Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hockomock Area YMCA Welcomes New Gymnastics & Dance Director

The Bernon Family Branch of the Hockomock Area YMCA in Franklin has hired Jodie Bedard as Gymnastics and Dance Director. Bedard brings more than 20 years of experience coaching both recreational and competitive gymnasts, and has personal experience competing up through USA Gymnastics level 10. She will be responsible for the management of the gymnastics and dance programs including program development, staff hiring and supervision, and building strong relationships with participants and their parents. In addition, Jodie will be managing summer gymnastics camp programs, as well as coaching the Hockomock Area YMCA’s competitive gymnastics team based out of the Y’s North Attleboro branch.

Bedard first began coaching gymnastics as a teen, at the New York YMCA’s National Gymnastics Training Camp in Huguenot, NY. Her career includes serving as the assistant women’s gymnastics coach for Rhode Island College, where she was involved with all phases of the RIC women’s gymnastics program, including recruiting, scouting, administering practice and meet coaching. Bedard has served as a coach at Ocean State School of Gymnastics in Lincoln, RI for the past seven years.

“I’ve been involved in some way with the YMCA since I was 12 years old,” said Bedard, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to be here and be able to give back some of what my Y experiences have given me. I am here to bring the Bernon Family branch’s gymnastics program to a whole new level. I am also happy to be able to bring all my years of choreography to the dance program here. Every young person should have the chance to have a Y experience. I am beyond proud to be part of that!”

Jodie is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she competed in their Division 1 Competitive Gymnastics program. She currently resides in Rhode Island with her daughter Madeline.

About Hockomock Area YMCA:
The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. With over 33,000 members, half under the age of 18, their promise is to partner and collaborate with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve. Their programs and activities emphasize the development of the whole person in spirit, mind, and body and are available to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

Representative Roy: Franklin Seniors Tour State House

Franklin Seniors tour State House
             Boston, MA -- Representative Jeffrey Roy (D. Franklin) was honored to host a group from the Franklin Senior Center in the State House. The seniors took a tour of the People's House and were joined by Senators Karen Spilka (Ashland – D) and Richard Ross (Wrentham – R) for an inside tour of the State Senate Chamber and Reading Room. The tour also featured a visit with House Clerk Steven James who provided insight on the history of the House Chamber.
"It was a fun and engaging visit with a great group from Franklin," said Representative Roy (Franklin-D), "Many of them were visiting the State House for the first time and were engaging with the State House employees they met along the way."
The timing of the visit and tour coincided with events surrounding the anniversary of President Kennedy's Assassination. The seniors had an opportunity to reflect and share their thoughts with WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben on the events of 50 years ago and the aftermath of President Kennedy's assassination.
"It was wonderful to welcome such a terrific group to the State House," Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) said. "Learning about the political process and getting involved in government is very important at any age. I'm so glad we were able to offer this opportunity for seniors in our community to visit and learn how to continue to be active and engaged citizens."
"It's always a great opportunity to show constituents around the historic Massachusetts State House, with the Commonwealth having played such a critical role in our nation's history. It was my pleasure to aid in taking Franklin Seniors on a tour and I hope I was able to add to their learning experience. " said Senator Ross.

FPAC Holiday Shows

Celebrate the Holidays with a Show!

Enjoy a festive double-bill of FPAC holiday entertainment with back-to-back productions of Tchaikovsky's classic The Nutcracker on December 14 & 15 and the original holiday musical Carol's Christmas on December 21 & 22!

  • A highly anticipated FPAC tradition for more than 20 years, The Nutcracker brings Boston Ballet stars, world-class musicians and more than 100 area dancers to one suburban stage!
  • FPAC's magical journey of The Nutcracker features special guest artists from Boston Ballet as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier and a professional 27-piece orchestra under the direction of maestro Peter Cokkinias.
  • With luminous costuming and sparkling set design, the timeless fairytale ballet is a family favorite that enchants audiences of all ages.
  • FPAC premieres Carol's Christmas this season, a new contemporary musical comedy written by Nick Paone, who penned FPAC's popular Humbug!
  • Ring in the holidays with a large ensemble cast of 160 talented area performers as they sing and dance their way through this joyous, uplifting and hilarious story!
  • Carol's Christmas features an entertaining score with music of many genres and live musical accompaniment by members of the Kenny Hadley Big Band.
Click below to Buy your Nutcracker and Carol's Christmas tickets online


Franklin Performing Arts Company uses Vendini for ticketing, marketing, and box office management.

Franklin Performing Arts Company - PO Box 16, Franklin, MA, 02038, (508) 528-8668
Vendini, Inc. - 660 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94104, 1 (800) 901-7173

View as a web page.

In the News: nativity festival, foundation awards, Celtic Christmas, tax rate

Nativity festival set for today at Franklin church

Nativity sets serve as the focal point in many homes during the holiday season with some families passing these heirlooms down from one generation to another.

Foundation awards $228K to groups throughout MetroWest

Foundation for MetroWest announced on today that it has awarded grants totaling $228,000 to organizations throughout  MetroWest as part of their 2013 Competitive Grant Program. The announcement was part of an event held this week at The Center for the Arts in Natick (TCAN).

To do this weekend: Celtic Christmas Celebration

The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse presents a Celtic Christmas Concert on Saturday, Dec. 14 in Franklin.

Franklin Town Council stays with single tax rate

Considering Franklin's small commercial tax base, the Town Council on Wednesday chose to stick with a single tax rate.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Weekend events in Franklin

There are choices to make this weekend.

Breakfast with Santa
One seating Saturday at 9:30 AM - British Beer Co

The Nutcracker - Franklin School for Performing Arts
Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 2:00

The Nutcracker - Patti Eisenhauer Dance Company
Saturday 5:30 and Sunday 1:00

Nativity Set Festival
Saturday at 5:00, Church of Later Day Saints

A Christmas Concert at Circle of Friends Coffeehouse
Saturday 8:00 PM

Did I miss anything?

Schools - early dismissal Friday

The photo was taken on a warmer and snowless day. See how the weather changes quickly here in New England!

Parmenter sign
Parmenter sign

With the forecast of a nasty but changeable storm coming our way Saturday evening, be safe!

Hockomock Hockey Season preview

From the preview of the hockey season:

What's the team to watch in the Hock this year and why?
Josh Perry: The most talented and deep roster in the league this season belongs to Franklin. With forward Troy Donahue and arguably the top defenseman in the league in Kyle Powers, plus top-three goalie Devon Maloof, the Panthers are stocked to make another charge at a league title. The biggest key for head coach Chris Spillane will be the continued development of the younger players like Alec Borkowski and Nick Downie who emerged as offensive threats last year in the playoffs. Borkowski, in particular, was one of Franklin’s best players in the final two weeks of last season and as a junior will be counted on to provide some of the scoring lost by the graduation of nearly two lines worth of forwards. It will also be interesting to see how Franklin reacts to a Division I schedule, as the Panthers (along with Mansfield and King Philip) jump out of D2, but this is a program with a history of success and it should continue this season.

Franklin is mentioned elsewhere in the article so you can  read the full story here

In the News: Nutcracker here, Nutcracker there, breakfast with Santa, Nativity sets

Franklin: Growing up in 'The Nutcracker'

When Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) presents its annual production of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” this weekend, more than 100 area dancers will grace the stage.

Becoming Clara… PEDC dancers reflect on path to ‘Nutcracker’ lead role

It all began at the age of 6 when she was cast as the “lead mouse” and a “polichenelle” and the adventure of being in Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center’s, “The Nutcracker,” was upon her.

Holiday breakfast to benefit Santa Foundation in Franklin

A Breakfast with Santa to benefit the Santa Foundation will be held at the British Beer Company, 280 Franklin Village Drive, Franklin on Saturday, Dec. 14. There will be one seating at 9:30 a.m.

Christmas Nativity Festival planned in Franklin, Dec. 14

On Saturday, Dec. 14 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Franklin is organizing a Nativity Festival. More than 100 nativity sets from church members and area residents will be on display during the open house.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Performance this evening - A Christmas Carol Times Two

"A Christmas Carol Times Two!", a dramatic reading performance of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" combined with traditional 19th century English Christmas carols will happen on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7PM at the Franklin United Methodist Church, 82 West Central Street in Franklin, Massachusetts.
Al LePage performs "A Christmas Carol"

"Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Traveling Thespian" portrayed by actor Al LePage, complete with English accent and Victorian-era clothing, will give his dramatic reading performance based on Dickens' very own historic script as a one-man show using only his voice, facial expressions and gestures to create some 18 characters.

Organist and local minister Rev. Dr. Dianne Carpenter will weave organ music between various scenes to set the tone for what's to come and entertain. This is a special benefit performance hosted by the Franklin United Methodist Church with all proceeds to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry.

Admission is $10 per person and the performance is best appreciated by both adults and children 7 years of age and older. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in advance through, either on-line or by calling their 24/7 toll-free number 1-800-838-3006, and if still available, at the door the day of event. Doors for the performance open at 6:30PM, the fun begins at 6:45PM, and seating is general admission.

Tickets are also available at the Franklin Food Pantry during open hours 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Tues, Weds and Thursday.

Franklin - Fiscal Policy Draft Update

There is a fiscal policy that Franklin operates with. This year, the policy is being consider for revision and the revisions will include input from the Finance Committee, Town Council and School Committee.

The Finance Committee reviewed and discussed the update at their meeting on Tuesday. This was also mentioned during the Town Administrators update during the Council meeting on Weds. It is scheduled for further discussion within the budget subcommittee before the Council takes it up. It is also scheduled for review by the School Committee.

Franklin Library: All In - Dec 16th

There will be a discussion and activities around the book "Divergent" lead by Horace Mann Middle School reading specialist Ms O'Leary. The discussion will focus on chapters 11-25.

Additional info can be found in this posting by the Library:

Divergent - discussion and activities
Divergent - discussion and activities
This was originally posted to the Franklin Library webpage here

In the News: Dean Bank, license penalties

Bellingham Police look into Dean Bank robbery

Authorities are probing a Monday robbery at the Dean Bank on Pulaski Boulevard and say they believe the suspect is the same man who robbed that bank in October.

Franklin council to review penalties for liquor license violators

Town Councilors tonight will discuss new guidelines for penalizing businesses caught selling liquor to minors.

Note: This item was posted to the MDN website at 6:08 AM on Wednesday morning. The timing of the post by MND caused it to miss my posting yesterday. Since there is not yet a post on the meeting last night, i suspect something similar is happening. Whether this timing of the posts MDN makes is deliberate or accidental, doesn't matter to me. My radar should pick it up eventually.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Live reporting - Closing

thanks to the Downtown Partnership and Dean for a wonderful Holiday Stroll

package provided to the Council as reviewed with the FinCom on Tuesday

reminder on snow event forecasted for this weekend
secondary roads have secondary priority for salting

thanks to the assessors for the recap and while it looks seemless
it is thousands of hours of work and we'll start on next year's tomorrow

estimate approx $270 for the average residence assessed at $364,000
except for market conditions, housing values rarely decrease
of the $270, approx 50 is the new high school

Padula - thanks to Mark Cerel to go over some of the questions I had at the last meeting

Jones - propose that the draft of license penalties as discussed be put on the agenda for formal adoption

Bissanti - Citizens committee to appoint Judy Pfeffer, add to next agenda
re- the flag situation,
Nutting - it is all fixed, we will work it out, we will get another set of flags for the Elks
contractually some days the DPW needs to do the flags

Williams - happy and safe holiday's hug your kids
Jones - thanks Mass Development for hosting the event last week
Pfeffer - thanks for the holiday covers on the parking meters
Happy Birthday, Victor Pisani

Mercer - thanks for the Holiday Stroll, wish weather was a little better
we are building tight and roof tight for the winter
looking forward to either Jan or Feb to bring the Council up to date

Padula - happy holidays to all

Feldman - thanks for the good time at the ribbon cutting at the Abbey solar farm

motion to adjourn,  passed

Live reporting - License renewals, Legislation

Guidelines and Criteria for Penalizing Alcoholic Beverage License holder Violations

discussion on guidelines
there are two scenarios (1) police stings
ABC Board doesn't like these sting operations and doesn't feel that licensee should be penalized
(2) other operational violations - where an incident or accident occurs and underage drinking was found to have occurred. These are much more case by case. Could use compliance check and then at the mitigating factors to consider.

Williams - Nice work, I see nothing inconsistent with what we have done in prior Councils. Send them out to the renewals, then there is no excuse for someone saying I wasn't aware of that. Our hands aren't tied, these are the minimums and we can do more as required

Nutting - we could send them out with the renewals and then every year thereafter

Jones - I am happy to see that we have this in writing, it is good to have.

Bissanti - I want to applaud Mark Cerel for tackling this. I think the penalties are reasonable. I think attaching this to any license is a good idea.

Williams - as a rule, there is a notice out to the establishments that a sting is forthcoming.
Cerel - there is a set of guidelines on how to conduct

this will come up for a resolution and or as a bylaw for January meeting

Motion to approve the license renewals
seconded, approved 7-0-1 (abstain - Padula)

Padula - will abstain for the whole vote to avoid conflict of interest


1. Resolution 13-85: Classification Tax Allocation – Residential Factor
residential factor set as 1
motion to approve, 8-0

2. Resolution 13-86: Classification Tax Allocation – Open Space Exemption
There will not be an exemption for open space
motion to approve, 8-0

by not having these exemptions, everyone is treated the same

3. Resolution 13-87: Classification Tax Allocation – Small Business Exemption
There will not be an exemption for small business
motion to approve, 8-0

4. Resolution 13-88: Classification Tax Allocation – Residential Property Exemption
There will not be an exemption for residential property
motion to approve, 8-0

5. Resolution 13-89: 2014 Schedule of Town Council Meetings
motion, seconded, approved 8-0

6. Resolution 13-90: Legal Notices
designated the Milford Daily News as the legal source
motion, seconded, approved 8-0

7. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-726: Amendment to Chapter 185, Attachment 9, Schedule of Lot, Area,
Frontage Yard and Height Requirements – Referral to Planning Board

Mercer, Bissanti, Padula  recused themselves from this discussion

Motion to refer to Planning Board, seconded

impervious coverage chart wasn't adjusted for the unit density calculations
looking to get the impervious change for Zone 7, not in any other zone
looking only to affect multi-family in Zone 7

Passed 5-0

live reporting - Tax Classification Hearing

Tax Classification Hearing – 7:10 PM

The documents associated with the tax rate hearing can be found here

reference to the booklet shown by Ken Norman, the documents contained in the booklet are found in the link above.

Kevin Doyle, Director of Assessors
Ken Norman, Chairman - Board of Directors
Chris Feeley, John Neas

discussion on single vs. split tax rate, most communities inside the 128 beltway
the single rate is the fairest given the disproportionate groups residential vs. commercial industrial

Bissanti - a dual tax rate is burdensome upon the businesses, businesses have left communities for that

the high school building raised the taxes about $48 dollars on the average

My personal notes: this simpler quicker presentation was not very informative. If folks have seen this before, it is a minor rate change. If people have not seen this before, then they don't get much info in this forum.

Live reporting: Town Council - Dec 11, 2013

Present: Feldman, Padula, Mercer, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Williams
Absent: Kelly


This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may also be recorded by Franklin Matters.

No meeting Dec 18th, next meeting Jan 15th


Mark Ellis - Franklin Elks
regarding flags on Main St for veterans funerals
offering to keep tradition of putting the flags up
will take down and store, coordinate with the funeral homes


(three minute recess)

Senior Center: parking lot expansion making progress

The plans for expanding the Senior Center by finishing the second floor are underway. There is money being set aside in a Senior Center Stabilization Fund to help with the cost of the completion. The additional space would bring more people so the parking at the Senior Center would need to expand. Franklin jumped on the chance to purchase the property next door to provide space to do so.

The property purchase was authorized earlier this year and the house was just recently demolished. The before and after photos are below.

From October - the 'before' picture

Beaver St house purchased by Franklin
Beaver St house purchased by Franklin

From this past weekend - the 'after' picture

Now an empty lot on Beaver St
Now an empty lot on Beaver St

Some time in the future, the Town Council will need to approve the plans and funds for the parking lot expansion work.

For Lifelong Learning Spring is coming soon

An update from Lifelong Learning:
Lifelong Learning constantly works in the future, as well as the present. By that I mean that we are always working on learning initiatives for the upcoming semester and year, as we implement other programs/courses on a daily basis. 
Yesterday we finished editing the Adult Education and Community Learning spring brochure. The brochure will be mailed to residents of Franklin, Bellingham and Wrentham. It includes a number of traditional offerings: Volleyball, Basketball, Yoga, Zumba, Language, Photography, Writing, Dance and more. Additionally, it features new courses offered in collaboration with businesses from Franklin and the surrounding communities: Kettlebells for Women with f.i.t. of Bellingham, Wine and Chocolate Tasting with Franklin Liquors and Green Mountain Chocolates, IPAs -- Hoppy Ales with Pour Richards, and Ladies Snowshoe/Trek and Ladies Light Hike with Nanci Cahalane and held in Foxboro.

We are in the process of receiving course proposals for the Summer Programs. Faculty and staff are proposing courses for students from kindergarten through grade 12. Their creativity and dedication make the Summer Program an enriching experience for all involved. Watch the Franklin Public Schools website in mid-January for registration information. 
Lifelong Learning is a department within the Franklin Public Schools. The leadership provided by the Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Sabolinski, is critical to the success of this department. Her leadership reinforces and supports the mission and purpose of Lifelong Learning.

As always, please contact us with any questions:

This was posted to the Lifelong Learning website here

Voices of Franklin: NDAA - What Would Nelson Mandela Do?

Rich Aucoin included me on this email:

Question: Are your elected officials doing what Nelson Mandela would do on NDAA's indefinite detentions? 
Are they honoring their constitutional Oaths of Office by standing up for equal justice and due process under the law? Or are they violating the sacred trust we placed in them to protect our most basic civil rights? 
Please take two minutes to read PANDA Massachusetts' latest news letter below.

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NDAA: What Would Nelson Mandela Do?

Courage is not the absence of fear; it is inspiring others to move beyond it.
-- Dr. Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela's bold political activism changed the world. His willingness to challenge the unjust policies of his national government reminds us of the bravery and personal sacrifice that gave rise to our own nation. By standing up against unequal justice in South Africa, Mandela set a timeless example for all of modern humanity. But let us remember that the very ideas and actions that made Nelson Mandela a human rights icon also once resulted in the U.S. branding him a terrorist.
That's right, prominent political figures in the United States branded peace negotiator Mandela a "terrorist" for his justice activism. And yet now we are expected to believe that the U.S. government is somehow infallible when it does such branding today. Under the 2012 NDAA, anyone branded a terrorist, including American citizens, can be presumed guilty and imprisoned for life based on accusation alone, deprived even of the kind of sham trial that Mandela was given in Apartheid South Africa.
So it is ironic that over the next week we will be hearing American politicians of every political stripe gushing with pride and praise for Dr. Mandela's resistance to tyranny. It begs the question: how many of these politicians would have defended Mandela's belligerent acts against the state when he was actually committing them? How many would have locked him up and thrown away the key without due process, NDAA-style?
What Would Mandela Do?
Based on what we know of Nelson Mandela's political activism and the terrible price he paid for it, it is easy to know which side he would take on this question of defending equal due process rights vs. allowing indefinite detentions. Our peaceful grassroots movement to lawfully block NDAA detentions thus provides a useful litmus test for determining who in Massachusetts politics truly possesses Mandela's moral convictions  - and who doesn't.
From his career after prison, we know that politician Mandela would not agree with public officials who sit by idly and accept NDAA's injustices; those who claim it is someone else's job to stand up for basic rights, not mine.
So let us see who in Massachusetts politics has taken a stand against NDAA.
Congressman Jim McGovern has been the strongest leader so far. Besides working tirelessly in Congress to end NDAA's indefinite detention provisions, he has also written in support of PANDA's civil rights advocacy to restore due process at the local level. And to their credit, every other member of the Massachusetts delegation has at least voted to repeal NDAA's unconstitutional sections.
At the state level, Representative Ryan Fattman is another elected official standing up for the right of trial by jury. He supports PANDA's pending State House legislation blocking NDAA detentions in the Commonwealth and has urged town leaders in his district to pass local anti-NDAA resolutions.
At the local level, the people of Webster and Oxford have successfully blocked NDAA, blazing the trail for civil rights leaders in other Bay State communities.
Dr. Jill Stein of the Green-Rainbow Party has spoken out against the NDAA, as have numerous organizations, such as the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Worcester Tea Party together with Occupy Worcester, the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts (LAMA), the Massachusetts chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP), the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and others.
It is time for Massachusetts legislators and local officials to do what Nelson Mandela would do.
Contact your local and state officialsTell them to join the people of Massachusetts in restoring the Right of due process.

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Local Musicians Give Back


Milford, MA – There's a handful of local musicians who are looking to make a difference in the local area and they call themselves LAME.  But that's a good thing… you see, LAME stands for for Local Area Music Ensemble.  LAME was conceived after local musicians Lou Miano, Tim Galvin, Eric Milot and Ligor helped Ray Auger and his acoustic partner Justin Redden record their original song Bucket of Beer.  "We decided that this kind of collaboration might be a fun thing to do on a regular basis so we started working on songs that, individually, we never had a chance to finish writing or recording on our own", says Auger.  "It's two fold… making great music with a great group of local musicians while enjoying some social time with friends during the process."

LAME has recently expanded its membership to 15 while recording a special song for the holiday season.  Do They Know It's Christmas, was a charitable effort recorded in 1984 by Band-Aid to help to raise money for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia.  The song featured a who's who of the music community at the time and can still be heard on the radio during the holidays.  "We thought that this would be a great song to recreate to help draw awareness to folks in need in our local area", explains Jim Ligor.  So LAME's friends were recruited and over the course of 2 months a local version of the song was recorded.  It was decided to sell the single for $5 with all proceeds benefiting the Daily Bread Food Pantry in Milford with services Milford, Hopedale and Medway and over 900 people.  "Music brings people together and opens hearts and ears.  We are hoping that we can do a lot of good with this effort", says Auger.
Do They Know It's Christmas? by LAME-Aid can be purchased online on WMRC's Steals and Deals Marketplace at, at the WMRC Studios, Rubber Chicken Comics in Bellingham and other local businesses.  For more details about CD locations, LAME, LAME-Aid and Do They Know It's Christmas visit LAME's Facebook page at

Tax rate hearing set for Town Council meeting

The Milford Daily News reports on the tax rate hearing scheduled for the Town Council meeting Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM.
Councilors must decide whether to keep a single tax rate, adopt a split rate or shift a portion of the tax levy from residential to commercial, among other things. As of now, residential properties share about 79 percent of the levy, leaving commercial and industrial properties with 20 percent, according to a memo sent to the council from the Board of Assessors. 
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the second floor council chambers at the Municipal Building, 355 East Central St. Before the council votes, director of assessing Kevin Doyle is expected to brief councilors on the status of residential and commercial values. 
The single tax rate for fiscal year 2013 was $14.34, up from $13.73 in fiscal year 2012. The increase reflected a slight drop in the average value of residential properties, as well as passage of a Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion tax override to help fund the new Franklin High School, expected to open in the fall of 2014.

Read more:

You can find the full package of documents released for the meeting here

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Live reporting: Finance Committee - Dec 10, 2103

Present:  Quinn, Dowd, Fleming, Smith, Dufour, Huempfner
Absent:  Dewsnap, (TBD)

Jeff Nutting, Susan Gagner, Jim Dacey

(Sheet to be added later)

Discussion of proposed update to Fiscal Policies
initially reviewed at join budget subcommittee, recommendation for each group to review make their suggestions and then bring them together for a final review and approval by all groups (Town Council, School Committee and Finance Committee)

review of water sewer fees and infrastructure upgrades regularly, should be able to maintain a minimum rate increase at current levels to maintain upgrades. Would need an increase to cover the Charles River sewer plant upgrade, that started as an estimate of $20M and is closer to $30M

juggling the finances to keep within the rate set and still funding the infrastructure upgrades; assuming current plans, we would only need a rate increase possibly in 4-5 years

Tie water and sewer mains with street reconstruction to maximize dollars; other alternative would be find $1.5M to fund the street repairs needed each and every year

trash is $70 less than several years ago, due to the introduction of the bins (totters) and increase in recycle over trash.

snow and ice built up to a 5 year rolling average, currently at $900,000.

OPEB will take about later as there is an OPEB report in the package

Discussion on putting some into a swing fund to help cover for the snow/ice requirements rather than taking from the free cash

Storm water - EPA has not put out the regulations yet, several year overdue currently. Will have financial implications for us when it does happen

Consider a Building Repair and Maintenance account to replace the Senior Center Stabilization account when they meets its needs. Things do break and will need to be repaired. Jefferson carpet replaced recently through the capital budget.

The house was just demolished to provide the additional space for parking at the Senior Center

Roll over the Fire Truck and Turf Fields funds when they fulfill their initial purpose
make interest on them currently and avoid paying interest on a bond, also looks

Public works account being built up to hold for repair of Lincoln St bridge, coordinate with Medway

This is not just for the staff, FinCom and others, this is also for the citizens to see that our house is in order, how we do our business without always pulling out our credit card

Road funding is a state wide problem, most communities get funding from Chapter 90 which is the gas tax funds. The Legislature authorized and the Governor released less. So there is no real dependable source. Not many other communities grew as fast as we did in the recent years (80s-90s) so they have been able to budget over time

crack seal, chip seal, overlap and then finally rebuild the road is part of the maintenance plan

Per Jeff the only real option is a dedicated override but no one wants to hear that. The dedicated override couldn't be re-directed. This would provide a stable source to really get to the water/sewer and roads all together

After Weds with a new tax rate we can figure out the cost implications of the $1M or $1.5M

table of calculation on the % of debt of the general fund revenues
also sheet on "Projected Debt service Schedule"

interesting sheet on school building capacity
elementary ok, losing students, able to remove modulars, high school will be at capacity when the new school opens

Norfolk County Retirement System
Sheet with calculations for the communities that are part of this including Franklin

5 year forecast
same story as before the town does not have sufficient tax revenues to support the needs
20% decrease in staff, years with pay increases frozen, excess reserves used up, dramatic changes in health insurance plans, along with one override to get to where we are

conservative in revenue estimates, always have a balanced budget, it is the law

"levers pulled in the past will be fewer in the future"

in 1990 Franklin taxpayers paid 70% of the school budget, today they pay 50%
Chapter 70 has picked up the remainder but that calculation has been changing

this is in draft, to be finalized in January

State aid tends to be a little better in election years than non election years

expenses won't drive the budget, they don't go up too much in the grand scheme of things; we are a personnel driven budget, employees and benefits

only two budgets with heavy expenses; facilities and DPW

the grant for the fire fighters goes through Nov 2014 so an addition of 8 months for the 4 folks is added here

OPEB Report came in three days ago
sense that we need to create a trust fund, what does it mean to us and funding
started working on a trust document which the Council would need to approve
we are $2M short of funding OPEB every year. Now since we need that money for our operations, you can see why we have an OPEB problem

add a $100,000 every year, what would that look like
it is too easy for public employees to get retiree health insurance
there will need to be some legislation to address that but it has been the way for many years
it is not sustainable

the health care carriers want the whole pool, if you split the pool, the rates go up
funding the enterprise accounts obligations is easy, it comes from those accounts, getting coverage for the others is the issue

his estimates on health insurance, he thinks it will trend down
our workforce tends to be older, and therefore be more expensive

future retirees instead of paying 68/32 split what would it look like for a 50/50 split

average pension was $22,000 across the Norfolk County or $29,000 for a disability
not a lot of money to live on, not a staggering amount of money

average community pays 75/25, we are paying less at 68/32

Wellesley has their obligation covered by a dedicated override, Arlington has been saving for awhile, so there are a few like that but most of the communities are like we are, in a sinking ship

CT doesn't fund this for their employees, for example

Old business

New Business
Police, Fire, DPW, Schools, Facilities, Town Technology, and Library have submitted their capital wish lists
the meetings will take place in late Jan, early Feb to start the capital process

motion to adjourn, passed

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - December 10, 2013

The meeting is scheduled to be conducted in the Municipal Building, 3rd floor Training Room at 7:00 P.M.
This meeting will not be televised.

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

1. Routine Business
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the November 19, 2013 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas

2. Action Items
a. I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $86.38 from Ohiopyle Prints, Inc. for in-house enrichment at FHS.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1800.00 from the Franklin Music Boosters for in-house enrichment at FHS.
d. I recommend acceptance of a Sony Xperia Tablet that was won in a contest for Horace Mann Middle School.
e. I recommend approval of the request of Brad Sidwell for the Wrestling Team to travel to New Fairfield, CT from Jan. 31, 2014 through Feb. 1, 2014 for a competition.
f. I recommend approval of the request of Brad Sidwell for the Wrestling Team to travel to Johnston, RI on January 18, 2014 for a competition.
g. I recommend approval of the request of Brad Sidwell for the Wrestling Team to travel to Bennington, VT from Jan. 10 through Jan. 11, 2014 for a competition.
h. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1181.20 from Parmenter PCC for enrichment and field trips.

3. School Committee Training
a. Roles / Responsibilities of School Committee Members – Attorneys Michelle McNulty and Paige Tobin
b. Subcommittee Goal Setting

4. Adjourn