Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Now what?

Good question.

The numbers are in, the majority has ruled and as a result town services will continue to deteriorate.

For those that voted "No', this appears to be just fine for them. Calling for an emergency may get you an answering machine. One less ambulance will be available for that life critical support. Children in school will get challenged by higher class sizes and less teacher attention to prepare for the MCAS tests that will make or break their future.

For those that voted "Yes", the same results will apply equally.

40% turnout is the issue for me. With over 19,000 voters, only 7,966 bothered to vote (297 by absentee ballot).

Where were the other 11,000?

These are the folks for whom the issues (town services) apparently don't matter.

What's in it for me? is the major question most folks ask. From the comments on the Milford Daily News, there is an angry anti-tax group. That is no surprise given the override history in Franklin. The "Invest in Franklin" message did gain some traction in that there was an increase in overall votes from 2008 and mostly amongst the "Yes" crowd, but it wasn't enough.

The 11,000 must go about their life without any significant town services. They may not have children in schools (otherwise they should care). The conditions of the roads they travel on don't matter to them. They may see the quarterly tax bill (or maybe their mortgage company pays it for them) and it doesn't matter much. They get their trash picked up on the curbside weekly and that may be about the only town service they directly get on a regular basis. (Which is paid for from the solid waste/'trash' enterprise account and not the operational budget.)

How do I reach out to the 11,000? That is my challenge.

How do I get to their attention?
How do I let them know that trend of deteriorating services in Franklin should matter?

Maybe that is the answer.

Maybe the real and continued deterioration of services will eventually strike them enough so that they'll get informed to take action and vote.

Franklin, MA

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