Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

On this day, let's honor those who served

Thank you!


Here's another great opportunity to have a quick and easy meal AND support the Franklin Music Boosters at the same time.

UNO Chicago Grill in Bellingham (205 Hartford Ave.) will donate up to 20% of your check to benefit the Franklin Music Boosters. Dine-in or Takeout!

For this one, you'll need a COUPON in order for the Music Boosters to get credit for the meal sales of that day. Please print out a coupon and bring it with you!

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Cheerios collection

Members and friends of the Franklin Federated Church have been stacking the church altar high with hundreds of boxes of Cheerios - all to benefit the patients of The Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center.

The effort is part of the Mission: 1 project of the United Church of Christ (UCC), one of the two progressive Christian denominations to which Franklin Federated belongs. Nationwide, members of the UCC are working to collect more than i million items of food for the hungry by November 11, 2011. The UCC is also writing thousands of letters to Congress related to issues of hunger and poverty, and raising money for hunger-related ministries in the US and in East Africa.

The Grow Clinic specializes in caring for children diagnosed with Failure to Thrive, and Cheerios are high in nutrition and they make great finger food for young children.

Franklin Federated has been collecting Cheerios for The Grow Clinic for years, encouraging members to place them in a shopping cart in the church's foyer whenever they can.  This is the biggest effort yet, however, with the church attempting to collect 1,111 boxes for the Mission: 1 project between 11/1/11 and 11/11/11.

Related links:
Franklin Federated Church -
United Church of Christ Mission: 1:

For more information, contact Pastor Charley Eastman at 508-528-3803 or Tiffany Vail Miller at 508-553-9085.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Franklin Historical Museum: "Outfitted for war"

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Boston Globe -- Globe West by Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff on 11/9/11

An exhibit officially opening this weekend at the Franklin Historical Museum tells story of a century's worth of wars through the uniforms of local veterans. The exhibit is expected to contain about 17 uniforms, said Deborah Pellegri, Franklin's town clerk and also chair of the Franklin Historical Commission. One of the most poignant stories is told by an Army uniform that belonged to Staff Sgt. Robert R. Pirelli, who was killed in Iraq in 2007.

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Things you can do from here:

Additional information on the uniform display can be viewed in this document

Write-in candidate wins associate spot on Franklin Planning Board

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by Alison McCall/Daily News staff on 11/10/11

The town has filled the Planning Board associate position, two days after the election, with a former member of the Planning Board (Ron Calabrese).

Things you can do from here:

Town Council workshop 11/09/11

The collected reporting from the Town Council workshop held on Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011

Attendance sheets updated

The attendance tracking spreadsheets have been updated for the new Town Council and School Committee. The two worksheets for the past Council and SchCom are still present in the workbook and each tab has been renamed to reflect the term of service. The past sheets are labeled as '2009-2011', current sheets are named '2011-2013'.

I have also added a sheet where I will attempt to record the roll call votes by councilor. I already record the votes during the meeting, putting them into the spreadsheet will allow for an easier analysis of who is voting on what.

The link to the workbook does not change. You can find it here:

If there is other information you would be interested in having, please let me know.

Partridge closure extended to Nov 18th

Due to construction delays, Partridge St which is closed to all traffic between Harborwood and Dover Circle due to a culvert collapse, will remain closed until Nov 18th.

This notice was originally posted on the Franklin website

In the News - SchCom, precincts, dancers

Franklin School Committee picks new leaders after election

Ross to get two of Spilka's Franklin precincts after redistricting

Franklin dancers perform in Boston

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Live reporting - workshop - part 2

Nutting - anything that you would like done, please go through Maxine or the Chair. We are available for questions, etc. but we'd rather not have 9 folks directing our people.

Senior Outreach
Economic Development

really open to what the Council needs to operate

electronic agendas were requested by last council, will provide inexpensive laptops to bring to the meetings
ultimately will save a lot of trees

Financial summary, FY 2012 budget as amended last week; current account balances
enterprise accounts are not part of the general funds, they are sustained by the fees generated for that service

TA puts the budget together with the department heads, makes a recommendation to the Finance Committee which in turn makes a recommendation for the Town Council which votes on it.

Calendar of fiscal events for the Town Council (copy to be added later)

TC Workshop 111109

No word from the State on the budget for FY 2013, they need to see what the Federal government will do first

School Building committee wants to get everything into the MSBA for Dec 9 so we can get a decision on their Jan meeting. Debt exclusion requires a 2/3 vote of the Council to put on the ballot. If the time line holds could have the override in Mar/Apr.

Storm water regulations are coming, sometime.

  • Zoning changes some coming next week to add more bio-tech overlays
  • DelCarte dam engineering effort underway, how it will be fixed and how we will fund that remains to be figured out. Two dams are registered.
  • Downtown Project on schedule for 2013, public hearing to be scheduled 
  • Trash fee for FY 2012 - may be a minor adjustment
  • portable classrooms plan being put together on removal over time
  • David Thayer renovations on the horizon  (get an architect to do an assessment first) what are the enrollment projections, by removing the modular unit you will need the room for the students

all debt currently is declining principle level interest, the high school is proposed to be level/level

cable access corporation being set up; once corporation is set up, transfer of money and potential for leasing space to be worked out. $1.5M in the cable account currently with more coming in. Agreement likely to be for five years between Town and cable access with renewal options.

collective bargaining update coming during an executive session, nine units with contracts

Copies of reports from the department heads are provided for review, if you have any questions, please let us know.

When you get phone calls, there are three sides to the story.

Pictures for the website needed for next time.

2 ways to get something on the agenda, talk to the chair or you can make a motion (and need five votes - majority)

next meetings are the 16th and 30th

Live reporting - Town Council workshop

Present: Vallee, Pfeffer, Roy, Jones, Kelly, Dellorco, Bissanti, Powderly
Nutting, Cerel, Kinehart

Absent: Mercer

Workshop - first year with the charter change that the Council doesn't get sworn in until next week.

Copy of charter provided. Bylaws are online. Mark Cerel undergoing a review of the bylaws to bring them up to current terminology

Council procedure manual - typically approved at one of the first meetings

Mark Cerel to touch base on open meeting law, conflicts of interest, etc.

open meeting law presentation
memo addressing email use

quorum in case of council would be five members, meetings doesn't have to be in person to qualify, email qualifies whether in serial or all at once. There is case law on this with a Boston case where their council was shuffling in and out of the meeting.

demands for public records do include personal email if referencing town business
think twice before email
commenting on public internet sites you are representing yourself as an individual citizen, not a representative of the position
posting does require 48 hour notice although there can be an emergency but there are requirements around what constitutes an emergency
sanctions for open meeting law can be significant civil fine as well as possibly setting aside the law/resolution that was the result of it

issuance of a new alcohol license or for a violation, know what is relevant and not, allow for an impartial hearing. even when you do everything right, you may still end up in litigation. We have insurance for this but the first 10,000 is still on us with the deductible we have.

Ethic law was passed in 2009, what changed was the penalty. Ethic law is a criminal statue. This is serious business. Upon swearing in, you will be given an online requirement for training. The training that was initially released was something not pertinent to local town business. A revision should be ready for the next cycle.

By definition of the statue, council members are "municipal employees" - statue applies to you and your immediate family... The family definition is extensive. Need to be aware of the prohibitions. Bribery or gifts and solicitations are targeted. Public official are prohibited from accepting or soliciting.

Compensation can be goods or services. The council is a licensing authority, if you are out to dinner and the owner of the establishment sends over some freebies, be careful. Can't do that. There is a fine line between the actual gift and the perception of a gift.

Ethic Commission has two functions, one is as an adviser. You can provide a circumstance and they can let you know what the situation would be.  The safest way to go is to check with them. The Ethic Commission will take anonymous tips. They have the ability to fine up to $25,000 as well as imprisonment.

You can't use your position to gain a benefit. "Do you know who I am?" are the six most dangerous words.

The general improvement of downtown is one thing but if the benefit would be substantial for an individual, then that would be dangerous and the individual should recuse themselves.

The standards now include prohibitions on the following:

  1. Accepting compensable employment which is "inherently incompatible" with one's public responsibilities
  2. Soliciting or receiving anything of substantial value (value of $50) or using official position to secure favorable treatment
  3. Acting in a manner which would cause a reasonable person to conclude that official can be improperly influenced. (Liability can be avoided by filing of written disclosure.)

In the News - election results, Pellegri, bank scam

Most hold on to seats in Franklin election

Pellegri back as Franklin town clerk; voter turnout 23%

Franklin man accused of scamming bank out of $5k

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election results - Nov 8, 2011

Updated 11/9/11: Precinct totals added

Updated 11/11/11: link added to view directly in Google Docs

As an alternative, you can follow this link to view the spreadsheet in Google Docs

Election results 2011 - (precinct totals)

The results of the election held on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011.


Election day

Today, you get to vote.

The voting booths open on at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.

_Election Sign - Nov 8

If you need to review who the candidates are, and for what positions they are running for, I have the information all in one place. The election collection can be found here:

Want to review the candidates during the Candidate Forum recorded and broadcast by Franklin on Oct 24th?

Town Clerk                     Treasurer/Collector

Board of Health                Town Council

School Committee

Note: the Forum was only for the contested positions. The candidates for Constable declined to appear.

Where is the high school field house?

218 Oak St, Franklin, MA 02038

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In the News - election day, dam safety, BJ's hours

Today's the day for Franklin voters

Groups urge action on Massachusetts dam safety bill

Note: the dams on the DelCarte Open Space would come under this

Franklin Planning Board approves longer hours for BJ's

eBooks and eReaders

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 11/7/11

Things you can do from here:

In the News - redistricting, Goguen letter

Local towns see big shift with new congressional districts

US Representative Jim McGovern currently has Franklin, under this proposal we would get Barney Frank.

Goguen: Town Council thwarting teacher, parent efforts

YMCA - Youth Basketball League

The Bernon Family YMCA is accepting registrations for the winter Youth Basketball League, which begins December 10th for children ages 3-10 years old. The first three weeks are devoted to practice and the last five weeks to playing games (all games will be held on Saturdays). The league is open to players of all levels.

The Youth Basketball League (YBL) is the YMCA’s most popular youth sports league. The coed league focuses primarily on skill development, sportsmanship and fun. Emphasis will be placed on dribbling, shooting, passing, teamwork, and having fun. The first three weeks of practices are developed to meet the needs of each age group and to best advance their skills in a healthy and fun way. For the following five weeks, children will compete in games (times are TBA).

Each player in YBL will receive a team t-shirt and a trophy at the end of the season banquet.
The cost for the program is $66 for members and $99 for non-members. Hurry and sign up today because after November 25th winter league prices will increase.

To register, please stop by the Bernon Family YMCA located at 45 Forge Hill Road in Franklin, contact the front desk at (508) 528-8708 or visit us online at (only members can register online). For further information please contact Association Youth Programming Director, Jeff Laliberte at (774) 235-2746 or

Monday, November 7, 2011

Email from Sean Donahue

Tomorrow, November 8th, is finally Election Day! Throughout the past several months as I've been campaigning for Franklin School Committee I've had the pleasure of making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, including some fellow Franklin High School Class of 2007 grads that still care as much as I do about making sure current and future students have the same opportunities we did. I've talked and listened to parents, students, teachers, concerned citizens, current School Committee and Town Council members and Franklin's Superintendent and look forward to continuing to do so, if elected.

I've been humbled by the support I've gotten from so many residents I'd never previously met who believe the unique views I can bring to the School Committee as someone not so far removed from Franklin Public Schools would benefit the town. My job experience and educational background in communication, political science and business, which can be read about at Franklin Matters or, seem of particular importance at a time when communication and "playing politics" have become such an issue in our town government.

I am proud of the education I received in Franklin Public Schools and I'm ready to give back. You can read about my goals and reasons for running at my website, which I will continue to update with important information if elected.

Our town faces many critical decisions in the coming year and it is vital we have the right people both making those decisions and disseminating important information to assure an informed voting public. On November 8th, I ask not only for your support, but also that you take the time to learn about candidates for all town positions before voting. I would like to remind everyone that voting only for those candidates you support, rather than voting for seven or nine people just because you can, is the best way to assure the candidates you really want to have a seat are elected.

This election is too important to have another embarrassing turnout of 16% like we had two years ago. Let's encourage everyone we can to vote and do our part to increase turnout! The Franklin High School Field House will be open from 6AM-8PM Tuesday for voting and it's expected to be a beautiful day, so there are few valid excuses not to vote!

I'd be happy to talk with anyone still undecided about who to vote for tomorrow for any position. Please feel free to contact me and I'll see you tomorrow on Election Day! 


Sean Donahue

Email from Tina Powderly

I am writing to ask for your vote for reelection to Town Council tomorrow. You are receiving this email either because you know me, have contacted me, or because I have interacted with you and other supporters of the schools in the past. 
I am proud of the work that's been done during my first term on Council, including expanding tax credits for seniors and instituting a new trash system that has reduced waste and decreased costs, but there is much more work to be done.  I also commend the many accomplishments of our school district and support the incumbents of the School Committee who have worked for our children over the years.  Second only to our structural deficit and the strain it puts on education and public safety, the renovation of Franklin High School is the single biggest issue before the residents of this town.  I ask for your vote so that I can champion for this critical project.
PLEASE VOTE.  Encourage your friends to vote and forward this email to other Franklin residents if you believe in my message.

Election Day is TOMORROW, TUESDAY, NOV 8th
Franklin High School

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME.  There are a number of places where you can learn more about my positions, experience and accomplishments:
My web page and at
Hope to see everyone at the polls tomorrow.
Thank you so much for your support.


"defusing situations with mental health patients"

"It is important because more and more our departments are being relied on to help out in these mental health situations," Franklin Police Chief Stephen Williams said. "With shrinking budgets, we need all the help we can get." 
Williams said his department has always dealt with mental health situations by itself, but said they welcome assistance from a clinician for situations such as when a person did not take his medications and may be a threat to himself or others. 
"The criminal system is not the place where a person with these types of issues should be in the first place," Williams said. "They should get help from clinicians and in hospital settings, not from inside a jail cell. We're not going to do them any help by placing them under arrest." 
Williams and Upton Police Chief Michael Bradley said their departments do not have money available to hire clinicians without the grant.

Read more:

Email from Jeff Roy

As you know, I am seeking a seat on the Franklin Town Council on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.  I am seeking your support, assistance and vote.  As demonstrated at the candidate forum two weeks ago, there are some clear choices in this election which will have an impact on the future of Franklin.  I have a number of ideas and priorities for moving Franklin forward, but I need your support and vote in order to be successful.

I spent the last 10 years with the Franklin School Committee and enjoyed the challenges of working in municipal government. I am proud of the accomplishments made by the Franklin Public Schools team and will bring that spirit of hard work and commitment to the Council.

To help you make your decision, I have set up a website at which provides with details on why I am running, my priorities, and information on my background and qualifications.  If elected, I will continue to utilize that site to keep you up-to-date on Council matters.  I hope you will take some time to check it out.  And please pass it along to your friends to get the word out on my candidacy and Tuesday's election.  If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.   I will be at the polls from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, so we can chat there as well.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the citizens of Franklin on the School Committee, and look forward to the prospect of serving you as a member of the Town Council.


Jeff Roy

Note: this is a sharing exercise, this is not an endorsement of this candidate.

Email from Ed Cafasso

When I was first considered running for election to the Franklin School Committee six years ago, a veteran member of the Town Council told me: "You should run for Council. That's where the action is."
I chose to run for School Committee and never regretted it. It's been an honor to serve the community as a volunteer in such an important and challenging role.
Today, I ask for your vote this Tuesday as I seek a fourth term. All of the incumbents on the Committee have earned your vote. I also urge you to support school advocates, including School Committee Chairman Jeff Roy, who are seeking election to the Town Council.
A quick summary of three key issues facing the Franklin schools underlines why your vote Tuesday is so critical.
BUDGET: The School Committee's proposed budget for the current fiscal year was $52.48 million. This amount would have allowed us to maintain service levels.  The Town Council reduced it in June by $1 million to $51.4 million and then last month cut an additional $350,000 because they disagreed with the School Committee's decision to approve a 1 percent wage increase to teachers.
As of 2010, the Franklin schools spent $2,700 less per student than the state average. We are well below average in every category except special education, which is a mandated cost. You can see our data at:
However, thanks to our teaching and administrative staff and the commitment of parents, Franklin remains a very high-performing district academically based on standardized test results, graduation rates, college acceptances, awards, athletic rankings, etc. You can view recent MCAS results at:
During the past two years, emergency economic aid from the state and federal governments has allowed us to maintain teaching positions that otherwise would have been eliminated. It also has helped take some pressure off the municipal budget. But that subsidy is scheduled to end as of June 30, 2012.
The budget discussions coming up in the spring of 2012 will mark a watershed moment for the direction of education funding in Franklin. I will continue to work hard to see that our schools are treated fairly and are appropriately recognized for their efficiency and for their contribution to the community's property values and quality of life.
TEACHERS: Today, we have the same number of teachers that we had in the 2011-02 school year, but they are trying to teach 500 more students. Our teachers and administrators are under extreme pressure to keep pace with student needs amid undesirable class sizes.
In the months ahead, teachers are committed to working collaboratively with the School Committee to negotiate a new contract designed to reward achievement in the classroom while saving the taxpayers of Franklin substantial money.
If we are successful, we will replace the antiquated steps and lanes wage structure with one that recognizes teaching skills and student performance. And we will begin to move away from the automatic wage increases that force annual budget deficits and lay-offs in Franklin.
Our move toward a performance-based mindset is an outgrowth of School Supt. Maureen Sabolinski's unheralded effort in the past few years to install a more rigorous teacher evaluation system. In fact, Franklin's reputation has led state official to select our district to pilot a new performance evaluation process that may eventually be rolled out statewide. 
It is a tribute to the integrity and commitment of our teachers that they have responded enthusiastically to this evolution. These contract negotiations and the implementation of a new model for teaching standards are critical to Franklin's academic and financial future. They will be a top priority for me if I am re-elected.
NEW HIGH SCHOOL: In the next four weeks, the details of the proposed new model school will be discussed and finalized – the design, the specifications, the drawings and the cost estimate for the new building are scheduled for submission to state officials by December 9.
If all goes well, the Massachusetts School Building Authority will vote on our submission in January. Their approval will set the stage for town-wide vote in March 2012 on a debt exclusion to finance the project so that Franklin can qualify for a 57.9% reimbursement of the total approved cost.
Assuming the community agrees to seize this opportunity and barring unforeseen issues, a new high school to serve Franklin will open its doors to students in September 2014. You can find more information at: More will be unveiled as details are finalized.
I have been proud to serve on the High School Building Committee since its inception and look forward to continuing to focus on keeping this exciting project moving forward to serve current and future students and the community.
As you can see, the Franklin schools hold their fair share of "the action" in our community. That's why it is so important that you and others take a few minutes this Tuesday to vote. The weather forecast is perfect, so I look forward to seeing you at the Field House.
You can learn more about my candidacy through two links – a Milford Daily News profile at; and a Franklin Matters interview at
I would appreciate anything you can do to share this email with your friends in Franklin and to urge them to vote on Tuesday. This e-mail reflects my opinion alone and is provided as a constituent service. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.
Thank you for your support!

Ed Cafasso, Member
Franklin School Committee

Note: this is a sharing exercise, this is not an endorsement of this candidate.

Email from Deb Bartlett

Hi All

Just a reminder – the Franklin election is Tuesday - polls open 6 am until 8 pm at FHS field house. 

Please go out and cast your ballot and please


If anyone has any last minute questions please feel free to e-mail me.

Thanks and I can assure you I will do my very best for you as

Franklin Town Clerk

        Deb Bartlett

Note: this is a sharing exercise, this is not an endorsement of this candidate.

Email from Sue Rohrbach


My name is Sue Rohrbach and I am a member of the Franklin School Committee. I have been a member of the School Committee for the last 6 years and I am running for re-election.  Please take a look at the attached addendum for more information and details about the various contributions and committees/sub-committees I have been apart of over the years.

Now though I would like to delve into the most common question asked of me. Why am I running again during these very challenging times? Have I not had enough over the last 6 years of challenges and struggle, Well the answer is no. Yes there have been times where it was difficult. But equally as much if not more there were also many positive and proud moments, where I saw amazing efforts put forth by school administration and teachers to make a difference in the lives of our students. These efforts are ongoing and will continue to maintain the educational opportunities for our students. It is not easy by any stretch.

So as you can imagine working on the School Committee takes time and commitment. So why run?  Simply put I love working on the Committee. I find it fulfilling to give back to the town of Franklin, where we have lived for the last 13 years. I feel that I have made a difference in the student's lives and educational opportunities. Simply put we do the most with the least funding. This is of course a testament to many hard working folk throughout the entire school system, the School Committee included. I want to continue to make a difference as we go forward. The experience I have gained in the last 6 years will prove crucial in making the tough decisions and setting policy which drive our schools.

Your local elected officials have more impact on your daily lives and the lives of your family, than anyone in state or federal government. The most important thing you can do is to vote on Tuesday, November 8th (the polls will be open from 6am – 8pm). I would be honored if you would vote for me, but more importantly exercise your democratic right and vote.

Thank you for your time and support.

Sue Rohrbach

Note: this is a sharing exercise, this is not an endorsement of this candidate.