Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Finance Committee

Our fiscal year, which started July 1, 2013, began with the departure of Jim Roche, our chairman for many years. Jim served the town of Franklin well and we wish him great luck in his future volunteer endeavors. We were privileged to witness Representative Jeff Roy recognize Jim’s long term volunteer efforts to our town with a citation from the State House. During the year, Brett Feldman, another dedicated and integral Finance Committee member, was elected to the Town Council. We wish Brett much success in his new role. Fortunately, great citizens offered to volunteer and we added Bill Dowd and George Conley to the committee.

It was another busy year for the Finance Committee, with much focus on the progress of the new high school construction project. During the year the committee met 12 times. Four of those meetings were focused on the Fiscal 2015 budget process, with the end result being the approval of a projected $110 million operating budget for the town. The budget allows the addition of 10 new teachers, one police officer, additional hours for the library to be open on Sundays as well as other increased municipal services. Throughout the year, many discussions related to the deteriorating condition of our public roadways led to the recommendation of an override proposal to the Town Council for FY 2015. Additionally, initial planning expenses related to a potential expansion project for our heavily utilized and space constrained public library were recommended for FY 2015.

Outside of our regularly scheduled meetings, we increased our participation in the Capital Budget and Economic Development subcommittees. We continued our participation in the active joint budget subcommittee meetings attended by Councilors, School Committee Members & Finance Committee members. Additionally, several members participated in the annual meeting of the Association of Town Finance Committees held at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Our accomplishments over the year included the review of a 5 year long-term financial plan for Franklin and recommendations on revisions to the Town’s Fiscal Policies. And while towns must operate within Federal, State & local laws as well as municipal finance rules & regulations, continued focus and public debate enables progress and improvements.

Some improvements are less visible, like the favorable restructuring of town debt in a low interest rate environment. Other improvements are more apparent, such as capital expenditures and expansion of our public recreation space.

I am grateful for my fellow committee members and their ongoing dedication to continued improvements and the financial well being of our town.

Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Dewsnap
Chairman, Franklin Finance Committee

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

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