I hope you enjoyed the stunning weekend weather.
As you know, Franklin voters will be asked to go to the polls on Tuesday, June 8, to decide a proposed $3 million override of Proposition 2½. If approved, approximately $300,000 will be used to restore municipal services, $1.8 million will be used to restore educational services, and $900,000 will be used to maintain roads throughout the town.
We need this money to stop the continued erosion of school and municipal services our community and to maintain our property values and quality of life.
Override votes can be a polarizing, which is not surprising when people’s money is at stake. On a pre-tax basis, the proposed override will cost the average taxpayer $254 per year, about 70 cents per day, based on the average property assessment of $368,000 in Franklin. Passage of the ballot question would add 69 cents to the tax rate, or $.69 per $1,000 of the assessed value of your home. That’s the out-of-pocket cost, but please also keep in mind that your local property tax payments are deductible federally.
I am writing today to pass along the wealth of information available to you to explain the proposed override and what’s at stake with this vote – and to offer you the opportunity to become actively involved in the effort if you wish.
Here’s what’s available to you:
An excellent brochure has been developed that attempts to answer common questions and provides a chart of what services will be affected by the outcome of the override vote. You can view and download the brochure at: http://franklinschoolcommittee.wordpress.com/override-brochure/
Up-to-date information and links on financial and academic issues, particularly from a school perspective, are available at: http://franklinschoolcommittee.wordpress.com/override-page/
Concerned citizens who support passage of the override have formed a group called “Invest in Franklin.” You can visit the Invest in Franklin web site for additional information at: http://investinfranklin.weebly.com.
You can visit and join the Invest in Franklin group page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2265200218&ref=ts
A Facebook event page has been created as a reminder about the June 8 vote. You can view it here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=118040221563289
If you want to volunteer for the effort, please contact: Elise Nulton at email@example.com or Deb Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Both Elise and Deb are listed in the Franklin phone book; they would welcome your support.
Financial donations in any amount to defray the cost of the campaign are also welcome. Checks made out to “Invest in Franklin” can be mailed to the group’s treasurer, Deb Bartlett, 2 Eldon Drive, Franklin, MA, 02038.
There are a number of forums and meetings taking place throughout the community in the coming weeks to help our friends and neighbors learn more about why this vote is so important. On Monday, May 24, 2010, there will be a town-wide forum at the Mercer Auditorium at Horace Mann Middle School beginning at 7 p.m. Town officials will be on hand to present the facts and answer your questions. I plan to attend and hope to see you there.
The outcome of this override has implications for all the essential services on which you and your family rely in Franklin.
Your town and schools cannot continue to do more with less and still meet your expectations. From a public school perspective, Franklin now spends below the state average in every single category of measurement.
Yet our students – your children and grandchildren – enjoy one of highest performing school systems and rewarding academic experiences in Massachusetts. Every day, our schools work efficiently and well to earn your trust and support, as do our woefully under-funded police, fire and public works departments.
I hope the informational resources provided above give you an ample opportunity to learn more about the override, so you can cast an informed ballot on June 8. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
This e-mail reflects my opinion alone and is provided as a constituent service. 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.
Ed Cafasso, Member
Franklin School Committee