Saturday, October 17, 2009

Franklin's Express Line

The current Franklin Express Line has just been published.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

You can subscribe on the Town website to receive your own copy here.

In the News - Pulaski Blvd, Tegra Medical

The update promised for "tomorrow" made it to the paper today

Pulaski Boulevard to be improved

from The Milford Daily News News RSS


A good news story on the business front.

Franklin's Tegra Medical wins award

from The Milford Daily News News RSS


Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 Election Collection

The collection of posts covering the Franklin election on Nov 3rd

Audio of Election Results in Franklin HS field house

Milford Daily News summary of the Town Council and Board of Health candidates

School Committee candidate - Jeff Roy

Town Council Candidate - Glenn Jones

FM #47 Tina Powderly
audio recording and text

Register to vote by October 14th

Town Council Candidate - Judith Pond Pfeffer

FM #46 - Scott Mason
audio recording and text

Town Council Candidate - Tina Powderly

Town Council Candidate - Glenn Jones

November Election Line up

 Note: this is not an endorsement of these candidates. This is an information sharing exercise to enable you, the voters, to prepare an informed decision when you enter the polling place (Franklin High School field house) on November 3rd.

Franklin: Library book sale Sat 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The sign says it all.

Franklin Library Book Sale

Saturday, October 17th

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

At the DPW facilties on
25 Public Works Way off Hayward St.

In the News - local aid cuts, Universalist music

In the details of this announcement local aid cuts are coming. 40% of the Franklin budget comes from local aid, from the State. Any dollar cut by the State will affect our services here.

Governor calls for emergency budget cuts

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by Jim O'Sullivan/State House News Service


Franklin's Universalist Society is a sanctuary for music

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Town Council Candidate - Glenn Jones

Glenn and I had the opportunity to sit together a couple of times (1) to discuss his candidacy for Town Council and (2) to discuss the four questions that follows. 

Franklin Matters:
1. - What is Franklin’s big issue? What steps should we take to resolve it?

Glenn Jones:
Franklin’s biggest issue is the budget. Every year Franklin tries to balance a budget of almost 100 Million dollars to support some 33 thousand residents.  It’s a daunting task.  Services are bare bone, schools are struggling to provide on less each year, and our residents are facing one of the largest un-employment rates in years.  If we intend to provide exemplary services to our residents it’s going to take a viable, well thought out, long-term plan. A plan needs to be presented to Franklin residents with hard understandable facts.  It should be the Town Councils goal to reach out to the people of Franklin and highlight the options that will help Franklin stay on track to a sustainable future.

Franklin Matters:
2. - What is your position on the proposed Charter Revisions?

Glenn Jones:
The Charter is Franklin’s Constitution and sets the guidelines for our form of government. For that reason alone any revisions to the Charter need to be taken very seriously.

The Charter Review Committee has noted several recommended changes. These potential changes are presented to the Town Council for review and if acceptable gets forwarded to the State Legislature for approval, it can then be presented back to the Residents of Franklin for their final approval.  

One of the many recommendations presented in a minority report is to change the position of ‘Town Clerk’ from an elected position to an appointed position.  I personally feel that the ‘Town Clerk’ should remain as an elected position.  The ‘Town Clerk’ is the main interface between the people of Franklin and the Town’s Administration. When you interact with our ‘Town Clerk’ you are truly talking to a person whose whole heart is for and from Franklin, MA.  She is not a cog in the Town’s administration; she is the face of all the residents of Franklin. It’s true our Town Clerk requires a certain level of expertise that our current Town Clerk has acquired during her tenure, but with diligent tutoring and proper procedures, any well intended intelligent Franklin resident can repeat her contributions and execute the job of ‘Town Clerk’.

One other potential change is that of ‘Town Treasurer’ from an elected position to appointed position.  On this issue I feel the “Town Treasurer” is not so much a public position as it is a professional one. So, with that being said, the position of “Town Treasurer” should be an appointed position.  However, I feel there should be a stipulation that all appointed positions should be offered to Franklin residents first.

“Staggered terms for our elected officials” is also a topic that has come up during the charter review.  All Town Council members should be able to sit no longer than 3 years before having to be re-elected.  Maintaining continuity in our government is paramount and some restructuring is probably necessary in the future in order to better meet the needs of the Town of Franklin and its residents. A workable plan will need to be efficient and effective in order to preserve the stability of our form of government.

Franklin Matters:
3 - What use do you envision for the Open Space Fund?

Glenn Jones:
With potentially millions of dollars in our Open Space Fund, we as a Town should be concerned about the preservation of any open space we can acquire.  Franklin has seen enough development in the past 2 decades to make anyone’s head spin. So, if we have the means and funding to keep a reasonable amount of open space in Franklin we should. However, since the Open Space Fund is a capital fund, many people have wondered if that money could be better spent on other important, under prioritized, capital issues in town, such as the school facilities, roadways, library, and other town assets. It will be a large responsibility of the new Town Council to review all available funds and decide which items are more of a priority than others. The people of Franklin should indeed voice their opinions on these matters and require transparency and accountability of their new Town Council to act in their best interests. If elected to the Town Council I will be honored to help shoulder this responsibility and bring the topical results back to the people. 

Franklin Matters:
4 - What is your position on the Financial Planning Committee report?

Glenn Jones:
First off, let me say the Long-Range Financial Planning Committee (LRFPC) has done a tremendous job of trying to bring all of the major issues that do and will affect our community to the citizens of Franklin.  I think Franklin as a whole greatly benefits from superb municipal services with a comparably low tax burden. As the report indicates we are the #1 recipient of State Aid to schools, comparable to 31 peer towns, and that aid amounts to a large portion of our budget. Without this aid, we would be in a considerably difficult place. That being said, it is well known that the Massachusetts is also having some of the most difficult budget issues that it has ever had and as the trickle down effect dictates we would chance to lose a good portion of our state aid. That is a portion of our budget we can not afford to lose. We will, as the data suggest in the report, have to maintain a minimum level of school spending in order to meet state mandates. We as a town will have to find that money or the services we enjoy everyday, like plowed roads, clean town, and public safety will start to deteriorate. That is a serious shock. 

This all leads back to my further point of a ‘plan’. We lack a viable, sustainable plan that holds our government accountable to the decisions that it makes. I feel that there should be no further tax increases until such a plan is in place. In these trying times it will take all of the hard working citizens of Franklin to step up to the plate and decide what ‘we’ want our standards to be and how ‘we’ intend to get ourselves thru some of the most trying times in our history. 

I want to be the voice for these citizens and this is why I chose to run for Town Council. I always express a certainty to my young children: “Never give up, never give in”. Together the people of Franklin will persevere.

Biographical Info:

My Campaign Slogan: “Leadership through Teamwork”

Parents: William and Mary Jones
Youngest of 4 children

Wife: Nicole
Children: 4

Age: 39

Born: Cambridge, MA
Raised: Watertown, MA
Franklin Resident: 11 years

Watertown High School
Northeastern University – Electrical Engineering

Electrician and Sr. Engineering technician

Specialties: computers, energy management, audio/visual and automation

Franklin Youth Soccer – Coach
Franklin Youth Softball – Coach
New England Chapel – Facilities Team Leader
Davis Thayer Elementary School PCC events and activities


NewBCamp - Saturday - October 17th


Date: October 17th, 2009

Time: 9am to 3pm


New England Institute of Technology, Student Union
2840 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02888

Cost: FREE (Donation of $10+ is helpful)

Registration is available here

Note: This link will bring you to the page with more information on the event and the link to register.

Vallee set local office hours for Friday 10/16/09

State Rep. James E. Vallee, D-Franklin, will hold monthly local walk-in office hours on Friday, Oct. 16, at two locations in his legislative district. Vallee, or a member of his staff, will be available

at the Medway town administrator's office, 155 Village St., 9-10 a.m., 

and his Franklin office at 4 West St., 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Vallee welcomes and encourages residents to visit him during these times to voice concerns or questions they may have regarding any state-related issue. He encourages those constituents unable to attend the district hours to call his State House office to schedule a more convenient appointment.

Vallee and his staff may be reached at 617-722-2600 or
This was initially posted in the Franklin Gazette here

Bellingham's Pulaski Boulevard construction receives funding

King St runs south into Washington St which in turn runs into Pulaski Blvd. Three different names, two towns, one road. For anyone taking this southern route to Woonsocket or RT 146 to Providence beware of construction to resume.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Melanie Graham/Daily News staff on 10/12/09

The Pulaski Boulevard road improvement project has received $13 million in state and federal funding. The project was included in the 2010-2013 Traffic Improvement Plan (TIP).

Pulaski Boulevard was one of many plans in eastern Massachusetts considered for state roadway improvement funding, including hundreds of projects in Boston. If Pulaski Boulevard had not been placed on fiscal 2010 list, the town would have had to wait until 2014 for funding.

The $13 million will be in addition to the $4 million already invested by the town.

The estimated two year project plans to rebuild 2.3 miles of Pulaski Boulevard, spanning from the Franklin town line to Orchard Street, including work at the Crooks Corner, Lake Street and Center Street intersections.

Also in the construction plan is road widening, added sidewalks and storm drain improvements.

MassHighway is currently in the bid process for the Pulaski Boulevard projects.
For more details on the project, read tomorrow's Milford Daily News.

Things you can do from here:

Note: While the article references more information in tomorrows Milford Daily News, that particular tomorrow has not arrived yet. Stay tuned for an update sometime.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last day to register to vote on Nov 3rd - Today!

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

School Committee Mtg 10/13/09

The collection of posts reported live from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday October 13, 2009 are as follows:

In the News - swim team?

The proposal and discussion at the School Committee meeting last night as covered by the Milford Daily News today:

Franklin High may add swimming

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

3rd Thursday - October 15th

Franklin Downtown Patnership

3rd Thursday in Downtown Franklin

Theme:  It's All About Style
Thursday, October 15th

Host for October: Pretty is Pink, 9 Summer St,
A night of fashion and fun at "Pretty Is Pink", an upscale boutique for woman and teens with style.
Featuring new styles for fall/winter 2009 including name brand jeans and designers mostly found in Nordstroms and Urban Outfitters.
Enter drawing for a $100 Pretty Is Pink gift certificate.
Take an additional 40% off any one markdown item for this night only.
Our new fall and winter styles including designer clothing will be modeled live.  Come join the fun!

Artbeat, the Creativity Store, 9 Summer St. Kids are invited to ARTBEAT Your Creativity Store for a free adventure with spooky sand art. You'll also find face paints, costume helpers and fun, unusual Halloween crafts.
Berry Insurance, 9 Main Street, will collect new Halloween costumes and accessories for kids of all age groups as part of the 3rd Annual Halloween Costume Drive benefiting Children's Hospital Boston.  Anyone who wants to donate costumes (nothing scary or violent) can drop off items at the downtown office before October 19, or call Kaitlyn Pintarich at (508) 440-2290 to schedule a pickup.
CafĂ© Dolce, 17 E. Central St will host an artist opening for pastel artist Catherine Haynes.  Everyone is invited to view her work and meet the artist.
Facial Rejuvenation, 11 Main St, all Jane Iredale mineral makeup is 15% off for 3rd Thursday!
(Jane Iredale is "THE" mineral make up.  Recommended by Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists and skincare professionals around the world)

Hair at Nail It, 20 Main St. Free wash & blow dry & new customer coupon

Jane's Frames, 11 E. Central Street, a special night to help you  create and define your personal style through artwork and framing and more.

"Whether it's traditional, contemporary, shabby chic, provincial, eclectic or undefined, we are all on different paths regarding our style," says owner Jane Curran.  "We invite customers to come look at some expressions of different styles and how colors work in creating their style. We can help them define and refine their look, all while listening to some wonderful guitar music and enjoying the company of friends old and new."

The Franklin School for Performing Arts' Spotlight Shop, 34 Main Street,  Box office is open for Third Thursday patrons to purchase tickets for its October 16 and 17 dinner theater presentation of the Kander & Ebbs musical Cabaret,  performed at the Franklin Country Club. Anyone buying tickets that night will receive a free FPAC sweatshirt while supplies last. Tickets for dinner and the show are $55 each and reservations are required.

H & R Block, at 9 East Central Street,  a Tax Talk: Making Work Pay Credit. Other specials include free "Forward Looks" tax checkup and "Second Looks" for prior years, a $29 value.  Third Thursday customers can enter to win a free tax return, and the winner will be drawn at the Holiday Stroll event in December.

Rick's Restaurant , 28 W. Central St. SHAKE IT UP at Rick's by wearing something to Spook Rick!   If you are successful, Rick will treat you to a piece of  Mudd Pie: Coffee ice cream in a chocolate cookie crumb crust, with hot fudge and real whipped cream. It's scary how spectacular this is!  (One per table, but big enough for all.)

Sarapaan Beads &Jewelry 19 East Central Street offers "Buy one pair of earrings get the second pair of equal or lesser value 50 % off" deal for Third Thursday patrons.

Salon Sorella, 9 Summer Street, hosting Tarot card readings (three cards for $5, six cards for $10), as well as $10 Halloween nails with complimentary nail art, and all children will receive complimentary Halloween hair.
Get more details at each participating business

So much is happening Downtown/Uptown Franklin
Come join the Fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Live reporting - closing items

FEF Casino night November 20th

Motion to go into Executive Session not to return to open meeting
Passed 6-0

Live reproting - Superintendent's report

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
a. DESE Update - regionalization at the State level underway, recent approval for Districts to receive assistance, accountability number currently at #1, the top ranking. In the Greater Boston region, better for us demographically.

b. H1N1 - sent out survey, received positive feedback from families. Administrative helpers for clinics being looked for. Training tomorrow evening at Horace Mann.
d. Transportation
e. Administrative Professional Development
f. Enrollment Comparison 9-26-08 – 9-25-09

Live reporting - Action Items

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $5,000 from the Keller PCC for the 1st grade field trip to Jane & Paul’s Farm Stand and the 3rd grade field trip to Plimouth Plantation.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $5,000 from the Jefferson PCC for field trips for grades 1 to 5.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $10,000 from the Davis Thayer PCC for field trips for grades K-5 as detailed for the school year.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $107.14 from the Remington PCC for a nurse for the 6th grade field trip to the YMCA.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

e. I recommend approval of adding a 0.5 position ELL Teacher.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

f. I recommend approval of the Horace Mann Middle School field trip to the Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama from July 11-16, 2010 as detailed.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

g. I recommend approval of the FHS Art Department’s request for a field trip to New York City on Saturday November 14, 2009 to the Museum of Modern Art as detailed.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

Live reporting - ASMS Book Recycling Program

3. Discussion Only Items

ASMS Book Bins

Memo with proposal:


We, the Parent Communication Council (PCC) of Annie Sullivan Middle School, are seeking approval to retain the “Big Hearted Books”- (BHB) ( ) bookdrop which is currently located at the edge of the lower parking lot. “Big Hearted Books” was formerly known as Community Book Drop until their merger this past summer. ASMS PCC has been selective in our choice of fundraisers, in our effort to balance the need for funds to enrich each student’s experience at ASMS, with the demands that each fundraiser would place on individuals and families. We have also tried to seek fundraising opportunities that would encourage students to “think GREEN” as a way to be accountable to their community in which they live. The ASMS PCC would hope that the School Committee will consider the benefits of keeping this book donation box at ASMS, and that if there are specific concerns about its location, that we will be able to find a way to resolve them while still keeping this great resource available for ASMS families.


In the past we have collected print cartridges and cell phones, which had required a lot of time from parent volunteers to return mail items, and profited the PCC anywhere from $150-400 a year. The book drop requires no effort on behalf of a parent volunteer and pays an average of $100 or more per month, which will add up to over $1200 per year. Profit to the PCC is only one of the benefits however, as BHB is also willing to take requests for book titles and authors that would help to enlarge the private in-classroom libraries of the teachers. If any of those items are found at their main sorting center, BHB is willing to donate them to ASMS, free of charge. This is a particular benefit to our younger teachers, as well as to the students. Lastly, having a book recycling drop onsite has had a positive influence in the community at ASMS as the students and families are grateful for the opportunity to recycle their books and to focus on the benefits of reading.


BHB collects unwanted media (books, records, audio cassettes, VHS tapes, CD’s and DVDs) and redistributes them to people who can use them to prevent them from ending up in landfills. The bin is emptied by BHB at different times during the month as they are collecting books from other bins in the area. Collections are donated and weighed and a profit is determined base on 7 ½ cents per pound. The average monthly profit check is just over $100.00. Of all collections made to BHB 85% is given to charities and organizations that are in need, 5% are recycled, and 10% are sold to cover operational expenses. Nothing gets thrown away.


The ASMS PCC understands that the DPW may have concerns about the current location of the box as it is located on the asphalt corner of the lower ASMS parking lot. Big Hearted Books is willing to either relocate the box to a level spot on the grass area, or to shovel out any remaining snow around the box after each storm. Shoveling out boxes is a regular maintenance item that BHB have already had the practice of doing at all of their bins.

Submitted by ASMS PCC: Jennifer Maire, Chair and Erin Long, Treasurer

This can be a good fund raiser. Estimated to be about $1600 revenue for the full year.
It is a win-win situation.

It was a purple box, now it is a white box. "Big Hearted Books"

We are willing to work with any objections that there may be. The company is looking to expand this to other schools.

Q - How long has the company been in business?
A - A couple of months before they started with us and then merged with Big Hearted Books over the summer. The company picks up after hours.

Q - If they go under, what would happen to the bin?
A - It is contractually their bin.

Q - If there is an overage?
A - We can call the company for an immediate pickup.

C - I think it is a great idea.

C - I don't think it is a School Committee issue. It is an operational issue.

C _ I hate to see books tossed. I like the fund raising initiative. The Committee is supportive. We will make an effort to find the policy in question.

It is very hard to go to the right source.

Live reporting - MCAS Growth Model

d. MCAS Growth Model
      1. Michele Kingsland-Smith
      2. Bob Lima
      3. Maureen Sabolinski

The presentation used:
Franklin was part of the pilot at the State level to participate in this program. The State is gearing for some federal funds and this data pilot was a good step to gain that.

The comparisons amongst the students at a data level to compare apples to apples has not been available previously. This look at the data should help to answer this question.

The test is different year to year, the standards are different. Comparison year to year becomes difficult. How much grown really occurred in the learning? This could not be answered previously.

SGP - Student Growth Profile
CPI - Current Performance Index

One couldn't predict future performance from MCAS results. The value of the new growth model is that this growth can now be forecasted.

The MCAS scores enabled a comparison amongst the Franklin students. Now with the SGP, the comparison can be made statewide. This comparison can truly be made on a cohort statewide level.

Each year, the growth would be re-calculated to produce a new cohort based upon similar performance over three years of testing.

The score for the SGP would be calculated for every subject area in the MCAS environment.

20% rule of thumb, this breaks out the range of growth over 100% into five groupings: 1-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-79, 80-99.

Data previously was descriptive, now the data can be predictive.

The data shown in the slides is from the pilot and not Franklin District student data.

What this allows us to do is ask questions. What we need to do is to ask the right questions?

This will be a learning year for the District. The Pilot was a great thing to benefit from.

Q - One challenge has been the bar has been raised year to year, does this also measure district growth?
A - You can do a district level report, by grade, by building, a variety of perspectives. At the moment we can only access Franklin data. The ability to do a district level analysis is possible but likely at the State level. What will be presented to the public is still open. We do not know yet. There is no definitive answer yet.

A - Anyone can take data and show issues with it. The strength of the data will be to allow us to show student growth and target assistence to specific groups of students.

Live reporting - Literacy update

c. Literacy Update – Michele Kingsland-Smith

The presentation used:

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to view the presentation.

The amount of time kids are spending reading has increased 100%. I have no doubt about it.

There is always a connection between the reading and what they learned. The consultants are working on building a collegial learning environment so that the entire building feels comfortable.

Last year all teachers reached the "launch" training.
This year 4 and 5th will be working on learning how to do the "Group Reading Assessment and Evaluation (GRADE)" process.

"Key Three" strategies are being implemented throughout the middle school classrooms.

Grade 6 teachers will also pilot GRADE (as outlined above).

The "managing complex change" slide is most interesting. It can be used to understand other changes.

Some technical difficulty in trying to present a movie from a DVD. Choice Literacy, a national program, made a DVD using the Franklin program and personnel.

Live reporting - swim team proposal

b. FHS Swim Team Proposal – Brad Sidwell

Had a sign up interest meeting a couple of weeks ago, 15 girls, 5 boys.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Positive meeting with YMCA, pool time has been offered for free.
This would not be a full fledged varsity team the first time through.

I think there is a need there. It would grow fast here.

Q - Tom, what would the SBA say to a pool?
A - good question

Q - Where are the other towns doing their teams?
A - Private clubs, and many are in the Hockomock Area Y.

Q - Do you have someone who could be a coach?
A - I have a number of options but I didn't want to go anywhere until I had talked with you.

Q - What would happen next year? We would have kids as part of a pilot and not knowing what next year would be like?

Q - The number piece is important, it looks like you could do this at about 6-7,000 for this?
A - Yes, that is correct.

Q - It is another opportunity for keeping and attracting kids at the high school.
A - Yes, I have heard from a number.

Q - When gymnastics was cut, how much was it costing?
A - It was a different dynamic, the numbers were dropping. The members were going to private gyms and not wanting to give up their time.

Q - When would you need to know?
A - As soon as you can, we would not be officially part of the league this year. That time has passed.

Q - So if we have a decision for next meeting?
A - That would be good.

Note: the $11,000 shown on the doc would be reduced by the pool cost, increased by the number of swimmers (from 12 to 20) and the coach cost would be reduced by about $700 to bring to the toal as discussed about 6,000.

Live reporting - FHS building update

2. Guests/Presentations

a. FHS Building Update – Tom Mercer
Process much different now from last one completed (the Horace Mann project)

Right now at the stage for the feasibility study for the building and grounds. Now on the listing for projects approved for a feasibility study.

First step in this is to hire an OPM. An Owners Project Manager is hired by Franklin. The OPM has to e qualified and certified by the State.

The Request for Services (RFS) was just submitted last week. It had been a revision cycle with the State going back and forth to come to an agreement on the language being used in the document.

Franklin has used OPM's previously for the Senior Center, Fire Station and other projects.

The RFS proposals are due about the end of October, they need to be reviewed, decision made, in conjunction with the State. Likely to have the OPM in place in January when all is said and done.

Once the OPM is completed, another RFS is to be negotiated and submitted to obtain an architect. The architect will then prepare a schematic design. The conceptual design would arrive at the feasibility concept. The design would be submitted to the State which would then review it and detail what they would cover and what they would not cover. If the State does not cover an item, but it is needed, then it would be up to the Town to fund that part of the project at 100%. The State reimbursement rate for the covered items would range from 30-45%. We won't know for sometime where we fall in that range.

To get through the schematic design the Town has authorized a $1 million bond. This is different from prior projects but also a result of the State changes. We may not need to spend the whole amount but we need to front the project funding.

Once the final determination is made on the cost of the project, the Town has 120 days to determine if it approves funding the project. The funding would come from a combination of sources, the primary being a debt override.

After the funding is complete, the OPM and architect would be retained for another period to complete the detailed project determining the final details, including color of the materials. The bids for material would be put out for vendors to submit their proposals to supply the materials.

We thought we would have the RFS out on the street about 3 weeks ago and it is just going out now. OPM on board in January, architect in April, schematic design could be done in the fall. Could go to the voters either in the Fall of 2010 or Spring of 2011.

6-8 months process for the architect to draw the final plans. Hopefully to begin doing some construction work in the fall of 2011 or spring of 2012.

Q - one thing you didn't mention is that the sales tax revenue at the state level, if it continues to fall short, this time line is still open.
A - The only thing approved at this point is the schematic design process, when it comes time to submit it for approval, we won't know what the amount will be, what amount (at the state level will be available) and where we are in the listing.

Q -  If the money is not there, is it a prioritization?
A - Based upon what they have done, you would not get approved unless there was money to cover.

Q - If there is not enough money at the State, do we just wait?
A - It would be a Town Council decision on funding, I wouldn't want to speak for them. The SBA has seen the building and made recommendations, that is on our favor. There are items that I feel they will not approve but that we will want to continue with.

Q -
A - I think we will have multiple options. I think we can do some of the most interruption during the summer time. Some construction will be done during the school year. This is one of the major parts of the planning phases.

Q - Could we use the drawings done a couple of years ago?
A - We did submit those previously. That is one of the reasons, they sent out their engineers to see the building. We will meed the SBA somewhere in the middle. We really can use them as drawings, they were ideas and reflections of what could be.

Live reporting - School Committee - 10/13/09

Attending: Armenio, Cafasso, Kelly, Mullen, Roy, Trahan

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments  - none

Review of Agenda - none

Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the September 22, 2009 School Committee Meeting.  Motion to approve - passed 6-0

Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly   Motion to approve - passed 6-0

Payroll Ms. Armenio

FHS Student Representatives
Longer lunch liked by students, shorter class periods, tech center being used especially to log out computers for overnight use.

Correspondence: Budget to Actual

Team Fitness Open House - Oct 14th

TeamFitness has an open house

Wednesday October 14, 2009

8:30 am to 12 noon or 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm

100 Franklin Village Drive





In the News - renovation update, local author

Get the full story on the high school renovation project and more at the School Committee meeting this evening.

Franklin parents urged to attend meeting

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS


Cape Cod history retold by Franklin author at the library Oct 21.

Local author Michael Tougias to present latest book

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

Monday, October 12, 2009

FM #47 Tina Powderly

This is #47 of the series of podcasts on what matters in Franklin, MA. In this session we talk with Tina Powderly, one of the thirteen Town Council candidates.

Time: 16 minutes, 11 seconds

MP3 File

FM #47
Session Notes:

This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow citizens of Franklin, MA.

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.

The following text was the basis of the discussion recorded with Tina T. Powderly, Town Council Candidate. These are the four questions being asked of all the council candidates. 

Franklin Matters
1 - What is Franklin's big issue? What steps should we take to resolve it?

Tina Powderly
Franklin’s biggest issue is the recurring budget deficit and I believe FY11 will be the most difficult year to date.  We face difficult decisions on how to preserve the great quality of life we currently enjoy.  We need councilors who will consider all options for increasing revenue and cutting expenses.   These options must be clearly defined and objectively supported when presented to the voters.

I have served on the Finance Committee for the past year and this has given me the opportunity to understand the nuances of the town budget.  I would suggest pursing the following items to address our structural deficit:

• Identify opportunities to lessen our reliance on state aid and property taxes, similar to my advocacy for the newly enacted local-option meals and hotel taxes and the closing of the telecommunications loophole.
• Focus on attracting businesses to Franklin, including continuing to establish Priority Development Sites, supporting the Downtown Partnership, and working with the Planning Board to fill vacant industrial space or selling vacant land when appropriate. Commercial and industrial tax revenue is critical to minimizing the burden on the residential taxpayer.
• Continue to reach out to folks who experience a hardship from local taxes and ensure that those who qualify for exemptions or relief through the senior work-off program actually access these programs.
• Continue my initiative to form a multi-town group that advocates for legislative changes on the state level that will cut municipal costs.
• Identify new regionalization opportunities to reduce costs.  We’ve had great success with Bellingham for Animal Control and with Medway for library and recreation.

I also would put a premium on communication and transparency around the budget.  The town does a good job of providing information to residents by televising all meetings and posting the minutes online.  I’d like to see the town explore more social media options for communicating, similar to the police department’s use of Twitter.  Additionally, I would work to ensure the following information is presented with any tax policy decisions before the voters:

1. Clear rationale for why it is needed
2. Details about what it will be used for
3. Explanation of why it is the minimum necessary to achieve the town's goals
4. Details about it's role in the long-term plan to address the budget problem

Franklin Matters
2 - What is your position on the proposed Charter revisions?

Tina Powderly
I am pleased that Town Council recognized the importance of periodically reviewing our Town Charter and I would like to thank those members who volunteered significant personal time to arrive at these recommendations.  The Town Council established a subcommittee to examine in further detail the group’s recommendation and I look forward to reviewing their findings.   There are a few specific items on which I would like to comment.  

1. Treasurer/Collector – I agree that the Treasurer/Collector should be appointed.  The high level of technical expertise and certification requirements by the state make a compelling case for changing the Treasurer/Collector position from elected to appointed.  The day-to-day decisions in this position have the potential for large and immediate consequences on the town, especially in a $100 million organization.  Given these risks, a premium should be put on securing the highest qualified candidate which is not always guaranteed when put to popular vote.  I think it is important to note that the current Treasurer/Collector agrees with this recommendation based on his experience in the position.

2. Town Clerk – I agree that the Town Clerk should stay an elected position for the time being. The Town Clerk plays a critical role in local government and requires significant training.  However, the independence of this elected position is important and the charter’s recommendation did not have the same level of supporting detail as was provided for the Treasurer/Collector recommendation.  I would change the Treasurer/Collector position to appointed, examine the impact of this change, and revisit the Town Clerk position in the future.

3. Staggered terms – I agree that staggered terms allow towns to maintain institutional knowledge while giving voters opportunity to change their representation.  However, the logistics of transitioning seem to outweigh the benefits.  First, elections are costly to administer.  Second, more frequent elections often lead to lower voter turnout which would negate one of the reasons for having staggered terms.  

4. Finance Committee – I agree that we should reduce the Finance Committee from 11 to 9 members and they should serve two-year terms instead of one-year term.  Having served on the Finance Committee, I have seen one-year terms result in significant turnover which undermines our efficiency as a team.  Further, eleven members can be a bit unwieldy and there is no compelling reason why the Finance Committee should be larger than the Town Council.

Franklin Matters
3 - What use do you envision for the Open Space Fund?

Tina Powderly
The Open Space Fund, established in 2002, is a critical piece of our capital plan.  I am proud that Franklin puts an emphasis on conservation and preservation.  I support the traditional projects of the fund – parks, bike trails, preservation land, and recreational areas.   

The money for this fund comes from the hotel tax and averages about $300k a year.  With the approval of the increase in hotel and meals tax, I believe the new Council should balance the types of projects that qualify for Open Space funding.  I believe these monies should be considered for less traditional capital projects like the renovations to the library and historical museum which meet the spirit of the Open Space definition of preservation and conservation.  Another example of a capital conservation project would be to address the deterioration of the Del Carte dams along Pleasant Street.

I also would like the Town Council to consider dedicating a revenue stream to traditional capital and building needs, much like what was originally done for Open Space.  The Finance Committee recommended to the Town Council that the new meals tax be used for operations and the additional hotel tax be divided between building and open space.  Franklin has a unique opportunity to diversify our revenue base, and these opportunities do not come along often.  I believe we need to carefully evaluate where these new revenue streams go.

Franklin Matters
4 - What is your position on the Financial Planning Committee report?

Tina Powderly
I believe that the Financial Planning Committee report is critical to understanding the fiscal challenges that face Franklin.  I would like to see this report serve as the basis for conversations about what we can do to maintain our quality of life given our financial picture.  I would like to see the Town Council endorse the findings of the Financial Planning Committee report, and set up a long-term group responsible for maintaining and updating the report.  Setting up the maintenance piece is critical because as with any budget, factors change from year to year and the tool is only as useful as it is current.  

I like that this question closes our discussion because it represents what is unique about Franklin.  The people who sat on this committee participated in an incredibly time-consuming effort and I’d like to publicly thank them.  When I speak with finance officials from other towns, they are amazed that town officials and residents alike put a priority on identifying root causes of our budget crisis and volunteered so much of their time to the project.  This report not only illustrates the dedication of folks to finding solutions, but is a revolutionary opportunity to change the framework of the discussions we have in town about the budget.  The 5 Year Financial Planning report unequivocally demonstrates that Franklin provides comparable services at a lower per capita cost than comparable towns. By starting with objective data, we can use this report to agree on the problems that we face so that we can move forward on fixing them. 

I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my views on some of the important issues facing our town.  I’d also like to thank you personally for all you do to keep residents informed and for your dedication to all things Franklin.

Biographical Information

Age:  36
Address:  22 Eisenhower Drive
Years lived in Franklin:  7

Occupation: Finance and strategy consultant for healthcare organizations
Family:  Married; daughter 8, son 6, daughter 3

Finance committee (1 year), currently Vice Chair; 
Oak Street Parent Communication Council (2 years), member;

Bachelor's degree in Management, Georgetown University; 
Masters in Public Health, Harvard University

Tina's campaign web site can be found here.

Letter from Ed Cafasso

Hello everyone,

As promised, I am writing to provide a progress report on the building renovation initiative for Franklin High School (FHS).

Last week, following approval by the Finance Committee, the Town Council voted unanimously to authorize a $1 million bond for the next phase of the FHS renovation. This funding allows Franklin to hire an Owners Project Manager (OPM) and an Architect to bring the project to the schematic design phase. Under the rules of Massachusetts School Building Authority (SBA), if the Town commits to financing the full cost of this phase, the SBA will refund an estimated 30 - 45%.

The Milford Daily News covered the issue when it came before the Finance Committee ( and Town Council ( The newspaper stories said the funding would go to “a study.”

That description is off the mark. The bonding authorized this week will result in actual schematic diagrams of the likely renovations, showing the components of the project and its scale. These diagrams will be prepared by a professional architect in close collaboration with an experienced project manager and with members of the Building Committee.

This phase of the project is NOT the same as the study completed in October 2006 by the firm Kaestle Boos, which looked at FHS at the request of the School Committee. It provided a general look of the building’s condition and a “blue sky” assessment of what might be done, ranging from minimal fixes to the construction of a completely new building. You can view the 2006 report at

The funding authorized this past week allows Franklin to move forward to hire the professional project manager and architect  who will produce the formal schematic designs for renovation work. Every step occurs under the formal supervision of the SBA and the local Building Committee. The design options will be based on the specific renovation ideas that were part of the Town’s application for SBA funding. Those renovation ideas arose from a tour of the FHS building in December 2009 by professional SBA inspection team and subsequent discussions between members of the Building Committee and SBA officials.

The hiring of an Owner’s Project Manager is required by the SBA and by state law. The OPM should be in place by December or January and the Architect should be on board by March or April. Once schematic design is complete, and there is an agreement with all parties involved, including the SBA, a debt exclusion will be required to move toward construction.

Approximately 12 to 18 months from now, Franklin voters will have a very clear picture of the renovation project – the precise work involved, the cost and the timing – and will be asked to vote on whether the town should borrow the amount needed to pay for it over time. If voters approve the debt exclusion, a substantial portion of the total cost (a minimum of 31 percent) will be reimbursed by the state.

Keep in mind that the exact timing of every step in this process is controlled largely by the SBA, which holds tight supervision over all projects they are likely are to subsidize. Information on the general SBA process is available at:
You can learn more about the FHS project on this Tuesday night (Oct. 13) when Tom Mercer, chairman of the School Building Committee, discusses this phase of work the School Committee at a meeting that begins at 7 pm the Municipal Building. Middle school parents may wish to tune in or attend. Also please keep in mind that “Panther Pride” night, an informational open house for 8thgrade families, is scheduled to occur at FHS on the evening of Wednesday, October 21.

These e-mails are provided as a constituent service. I try to distribute at least one e-mail update each month during the school year, as issues warrant. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.

Thank you!

Ed Cafasso, Member
Franklin School Committee