Saturday, November 23, 2013

DelCarte Playground - construction progress

I got out to the DelCarte Property last weekend to grab some photos of the new playground under construction. As reported here earlier, this work was approved by the Town Council as part of the repairs to the dam. Work remains to complete the playground and work remains to add some formal trails through the property to make it more accessible and enjoyable for Franklin residents and visitors.

The Town Council approval of the work occurred in March

Playground - walk around

Playground - walk around - stairs and slides

playground walk around - that it looks like a tree fits nicely with the area

playground  walk around - side view

playground - yes, there'll be swings!

playground - facing Pleasant St, my back it to the water

playground - corner view

playground - completed the walk around - good place to start/end with

Other visits to the DelCarte space have produced video and photos including these samples

Reminder: Library Book Sale - Nov 23 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Reminder: The Library has announced another book sale for Saturday, Nov 23.

In the News: decorate downtown, play hockey

Downtown Partnership, Garden Club to decorate downtown

The Franklin Downtown Partnership will join the Franklin Garden Club to decorate the downtown for the holidays on Sunday, Nov. 24. Any and all helpers are welcome.

Learn to skate, play hockey in Franklin

Franklin Youth Hockey is offering Learn to Skate and Learn to Play Hockey programs starting Dec. 1.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Franklin’s downtown would be a candidate for designation as a "cultural district."

The Milford Daily News reports on a visit by the MA Cultural Council Director on Thursday
"This is very exciting: This community sees the arts as central not only to the quality of life for the people who live here, but it also sees the arts as essential for a top quality education and essential for the vitality of its downtown," said Anita Walker, appointed as the state’s highest-ranking cultural official in 2007. 
Walker's last stop on her first trip to Franklin was the downtown Franklin School for the Performing Arts. Upon seeing the school, she walked through the proposed space for the Franklin Performing Arts Company’s new theater on West Central Street. 
The nonprofit will open a 250-seat "black box" style venue in the spring.

Read more:

The future home of the "Black Box Theater" for the Franklin School for the Performing Arts would be located here

future home of "The Black Box"
future home of "The Black Box"

Two Franklin business in the health care news

First in the news for this posting
JACO, Inc., an industry leader in the design and fabrication of point-of-care mobile computer carts and wall mounted computer technology, is proud to announce the release of its new WS-14 Tablet Wall Mount Series. With a complete line of products known for durable metal construction, antimicrobial infection control, and safe and easy access, JACO's new WS-14 paves the way for the emerging tablet computer access electronic health records market. Designed to accommodate virtually every model tablet computer, and customizable to meet the needs of each unique customer's requirements, safe and reliable wall mounted tablet access is now at your finger tips.

Read more here:

JACO is located on Constitution Blvd in Franklin
... a leading manufacturer and integrator of point-of-care Electronic Medical Records (EMR) mobile computer carts, wall stations and wall arm technology. Proudly manufacturing products in the United States of America for over 40 years, JACO has set the healthcare industry standard for overall product performance, sustainable quality, ergonomic design and safety, and exceptional customer service. JACO is a nationally certified Woman Owned Small Business and Woman's Business Enterprise by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and is an ISO 9001-2008 Registered Company. 
More information is available at or 800-649-2278.

Second in the news for this posting
Arthrosurface Incorporated, a developer of less-invasive joint restoration and resurfacing systems, performed its first US stemless shoulder resurfacing in 2003. The Company continued to expand the technology and introduced the stemless total shoulder system in 2011 using the world's first aspherical humeral implant combined with an off-axis inlay glenoid. Other Orthopaedic companies have only recently started to explore stemless total shoulder designs. However, these designs still require removal of the humeral head and implantation of spherically shaped implants that are not anatomic by design.

Read more here:

Arthrosurface is located at 28 Forge Parkway here in Franklin
Arthrosurface Incorporated is an emerging leader in the design and distribution of orthopedic devices for joint preservation, restoration and resurfacing. The Company's proprietary HemiCAP® system is a unique, less invasive technology that can be used to treat a wide variety of joint conditions caused by trauma, injury and disease. Arthrosurface has developed a broad portfolio of implantable devices and surgical instruments with FDA clearance for the shoulder, knee, toe and hip. Founded in 2002 and based in Franklin, MA, Arthrosurface markets and distributes its products in the United States and more than twenty other countries around the globe. To date, over 50,000 patients have been treated by more than 4,700 surgeons worldwide. For additional information, please visit

Distinguished Young Women - Nov 30th

From Lisa Buccella:

Eleven Franklin senior high school girls will be participating in Franklin's Distinguished Young Women on Saturday, November 30th at 7:30 @ TD Mercer Auditorium/Horace Mann.   Here is more information about this incredible program.  My daughter Katie is one of the eleven and it has been a great experience.  All the parents of junior high girls......I'll be reminding you about this next year.....

Each Distinguished Young Women program evaluates participants in the following categories: Scholastics (20% of overall score), Interview (25% of overall score), Talent (25% of overall score), Fitness (15% of overall score), and Self-Expression (15% of overall score).  There are no fees to enter the program.

Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. It has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women across the country and more than $93 million in cash scholarships at the local, state and national levels. In addition to cash scholarships, Distinguished Young Women participants are eligible for college-granted scholarships from almost 200 colleges and universities. More than $108 million in college scholarship opportunities were provided last year, some of which included full tuition, room, and board to first-class institutions. Many participants leave the program with scholarships to help them with their college educations, but all of them walk away with friendships, life skills and increased self-confidence. Distinguished Young Women strives to give every young woman the opportunity to further her education and prepare for a successful future.


To positively impact the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent.
Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments.
  • By encouraging continued education and providing college scholarships
  • By developing self-confidence and the abilities to interview effectively, to speak in public, to perform on stage and to build interpersonal relationships
  • By encouraging and showcasing excellence in academic achievement, physical fitness, on-stage performance skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly
  • By creating opportunities to beneficially inspire the lives of others

Division of Local Services: City & Town - November 21st, 2013

The MA Dept of Revenue Division of Local Services publishes this newsletter. This issue has a good analysis of the motor vehicle excise tax that we all pay. It explains how the tax is calculated and that the current depreciation table perhaps should be revised. It also explains how the tax has been affected by the decline in auto purchases which is reflected in the average age of vehicles on the road growing from about 8 years to 10 years.

City & Town - November 21st, 2013
Local Officials Directory
City & Town is published by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Division of Local Services (DLS) and is designed to address matters of interest to local officials.

Editor: Dan Bertrand

Editorial Board: Robert Nunes, Robert Bliss, Zack Blake, Amy Handfield, Sandra Bruso and Patricia Hunt
In this Issue:
What's Happening with the Motor Vehicle Excise?
Municipal Data Management and Technical Assistance Bureau
With all of the recent discussion around transportation funding, we thought it would be an opportune time to review the role of the motor vehicle excise (MVE) in municipal finance. In the analysis that follows, we examine the recent performance of this local receipt in terms of both budget estimates and actual collections and discuss some of the underlying reasons for recent trends. We evaluate whether lackluster performance of the MVE foreshadows a long-term trend where this revenue source continues to decline in prominence or whether recent declines are the natural result of the recession and will rebound as the economy improves.

Pursuant to MGL c.60A, the motor vehicle excise is imposed for the privilege of registering a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Although most people view Proposition 2 1/2 as a limit on property taxes, the initiative petition approved by Massachusetts voters in 1980 also lowered the motor vehicle excise rate from $66 per thousand to the current $25 per thousand rate. The amount of the excise is calculated by multiplying the value of the vehicle by this $25 per thousand tax rate. The valuation for a particular vehicle starts with the manufacturer's suggested retail price rather than the actual sale price and then this value is multiplied by the percentage in the statutory depreciation schedule shown below: 

In the year preceding the year of manufacture: 50%
In the year of manufacture: 90%
In the second year: 60%
In the third year: 40%
In the fourth year: 25%
In the fifth and succeeding years: 10%

It isn't hard to see a potential problem with this depreciation schedule as the valuation decreases sharply from 90 percent in the first year to 60 percent in the second year. In order for the MVE to be a steady, reliable revenue source for municipalities, new cars must be purchased at a rate at least roughly as great as the year before. When this doesn't happen, revenues from MVE decline and become a less significant factor in local budgets. To illustrate, though MVE revenue contributed 3.44 percent of total estimated municipal revenues statewide in FY2003, by FY2013 this revenue had become less important dropping to 2.59 percent as a percent of total estimated revenues.

Although the MVE may be declining as a revenue source, it still comes with a significant workload at the local level. For example, most municipalities annually issue approximately one MVE bill per resident. Of the state's 351 communities, 221 issued at least one bill per resident, with the island community of Chilmark being the only community in the state to issue two bills for every resident. The other towns on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket follow closely behind Chilmark in this ranking. Other communities high on the list tend to be on Cape Cod or in the Berkshires. In these locations, numerous vacation homes where vehicles may be garaged tend to drive up the bill numbers. In the majority of the state's largest cities, where parking may be limited and public transit is a viable option, the number of bills issued may be as low as five or six bills for every ten residents.

Next, we look at the data on estimated and actual MVE from FY2003 through FY2013 (See chart below). Noteworthy is the fact that the FY2013 estimated receipts from MVE totaled $605.9 million statewide, yet this level still lagged previous estimated totals from this source used in setting tax rates from FY2005 through FY2009. Actual motor vehicle excise collections over the ten year period from FY2003 through FY2012, peaked in FY2006 at $694.3 million, but by FY2010 actual revenue from this source statewide had decreased to $605.2 million. Compared to the FY2006 peak, this was a decrease of close to $90 million or 12.8 percent and was the low point for the ten year period. Revenues gradually rebounded in subsequent years, hitting $637.1 million in FY2011 and $644.5 million by FY2012. Despite this growth, actual FY2012 revenues did not match the peak performance of this receipt between FY2005 and FY2008 in 338 of the state's 351 communities. (See spreadsheet for detail)

Although common sense dictates that people will defer large purchases such as motor vehicles when the economy is poor, a review of the average age of motor vehicles offers empirical support for this axiom. A review of data from the Registry of Motor Vehicles reveals that the state average vehicle age in calendar 2003 was only 8.13 years, though by calendar 2011 this average had risen to 11.18 years, an increase of more than three years. 

  Year         Average Vehicle Age
FY2003                8.13
FY2004                8.43
FY2005                8.65
FY2006                8.87
FY2007                9.80
FY2008               10.09
FY2009                9.89
FY2010               10.30
FY2011               11.18
FY2012               10.03

These findings are reflected in national markets as well. According to automotive market research firm R. L. Polk, the average age of all passenger cars and light trucks in the United States reached an all-time high in 2013 of 11.4 years.(1) Polk projected this trend will continue for the next few year, but forecast growth for vehicles that were zero to five years old, in part reflective of pent-up demand for new vehicles given the decline in new vehicle registrations over the past five years. When assessed in the context of the depreciation table shown earlier, the increasing average age of vehicles highlights an underlying issue that may impact the future performance of MVE revenues.

Though the economic recession that began in the fall of 2008 explains some consumer reluctance to replace their vehicles, are there other influences at work here as well? One factor is that vehicles actually last longer now than they did in say the 1960s and 1970s. It was not uncommon for the bodies of cars of this vintage to "rust out," often well before mechanical systems failed. Now, with better undercoating and anti-corrosive protection, this seems to happen much less frequently even with the high use of road salt during New England winters. Environmental regulations around emissions have also forced automakers to "reduce the amount of oil being used by the engine to reduce the oil that reaches the catalytic converter." At the same time, materials used in engines now frequently use extremely hard "carbon finishes" to minimize wear on engine parts.(2) Given that the average age of vehicles has been trending up since 2000, well before the recession began, indications are that longer lasting vehicles are likely a contributing factor to this trend as well.

Recent national sales reports signal that August 2013 was a very strong month for auto sales. When these sales are projected on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, new auto sales in 2013 are expected to come close to or equal the pre-recession 2007 level. (3) While this is promising news, it's too early to tell if this represents a one-time event reflective of low interest rates for new cars and pent up demand left over from the recession years or if it reflects a more sustainable trend for future years.


Although the MVE is considered a general fund revenue that may be spent for any lawful municipal purpose, it isn't hard to make a connection between this revenue source and local transportation needs. However, analysis shows that the MVE is not a recession proof local receipt and that underlying market factors such as longer lasting vehicles may limit future growth of this revenue given the current depreciation schedule. While the MVE is often viewed by assessors, tax collectors and taxpayers alike as a nuisance, reconsideration of the depreciation scale set out in the statute may be in order. Recognizing that recently manufactured vehicles are more durable and have longer useful lives, a more gradual depreciation of the valuation would strengthen the long-term outlook for this revenue.

1.) R. L. Polk and Co., "Polk finds Average Age of Light Vehicles Continues to Rise," August 6, 2013
2.) Dexter Ford, "As Cars Are Kept Longer, 200,000 Is New 100,000," New York Times, March 16, 2013
3.) Angelo Young, "August 2013 US Auto Sales: Detroit Three Sold 662,669 Vehicles in US Last Month", International Business Times, September 4, 2013


This month's Ask DLS question comes from Town of Hardwick Assessor Jen Kolenda and is about the Levy Limit Worksheet. Jen asks...

What amounts may be included as "Other Adjustments" on the FY2014 Levy Limit Worksheet?

Other adjustments to the levy limit are for general laws or special acts that authorize such an increase. Three examples include (1) the Cape Cod Commission annual assessment, (2) Chapter 111 s127B1/2 that exempts appropriation or borrowing for underground storage tank removal, removal of dangerous levels of lead paint, or repair, replacement or upgrade of a home's septic system and (3) assessment of debt service upon the members of the Greater New Bedford Refuse Management District and Martha's Vineyard Regional Refuse Disposal District.

We'd like to hear from you. Please send any questions you may have to

Locations? Locations? Locations?

The Division of Local Services conducts trainings, workshops and seminars throughout the year across the Commonwealth. As an organization with offices in Boston, Worcester and Springfield, we make a concerted effort to accommodate our stakeholders in a variety of locations and are always looking for different parts of the state to host these events.

In order to continue to provide low and no-cost learning opportunities, we are compiling a list of communities with free space available for future events. This could include a conference room in the library, city or town hall, a senior center, or any similar public building. Ideally, we are looking for a space that could hold 60 individuals in a classroom setting or 75+ in an auditorium setting. Wireless internet accessibility and overhead projectors are also appreciated.

We greatly appreciate any and all suggestions. If your community is willing to host a DLS workshop, event or training, please contact Training Coordinator Donna Quinn at

Municipal Health Care Reform Forum Scheduled for December 3rd in Boston

Mayors, managers, and human resource officials involved in the implementation of municipal health reform are invited to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's (MAPC) breakfast forum on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, for an informal discussion with Dolores L. Mitchell, Executive Director of the Group Insurance Commission (GIC). This event will be held at MAPC's office at 60 Temple Place, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA from 9-11:30 AM. Space is limited. Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 27th to Nicholas Downing at or at (617) 933-0711.

Community Innovation Challenge Application Deadline is Tomorrow

The application deadline for the third round of the Community Innovation Challange grant program is Friday, November 22nd. The CIC program supports innovative projects at the local level, including regionalization. Over the past two years, the Patrick Administration has invested $6.25 million in 49 unique projects involving 197 municipalities across the Commonwealth.

For more information on the CIC program, including the application, please visit:

Please contact with any questions. Awards will be announced in February.
November Municipal Calendar

1 - Taxpayer - Semi-Annual Tax Bill - Deadline for First Payment

According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 57, this is the deadline for receipt of the first half semi-annual tax bills or the optional preliminary tax bills without interest, unless bills were mailed after October 1, in which case they are due 30 days after mailing.

1 - Taxpayer - Semi-Annual Tax Bills - Application Deadline for Property Tax Abatement
According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 59, applications for abatements are due on the same date as the first actual tax installment for the year.

1 - Taxpayer - Quarterly Tax Bills Deadline for Paying 2nd Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest

1 - Treasurer - Deadline for Payment of First Half of County Tax

15 - DESE - Notify Communities/Districts of Any Prior Year School Spending Deficiencies

By this date, or within 30 days of a complete End of Year Report (see September 30), DESE notifies communities/districts in writing of any additional school spending requirements.

30 - Accountant - Submit Schedule A for Prior Fiscal Year
This report is a statement of the revenues received, expenditures made and all other transactions related to the community's finances during the previous fiscal year. The Schedule A classifies revenues and expenditures into detailed categories that will provide information essential for an analysis of revenues and expenditures generated by various departments. This data, like other financial information reported to DOR, is entered into DOR's Municipal Data Bank; as such, the Department may provide time series, comparative and other types of analyses at the request of a city or town. This information is also sent to the US Census Bureau and eliminates a prior year federal reporting requirement. Failure to file by November 30th may result in withholding major distributions of state aid until the Schedule A is accepted by BOA.

30 - Selectmen/Mayor - Review Budgets Submitted by Department Heads
This date will vary depending on dates of town meeting.

30 - Treasurer - Notification of monthly local aid distribution. Click to view distribution breakdown

To unsubscribe to City and Town and all other DLS Alerts, please click here.

"raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21"

The Milford Daily News reports that the Board of Health while revising the local health regulations is also considering raising the age limit to buy tobacco products.
Franklin Health Director David McKearney said in an email Wednesday that the town’s proposed regulation "is very similar to the town of Needham's at this moment." 
On what drove his department to draft new regulations, McKearney said, "Our tobacco regs are not very comprehensive presently." 
Though he would not discuss the specifics of the regulations, McKearney said that he wanted to add controls for e-cigarettes and inexpensive flavored cigars. And he will consider banning smoking in membership clubs, which are exempted in the state’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law.

Read more:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mount St trees and new utility poles

Mount St is one of my regular walking or running routes. It is a challenge to make the climb but worth every step. When I heard that "every large tree" was being removed to make way for some new power lines, I was concerned. I got out to Mount St last weekend to take a walk and some photos. Less than 10 large trees were cut leaving many others in place.

corner of Summer and Mount streets

three large trees down on the right approaching Summer St

midway up the hill, the tree line is still full

this monster of an old tree is still growing

another large tree near the slight curve before the crest

new poles are taller than the poles being replaced

The prior posting on the Mount St tree issue can be found here

Franklin Cheerleaders Participating in Cheer for Dana-Farber Fundraiser

New fundraiser gives cheerleaders the opportunity to help conquer cancer

Cheer for Dana-Farber
BOSTON — Cheerleaders from Franklin are participating in the Cheer for Dana-Farber fundraiser. As a part of this new fundraising initiative, the Franklin High School Junior Varsity cheerleaders will raise critical funds to support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The fundraiser kicked off on Sept. 2 and will conclude on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. The concept of this new fundraiser was submitted by cheerleading coaches Maureen Sullivan (Nashua, N.H.) and Tamara Hayes (Shirley, Mass.). To participate in Cheer for Dana-Farber, cheerleading teams can fundraise in their local communities through initiatives such as car washes, bake sales, and canister collections. There is no minimum fundraising requirement.

"As a cheerleading coach and being involved in high school athletics, I am honored that Cheer for Dana-Farber has become a reality," Sullivan said. "So many of us have been touched by cancer in some way, and we wanted a way to help support patient care and research at Dana-Farber. This fundraiser will teach young adults about giving back through their passion for cheerleading."

All teams that raise $1,000 or more will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize— a chance to perform a pre-game cheerleading routine at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 29, 2013 when the New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills. Each additional $1,000 raised earns teams an additional ticket entered into the drawing. The top five fundraising teams will be invited to a master cheer class run by the New England Patriots cheerleaders at the Dana-Farber field house in Foxboro, Mass.

To learn more about Cheer for Dana-Farber or to support the Franklin High School Junior Varsity cheerleaders, please visit:

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women's Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Boston Children's Hospital as Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding. 
Follow Dana-Farber on Facebook: and on Twitter: @danafarber.

"We’d be getting rid of blight"

Matt Tota from the Milford Daily News summarized the Town Council workshop in part by writing:
Seated around a boardroom table, councilors pored over a list of topics that they’ll see at upcoming meetings. And they began by sharing ideas for potential uses for the old Town Hall on Emmons Street. 
Councilors Judith Pfeffer and Peter Padula had divergent views. The town should sell the land for the money, Pfeffer said. However, Padula argued that leasing would prove the better option, as it could create a dedicated revenue stream. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said that money from selling the property outright could only be used for large capital improvement projects. With a lease, the town could put the money toward anything.

Read more:

My full set of notes reported live during the discussion can be found here

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Live reporting - Town Council - workshop

Present: Feldman, Padula, Mercer, Kelly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Williams
Nutting, Cerel, Kinhart

discussion on handout (to be added later)

items collected under subtitles of Finances, Infrastructure and Zoning to be allocated to the respective sub-committee with an action for the respective from chair on the status

motion to assign as suggested, motion passed

4 - Future use of 150 Emmons St property (old town hall)
discussion on how to handle suggestions, evaluate the proposals and determine an option or set of options to be brought before the Council

discussion on the Economic Development Committee, need to keep to the commitment on the public meeting for January, to further put for the discussion and evaluation

park drive-through, revenue generator
we need places for revenue and to park, parking will always be an issue
highest and best use, no school, that looses the revenue, mixed use
sale, lease, ground lease as third option

money from the sale of the property can only be used for another capital project
if leased, the revenue can be used anywhere

there are two issues: what the council wants as a use and what revenue comes from the property

5 - Pond St property

action - refer to Economic Development Committee (EDC) to come back with a recommendation

workshop at EMC on Wednesday, Dec 4th with one of the topics specifically to generate ideas on the use of the Pond St property

6 - Downtown Parking

current bylaw calls for enforcement for parking 24 hours, that is not practical
should look at the current regulation, meter rates haven't adjusted in years
when Post Office moves into their new parking spaces, that frees up space at Emmons St
there are multiple issues that all need to be part of the discussion
when the meters come out for the construction, should they go back? that needs to be part of the mix

7 - aggregate solar power in Town
collaborative effort to gain buying power and win some solar power for the Town
tax incentives

refer to Town Staff for research

8 - A housing production plan
9 - Joint meetings with Housing Trust, Planning Board, Town Planning Dept, Housing Authority, Council on Aging
Housing trust has cash on hand and nothing is being done to expand the housing stock for low income housing; needs to be collaborative planning among the various department
look at the maps and acreage available to see what can be done with the housing to create opportunity for low income use; Norfolk and Plymouth just did stuff like this

putting a plan together to build a house with Tri-County going before the ZBA soon
apartments are a huge economic loss to the town for school expense vs. revenue
the affordable program in MA is broken; limits are not inline with the reality, a state issue with a local impact; need to approach the legislature and let them fix it

seniors need help, we don't need to fix all of it, we need to provide some help, and phase them in

hasn't been a factor that the Council doesn't want to do it, they do, what we need to do is get the folks together and address it with the money we have

goal to get the folks together and list the options

Action - Nutting to get meeting together

10 - Detailed, stated, written policy, procedures for new business, new construction, new entities coming into Town

Nutting hands out a listing of three years worth of Planning Board actions
getting folks through the permitting process has been done quickly and efficiently
the Cook's Farm was an exception

each of these can be a real moving target depending upon what the proposed deal is going to be

there are two different things here, a developer who comes in with a specific idea but looking for a location, or another coming in with a location and looking for what could be done with it

The Economic Dev Comm had met with the developer on the Pond St and did not hear back until after it came to the Council

issue with information on what is being developed via discussion and likely coming through a Technical Review without Council being aware of it, who knows vs who doesn't (Council)
why not include the information on the EDC agenda, doesn't want to add weeks to the approval process, just want to have information and communication

Nutting - communications is easily resolved

11 - having membership on Technical Review meeting
two issues per M Cerel, one would require meeting to be public meeting; two would create a chilling atmosphere for the discussion in the meetings

Nutting - let me figure out how to accomplish

12 - If Council has a problem with a department head the Town Administrator should address
the Council can get into trouble getting into personnel matters in a public meeting
I am always willing to listen

we're a new council, we'll feel each other out, I don't really agree that we should agree to disagree, that just may not be the end of the matter

not position of the Council to deal with the details of personnel affairs

13 - having a committee, boards have standard rule or procedures, accepted and followed by each board or committee

if there is an appointed Board, there is some leverage

there are boards that conduct public hearings as a matter of course for their business that is different from conducting a regular meeting

look for action to have Nutting work with Cerel to come up with the standard procedures, even if it is a refresh of the current process/procedures

the issue is if the decision is not handled properly, then it is up to the aggrieved party to address it

14 - hiring a marketing/out reach firm
the MDN doesn't cover the good stuff, it covers the bad stuff; it should help our Planning Dept (they are so busy, backed up), the firm could then stump for new businesses coming to Town

an important person to add to our staff

send to budget committee

if we can afford it, we should do so;

Dean College is now aligned with Suffolk and they have a marketing program that perhaps with an intern we could leverage some time and talent that way

15 - Council visibility
past councils have been visible, there are nine of us, we should have someone there
we should be cutting ribbons, not the Town Administrator

use of the Town calendar, the recent election wasn't on the calendar
the website is being re-done so we can add to it

need to re-do the meetings at the Senior Center now that Tina has moved on

16 - Communication/protocols
17 - thinking outside the box
for example, exploring the transfer of land from the State to the Town near the Recycle Center
the Town has been trying for years to swap the land, now there is a new commissioner and it maybe possible

there is a long list of things that the Council has done that were thinking outside the box, you don't give as much credit to yourself as you should

18 - Citizenship awards being given monthly - solicit names from the Council and public
there are lots of volunteers and citizens that should be recognized
add some additional money to the budget,
propose the name and the additional background

Vallee - will be lobbying to add 2 policemen to the force; will be looking to add 10 teachers to the schools, need to work with the School Committee
add to the budget sub-committee

Nutting - I give the School Committee a number to work with as part of their planning process; if we as a town get $2.5M of new revenue, then about 1.3M could be for the Schools, how would they use it? They need to plan just as we do.

we can put money in the budget, we can't tell them what to do with it

everything on this listing is all about communications, rather than waiting for the one time budget discussion, let's bring them in and have the discussion and work with them to do so

ask the School Committee to come to the Council after the Joint Budget sub-committee

meeting closes

Food Elves Coming to Your Neighborhood This December

The enterprising and energetic Franklin Food Elves soon will be canvassing neighborhoods all around Franklin collecting goods during the “12 Days of Donating” campaign to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. From December 1 to December 12, citizens can donate items in their own neighborhoods or at local participating businesses to help neighbors in need.
Franklin Downtown Partnership

The Food Elves is a charitable community service group made up of more than 60 students ranging from elementary through high school. For the past two years they have joined forces with the Franklin Downtown Partnership to operate the “12 Days of Donating” campaign with great success. This year the Elves aim to beat last year’s record-breaking collection drive by raising more than $5,700 and 4,200 pounds of goods.

“The people who live and work in Franklin have been so generous that our ’12 Days of Donating’ campaign helped the Food Pantry give out about 17,000 meals to families last winter,” says Cameron Piana, Food Elves co-founder. “This town’s support has been awesome and we hope we can do more this year.”

According to the Food Pantry, about 600 households are registered to use Pantry services. This year’s need will be even greater due to a decrease in SNAP benefits in November. Health and hygiene items are not covered by those benefits and are a particular need.

“The Food Elves truly bring out the magic of the holidays,” says Erin Lynch, Food Pantry director of development. “These amazing kids organize and implement one of the biggest drives of the entire year for the pantry. Their ’12 Days of Donating’ campaign provides thousands of pounds of food for those who need it. At the same time it fuels this community with what we all need: inspiration, hope and a shining example of the impact young people can make when they work together.”

In early December, Food Elves will notify their neighbors about the collection campaign, including what items can be collected and the collection dates. Residents simply place bags of goods at their mailboxes on the designated pickup day and the Elves will do the rest. Collection dates will be Saturday, December 7, Sunday, December 8, or Saturday, December 14.

Franklin Food Pantry

In case there’s no Elf in your neighborhood, it is still easy to donate. The Elves have placed bright red collection bins at participating Downtown Partnership member businesses. If the Elves meet their goal of collecting more than 1,200 pounds of goods, each business has pledged to donate $200. There will be a donation bin at the Holiday Stroll tree lighting ceremony at Dean College on Thursday, December 5, or you can drop off donations at the Food Pantry, 43 West Central St., and designate them for the “12 Days of Donating” drive.

Bins can be found at these participating locations:

  • DCU, 500 West Central St.
  • Dean Bank, 21 Main St.
  • Dean College, Campus Center
  • Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St.
  • Franklin Downtown Partnership Office, 9 East Central St.
  • Jane’s Frames, 11 East Central St.
  • Murphy Business, 15 East Central St.
  • Pour Richard’s Wine and Spirits, 14 Grove St.

“It’s a busy time of year and we’re working with the food elves to make donating easy and convenient,” says Nicole Fortier, Partnership president. “When you’re out shopping or running errands, please stop by one of our local businesses and drop off some goods. The Partnership is happy to support these students who are doing important work and helping our community.”

The Franklin Food Elves may be your neighbors:
Colin and CJ Berg; Gabbie Blood; Malik, Hatim, Suhail and Nasir Brahimi; Julia and Katie Buccella; Cara and Chris Callahan; Sarah Carroll; Austin and Carter Castillo; Avery and Erin Chalk; Allie Champlin; Gillian Cristiano; Karen Cunningham; Jacob and Julia Dextradeur; Ryan Dombroski; Brendan Donaghey; Jamie Dragsbaek; Adam Duval; Kaleigh, Abby, Megan and Maddie Egan; Griffin and John Fenton; Haley Frank; Megan Georges; Alexa Katsaros; Maddie Lacman; Nicolette McCarthy; Kyle Neenan; Connor O’Brian; Cameron Piana; Dylan, Kaitlyn, Lindsey and Sydney Rappa; Ashley and Taylor Reutlinger; Sara Richardson; Aubree, Cassi and Corey Ronan; Abby, Chloe and Cooper Ross; Emily Shea; Jake Signo; Cam and Evan Strouse; Ellie and Katie Teixeira; Ben and Dan Weiss.

For more information about the Franklin Food Elves and the “12 Days of Donating” campaign, please contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at (774)571-3109 or For more information about the Franklin Food Pantry and what items are needed, go to their website,, or call (508) 528-3115.

Franklin Library: LEGO Mania

The Franklin Public Library will hold a Lego Mania session for children 6-12 on Thursday, Nov 21 at 4:00 PM

Library - Lego mania
Lego mania

This item was shared from the Franklin Public Library page here

MassBudget: A breakdown of who would be affected by a minimum wage increase - by region and demographics

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Increasing the Minimum Wage: Who's Affected 
Raising the minimum wage would increase the wages of hundreds of thousands of people across the Commonwealth. Our new factsheet and interactive tool help provide a more complete picture of who would be affected.

Using the new interactive tool allows you to see that raising the minimum wage to $11 by 2016 would affect roughly 589,000 people. What is more, it shows a detailed breakdown by race, gender, income, education, and more--including the fact that 88% of the people affected would be 20 years old or older.  

Separately, our updated report on The Regional Impact of a Minimum Wage Increase looks at how a minimum wage increase would affect people in different areas of the state. We find that substantial numbers of people in every region of the state would see their wages rise, and the effect would be particularly widespread in low-income communities.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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