Saturday, April 10, 2010

Franklin raises a garden

Several groups in the community will be coordinating their efforts to build 11 raised gardens on 6 locations as part of the Earth Day activities, April 17th.

The Franklin Community Garden project began as a cooperative effort between the Franklin Hockomock Bernon YMCA, New England Chapel, and Franklin Foods Pantry. These groups share a common interest in the long term goal of developing a community garden in Franklin.

The purpose of community gardening is to develop a sustainable culture of food growth, to provide education for both children and adults, and to provide less advantaged community members access to fresh, healthy produce. Our first step to reaching the long term goal of a community garden is to accomplish the short term goal of developing 15 raised garden beds throughout Franklin. These community garden beds will develop relationships between community members and develop the infrastructure for a broader community garden.    We will be engaging community partners such as schools, faith organizations, other non-profit organizations and other committed community members to participate in the project.

This Community Garden project is partly funded by the Hockomock YMCA and $60,000 grant received by MetroWest Community Healthcare Foundation.

The project is also grateful for the following contributions:

  • Lumber and building supplies are being provided and subsidized by Koopman Lumber Co.
  • Compost and soil is being donated and delivered to the garden sites by Steve Nedoroscik from McIntyre Materials
  • Laura Tangerini of Tangerini's Farm in Millis is donating seedlings and transplants in addition to help/advice as needed

The planning committee met at Cafe Dolce this past week:

  • Deb Schwab, Ben Franklin Charter School
  • Lauren Marciszyn, YMCA                 
  • Ken Norman, Franklin Senior Center
  • Robin McLaughlin, United Way
  • Nicole Harter, Franklin resident & key contributor
  • Jodi Koeman, New England Chapel
  • Leann Danielson, YMCA
  • Amy Cornwell, New England Chapel &  Cornerstone Christian Academy
  • Sandy Bryant, Franklin resident & key contributor 

What will happen with the produce from the gardens?
Food/harvest obtained from the raised beds should be used at the sites for foods/meals and a portion of the food grown/produced will be donated to those Franklin community members with limited access to fresh produce via the Franklin Food Pantry. 
What will be planted?
Currently planning to have a gardener to work with each site to determine the crops to be planted, a planting schedule, regular maintenance plans, and harvest.  The hope would be that the gardeners would work with the sites to help meet their needs, but also to communicate with other site gardeners to share ideas and knowledge.
When will the raised beds be constructed?
The plan is to coordinate this with Earth Day on April 17th. Each bed location will be a building site. The building materials to be delivered to each site a couple of days prior.  
Where will be the raised beds be located?

Currently there are 11 beds planned at six sites in Franklin

  • Hockomock YMCA
  • Cornerstone Christian Academy/New England Chapel
  • Ben Franklin Charter School
  • Franklin Food Pantry
  • Senior Center
  • Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC)

What can I do to help?
If you are part of one of the sites where a bed will be located, there should be a contact person with information. Otherwise show up at the ECDC Senior Center for 9:00 AM. The ECDC Senior Center will serve as the "training" site for all groups. After the first raised bed is constructed, folks can return to each of their sites to construct their own.
Note: This information did change on 4/14/10. The original "training" site was going to be the ECDC, it is now going to be next door at the Senior Center.  

Note: The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is one of the schools that are part of the Oak St /Horace Mann Complex.

Note: This post was compiled based upon text provided by Lauren Marciszyn and Amy Cornwell i addition to my own notes from the meeting. Thanks for your input Lauren and Amy! And yes, I took the photo!

In the News - walk for multiple sclerosis

Almost two years after her diagnosis, the Franklin woman will walk for MS on Sunday to raise money for what she describes as a curable disease.
"I think there is a cure in my future, in my lifetime," Dwyer said. "The more money there is for research, the more we can figure out what causes this - and cure it."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Jodi Dwyer's fund raising page for the MS Walk on Sunday can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Curbside Yard Waste Collection

Franklin’s Curbside Yard Waste Collection will be held on Saturday April 17thMay 1st and May 15th

Be sure to have all material in paper bags, trash barrels or cardboard boxes.  

Brush must be bundled and shall not be more than 4 feet in length and 6–inches in diameter.  


Franklin, MA

HMEA 5K Race/Walk - May 23rd

What happens on May 23rd?

Who is HMEA?

Why you should help?

These questions and more can be answered in this brief video.

If you'd like to register to run or walk, you can go to
If you'd like to contribute as part of my fund raising page, there is a widget on this page or here:

I hope to see you on May 23rd!

Friday, April 9, 2010

In the News - Clara Lodi

Even at 84, the Franklin resident helped out wherever she was needed - right up until her one-year battle with cancer ended Tuesday.
"She just would always do what needed to be done ... whatever she got involved in, she did to her fullest," said Lodi's oldest son, Ruston of Newton.

Read the full article about Clara Lodi in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin, MA

In the News - Override

The Milford Daily News does some funky things with their RSS Feed. Case in point this week, the article on the Town Council meeting Wednesday did not appear in their MDN feed but did appear in the weekly Franklin Gazette feed.

You can find the full text of the article here.

There isn't anything new in the article itself that wasn't already reported here. Of great interest is the list of comments from our fellow Franklin residents. Have fun reading them!

The one reason why there should be an override is for the voters to have their say. Do the majority of commenters represent the majority of voters? We'll see come election day.

Franklin, MA

"Our primary concern is not making candy"

The existing 55-year-old factory had been added to over the years, but its size makes for tight working quarters and its infrastructure is barely passing its health inspections.
"It's passing code, but it's not going to do that forever," Sister Mariann Garrity said.
Garrity said one reason for construction is the walls, which have a bumpy surface and cannot be washed - creating a sanitary issue.
"The most important reason we are building a larger candy factory is that we'd like to expand our production," she said. "The building now is too tight space-wise to be able to do that."

Read more about the Sisters candy operation and fund raising effort for their new building here

Franklin, MA

What does the health care bill have for MA?

I like the presentation. Input your state and the data from the state then fills out the script to make it your (state) story.

They don't provide the code to embed it here but you can follow this link to view it.

Don't get too distracted by it and forget to come back here though!

Franklin, MA

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Town Council Mtg Smry 04/07/10

The collection of posts reported live from the Town Council meeting on Weds April 7th can be found here

Franklin, MA

2nd Fund Raising Event for Abbey Candy House


Come join with us in Sports


PATRIOTS Offensive Tackle
(Six Division Championships, Four Conference Titles,
Three Super Bowl Championships)

Come join with us in Song

– former American Idol finalist from season 5:
(Boston College Eagles Basketball)

Children Free - Cash/Checks only

Where: Lake Pearl Luciano’s
When: April 11, 2010
2:00 to 4:00 P.M.
Creek St., Wrentham, Ma.

Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey – 300 Arnold St. – Wrentham, Ma. 02093
Phone: 508 528 1282 Web

In the News - Graci, Downtown Partnership, NECPA

Kristin Graci remembered as vivacious friend, softball player

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Downtown Partnership holding membership drive

Franklin, MA

Parmenter 5K Race/Walk - May 16th

The Parmenter Elementary School will be the start and finish for their 2nd Annual 5K Race/Walk on Sunday, May 16th.

You can visit the event website for detailed information here

You can also register at here

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Live reporting - Adminstrator, closing

Online payments, coming next week
note the passing of Clara Lodi


Kelly -Can we get a briefing on the sewer system for the new councilors?

Powderly - precincts 2, 3, 4 special election on Apr 13th
Franklin Food Pantry running low on donations at this time
Based upon the budget discussion, try to get information, read the long range financial report
the more informed, the better we will be

Zollo - I would hope that the parties would be able to reach an agreement
it seems to be in the Town's interest to resolve this
on the budget issue, I supported the capital plan
you can suffer disproportionate consequences
for the same reasons that I supported the capital plan, I will look to support the human capital

Pfeffer - it is a great thing to visit the Senior Center, it is not limited to Tina, Scott and I

Jones - I'd like to apologize for my absence, I was in Haiti.

Whalen - the long range committee is projecting a deficit of about 6 million for FY 12 and we are also looking at a debt exclusion for the high school renovation

Mason - my condolences to the Lodi family
congratulations to Jones for returning safely

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required
motion to go into executive session, not to return, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - legislation



1. Resolution 10-12: Request for Special Legislation, RE: Amendment of Town of Franklin Home Rule Charter
motion to approve, passed 6-2 (Jones, Zollo voted no)
effectively two questions would come back to Franklin voters for approval in a future (Nov 2010?) election; one, to approve the technical changes; two, to approve the Treasure/Collector as appointed rather than elected.

Paul Cheli - I thought there would be a part for this to include the Clerk as well, did I miss a meeting?
Nutting - there wasn't a consensus

2. Resolution 10-13: Appropriation: FY 10 Capital Plan
motion to approve, passed 8-0
Pfeffer - the Capital subcommittee had qualms about spending money under the circumstances but if you don't take care of things now, it gets worse later. There are monies identified for this to help the roads. The Cable Commission has also contributed money to convert to a fiber network which will save the Town 50,000 annually.
Kelly - we worked hard to do the needs rather than the wants.
Whalen - I think we need to continue to do these routine maintenance, it gets worse if we don't. The amount of what is funded is about 10-15% of what is actually requested.
Nutting - from cable we receive money as part of their licenses from both Comcast and Verizon, it is a joint use of fiber and provides us a payback of about 50,000 per year. A win-win for the cable folks and for the town as well.
Whalen - what is the employee benefits encumbered account?
Nutting - it was money set aside for a bargaining agreement that has not come to fruition and not likely to in the near future.

Jones - as a member of the subcommittee, I agree with Judy and Matt. We need to take care of these now rather than pay more later.
Mason - this isn't anybody's Christmas list, these are real needs. The total of what they really need, it is far more. Not counting the Davis Thayer school we have 3 million dollars of need. We need to keep doing this.

3. Resolution 10-14: Appropriation: Capital FY 10 – Fire Truck
motion to approve, passed 8-0
Nutting: We have a replacement plan for police and fire vehicles, we don't have one for a fire truck so this gets us started on one.
Mason: If we don't buy a truck for the DPW, we don't get a road paved, if we don't buy a fire truck maybe we don't get a life saved. I'd like to see a presentation on the cost of a new truck.
Nutting: there is a lease purchase option, we looked at it for the Tower and can look at it again.

Chief McCarragher - we have two vehicles, one at 10 years and one at 20 years, we are trying to make the best of a bad situation
4. Resolution 10-15: Appropriation: Parmenter School Solar Panels
motion to approve: passed 8-0
Nutting - applied for and received grant for 100,000 with a ten percent match, this is the 10,000. Yes, there is an energy savings but that is a Mike D'Angelo question, I don't know the answer.
Jones - I think this is a great program, this is an exciting thing for the town

5. Resolution 10-16: Appropriation: Triennial Property Revaluation
Kevin Doyle, Assessor
motion to approve, passed 8-0
Board of Assessors have requested outside help for re-valuations this year for Commercial/Industrial
There are still monies in Fiscal 2008, 2009, to be further evaluated
Pfeffer - how much is left in 2008?
Doyle - About 100,000
Pfeffer - how much is left in 2009?
Doyle - about the same amount
Nutting - any amount released would go into the general overlay surplus and subject to Council approval

6. Resolution 10-17: Appropriation: Personal Property Revaluation
Kevin Doyle, Assessor
motion to approve, passed 8-0
We do this on a regular basis, we usually gain more in revenue than we expend in this manner
7. Bylaw Amendment 10-642: Amendment to Chapter 181-6:Wetlands Protection; Notice and Hearings – 2nd Reading
Moved to waive reading, passed 8-0
motion to approve, (requires roll call vote) passed 8-0
suggested changes to make things simplier
8. Bylaw Amendment 10-644: Amendment to the Code, Sewer Map Extension- 1st Reading
Mason, McGann - recuse themselves

Paul Cheli, John Collela
Don Neilsen

This bylaw is a very difficult bylaw, it is well crafted, one size does not fit all.
The Board of Health has condemned the property, Mr Dacey has it in tax title
Mr Collela is proposing to demolish the building and put in two single family homes, in a nice neighborhood

148 Washington St - located within 200 Ft of i495 overpass, looking to take one lot and subdivide it to two lots

The sewer extension begins towards Union St, requires two man holes would come up the side of the street, would not be near other utilities. 258 feet of sewer pipe

Bill Yadisernia

I did approve other extension because the sewer capacity was available for it
I don't have approval for this area. This could not be put in a worse area.
We have capacity problems with the Beaver St intercept. This is a 100 year old system. A new sewer system would be 10-15 million dollars
We have computer model simulations that show this system area will backup. Statistically in a 17 year event, sewer backing up into someones house is a health hazard.
I think what we are talking about here, when we have high ground water and rainfall, you don't want to put anymore water in it. The glass is already full. You run the risk of causing backups. 440 gallons a day.
We have spent a lot of money to reduce inflows, we have to limit residential development especially that is not needed.
I think they can still develop these lots and do onsite septic systems. If they can demonstrate otherwise, I'll consider it. I don't see a hardship here.

Pfeffer - Did Penny Lane meet the requirements?
Yadisernia - Penny Lane did meet the requirements by adding additional remediation to their property and paying additional I&I fees.

Zollo - Are we claiming hardship here?
Cheli - yes, there is a hardship, try buying a brand new house with a raised septic system in the backyard. Yes, we spend too much time testing and repairing. Mr Collela knows what he is doing, he knows this market. The septic system will fail it is a question of when.

Zollo - why is this the worst area of town to put this in?
Yadisernia - this area has a very steep sloop. It is discharging right into the bad area. The sewer system is really flat and doesn't flow well.

Zollo - I am sensitive to the issue of the raised septic. It is not insignificant. Are there any other things that can be done to make it more acceptable?
Yadisernia - I&I would be an alternative but effectively you don't get one here. The cost to the Town would be how to take the flow out.

Nutting - traditionally, those items are worked out in advance with the developer. The Town and DPW is opposed to the Board of Health position on septic systems.

Mark Cerel - clarifications on the bylaw, effectively this does not meet the hardship requirement, it would only be for a single house, not this set.

Yadisernia - I don't recommend any extension in this case, the glass is full.

Powderly - Are there mitigations that can be done?
Yadisernia - We have been working on this as a high priority, we have problems because we have put things into this system that we shouldn't have. We are far ahead of any other town in this area. That is the I&I that I would be looking for, it is not extortion.

Whalen - I couldn't be more in disagreement that there is extortion here.
Cheli - I spoke out of turn, I withdraw that comment.

motion to move to second reading, passed 6-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - budget update

1. Legislative Update by Representative James E. Vallee & State Senator Karen Spilka - unable to participate tonight

2. FY 2011 Budget Discussion

Jeff Nutting updates that
  • Property tax will normally allow an increase of 1.8 million
  • State Aid is currently expected to decline 1.2 million
  • Therefore, net revenue would increase 600,000

Tri-County assessment is expected to increase about 550,000 due to an increase in Franklin student enrollment

Some numbers are still being developed before presenting to the Council not a level service budget but a level funded budget.

Over the years the Town and Schools have already cut their expense budgets, further cuts would come from personnel, the Town likely would loose 5-10 positions.

Whalen - what would be the level service budget deficit?
Nutting - about 3 million, the real request was in the neighborhood of 4 million, the schools have almost another 1 million of stimulus funds to offset this for one year.

Whalen - if we want a level services budget, we would have to cut 3 million to get to the balanced budget

Zollo - how many years have we cut?
Nutting - from 305 to 255 positions from 2001 to 2011, about 50 positions

Zollo - how many on the school side?
Sabolinski - we have been cutting since 2001, in excess of 100 positions
Mason - what has been the student growth in the same period?

Sabolinski - we are over 6100 students now
Nutting - we are paying for the rapid growth in the 90's, the overall population has grown but the school population has grown more
FY 11 may be tough, but FY 12 may be even tougher as the stimulus funds dry up. We are not unique, we will do the best we can with the funds available.

Powderly - The projections do not look at any rosier for the future. There are pieces of our budget that grow beyond our control.

Nutting -comparative numbers for Police, doing double the work with less folks. With folks retiring or leaving, we have not filled positions anticipating the budget problem.

Mason - I am very concerned of the trend. At least for every year, I have been on the Council your projections have been on the money. I am asking that we place an override discussion on the agenda for Apr 28th. I think we should have a decision on an amount to be determined.

3 minute recess

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Community Health Council


3. Presentation by The Community Health Council
Michelle Kingsland-Smith
Bart Pinchuck
Lisa Keohane

Council formed in 2008 to address the Metrowest Community Health Survey results
Still looking for additional members and funding to become a sustaining organization
All activities posted on the Schools website

All activities speak to healthy choices for the children in the community

Carolyn Bomiller, MIAA
W.A.S.T.E.D program returns Tuesday April 27th at Franklin High School

Lisa Keohane, volunteer coordinator for Teenangels

Allie, Katie, Abbie, Kate, Sammy, Justin

created 4 public service announcements for broadcast through the schools

starting to get around to the middle schools and elementary schools

a presentation next week to incoming parents and students for the Annie Sullivan Middle School.

campaign to speak up and tell

prior posts on teenangels

Bart - YMCA healthy futures initiatives
One in three are expected to develop Type II Diabetes
started work with UMass Boston in 2005, pilot program
10 week program to develop better eating habits, working with the student and family
developed the healthy futures to address their 15 service communities
have hired a registered dietitian to help
enlisting help across the community, parents, businesses, etc.

community wide assessment, survey of lunches
Metrowest Community Health Foundation is funding their continued efforts in this
raised garden beds are coming to the community

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - license transaction

F. HEARINGS - none

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS – New Officer & Director Change for Longhorn Steakhouse
all paperwork is in order, motion to approve, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council - Apr 7, 2010

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

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – March 10, Special Meeting & March 17, 2010, Regular & Executive Session
With one modification on S Whalen as member of but not chair of subcommittee on Charter


next Council breakfast at Senior Ctr - June 10




Long Range Financial Planning Committee - Brendan Morrison  motion to approve, passed 8-0
Cultural Council - Helen Reebenacker  motion to approve, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

HMEA Recycling Center - ribbon cutting

HMEA opened their Recycling Center in Plainville, MA today. The United Regional Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony to help celebrate the special event.


Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the video link

Franklin, MA

Curbside Pickup Demonstration Scheduled April 17 - 9:00 AM - Noon

A new Automated Waste Management truck will be on site and doing demonstrations at the Beaver St. Field for Earth Day, April 17th from 9-12.  DPW and Waste Management personnel can explain the program and show residents how to use the new carts.  See what others are talking about.

Please attend the event to learn about the program and get your questions answered.

You can subscribe to receive the "Recycle News" directly to your email

Prior information on the new curbside pickup system beginning July 1: (video)

Franklin, MA

In the News - Laura Dombroski, Big Y

Boston Marathon runner of the day: Laura Dombroski

from The Milford Daily News News RSS


Neighbors not happy as Big Y gets favorable recommendation

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Franklin, MA

Hold the date for the Charles River Watershed Cleanup!

Are you looking to make a real difference in your community? If so, join a group or form your own to clean up trash throughout the Charles River Upper Watershed. You will be helping us improve the appearance and health of the waterways in our region.
If you live in the Upper Watershed please consider volunteering a few hours of your time to help us protect this unique and valuable natural resource. The large majority of our the cleanup sites are land-based, but we have a few on-water sites for experienced paddlers who can supply their own canoe or kayak. 
Did you know? The Charles River stretches for more than 80 miles from Hopkinton to Boston. It originates and flows for nearly 37 miles here in the Upper Watershed. In our region alone the Charles is fed by 45+ miles of waterways including seven major tributary rivers, brooks, and streams.

WHEN: Saturday, April 24, 2010
TIME:  9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

WHERE: Charles River Upper Watershed - Ashland, Bellingham, Dover, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis, Norfolk, Sherborn, Wrentham.

The volunteer check-in site will be located in front of Whole Foods Market in Bellingham, MA. Stop by to get directions to your assigned site, collect your cleanup supplies and receive a free t-shirt. We encourage you to sign up in advance by using the contact information below.

CONTACT: David Dobrzynski
Upper Watershed Volunteer Coordinator


You can view the flyer for this event here:

School district regionalization - historical background

Unlike school districts in many other states, which are often separate government entities with independent taxing authority, school districts in Massachusetts are very much dependent on the cities and towns that they serve. In colonial times, districts were established by any group of families willing to support a school, and at one point there were 2,250 districts in the state. In 1882, the state passed a law that consolidated districts by giving authority only to municipalities to fund and manage school districts. With 351 towns and cities in the state, however, local control has meant that there remain a large number of districts relative to the state's student population, including many very small districts in relatively less populated areas.

Beginning with the post-war period, the 1949 Regional Schools Act authorized the regional district as an independent legal entity to encourage small towns to form consolidated school districts with a single school committee and specified rights and obligations for member towns. Though the state envisioned consolidation, the number of districts actually increased over the next 20 years, from 355 to over 390, as small towns preserved independent elementary districts while creating regional secondary schools. Special commission reports and Board of Education guidelines in the 1960’s promoted the formation of more K–12 districts on the grounds that they would improve educational programs and streamline governance, with little avail.

Real progress toward consolidation did not begin until Chapter 71, the state’s regional school law, was amended in 1974 to expand financial incentives for districts to regionalize. The aid formula was based on enrollment, which provided some incentive for districts to fully regionalize grades K–12. After these reforms the number of school districts declined to the current level of 329, not including charter schools. However, regional school aid was phased out in the early 1990s with the passage of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, and the amount that existing districts had been receiving up that point was included in the district’s Chapter 70 aid. Since the 1990s only 13 new K–12 districts have been formed, mostly the result of consolidation of regional secondary districts and their members into one K–12 regional district.

from the Education Research Brief - School District Consolidation in Massachusetts: Opportunities and Obstacles

Franklin, MA

Phil's Phriends - 8th Annual Live Music Silent Auction - April 9th

Join us for our 8th Annual Live Music Silent Auction, April 9th, at Showcase Live at Patriot Place in Foxborough, featuring live music from THE Average White Band and Sugarfoot and the Brass Kicking Horns. Help Phil’s Phriends raise funds to fight cancer through the Pan Mass Challenge and the Jimmy Fund.
Tickets are only $25 per person and must be purchased in advance. Limited tickets are available, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. To reserve tickets, click here.
We look forward to you joining us for a great event. The doors to Showcase Live will open at 6:00pm. At that time you will be able to order food and beverages, preview auction items and make initial bids. The Average White Band will take the stage at 8:00pm and play until 9:30pm. At that time, we will open the silent auction bidding for 1 hour. At 10:00pm Sugarfoot and the Brass Kicking Horns will take the stage and complete the evening.
All ticket sale proceeds bought from Phil’s Phriends will be donated to the PMC and Cancer Research. All tickets bought through the Showcase Live Box office will be for the Average White Band Show and will not be considered a donation. Auction item bidding will be open to the entire crowd at Show Case Live. Please help Phil’s Phriends support our young PMC pedal partner – Emily Taylor – by raising money for cancer research. We look forward to seeing you at the event and thank you for your support!
The Average White Band are widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ the band’s strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi-grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Sugarfoot & The Brass Kickin’ Horns is a 7 piece band with male & female vocalists and one of the finest horns sections around. The band plays the absolute best funk and dance hits from all eras including Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Journey and many more.
To get tickets, click here.

The Silent Auction brochure can be viewed here:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

You can subscribe to the Phil's Phriends blog to get regular updates as they prepare for this year's Pan Mass Challenge

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

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FM #63 Week Ending 4/4/10

This is #63 in the series. Let's take less than 10 minutes to find out what matters in Franklin, MA as the week comes to a close on April 4th, 2010.

Time: 4 minutes, 53 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 63 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Let's take about 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends Sunday April 4th.

In this session I cover the Financial Planning Committee meeting that occurred March 31 and look ahead to the Town Council meeting on April 7th.

You should recall that the Financial Planning Committee is the one chartered as a subcommittee of the Town Council to put together the long term or five year financial plan for Franklin. The committee prepared their first report last year.

You can view that here.

The group is focused on updating the report with current numbers. They are concerned about showing where the numbers have changed, and why, against the baseline forecast. The forecast for this year is remarkably close to where we were predicted to be overall.

They also need to review the proposed action items and show what progress has been made on them. While much progress has been made (I'll leave it to the report to provide the details), the financial situation still requires action. The choice is to continue to cut services or raise taxes to maintain the level of service we have reached.

I know the “o” word is very sensitive but there should be a discussion about our priorities. There should also be a choice provided to the voters.

The Town Council meeting on April 7th will be a good one on a number of fronts.

1 – Rep Vallee and Sen Spilka are scheduled to provide a legislative update on the Chapter 70 and other state aid coming to Franklin.

2 – Jeff Nutting should have the opportunity to provide an update on what this means for the overall Town Budget. As you may recall, the School budget proposed to increase 2.2 M. Technically, they can't call it a “level service” budget as they are adding back the late bus. Word has it that they should be looking more at a level funded budget at best.

3 – Wording on the Charter changes has been finalized so now the Council will get to discuss it again before deciding to send it forward or not. If it does go to the legislature, the charter changes still will come back to Franklin for the registered voters to have a vote and accept or reject.

For the full schedule of Franklin Meetings, check out the town website

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

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 the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

Job Search Jam Sessions - May 14

“This is an ‘unconference’ for the unemployed and underemployed,” says Steve Sherlock, lead organizer. “The event’s organizers and session facilitators all have experience dealing with the challenges of layoffs and unemployment, and they are enthusiastic about sharing what they’ve learned in a peer-to-peer setting.”

“Job Search Jam Sessions participants will share experiences and ideas with their peers, make potentially valuable new contacts and refine their job search skills. And at the end of the day they’ll return home more confident and motivated to pursue new opportunities.”

The Job Search Jam Sessions will feature both seminar-like sessions and informal opportunities to network in small groups. There will be sessions devoted to job interviews and the use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  The agenda will be adapted to reflect the needs and interests of participants.


"schools will be eligible for about 50 percent reimbursement"

The School Building Authority will also visit Franklin's Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School today to look at problems with their hot water and air conditioning systems.
Superintendent-Director Barbara Renzoni said upgrades to those systems could cost a minimum of $350,000.
"I was just (on the roof) looking at the (water storage tanks) and they are all corroded and rusted and leaking," she said.
Both systems are at the end of their life cycles at 33 years old, said Renzoni. The systems are original to the building, she said, and the school has been "nursing them along" for the past few years.
The school's two 250-ton air conditioner "chillers" are so old that they are difficult to fix because their parts are rare, said Renzoni. The refrigerant the chillers use has recently become regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Renzoni said.
"Contractors are now obligated to disclose how and why they're using it, and the quantity (we use) would not be acceptable," she said.
Renzoni is hoping the School Building Authority can help offset the cost of these capital projects.
"And because Tri-County is sensitive to the 11 member towns' fiscal constraints, the school is only asking the towns for their minimum contribution to the school, which is a number the state determines," said Renzoni, "it further enhances our need for assistance."
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin, MA

"This is where we want to end up"

At a forum hosted by Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, and the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, executives filled a training room at Franklin's EMC office yesterday morning to discuss the highlights and needs of the IT field.
"An educated work force is the lifeblood of these companies," said Joyce Plotkin, president emerita of the Mass Technology Leadership Council.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin, MA





TIME: 6:00a.m. – 8:00p.m.


Attest: Deborah L. Pellegri, CMC, Town Clerk

Questions should be directed to the Town Clerk, 1-508-520-4900

Franklin, MA

Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project - spraying starts

The Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project will be conducting helicopter applications of the biological larvicide Bti to control mosquito larvae.  The application will be conducted over specific large wetlands in the towns of:


The application may be conducted at any time between April 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010 as conditions warrant

Franklin, MA

Monday, April 5, 2010

Town Council - Agenda - 4/7/10

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – March 10, Special Meeting & March 17, 2010, Regular & Executive Session




Long Range Financial Planning Committee - Brendan Morrison
Cultural Council - Helen Reebenacker


G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS – New Officer & Director Change for Longhorn Steakhouse

1. Legislative Update by Representative James E. Vallee & State Senator Karen Spilka
2. FY 2011 Budget Discussion
3. Presentation by The Community Health Council


1. Resolution 10-12: Request for Special Legislation, RE: Amendment of Town of Franklin Home Rule Charter
2. Resolution 10-13: Appropriation: FY 10 Capital Plan
3. Resolution 10-14: Appropriation: Capital FY 10 – Fire Truck
4. Resolution 10-15: Appropriation: Parmenter School Solar Panels
5. Resolution 10-16: Appropriation: Triennial Property Revaluation
6. Resolution 10-17: Appropriation: Personal Property Revaluation
7. Bylaw Amendment 10-642: Amendment to Chapter 181-6:Wetlands Protection; Notice and Hearings – 2nd Reading
8. Bylaw Amendment 10-644: Amendment to the Code, Sewer Map Extension- 1st Reading





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


Franklin, MA

In the News - retired, election

Retired Franklin school van driver honored

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Auditor says state should pay towns for special Senate election

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Franklin, MA

Shades IN Place

Please NOTE: as April 5th, 2010

New Office Number (508) 520 - 6700

Send all mailing/ billing/ deliveries to:

Shades IN Place
76 Grove Street
Franklin MA 02038

Roger's website does not change:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

When was the last time you were called 'childish'?

In this delightful eight minute talk, Adora Svitak raises some good questions. Now, I have Peter Pan as one of my heroes (yes, I don't want to grow up) so this admittedly does appeal to me.

The reciprocal relationship I think is key. Dealing in an environment of mutual trust and understanding can generate wonderfulness. It starts with respect for the other. It deepens by listening to the other. Within the conversation, understanding can develop and enrich both sides. The 'power of we' can grow far greater than either one alone could have achieved.

What do you think?

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

Franklin, MA

Getting the adult's attention on education

Two opinion columns this weekend in the Boston Globe are providing some insight into why the "Race to the Top" application for MA was not chosen.

On Saturday, Derrick Jackson wrote:
At best, parents are lumped together among the many “stakeholders" who provide “letters of support" in the Race to the Top applications. Here at home, the 180-page Massachusetts application rarely mentions parents, even as it concedes that “strong parent and community engagement is a critical lever of school turnaround."
The near-omission is shortsighted, especially because you know who will get the blame — from teachers, principals, and politicians — if the achievement gap fails to narrow. Those ignorant, uninvolved parents! Underscoring this mindset is President Obama himself, who in February boasted that he had not missed a parent-teacher conference and says, “I don’t care how poor you are, you can turn off the television set during the week."
Read the full article here

On Sunday, Andy Smarick wrote:

So how did the state still manage to place a discouraging 13th overall out of 16 finalists?
By coming in very last place in the application’s most important section: improving the teaching profession.

Read the full article here

These two groups of folks need to be active in the educational discussion.

Franklin, MA: Town Council - inside the agenda

If you have sometime today in and around your family activities, you should check out the full agenda document for this Wednesday's Town Council meeting. You can find the PDF for the document on the Town website here.

Items of interest

1 - the changes to the Charter (pages 25 - 29)
2 - Capital budget ($2,019,000) (page 30 - 40)

Happy Easter!

Two photos to share today. This one I snapped while on my long run for this week.

Where was this? It looks like a golf course. Actually it is on the former Putnam Investments property along Washington St.

I snapped this one in the backyard.

Most everything outside is still brown. The trees are beginning to bud some more advanced than the others. The daffodils provide a welcome sight. Spring is coming!

Enjoy the day folks!