Monday, October 24, 2011

Live reporting - Candidate Night - part 2

Board of Health
Ranieri - unable to participate, letter read for him as his one minute introduction
Brunelli - no show

Aucoin - interested in politics for more than 10 years. Became more involved with the H1N1 virus. Came into the issue of fluoride this year. The current Board of Health is making residents take the fluoride in excess amounts. Most towns don't enforce fluoride.

Q - what are the most pressing issues?
Aucoin - current board did not take initiative in researching the issue, needs to be more active

Q - 2 full time health agents, how do you see your working relations with these?
Aucoin - they are predisposed to take the State and Federal government word, the local board needs to take a more substantial role to stand up against the pharmacutical companies.

It is all about fluoride for me. They do a good job with the mundane stuff they do. They do good work. My research on civil liberties will add this important aspect to the Board.

Defino - not around at this time, was here, may get back to this later (and they did not before the evening ended)

Town Council
(slight delay as there was not enough chairs in position for the candidates)
Jones, Kelly, McGann, Pfeffer, Powderly, Vallee, Bissanti, Calabrese, Dellorco, Mercer, Rivera, Roy

Jones - (missed catching - recap from recording later)
Kelly - product of Franklin, schooled, business owner, tough times, important to make every tax dollar count
McGann - long time resident, children through the school system, seeking the 5th term, bring positive ideas to the table, maybe asked why am I missing, it is all personal, I don't feel I have to share it with the whole town.
Pfeffer - life long resident, through school system, JD in Law from Suffolk, believes in giving back to the community. Remington was named for a family member
Powderly - lived her 10 years, served on FinCom. on 1t term of Council. Chair of Senior outreach tonight. Issues are complicated, need different approaches. I hope to be part of the process in the future.
Vallee - family local, veteran, Franklin Rotary Club.
Bissanti - involved for approaching 100 years. 3 daughters at home under one roof, i have been a politicians all my life.
Calabrese - married 43 years, three children, Brick School and FHS graduate. Northeastern Univ, former police service. Served on Planning Board.
Dellorco - married 16 year, three children, long time youth coach, coach at FHS, want to make Franklin best community in Commonwealth
Mercer - VP of Fuller Box Company, chair of building committee, Horace Mann, Senior Center and currently the new Franklin High school. This has inspired me to serve on the Town Council
Rivera - In Franklin 8 years, 3 beautiful children, served on FinCom for three years. we have great challenges and with my strong background, I believe forward thinking and solutions, I will be an added value
Roy - I have had the honor and opportunity to serve as the SchCom Chair, 4 superintendents, a high performing district. Want to take that energy to bring to the Town Council seat and work with a new team

Q - do you support the recommendations of the building committee?
Roy - I am delighted that the community will be able to vote on this project. We started in 2005. The new school option was outrageous. Overtime, renovation appeared a better option. The building committee looked at that, then was offered the option of the model school.

Q - How do you plan on communicating to community on issues?
Rivera - The line of communication is strong here. I am a coach for baseball and my parents know I am open to communications

Q - When making decisions how would you handle it?
Mercer - it is important for the Council to do their homework, need all the information and data in front of you to make an informed decision.

Q - how do you see your relationship as a Councilor?
Dellorco - I would make team Franklin and all work together to solve our problems?

Q -
Calabrese - no expertise, need to maintain our integrity and spend our money in a responsible way

Q - what is your primary reason for running for Council?
Bissanti - Could we get some water bottles up here? In my business, I hear and see a lot of issues discussed, to hear out on the street to be discussed on the council

Q - What do you see as council role in getting things running smoothly?
Vallee - health safety and education, I want to see three ambulances staffed all the time. I am concerned about the police, we have 50 something we are down to 42 now I think?

Q - What can the Council do to keep residents concerns are addressed?
Powderly - need to address, transparency, communication and respect. Among elected officials and employees, communications need to assess the priorities. Constantly be a focus. Represent the citizens in the best way possible

Q - assuming expenses will outpace revenue would you support an override?
Pfeffer - at some point in time, there will be a need to do so. Will need to support us for a few years. you can't fool the people and then come back. We are cutting expenses. We have cut expenses the past numbers of years.

Q - Assuming expenses have to be cut to balance the budget what would you cut first?
McGann - it is a tough budget, health, safety and  education. I would look at every budget very carefully. I would scrutinize the budget in every way possible. The next council will have their hands full. This is the worst I have seen, and Franklin is not unique

Q - what do you believe are three most important issues?
Kelly - education of our children, rely on the school committee to set the best policy; look at the fire and police; look to take care of our seniors, keep them safe and active. Those are the same items that will come up on the next budget.

Q - what is the most pressing problem that you could address immediately?
Jones - biggest issue is money, facing a loosing tax base combined with increasing unfunded mandates coming down from the Sate and Federal level. Schools need additional funding, cuts in fire/safety -cuts are immediate, cuts in schools are seen until students graduate. Where do we make our choices? needs to approach as a whole

Q - if elected, how to plan on communicating to the community?
Roy - I think I would follow the way we did with the SchCom, with the web site, superintendents office did the same. We also used a blog, started in 2007, 218 posts, and 200000 individual visits to get that information. I will take the opportunity to engage with the community to speak my mind, what ever vehicle or means the folks want, I am open to it

Q - when making decisions with other boards, how would you do so?
Rivera - I have made those decisions before, I ask a lot of questions, maybe the engineer in me, I would follow the open meeting law, we have challenging issues,

Q - what is the #1 problem you would address immediately?
Mercer - budget is importance, reviewing every departments budget, better objectives and performance measures should be set by the Council?

Q - assuming expense would exceed our revenues?
Dellorco - I would look at the all the budgets and investigate. I am not against an override but it needs to be justified

Q - if you needed to cut, what would you cut first?
Calabrese - look at what the options are, police, fire, health school, and hopefully come up with a reasonable way to either cut the budget or make it work

Q - how do you see your relationship as councilor with Town Administrator?
Bissanti - I don't think I have seen a more open administrator. Impressive resume. This council should respect that and also measure that in their role as Council?

Q - do you support the building committee recommendation?
Vallee - yes,it seems to be the most economic option

Q - what 3 issues?
Powderly - high school likely the biggest,support the children and property values; expense have outpaced revenues, we have drawn down the stabilization fund, options are fairly limited, having hard time to see more cuts to public safety or education

Q- If returned to the Council?
Pfeffer - town has a website, all items are placed there, I don't have a website, we are covered by the Milford News, and the two other start up papers, and people call us continuously

Q - how do you see your relationship with the Town Administrator?
McGann - Mr Nutting has an opened door policy, his door is always open, first one to return a phone call. He has done a very good job. The 9 councilors that are elected, they are on the web channel, email and phone numbers are on the website,we are very reachable

Q - when making decision with other boards
Kelly - spent two years on SchCom and did not have much interaction, spent past two years on TC and there needs to be better, communication is needed, one of my goals in the next two years

Q - what is your primary reason for running for TC?
Jones - to be an outspoken voice for the residents and businesses, an electrician in the trade for 20+ years, some folks are afraid to talk, I have not been afraid to step up to the plate for those who aren't.

Closing Statements
Roy - go to the bottom of the ballot, my name will be on the bottom. You have come clear choices, I have worked with the SchCom and a great team. I have been a trial lawyer for 20+ years that is problem solving. I am going to leave my home in a pine box. I first ran when I was 18 years old. Fighting for a school budget. The budget is going to be a difficult process. An increase of 1,000 students a decrease of 1q00 teachers, and tough decisions

Rivera - a pleasure to serve and live here. Some difficult decisions, worked with dept head sin last 3 years, rate has gone up since 2006, we need to understand how our money will be spent going forward. How can we increase our revenue. Work with all involved to get feedback. I have enjoyed working with the FinCom, we need to bring solutions.

Mercer - I believe have the knowledge to work and ensure a careful decision. Will work hard to improve communications, my prior years have lead me to this position. I am proud of my track record.

Dellorco - I do support Bob Vallee, I do think we need three ambulances in town. Health safety and education. One of the players at a Pop Warner game had to wait for over 20 minutes for help. I live in town, I work in town.

Calabrese - I grew up in this town, I do care very much about this town, If you want responsible spending for your tax dollars, vote for me

Bissanti - we all know what the issues are. I will do the best I can to address those issues. On a more global outlook,the future of this town is the children, What protects them on and off to school is what I am for. I will make sure this town you can be proud of

Vallee - in view of the declining economy, I have voted against fee increase and salary increase. Need health, safety and invest as much as we can in education. We are 7th or 8 in the world right now and that is not good.

Powderly - the overriding principle, we are one community. i will take all aspects of the budget into consideration. We spend less than others on what we do. That means a safe streets, fire, ambulance, I can't match the lifer residence that others have up here. I was an Army brat, to be in any place or town years is the longest time, you have to have an open mind.

Pfeffer-  a town council represents all citizens not the place to further personal goals - the greater good for the most number, make a decision

McGann - thanks for the good questions, good luck to all the candidates. Don't try to fool the voters, if we are going to bring an override, you have to be honest with them One has passed of the seven brought. If you pull a rabbit out of the hat, there is one dept that does that. The voters know what they want. They know who is going to be doing for them

Kelly - thanks for the opportunity for this night, the next several years will be challenging, the safety of our residents, education of our children and care for our seniors are important. Constant communications with all involved have prepared me for this. Your vote will show

Jones - I don't have a prepared speech but I am not going to sugar coat this. The down town traffic patterns will change, the budget will be tight. I have been a leader


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