Saturday, March 20, 2010

Franklin, MA: Planning Board

The Planning Board (Board), as established by MGL. Ch. 41 sec.70, is responsible for “…making plans for the development of the municipality, with special reference to proper housing of its inhabitants.” The Board is charged with administering the State’s Subdivision Control Law (MGL. 41 Ch.81K) and the local subdivision rules and regulations (Chapter 300). The Board makes recommendations to the Town Council on Zoning By-Law amendments and may at its own discretion adopt new subdivision regulations. The Board is also designated as the permitting authority for various site plan and special permit submittals under the local Zoning By-Laws (Ch. 185).

The Board works together with the Department of Planning and Community Development, the Department of Public Works, and Town Administration. In addition, the Board receives recommendations from the Design Review Committee on building design, elevation, and signage for commercial site plan permits and from the Conservation Commission on wetland related issues. Two notable projects permitted this year were for a Walgreens Pharmacy, currently under construction at the former location of the “Four Corners School” at the intersection of East Central, King and Cross Streets, and a new performance center/dining hall at the Dean College campus intended to improve and expand its dance and theatre curriculum. The Franklin Center Commons project continued to move forward this year. Construction was completed on the 15 Summer Street building in the fall of 2008. Plans for the demolition and new construction of the front building (12-36 East Central Street) are currently on hold. The town is working closely with the developer to help produce the best possible result for the final phase of this important project in the downtown.

The Board has, and will continue to focus on updating the existing zoning by-laws to more accurately define the needs and goals of the town. This year, the Board reviewed and made recommendations for amending the non-conforming buildings, structures, and uses by-law, which was subsequently approved by the Town Council in December 2008. The Board will also continue to help property owners make the desired changes and improvements to their properties while fostering responsible growth and development in the Town of Franklin.

The Planning Board typically meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00PM in the Town Hall. All Board meetings are open to the public, and are televised via Community Cable Access.

This year, the Planning Board saw a significant decrease in the number of applications presented.

Planning Board Activity
(July 2008 through June 2009)
Definitive Subdivisions and
Modifications- 1
Preliminary Subdivisions 0
81P Plans 5
Site Plans 5
Limited Site Plan Modifications 14
Special Permits 6

Planning Board Membership
The Planning Board consists of five members and one associate member. The associate member participates in all hearings but only votes on Special Permits if one of the members is unable to act. The Board members are elected and serve 4-year terms. Two seats will be up for election in November 2009.

Current Planning Board members:


Tony Padula, Chairman
Board member since November, 1999

Ron Calabrese, Vice Chairman
Board member since November, 2005

Joseph Gill, Clerk
Board member since January, 2008

Mark Denommee
Board member since November, 2007

Gregory Ballarino
Board member since November, 2007

Joseph Halligan
Associate Member since January, 2008

Please visit our website for additional information including application forms, and regularly posted agendas and meeting minutes at:
http://franklinma.virtualtownhall.net/Pages/FranklinMA_Bcomm/planning

Respectfully submitted,
Anthony Padula, Chairman

In the November 2009 Town election, Padula and Halligan were elected to the full member spots. John Carroll was also elected as an associate member. Effectively, Halligan moved from associate to full member to replace Joe Gill and Carroll replaced Halligan as the associate member.

From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.


This was originally posted on Franklin Matters on January 6, 2010. An understanding of the Planning Board process will be helpful in the next couple of weeks as the supermarket proposals get reviewed in that forum.


Franklin, MA

In the News - teens arrested

Michael J. Gabriel, 17, of 10 Concord St., was charged with possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute, possession of a Class C substance with intent to distribute, speeding, failing to stop for police, driving to endanger, a lights violation and a marked lanes violation, police said.

Franklin teen faces charges

from The Milford Daily News News RSS



Nicholas E. Barrows, 19, of 8 Jannie Drive, Easton, was charged with trespassing and carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds, police said.
According to a spokesman for the college, Barrows is not a student at the school and therefore, was trespassing when Dean College public safety found him around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Teen charged with having knives on Dean campus

from The Milford Daily News News RSS



Franklin, MA

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mailer on 2 new supermarkets coming to RT 140

Already mentioned here is the Planning Board meeting scheduled for Monday March 22, where the Big Y application for a special permit will be continued.

This flyer arrived via the mail today:


The link referenced for the Environmental Notification Form (ENF) filed with the State can be found here: http://www.env.state.ma.us/mepa/mepadocs/2010/031010em/opur/enf/14550.pdf

The MA Environmental Protection Agency home page can be found here:
http://www.env.state.ma.us/mepa/home.aspx


Franklin, MA

Charter revisions - lessons learned

We seem to be close enough to finding out what the final charter revisions will look like to reflect on what we can and should learn from this process to improve it for ext time. I won't get into the nature of the changes themselves but stick to the process as observed over the past couple of years.




1 - Situation: Not everyone knows of the two methods to change the charter.

One method is with a elected Charter Commission and one is with a citizens committee appointed by the Town Council. 

Both groups effectively do a study, solicit opinions, do some fact finding, and make a recommendation on what should be changed.
The prior charter changes were performed under the elected Charter Commission process. Hence, a number of folks remember this as "the way it was done last time."
The current charter revisions were made under the appointed citizens committee process and complicated by the Town Council using a subcommittee of members to fine tune the results. 

In both cases, the voters of Franklin have the final say.
Is either process better than the other? There are pros and cons to each.
The major similarities are a group does a study, makes some recommendations, and bottom line the voters still have to accept the changes by voting in a general election.

Lesson Learned: In the beginning, the Town Administrator/Town Council should make a clear explanation of the process chosen and why, and provide periodic reminders on what is being done and why. Or at least ensure that the committee (or committees) involved have a detailed communication plan as part of their objectives.
 

2 - Situation: Different level of understanding of what was done and being done in the committee and subcommittee work process.

Given the length of time taken by the first committee and lack of periodic updates back to the Town Council to ensure that all were kept abreast of what was going on. The folks coming recently to the issue were unaware of all that had gone before. There was a stack of documents, meeting notes, research, etc. produced or obtained by the Citizens committee. The final report of recommendations from the citizens committee could have done more to bring the level of effort to the table.

The second subcommittee also could have done better with their report. Given that the first had produced such output, they chose not to go that route and should have more clearly stated their rationale for doing so in their recommendation drafts.
Lesson Learned: The detailed communication plan (referenced above) should address this.


3 - Situation: The level of detail in the report needs to be understandable by the average citizen. 

For example, the technical changes need to be spelled out why they are "technical" so that the common folk can understand. Those heavily involved in the day to day operations already know, as this is what they are dealing with, while the rest of us have no clue. It does come down to determining whose line of argument we agree with. One where we can see and fully understand the logic or one where the money line sounds great but in reality means nothing. Emotions need to be kept of out business discussions. They only create problems by clouding or distracting from the issue at hand. 

Lesson Learned:  The detailed communication plan (referenced above) should address this in two ways; one by making periodic updates and two by addressing the level of detail in the final report itself.



4 - Situation: The Citizens Committee and the Council subcommittee addressed different items. 

The citizens committee did acknowledge that technical changes were needed to be made but left that work for someone else to do. The subcommittee did get into those details. The recommendations on the Town Clerk and Treasurer/Collector were heavily debated within the Citizens committee and also within the subcommittee. The subcommittee added the Board of Assessors, Board of Health and constables into the mix where the prior committee left them alone. There should have been a better explanation of what each did and why.
Lesson Learned:  The scope and objectives of the committee should be clear to the committee and to everyone else as to what they should be addressing and why. If there are changes to the scope, the change should be acknowledged in one of the periodic reviews and either approved as
an accepted change or not.



5 - Situation:
 The final report discussion ended up being this convoluted mess, with emotions and sides drawn, arguments made by tossing about sound bites without substance. It becomes really hard to make sense of the issue because of the claim that 'voters are being left out'. Wrong! As mentioned above, when all is said and done, whatever the recommendations turn out to be, the voters will get their say at the ballot box.

Lesson Learned: With a better starting point, a clear explanation of the process chosen and why, periodic updates on what is being done and why, scope changes reviewed and approved or denied before the final report, the final report should have a better reception enabling a fair and open discussion on its details. 



Franklin, MA

In the News - Garelick, Dean

According to a press release issued today by the DEP, a DEP investigation found Garelick operating its wastewater pretreatment system with improper staff coverage.

Additionally, the company discharged pollutants into the Charles River Pollution Control District, a wastewater treatment facility.

DEP fines Franklin's Garelick $15,000


from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

--------------

Q: When will it be finished?
A: Kelly: This fall. When they return (on Labor Day), we'll be feeding them in the dining room.



Work progresses on new Dean College building



Franklin, MA

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Town Council Mtg Smry 03/17/10

The collection of posts from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, March 17th can be found here:



Franklin, MA

"We're streamlining the process"


Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Taberner asked the town to remove its special permit requirement and add acres of land for bio-tech use.
"If we don't have that extra layer of red tape, we're much more able to attract companies," Taberner said.
The approved bylaws add 11 parcels - 87 acres - to the Forge Hill area and eliminate one from the Franklin State Forest.


Franklin eases red tape for biotech firms moving to town

by 


Franklin, MA

The internet of things

Maybe part of the social media craze is allowing humans to create an information flow of status data that will join the "internet of things" data and really provide a world of integrated data that can become the right information at the right time for someone!



What do you think?


Franklin, MA

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Live reporting - closing

K. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Maxine - 1st time homebuyers course being held at Muncipal Bldg, a free course

Nutting - we were issued a 20 year water permit which we have filed an appeal
issued a permit before the comment period was over
issued a permit before facts will be gathered later this year

Met on Storm Water regulations, 75 businesses would be affected by this, those with more than 2 acres of impervious acreage
Municipal permit also has quite high standards
downside is an increased cost to Town and businesses
They want us to keep cutting our ability to pump water. from 3.6 to 3.1 million gallons, we have capacity of 4 million gallons, we are way ahead of the curve so why punish us
There are different standard depending upon where the community is and where their water supply is from.



Earth Day - April 17th - at Beaver Pond

Project manager approved, architect in process of being acquired
Once we sign a feasibility agreement, we have 360 days to get an approval


L. OLD BUSINESS - none

M. NEW BUSINESS
Vallee- what do we have in our budget for road repairs?
Nutting - nothing specifically in our budget, we some state money, we could do a dedicated override for road repair, could only be used for that purpose unless changed by the voters take it away.


Nutting - an issue is you can only borrow money for road repair for 5 years. We don't want to fix all the roads all at once. We have a high school vote coming up and we don't know what the state reimbursement will be.


Capital subcommittee has made a request to develop such a budget.
Vallee - I can wait until after the budget to consider this




Whalen - can you give us an update on Local Aid?
Nutting - the Senate took a 1.1 million out of our expected local revenue over the Gov proposal of $330,000

N. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Powderly - thanks to Debbie, for coming today
Franklin Food Pantry has partnered  with Tangerini Farms, a way to purchase via Tangerini to provide to the Food Pantry

Zollo - thanks to Nutting for the help to the Scout troop
working on their
O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

P. ADJOURN

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - charter changes

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS –
1. Discussion of Proposed Charter Amendments
Nutting - 1978 changed to home rule charter
1 way via charter commission via elected members
2 way via home rule, council proposes changes, legislature changes, then town voters have final approval

Council has talked of this process for last several years
Charter committee made report in June
Council subcommittee made study of report and made recommendation including some technical recommendations

discussion on the process, Council has option to set up the questions as one whole package or several questions

Vallee thinks this should be done via the elected Charter Commission as done previously in 1978, he also feels that the positions should remain elected not appointed.

Kelly - agrees with the recommendation to have the Treasurer certified, Dacey made a valid argument last week for this. Kelly goes on to agree that the person when appointed should become a resident. He doesn't think that we would have the problem that Worcester has (in not being able to get a qualified person who also is willing to move to Worcester)

Powderly -

Zollo - I want to reiterate what I said last week, Planning Board, Board of Assessors, Constables, should remain elected positions. They are volunteer positions. I am concerned about the next generation of Town Clerk and Treasurer/Collector should be appointed to ensure that we get the best qualified folks for these roles. The positions are key to the ongoing operations of the town.

Pfeffer - Treasurer/Collector should be appointed, the other positions should be elected. Town Clerk needs to be a Franklin resident

Whalen - I support the Treasure/Collector and Town Clerk being appointed. I don't feel strongly about the other three positions. As the Town increases in size, the necessity of these positions (Treasurer/Clerk) would be all the more required to be the most qualified.

Mason - I have been thinking about this a lot, I agree with the irony that Shannon mentioned. The person coming after the Town Clerk and Treasurer will have mighty big shoes to fill. Certainly you would hope that the next appointed or elected official would have the same diligence. Change needs to be change for the better, I would support those positions as appointed.

Vallee - We have always had excellent Town Clerks. I do not know of a compelling argument to have these change to appointed.

Debbie Pellegri - In 1978, people were afraid of giving up their voice, their say. They were willing to do so because they were promised that nothing would be changed without the people voting.

An elected Town Clerk is important, 278 chapters and sections in the MA General Law. Not just the dog tags, impounded records. Executive minutes. As for elections, I work for the Secretary of the State. There are so many parts to my position that warrant being elected. You go to school, you have your peers to help you. Knowing that you were elected makes me feel good.

I would strongly recommend getting an elected Charter Commission. Nothing is so dire that it needs to be done now.

Vallee - objections to a number of the other minor technical items
Nutting -  answers the objections point by point in acknowledgment of the operations that have really been in practice for some time.
Vallee - still objects

Nutting - the only issue to be further clarified or voted on is the Clerks position, the others are relatively straightforward

Sherlock - depending  upon what the document is as drafted, the Council can choose to vote on the whole or in part, what is accepted by the Council goes to the State (House, Senate, Governor) and then it comes back to the voters. So no matter what is decided, the voters do still get their final say either at the election in November this year or in the next general election


Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Legislation

J. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION –
1. Resolution 10-10: Acceptance of Law Chapter 479 of the Acts of 2008
regarding acceptance of actual study for every 3 years, instead of every 2 (saving money)
no downside to acceptance, will need to start setting aside money to fund the liability

Whalen - this is not an issue unique to Franklin, every community is faced with this

motion to accept, passed 6-0

Added resolution 10-11 acceptance of donation from Pierce Murphy for Conservation Commission
Motion to accept, passed 6-0


2. Bylaw Amendment 10-642: Amendment to Chapter 181-6:Wetlands Protection; Notice and Hearings – 1st Reading
Nick Alferi - Conservation Agent
change language in bylaw, treats two avenues for change the same, the State Law make the applicability less ownersome and less costly, applicable to residents

motion to move to second reading - passed 6-0

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 10-639: Amendment to Chapter 185-5 Zoning map- 2nd reading
Bryan Taberner, Planning Director
previously discussed, adds 11 parcels to current map to come under the zoning for biotech operations
preparation overall for when the economy does turn around

motion to approve, passed 6-0


4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 10-640-: Amendment to Chapter 185-42: Biotechnology Uses- 2nd Reading
Brian - again this has been here before, this one removes the special permit required from the Town Council and should bring the town permitting process into alignment with the top communities


Kelly arrives
Advertising currently within real estate journals, will expand now that this is coming into effect into the trade journals to help attract
Has 16,000 in advertising budget will need to spend some on Planning/Conservation so about half would be available for biotech


motion to approve, passed 7-0


Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

Present: Kelly (late), Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, Zollo, Powderly
Absent:  Jones, McGann

Change to agenda - moving Legislation for Approval up sooner in the meeting

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - January 20, February 3, February 10, & March 3, 2010
motion to approve, passed 6-0

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS
If you had damage from the storm
contact the Fire Chief, he will need some details on type of damage, 
floor or basement, covered by insurance or not, 
the information is being collected for a state level report on the damaged caused by the storm

C. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS - none

D. CITIZEN COMMENTS - none

E. APPOINTMENTS - none

F. HEARINGS - none

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS - none



Franklin, MA

In the News: Regionalization, override

Nonprofit offers grants to towns to regionalize health boards

from The Milford Daily News News RSS




Override sought in Bellingham

from The Milford Daily News News RSS



Franklin, MA

DARE Summer Camps announced

The Franklin Police announce the DARE Summer Camps for 2010


Camp Information

Time: 8:00 am — 1:00 pm

Dress: Grey shorts, White T-shirt, and athletic sneakers
Please have your child bring a snack and water bottle each day

Monday: Drop off/pick up at the police station

Tuesday - Friday: Drop off/pick up Meadowlark Field

Friday - Graduation at 12:00 followed by a family cookout.

Each morning we will begin camp with stretching and exercise. We will be outside rain or shine so if it calls for rain you may want to send your child to camp with a change of clothes. Also please remember sun-block.

Camps fill quickly and limited space is available so we ask that you only sign your child up for a week where they will be able to attend every day.

Cost: $150

This donation will be used to fund the DARE camp and activities through out the year.
Make checks payable to: Franklin Police DARE


The release form for those attending can be found here:
http://franklinma.virtualtownhall.net/Pages/FranklinMA_Police/2010DARECAMP/2010DARECAMPRelease.pdf


Franklin, MA

"it's a wonderful community event"

The basketball game last year drew 1,200 people and raised $6,000 to fund field trips and cultural programs for students of the school.
"We're killing two birds with one stone," said Parent Communication Council Treasurer Erin Long. "Families get to go out for a great night, and we raise money for field trips."
Long, who is again organizing the event with former treasurer Karen Ayotte for the second year in a row, said the Harlem Wizards - a basketball show-team similar to the Globetrotters - will take on a group of students, teachers and community members at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School.
Sullivan Principal Beth Wittcoff said four students from each grade, five teachers, three alumni, Principal Paul Peri from Remington Middle School and School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy will comprise the Sullivan Rockets.

Franklin students to battle Harlem Wizards

from The Milford Daily News News RSS



Franklin, MA

Artbeat closing Franklin store

The following email was received announcing the closing of the Artbeat store downtown:


Dear Friends,

We are closing our Franklin store at the end of March. Sunday, March 28 will be our last day of operation.

When we opened our store and studio here nearly three years ago, we were proud to be part of an effort to revitalize Franklin's downtown, bringing you our signature products and services: creative gifts and art activities to take home to share with family and friends or to make in our studio.

Because of today's business climate, it is not possible for us to continue in this location.

We thank you for your support, for using ARTBEAT as a creative resource, for bringing your families here to celebrate birthdays and create family memories, and for allowing us to support your school, church, and scout groups through our donations. We will miss the many friends we've made here.

While we are leaving the Franklin downtown, we are not closing our business. We invite you to visit ARTBEAT in Arlington (www.artbeatonline.com).  Our online store at www.artbeatshop.com will continue to supply the special selection of activities we are known for, like Creative Adventures™ sand art and Decopatch™ supplies. Our online selection will be growing over the coming months, and you can order products from us by phone at any time.

Our ART PARTIES will still be available to families in Franklin and surrounding towns. We will bring the party to your home or to another venue that's convenient to you. Click here for more information.

Gift cards will continue to be honored at our Arlington store.

As our parting gift to you, we are offering select items at deep discounts, including interesting fixtures that you might find useful in your home or studio. Please visit us to do some final shopping and let us say farewell.

Our best wishes to you,

Jan and Andrai



Franklin, MA

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rock the 80's Party

There is a "Rock the 80's Party coming up this month.

 
80's PARTY/FUNDRAISER FOR THE AVON WALK FOR BREAST CANCER

Get out your leg warmers, lace bra, IZOD shirt, and don't forget your mullet & can of hairspray as you get ready for the PARTY OF THE SPRING!!

For a minimum donation of $15 (you can certainly donate more!) come dance, laugh, and have a great time while raising money for a great cause!

DJ, h'dourves, desert, cash bar, and lots of raffles & gift baskets!

When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 8:00pm

Where: Cole's Tavern, Washington St., Franklin MA

More info on Facebook here


Monday, March 15, 2010

FM #60 - Week Ending 3/14/10

This internet radio show or podcast is number 60 in the series for Franklin Matters.
We close it out the week ending March 14, here in Franklin, MA and review the School Committee meeting, the Charter Revisions meeting and the Planning Board starting the review process for the Big Y Supermarket coming to RT 140.

Time: 10 minutes, 27 seconds



MP3 File

Session Notes:


This internet radio show or podcast is number 60 in the series for Franklin Matters.

A notable week this is as we close it out here in Franklin, MA on Sunday, March 14th
The mathematicians celebrated Pi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi

Monday, March 15th is the Ides of March http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ides_of_March

Wednesday, March 17th is St Patrick's Day for the wearing of the green, let the Irish luck be with us all!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick's_Day

enough of the special days, in this session I’ll cover the

  • School Committee meeting March 9th 
  • Special Town Council Charter Revisions meeting on Wednesday, Mar 10. 
  • announcement about Big Y and the rumor about Price Chopper coming to town


Amongst the most note worthy events of the School Committee meeting on March 9th
the presentation of the budget, as previewed last week, it is not a level service budget as it adds back the late bus the full budget book can be found here
http://www.franklin.k12.ma.us/co/supt/budget/FY2011Budgetbook.pdf

The bullying task force was proposed and accepted to proceed. I had sent in some minor modifications to their wording and was busy with reporting so I did not pursue during the meeting. As the Task Force begins work, I hope to report on some of the meetings and will share that effort here. If you do want to get involved, please contact either Maureen Sabolinksi or Jeff Roy.

The third item slipped by me during the meeting. Tucked away in the listing of the action items was the Franklin Arts Academy. The action item had been removed from the agenda of the 2/23 meeting to be brought for further discussion at a future meeting.
http://view.liveindexer.com/ViewIndexSessionSL.aspx?indexPointSKU=w%2fkMd8zDPRPv8O4nCbU6og%3d%3d

Well it appeared here, came up for vote, was not discussed and passed unanimously.
http://view.liveindexer.com/ViewIndexSessionSL.aspx?indexPointSKU=MWYnjQjW1LRBYWUjvTPCPw%3d%3d

What occurred during the time between the meetings for the item to have moved from a discussion for future to no discussion? Anyone with insights on that? I haven't a clue.

Let's move along to the Special Town meeting to review the Charter Revisions.

For something as important as the Charter revisions, I was disappointed with the lack of notification for the meeting. As mentioned last time, it wasn't mentioned during the prior TC meeting when there was plenty of opportunity for a short meeting to do so. Nothing was posted to the Town website until Monday when after some prompting, the changes were posted.

http://view.liveindexer.com/ViewIndexSessionSL.aspx?ecm=634042645862047645&indexSessionSKU=m3Pu2/LKnH5Ic7kDprt0hw%3D%3D&siteSKU=L7qhQ46xin/r3Z0jcDVCNw%3D%3D


The discussion during the meeting was enlightening as usual. Some councilors spoke carefully and thoughtfully about the issues, some were content to create soundbites with no sustenance. We'll get a chance to review the changes again at this week's Town Council meeting as the listing of changes is up for discussion. The Council should come to some consensus on which way to proceed on which items so the document can be drafted for approval and vote.

The process seems to be the following:

  • Council determines changes to be pursued 
  • Document drafted for review and approval by Council
  • Approved document submitted to State Legislature for approval
  • Assuming the Legislature approves, the document returns to the Franklin voters to decide at a future election (i.e. Nov 2010)


As this document defines our way of governing ourselves, I would approve of the following.

Moving the following elected official positions to appointments
Town Clerk, Treasurer/Collector
Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Constables

This would ensure the City of Franklin (while continuing to choose to call itself a Town) would at least be better prepared to handle the future. The future being a state of affairs where it is much more critical to operate as a business with the appropriately qualified people in the proper roles.

  • The Town Council (elected by the voters) would have an oversight on all appointments. 
  • The Town Administrator should be provided guidelines for determining the qualifications.
  • The job requirements for each position would be spelled out with appropriate success measures and periodic performance reviews.


The Planning Board heard the proposal for a new supermarket, The Big Y to come in to the Chinese Buffet restaurant location across from the Municipal Bldg. You can view the full session (approx 1 hour) via the video archive at this link
http://view.liveindexer.com/ViewIndexSessionSL.aspx?indexPointSKU=55FJjJb0jPfz1ZmnwcdVbw%3d%3d

It was interesting to hear as the meeting goes into a recess, someone says “I heard Price Chopper and Middlesex Bank”

March 22, the hearing and process will continue at the Planning Board meeting that night. There are also Design Review meetings and Conservation Commission meetings on aspects of the proposal.

Stay tuned to the developments along RT 140.

In summary, this week, we talked about the School Committee meeting nd the FY 2011 budget, Charter revisions and the Planning Board review underway on the Big Y supermarket

Looking ahead, this week the Charter revisions continue at the Town Council meeting on Weds

For the full schedule of Franklin Meetings, check out the town website
http://franklinma.virtualtownhall.net/Pages/FranklinMA_MeetingsCal/?formid=158


As I close this session this week, let me remind you that

  • If you like what I am doing here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don’t like something, please tell me

Thank you for listening!

------------


For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
I hope you enjoy!


Town Council - Agenda - 3/17/10

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - January 20, February 3, February 10, & March 3, 2010

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS

C. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

D. CITIZEN COMMENTS

E. APPOINTMENTS

F. HEARINGS

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS –
1. Discussion of Proposed Charter Amendments

I. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

J. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION –
1. Resolution 10-10: Acceptance of Law Chapter 479 of the Acts of 2008
2. Bylaw Amendment 10-642: Amendment to Chapter 181-6:Wetlands Protection; Notice and Hearings – 1st Reading
3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 10-639: Amendment to Chapter 185-5 Zoning map- 2nd reading
4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 10-640-: Amendment to Chapter 185-42: Biotechnology Uses- 2nd Reading

K. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

L. OLD BUSINESS

M. NEW BUSINESS

N. COUNCIL COMMENTS

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

P. ADJOURN



Franklin, MA

"defense system attacks myelin"


The Franklin resident works as a full-time pharmaceutical quality control specialist. She is earning her MBA degree online. She is pregnant with her first child, a girl. And, she has multiple sclerosis, or MS.
"There are a lot of misconceptions out there," the 32-year-old said recently. "I guarantee you everyone knows someone who has it, they just don't know."
Residents like Hoar and area doctors dealing with MS point to acquaintances, colleagues and, as of last week, a discount furniture maven with children.
"To know you can still do everything you want and have everything you want is good to hear," Hoar said, referring to the move by Phyl Rubin of Bernie and Phyl's Furniture fame to disclose her MS though a public service announcement after nearly 40 years.


Living with the uncertainty of multiple sclerosis





Franklin, MA

Sunday, March 14, 2010

State Senate: Special Election for Franklin Precincts 2 - 3 - 4

Franklin voters in precincts 2, 3 and 4 will have an opportunity to vote for Sen Scott Brown's replacement on April 13th.

There are two Democrats in a primary on the 13th and the winner will face the Republican candidate in the election on May 11th.

Read about the candidates themselves in the Boston Sunday Globe West edition here



Franklin, MA

"the whole school rallies around the teams"


Aside from Franklin's wrestling team, which included New England champion Dan Telhada and is coached by Carmine Colace, the Panthers got standout seasons from both their boys and girls hockey and boys and girls basketball squads. The track and swimming squads put their best feet forward as well.
Coach Dean O'Connor's boys hoops squad reached the Division 1 South quarterfinals, finishing 18-6 after winning a tournament game. John Leighton's girls basketball team was 16-7, and like the boys went 1-1 in the tourney.
On the ice, Chris Spillane led the boys hockey team to a 16-3-3 mark and the Division 1 South semifinals. Margie Burke's girls hockey team was 13-8 after a preliminary-round loss to Medway-Ashland in the Division 1 tournament.
What is the common thread between the teams, aside from winning records and "FRANKLIN" on the chest? The fact that the coaches come back each year and have built the programs and, as far as one can tell, will continue to.



High School Notebook: Franklin heats up in winter

from Wicked Local Franklin News RSS 



Franklin, MA

Pulaski Blvd - Seek Alternate Route

For those traveling down King St, if you think you have successfully negotiated the construction around the i495 interchange, beginning March 29th, you'll need to consider an alternate route if you want to get to Bellingham, Woonsocket and other points south.



King St turns into Washington St at Cole's Tavern and becomes Pulaski Blvd as you cross the town line into Bellingham. Bellingham received a sizable amount of stimulus money to do the reconstruction of the road down into the intersection of RT 126.

I'll consider bailing out on either Forest St or Spring St to the back roads.

What will you do? Share your short cut here







Franklin, MA

"It is very difficult to think straight about well being"

The difference between our experience and our memory is fascinating. The colonoscopy patient example is a wonderful story. Not so much about the colonoscopy itself but for what the ending is and how it determines the memory. A story is a combination of changes, significant moments and endings. The ending determines the remembering self not the experience self.

Daniel Kahneman shares his insights on this in this TED Talk.

"Below an income of $60,000 per year, American people are unhappy."




Now moving from happiness to optical illusions. If the visible error can be seen, how can we deal with those other logic errors that don't appear so visible?

Dan Ariely asks "Are we in control of our decisions?"



Why explore these studies on irrational behavior, experience and memory? We are in the budget season. There are a number of discussions underway around priorities. We also have a significant discussion underway on the Town Charter. The charter changes should be done with a good deal of thought for the future. Those who seem to be stuck with people in roles, or people making proposals, are falling into the traps outlined in these talks. Their thoughts are being colored, even coerced in ways that if they were to reconsider, there might be a different result.

Will taking the time to think about this change the way we do things?

There is always hope.


Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the two videos here.


Franklin, MA

Safe Schools Package = unfunded mandates


Senator Spilka Votes in Favor of Safe Schools Package

BOSTON - 03/11/10 - Senator Spilka voted on Thursday to advance a pair of bills aimed at promoting a safe, healthy and productive learning environment for all students through banning bullying and updating nutritional standards in schools.

Senate anti-bullying legislation prohibits physical, verbal and written acts that threaten or cause harm to another student, including Internet "cyber-bullying," while a separate school nutrition bill establishes new standards for fresh food options in school cafeterias and vending machines.

"Both of these bills will help create a secure, healthy and beneficial school environment," stated Senator Karen Spilka.  "Kids need to know that the adults in their lives will back them up when they participate in positive behaviors, like healthy eating, and won't tolerate deplorable behaviors, like bullying.  These bills go a long way towards setting new and important standards for a productive learning setting.

"These two bills working together will make a dramatic difference in our school environment," Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. "We all know there's a strong connection between health and safety and learning. By striking out fear and improving nutrition, we're going to provide students with a more valuable and rewarding educational experience."

The anti-bullying bill requires all school districts, charter schools and non-public schools to develop prevention and intervention plans by December 31, 2010 that include procedures for investigating bullying incidents, notifying parents and determining appropriate disciplinary actions.

"The anti-bullying legislation passed today provides a framework for schools to adequately address the damaging impacts of bullying in all its forms," said Senator Robert O'Leary (D-Barnstable), Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Education. "Equipping teachers, students and parents with more information and education on bullying and outlined steps on how to handle it provides a community solution to a community problem."

Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) said: "This is comprehensive, prevention-oriented legislation that will work to end the persistent cycle of bullying we've seen in the Commonwealth's schools for years,
leading to tragedies like those in South Hadley, Springfield and too many other communities. Every student deserves to feel safe in their own schools, and this bill is a strong step in that direction."

The bill requires school principals to notify local law enforcement of bullying incidents if there is reason to believe criminal charges may be pursued. It also allows Individualized Education Programs for children with special needs to include provisions that will help them handle and respond to incidents of bullying. The bullying ban extends to all school facilities, school-sponsored functions, school buses and bus stops.

The Senate also passed a bill establishing new nutritional standards in schools to address the problem of childhood obesity in the Commonwealth. Food and beverages in school cafeterias, vending machines and other locations in public schools separate from federal meal programs must be
in compliance.

"The fact that the current generation of children may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents is simply unacceptable," said Senator Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), lead sponsor of the bill. "Families demand and deserve that their children be offered food that is healthy, wholesome and safe. The School Nutrition Bill makes certain that parents have the final word on what children eat at school and makes it a requirement that schools maintain healthy standards in the cafeterias."

The standards, to be implemented by the 2012-13 school year, will be developed by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and include requirements for the availability of free drinking water, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nutritional information for non-packaged foods. The use of deep fryers is banned.

The regulations do not apply to bake sales, concession stands and other school-sponsored events.

The nutrition bill also requires issues of nutrition and exercise to be included in the educational curriculum, and it establishes a commission to make recommendations related the management of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and eating disorders.

"I applaud the Senate for taking an important step in combating what has become a childhood obesity epidemic in the Commonwealth, and across our nation," said Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge), Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. "By limiting the availability
of unhealthy foods and promoting the infusion of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, we're not only curbing bad habits among our children, but improving the general, healthy outlook of wellness in
Massachusetts."

As a way to further promote wholesome food options and locally grown products, the bill encourages statewide adoption of the successful "Farm-to-School" program, which creates contracts between local farms and public schools to provide fresh fruits, vegetables and ingredients.

The bill also adds state colleges and universities to the requirement that state agencies or authorities give preferential treatment to local farms when purchasing agricultural products.

Finally, capitalizing on the fresh food trend, the bill requires the study of Boston's "Chefs in Schools" program, which teaches schools to create healthy, cost-effective meals that kids like to eat, to see how it could be effectively implemented in other school districts.

The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives for further action.

I would prefer to see more of a focus on how to cook and prepare good meals. Jamie Oliver's talk and the actions he proposed I think would be a better longer term solution than "unfunded mandates."

Why?
The State is addressing a major issue (societal obesity) via a mechanism it can control (school lunches) that doesn't get to the heart of the matter (the family dinner table).

In the News - regionalization


The proposal would also look at the merits of a regional dispatch or communications center.
Such a system would not only save money, but use manpower more efficiently, Thompson said.
"For the police side, it's an opportunity to reduce liability, particularly for holding prisoners," he said.
In a regional lockup, deputies would pick up prisoners from all the police departments, bring them to the facility, feed them, and then drive them to court the following day, or the next time the court is open.
The communications center would also be for all the police and fire departments, with trained emergency dispatchers working the phones.


Public safety officials say regionalization worth considering

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 



Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Trash Collection

The collection of posts on the new curbside trash and recycle process that will begin July 1, 2010

Trash/Recycle survey results one month after the service started

Trash/recycle tips for good service

Trash/recycle recycling

Trash/Recycle video of process in action

Trash/Recycle cart placement

Trash/Recycle what goes, what doesn't

Trash/Recycle bin ownership

Trash/Recycle Frequently Asked Questions

Trash/Recycle bins start July 1

The Trash Announcement Flyer and FAQ documents

Trash pickup in action (video)

Survey says: new trash/recycle process - not a goo... 

Trash Research - What the other communities do

Solid Waste Pros/Cons - Updated

Solid waste - pros/cons

The Town Council authorizes the new curbside rate and the finance of the new totters

Live reporting - Legislation

The initial presentation to the Town Council Jan 20th


Live reporting - Solid Waste

Live reporting - Solid Waste Q&A

New trash recycle containers 







Franklin, MA