public Hearing - 7:10 PM

Applebee’s – Transfer of Stock/New Officer & Director
Alumni Restaurant & Bar – Change of D/B/A
Franklin Wine & Spirits – Transfer of License



1. Bylaw Amendment 09-634: Amendment to the Franklin Conservation Bylaw Chapter 181-8D: Term of Years- 2nd t Reading
2. Bylaw Amendment 09-635: Amendment to the Code of the Town of Franklin, Chapter 25 – Personnel Regulations – 2nd  Reading
3. Bylaw Amendment 09-636: Amendment to the Code of the Town of Franklin, Chapter 25 – Human Resource Management – 2nd Reading
4. Resolution 09-61: Appropriation – FHS Feasibility Study
5. Resolution 09-62: Human Resources Policies and Procedures
6. Resolution 09-63: Authorizing Application for EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant
7. Resolution 09-64: Acceptance of Gift – Franklin Public Library
8. Resolution 09-65: Acceptance of Gift – Franklin Public Library





O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The full set of documents for this agenda can be found on the town website here (PDF)

In the News - veterans, Fire Dept

Franklin to honor World War II vets

from The Milford Daily News News RSS


Newest Franklin firefighter

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Time to engage in the conversation

Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday said, "Although the private sector economy is beginning to recover, state government is still feeling the impact of the global economic collapse."

He said cuts to local aid were "certainly on the table."
 You can read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

Now more than ever, this is the time to become engaged with what is going on around you. With more local aid cuts coming, this will affect Franklin more than any other community simply because a greater percent of our total revenue comes from State aid. We can not absorb cuts without sutting services. If you don't believe that, then you need to find out the details.

You can start by talking with your neighbors. Find out what they know. If they don't know much about this, send them to Franklin Matters to become better informed.

You can talk with any of the thirteen candidates for election to the Town Council this November. You did know there was an election. Of course, you are here and informed. Talk with your neighbors, are they aware?

What will be the deciding points to select nine of the thirteen?

What are the Town Council candidates positions on the issues Franklin faces? I have a series of conversations scheduled to explore this. You can find (and share) the conversation with the following here:

Scott Mason
Judith Pond Pfeffer
Glenn Jones (in draft review)
Matt Kelly (in draft)
Tina Powderly (in draft)

If you'd like to see other Town Council candidates post their views here, please contact them and let them know. I have made the offer, the ball is in their court.

I am also scheduling time with some of the School Committee candidates. There are seven for the seven positions to be voted on so there is less competition but just as much importance in finding out who these people are that are to be responsible for more than half the Franklin budget.

My public service effort here is conducted solely to create an informed electorate for Franklin. I can't do this alone. Your help is required. Individually, we don't stand a chance. All of us together can make a difference!

Fire Station Open House - today

The members of the Franklin Fire Department wish to extend an invitation to the community to our Annual Fire Prevention Open House. This yearly event coincides with National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme “Stay Fire Smart – Don’t get Burned” Fire Prevention Week 2009 focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires.

This year’s Open House will provide demonstrations and fire safety education for all ages. The Open House will be held at Franklin’s Fire Station #2, 600 King Street on Sunday, October 4, 2009, from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Originally posted on the Town website