Saturday, January 18, 2014

Three children, two families, one night of mourning

It seemed most of Franklin was in mourning Friday evening. Walking to the Town Common for the Monroe Family vigil, the line of folks paying their respects for the McGrath Family wound through the parking lot to the sidewalk at the Ginley Funeral Home.

In the Franklin Federated Church parking lot, several media trucks were parked motors running, antennas reaching up and out.

High St was blocked off and the Franklin Police detail were assisting with directing traffic.

The bandstand was lit and drew folks from all sides towards it. As you approached, you could pick up a candle. Individuals, couples, families all flowed towards the bandstand forming a rather quiet circle. Small conversations occurred as neighbors met, or introductions were made.


When the notice was given, one light was quietly and effectively passed from candle to candle until all the candles were lit. A single guitar cast its notes into the evening.

Many of the Franklin Interfaith Council were present and each took a turn leading the group in a prayer or reflection.  A singer step up to perform "Amazing Grace"

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
amazing grace
amazing grace

The children were called to gather to assist in the balloon release. The bunches of balloons tied to the railings around the bandstand were distributed. A couple released early one at a time, finding the night sky. Most did hold a good grip until the time was right to release them as the singer performed  "Over the Rainbow"

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true

balloon release
balloon release

There was a pause as two larger lanterns were put together and the family moved from one side of the bandstand to the other to assist in their release.. The lanterns quietly flew into the night heading towards Pleasant/Lincoln St until then joined the other star lights in the sky.

Additional ways to provide support are listed here

As more are announced they will be shared here and on Facebook

FPAC to Present Free Family Concert Series

FPAC's popular Family Concert Series kicks off this season with Ben Rudnick and Friends on February 2 at 1 p.m. at 38 Main Street in Franklin!
Franklin Performing Arts Company
Franklin Performing Arts Company

Multiple award winners in family music (including seven Parent's Choice awards), Ben Rudnick and Friends delivers fun for all ages, with an entertaining mix of their own upbeat tunes and original interpretations of familiar songs.

FPAC's Family Concert Series of three Sunday performances continues with Mark Poniatowski Presents Jazz for Kidz on March 2 and Opera for Kids on March 23. Admission is FREE!

In the News: candlelight vigil, biotech training, fund raiser

With tears, music, prayer and glowing lanterns, family, friends and neighbors on Friday night remembered Sean and Lexi Monroe, the brother and sister, who died Sunday in a household accident that touched parents across the nation.

See more at:

Engineering students at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School will soon have the chance to study in the burgeoning field of biotechnology with the aid of a nearly $100,000 grant.

See more at:

A yard sale and bake sale are planned for Feb. 9 to benefit the Munroe family whose two children died in a tragic accident.
The sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, 1034 Pond St.
Anyone wishing to donate or for more information, email: or

See more at:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Support…possible in many ways

From Lisa Buccella:

A Franklin family has endured great pain as they navigate their steps while mourning the sudden deaths of their two young children.  Whether you know them or not, there are many ways to offer subtle support as our town comes together.  There are many businesses working to find ways to show solidarity and comfort.  I'm sure there will be many more and we can share the info on social media too.  Please, consider helping our local businesses offer what they can to the family and check the websites for the dates....most are today.

If you buy a cupcake or 12 at The Cake Bar, it will have an impact on the family.  

If you buy one bottle of wine or a case at Pour Richards, it will have an impact on the family.

If you ate at Rick's Cafe this week and had a cup of coffee or a meal, it will have an impact on the family.

If you take a class at Live, Love, Barre or Tranquil Souls, it will have an impact on the family.

If you choose to make a donation of any amount to Dean Bank or the online gofundme that is available, it will have an impact on the family.

If you choose to support them by attending the vigil tonight, it will have an impact on the family.

My experience tells me that this type of support definitely makes an impact on a family. My sister and her three young children were the recipients of huge community support in their town in Florida during the time when her husband was ill and passed away.    Their community showed support is so many ways that were meaningful, comforting and offered bright moments.   The outpouring of love is very comforting.

And, I feel it in my own heart when I think of what others did for them.    

Historical Museum: Ben's Birthday - Sunday


Stop by the Franklin Historical Museum on Sunday January 19th and enjoy a piece of cake to celebrate Ben Franklin’s Birthday. The famous Revolutionary was born January 17, 1706. Stop in and celebrate our town’s namesake’s 308th birthday. Museum Hours Sunday 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

Franklin Historical Museum
Franklin Historical Museum


The month of February celebrates Valentine’s Day and the Franklin Historical Museum has researched some fun facts about the origin of the day, when Valentine cards were first exchanged and various customs associated with the day. The informative exhibit will run February 1st through February 23rd.


The Franklin Historical Museum is looking for additional volunteers to help with various aspects of running the museum. If you are interested in helping with research, correspondence, hosting and/or working with exhibits, please send an email to or call the Town Clerk’s office at 508 520 4900 leave your name and phone number. A volunteer meeting will be held in February.

You can also follow the Historical Museum on Facebook

FSPA to Present Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!

FSPA will present an all-student production of the hit family musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Saturday, February 8, at 7:30 p.m. 
The performance will be held at the New England Chapel, 40 Kenwood Circle, Franklin, MA. Based on the biblical Joseph story, the lively Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical follows the trials and triumphs of Jacob's favorite son in a high-energy, high adventure retelling of epic proportions!
FPSA performs
FSPA performs
The musical is entirely sung-through and boasts catchy songs of many musical styles, from country western and calypso to pop, disco and rock 'n roll. The enduringly popular Joseph is a colorful and uplifting show for audiences of all ages.

To purchase tickets please go to our website: Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for seniors/students.

In the News: vigil Friday night, land purchased approved, hope chest recall

A candlelight vigil for Lexi and Sean Munroe will be held at 7 p.m. Friday on the Franklin Town Common. 
See more at:

In a move to protect more land for recreation, the Town Council on Wednesday agreed to purchase an 18-acre property off Daniels Street.

See more at:

Following the news that two Franklin children died after accidentally locking themselves in a wooden hope chest, local second-hand furniture store owners are examining their shops and wondering what they can do differently to prevent such a tragedy.

Read more:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Important Information re: Vigil Friday

From: "Neighbor Brigade"
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:56:29 AM
Subject: Important Information re: Vigil Friday

Hello again,

We received an email of concern about Friday nights vigil and a wake happening at the same time down the street from the common for a loss in the McGrath family.  Please be respectfully answering any concerns among your peers and remind others that the Vigil has evolved to bring strength and unity for this family and it is not being facilitated by the Neighbor Brigade.  Below is the note sent to the concerned friend of the McGrath's and she was very positive in this response, Thank you :
Neighbor Brigade has passed on the info and is not the facilitator of this Vigil.

We are a group of community volunteers that are supporting the Monroe's in its right time because of our Mission.

I have received the info for the vigil from a friend of the family that we are connected with and she gave me permission and "encouraged me to spread the word".

It is my understanding that 3 women (names are not necessary) have invited this to happen as a community and they are from the Davis Thayer school where the children belonged.

I hope this helps and I also hope both families can be appropriately and respectfully able to mourn and be allowed opportunity to come together in unity to help these grieving families.

Lastly, I have not received any info about a need to help the McGrath family and just want to let you know that we are sorry for their loss.  Neighbor Brigade is an available resource of volunteers who help families in day to day needs as they grieve and recover.  Please feel free to ask us anymore questions or let me know if there is anything else we can help you with,


Franklin Neighbor Brigade Leaders

Linda Gagnon
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Timely communications still an issue

The Town Council voted to purchase the recreation land that the FinCom approved, appointed Jim Dacey Treasurer to complete the move of that position from elected to appointed, and heard the apology from Waste Management on the trash schedule delays.

The trash schedule delays should be resolved this week although with the Martin Luther King holiday coming next week, the schedule will 'normally' be offset one day. The combination of the New Year's holiday, the weekend storm, the deep freeze causing equipment trouble and then regulations on hours worked conspired for this situation. There should be an alert coming from the DPW that will announce that extra trash will be picked up with no charge to the household for the 'extra bag' to help offset the problem.

The Town Council was rightly upset with the lack of communications from the DPW/Town Administration. There could have been a notification on Friday night to let folks know that the trucks would not be running on Saturday. That notification did not happen and the buzz began to build until we finally got official notification late Sunday and early Monday morning. But that was too late!

The Council also moved to second reading a water and sewer map adjustment to enable a 9 or 18 unit subdivision off of Uncas St. The developer had an approved project some years ago, ended up in court with the Franklin over the details and apparently has reached an agreement where they will provide some additional improvements to the area (i.e. Hill St) in return for the town agreeing to proceed. The second reading will come up at the Feb 5th meeting.

Yours truly spent 15 minutes presenting to the Council on lessons learned while operating Franklin Matters. I could have talked longer but kept to a short and hopefully to the point agenda. Communication is so easy to do and in some cases so hard to execute. Case in point with the recent DPW/Waste Management trash schedule. They did well to give us the first notification about the delay in schedule due to the snow storm. They did not do well to explain that the Saturday pickup would not occur.

It takes a service oriented approach to bring those communications to the forefront every time. Unfortunately as well as many of the Franklin employees do, there sometimes is not this mindset of sharing the info. It will take time to change that.

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

The full set of notes taken live during the meeting can be found here

MASSBudget: A Preview of the State's FY 2015 Budget

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

FY 2015 Budget Preview 
On January 22nd, the Governor is expected to submit his budget proposal--his plans for what we should do together through state government in Fiscal Year 2015. This includes how we fund our schools, maintain our roads and transit systems, keep our communities safe, and balance our budget.

Once again in FY 2015, Massachusetts will face a substantial gap between ongoing revenue and the cost of maintaining current services and commitments. Our "Budget Preview" estimates that gap to be roughly $500 million.    

There are three basic reasons that Massachusetts continues to confront difficult fiscal challenges:

  • The income tax cuts of 1998-2002, which still cost the state over $3 billion per year

  • Health Care cost growth, which has slowed in recent years but which had been growing faster than our state economy 

  • The still-sluggish economy here in Massachusetts and across the U.S.

Our "Budget Preview" provides an estimate of revenue growth for FY 2015, along with the cost of maintaining current services and the fiscal challenges moving forward.

Read MassBudget's BUDGET PREVIEW
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.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Comedy Night – Presented by Franklin Fusion Softball

Comedy Night – Presented by Franklin Fusion Softball
Franklin Fusion
Franklin Fusion
Featuring Comedian Mike Hanley- Mike has recently headlined at Foxwoods, RI Comedy Connection, Comedy Works and The Hartford Funny Bone.  
Join us Friday February 7, 2014 from 7pm-11pm at the Franklin Elks- 1077 Pond St. Franklin, MA.  Doors open at 7pm show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $25 each and include appetizers, desserts and entertainment. Cash Bar will be available.  Also enjoy Silent Auctions/Raffles and Sport Memorabilia 
For tickets or more information contact-Any Fusion softball player or email

In the News: funeral arrangements, Treasurer appointed, benefit fraud, chest recall

The Ginley Funeral Home in Franklin published an obituary for the two siblings Thursday, three days after they died in what authorities Tuesday called a tragic accident at their Chestnut Street home. 
According to the funeral home, Lexi and Sean’s funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20 at St. Mary’s Church, 1 Church Square. The brother and sister will be laid to rest at Union Street Cemetery, 150 West Central St.

See more at:

James Dacey Jr., a longtime resident, will continue to serve as treasurer/collector after the Town Council ratified his appointment Wednesday. 
Dacey is the first treasurer/collector to be named by the council since voters last year approved changes to the charter, making the job an appointed position. Dacey was one of the major proponents of the change.

See more at:

Three men, including one from Franklin, were arraigned Monday on charges that they collected a combined total of more than $106,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office. 

See more at:

Following the news that two Franklin children died after accidentally locking themselves in a wooden hope chest, local second-hand furniture store owners are examining their shops and wondering what they can do differently to prevent such a tragedy.

See more at:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Town Wide Vigil Friday - Jan 17 at 7:00 PM

Subject: Town Wide Vigil Friday

Hello again,

As some of you have asked and discussions have been had, there will be a town wide-community vigil on the Town Common at 7p.m. Friday the 17th.

All are welcome to take part in supporting the Munroe Family.

Thank you, Linda Gagnon, Cheryl Ferri and Karen Anderson, Chapter Leaders

Linda Gagnon
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This email and the information it contains is intended for Neighbor Brigade volunteers only. Please do not forward this email. If you would like to encourage a friend to join, please direct them to Thank you!

Franklin Town Common (in snow)
Franklin Town Common (in snow)

Live reporting - Closing

about $400K of the 900K in the snow and ice spent thus far

budget review to start, Feb 6th 6:00PM meeting

Feb 4 bid opening for the downtown project

workshop Tues 1/21 for the municipal bldg
workshop for zoning on Jan 29th

Jones - recurring presentation by one of the dept heads

Kelly - facilities director for presentation sooner rather than later
to hear from Brutus about the plans and expectations as the State and their contractor does their work
issue with the grass cutting at the downtown Fire Station should be referecned

Mercer - thoughts and comments to
walk through the new high school 6:00 at Feb 10th, will meet at the end of the field house parking lot

Jones - thanks that the trash issue has been resolved

Bissanti - condolences to the Monroe family
thanks for the flag raising and lowering services with the Elks
there were three services just last week alone and another one coming

Vallee - the one issue we had was communication and it failed again
we want phone calls, not just emails

motion to adjourn

Live reporting - Legislation

meeting on Jan 21

1. Resolution 14-01: Appropriation: Spring Valley Estates/Brielle Way
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

2. Resolution 14-02: Purchase of Land off Cottontail Lane, Authorization and Appropriation – Requires 2/3 Vote
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0 (via roll call)

Franklin Land Purchase
Franklin Land Purchase

this is the land deal that the FinCom approved on Tuesday. $326,000 from the Open Space Account
immediately abuts land that Franklin already owns or will own
a unique opportunity to capture this for recreation, four ways to access this from neighboring cul-de-sac.
this is a fair market price for the land

Bissanti - great opportunity, great price, great decision

3. Resolution 14-03: Support for Legislation, H1586, An Act concerning electronic publication of certain legal notices
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

support for the legislation to reduce cost of publication of legal notices
getting endorsement by the Council should help get the measure moving

4. Resolution 14-04: Acceptance of Gift, Franklin Police Department
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

Digital Credit Union donated $2,000 to support programs for children

5. Bylaw Amendment 13-725: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic – 2nd Reading
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0 via roll call
motion on amendment, seconded, passed 9-0

this sets the bylaws for the two way traffic as the roads are converted

6. Bylaw Amendment 13-726: Zoning Bylaw Amendment §185, Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area,
Frontage Yard and Height Requirements – 1st Reading
motion to move to 2nd reading, seconded, passed 9-0
Bissanti, Mercer recuse themselves for this vote (as they had for the earlier public hearing)

7. Bylaw Amendment 14-727: Chapter 47, Alcoholic Beverages – 1st Reading
motion to 2nd reading, seconded, passed 9-0

provides guidance on license infraction handling, will also be included with license renewal

8. Bylaw Amendment 14-729: Water Map Amendment – Uncas Avenue Extension – 1st Reading
motion to 2nd reading, seconded, passed 9-0

had been a court case, improvements offered to public ways in order to make the development and apparently resolving the case to move this forward

9. Bylaw Amendment 14-730: Sewer Map Amendment – Uncas Avenue Extension – 1st Reading
motion to 2nd reading, seconded, passed 9-0

improvements to Hill Ave and other improvements agreed to
sewer capacity?
zoned for single or duplex haven't decided which way to go at this point

over .6M gallons per day saved with fixes to the water system
we do have sewer capacity available now

reduced water consumption in same period by .7M gallons
an accumulated amount overtime, a net up to date number

Live reporting - Public Hearing

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-726: A Zoning Bylaw to Amend the Franklin Town
Code at §185, Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage Yard and Height Requirements – 7:10 PM

what was overlooked at the time is the underlying zone which restricts impervious coverage
allows the exception for this zone and not the entire town

Mercer, Bissanti recuse themselves upon clarification that the zoning bylaw is restricted to the one parcel

My presentation

copy sent earlier

Live reporting - Waste Management

Robert 'Brutus' Cantoreggi, DPW Director
James Nocella - Waste Management Area Manager

apology for disruption in service
making good progress this wee to get back on track
Weds collection routes were completed
Tues collections was incomplete and will be completed Thursday
Trees will be picked up Thu/Fri
They expect to be back and complete before the weekend

1st time in 4 years, don't want to encounter this again

are 'taking the hit' in terms of resources and overtime being applied to correct the situation
haven't discussed this with

Padula - if you are going to do with anything, please let us know

Cantoreggi - no charge for the overflow bags, all trash was to be picked up
excess trash for next period will be picked up

Kelly -The current contract calls for some penalty measures

frustration on lack of communication about the outage and pickup difficulties

Nocella - we had some expectations from the State to get an exception and that unfortunately did not happen

Cantoreggi - normally a missed pickup would be covered the next day, however this was more broad

Jones - When you don't have an answer and you're supposed to have, it is a problem. One good thing is that the system we had in the most part allowed the recovery  to happen without really having a mess

Pfeffer - if you knew there were no trucks on Friday going, there should have been an announcement on Friday night

Reminder - that next week Monday is the Martin Luther King Holiday and trash pickup will be delayed one day


Text of the letter from Waste Management to Franklin

January 15,2014

Mr. Robert Cantoreggi
Town of Franklin
Director of Public Works
257 Fisher St.
Franklin, Ma 02038-1352

Re: Service Delay

Dear Mr. Cantoreggi:

First, on behalf of Waste Management, let me extend our apology to the residents of Franklin and the
Town staff that have experienced the frustration and inconvenience caused by the recent trash and
recycling service delays. As your vendor of nearly four years, we trust that you know our goal is to
always complete our collection obligations on time and to the satisfaction of all.

As you know, the disruption initially occurred as a result of the significant storm that impacted the
area on January 2nd and 3rd• We made the decision to cancel collections on January 3rd, due to the
conditions, in a week where the holiday had already delayed normal collections until Saturday. This
storm was followed by a period of extreme cold temperature that impacted the performance of our
equipment causing further delays.

Service delays due to the extreme conditions we encountered was further complicated by the DOT
Hours of Service restrictions that require a rest period for any CDL driver once they reach 60 hours of
work in any 7-day period.

Since we experienced these same difficulties in the majority of our New England operations, it
limited our ability to bring in the additional resources needed to expedite collections and bring us
back to the normal schedule.

Please know that we are working diligently and utilizing every resource available to rectify the
situation as soon as possible. We will continue to communicate and work closely with you and your
staff until we have fully recovered and returned to normal operations.

Again, we offer our sincere apology for the delays that have been experienced and we look forward to
restoring the resident's confidence in Waste Management in the very near future.


Waste Management

James Nocella
Area Manager, Public Sector Services

And the full PDF of the document

Live reporting - Town Council - Jan 15, 2014

Present: Feldman, Padula, Mercer, Kelly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bisssanti, Williams
Absent: none

announcement from Town Council for special moment of silence for the Monroe family

November 13, 2013, November 20, 2013, December 4, 2013, and Executive Session Minutes of November 13, 2013
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

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



Appointment of Treasurer Collector
motion to approve, seconded, approved 9-0

Citizens Committee Appointment
motion to approve, seconded, approved 9-0

Finance Committee Appointment
motion to approve, seconded, approved 9-0

Updated Presentation: Lessons Learned

The updated copy of the presentation document I will use Wednesday evening on my 'lessons learned' from sharing 'Franklin Matters' for 6 years.

In the News: ruled accidental, still in shock, invasive plants

The Norfolk District Attorney said that preliminary autopsy results show the deaths of two children trapped in a cedar chest were accidental. 
The statement also confirms that the chest manufactured by the Lane Furniture Co. of Altavista, Va, on July 13, 1939 had been recalled because of an unsafe locking mechanism.

Read more:

Still in shock over the loss of her daughter’s best friend, Dawn Powers kept repeating how Lexi and Sean Munroe were the "best kids a parent could ask for."
See more at:

Botanists with the New England Wild Flower Society have not found any trace of two of the more troublesome invasive plant species thought to have been present at the new DelCarte recreation park. 
See more at:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Update from Neighbor Brigade

From: Neighbor Brigade -
Subject: Monroe Family
Date: January 14, 2014 8:54:16 PM EST


Hello Volunteers:

Thank you all for your heartfelt eagerness to help the Monroe family!  We met as leaders of the brigade today to pull together the outpouring of new volunteer applications as a result of this tragedy. We also received many emails and calls that required our immediate attention.

In the mix of all this, the friends and family of the Monroe's are well aware of Neighbor Brigade and our mission to be helping hands for this family.

We will stay in contact with them and await how we can assist them as a Brigade.

Supporting the family's privacy is the biggest request right now and respecting the time that is needed in their deep grief and loss is essential.

At this time, there are two funds that will support the long term needs of this family and their challenges that lie ahead.

Please feel free to share with others and support if you can:

The Lexi and Sean Munroe Memorial Fund

c/o Dean Bank

PO Box 307

Franklin, MA 02038


As a Brigade looking to serve our neighbors, the Monroe's, in their time of great loss, we encourage you to use this time as an opportunity to help others. Perhaps a friendly visit for someone who lives alone, some home made soup for someone with the flu, or any way to volunteer in assisting a neighbor in any kind of need.

We will continually update you as we receive our requests for help.  Thank you for your care and attention to this crisis.

With thanks,

Linda Gagnon, Cheryl Ferri and Karen Anderson

Chapter Leaders

Linda Gagnon
Like us on Facebook!

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This email and the information it contains is intended for Neighbor Brigade volunteers only. Please do not forward this email. If you would like to encourage a friend to join, please direct them to Thank you!

Live reporting: Finance Committee

Present: Dewsnap, Quinn, Dowd, Fleming, Smith, Dufour, Huempfner, as well as Nutting, Gagner, Dacey
Absent: (tbd)

Approval of minutes from Nov 3 meeting
Seconded, passed unanimously

Jeff introduces the proposal for the land purchase
map copy to be added later
the plot available will add 18.1 acres to two existing plots of 18.2 and 30.8 acres already in Town hands
no plans for development but could be used for a park or at least green space

appraised about $288K sale price negotiated at $326K
funds from the Open Space Trust Account targeted for allocation in this use

currently bylaws require land be kept as open space or recreation

discussion on other open space items, history recap of bylaws governing growth, mention of bylaw workshop coming up Jan 29th

motion to approve purchase as outlined, seconded, passed unanimously

discussion on minor item of $5K for Fire detail account
reconciliation of account revealed a small shortage to settle past due accounts and details
1st full reconcile of account in Susan Gagner's time here (about 12 years)

motion to approve transfer as outlined, seconded, passed unanimously

Capital budget still be worked in the final phases, all requests are in, need some follow up meetings with a couple of departments to clarify the requests

anticipate Library architect final report in a couple of weeks, recommends a walk through of the building
this is a follow up of the work done a few years ago when the outside was done, the inside was left alone
likely to include a small addition to resolve some space and ADA issues at the Library

would like to put the crossing lights similar to those at Parmenter up for the High School and other locations that could use it

examination of small accounts to see what is still needed and what may be re-purposed
for example, approx $70K left from the Downtown Project and another $100+ in the King St/Constitution St crossing due to the Franklin share of work done by MADOT

will need to bring forward the technical PC license dollars to cover the Windows XP licenses rather than wait for the full capital budget

will attached draft of 5 year fiscal forecast later
executive summary

it is draft as Jeff is looking for feedback from the FinCom and Town Council to see if something was left out before it becomes a final document

we get 60% of our funds from property taxes, we have less state aid than we got years ago, don't see that changing

the state budget was based upon the casino deal which has been slow moving
they will have some additional money due to the stock market increases but they have learned not to increase based upon the fluctuation

salary side for the next 5 years, contracts now for a couple of years out
changing mix of full-time vs part-time
turnover is also a consideration, if you turn someone every 8 months and it takes 2 years to learn the position, maybe it doesn't make much sense to do so without taking a hit on customer service

negotiated 2 phase contracts, new folks get different set of benefits than those who were already in

save countless dollars in health insurance through cooperation with the employees
maybe facing an issue with our rates being so low, other carriers won't want to bid for the business
the rates will need to go up

Franklin's health insurance is determined by collective bargaining
town pays 2/3 and employee pay 1/3, others communities pay more and will be looking to do likewise

teachers were in a pool unto themselves in the GIC system, manage to remove the teachers from that system and take them back to the Franklin plan; established a trust fund for that pool of teachers, it will fade away as that population declines

would like to move the retired teachers to the Franklin account out of the School budget someday to more fairly reflect this on both budgets

one of the possible moves would be to move some of the retires to a 50/50 split from the 60/40 split

pensions will go up and hurt until 2031

on the expense side, I don't see too much more dramatically different
50% of the increase will be in facilities and DPW, not much money to be saved elsewhere
our money is in personnel
do we not look elsewhere, we did the solar deal, that will save
we are going to LED lights to get both energy and maintenance savings
we are part of the state bid list to gain purchase power where ever possible

payback on solar systems for roofs is not always working
we don't get the tax advantages, we did put the unit at Parmenter with a grant

we have $1.3M in the budget reserve we can use when we need to
we need to maintain our reserves to keep our credit rating, etc.

how do we fix the roads? an override is probably the only way to solve it
it is a political decision left to the taxpayers and voters

it is so hard to get regional services, it is 300 years of history and tradition

currently spending $15K to put GPS units in the snow contractor units to monitor their whereabouts
on a $900K budget for snow, it is a small payout with potential for some savings

anything we can do to increase the opportunity for hotel and meal tax it is 'easy money'

Q - we funded 4 firemen with a grant, what is the prediction for next budget?
A - next page

if stormwater comes (someday) we will need to fund that we fees, there is no other way, the DPW will not be able to handle that otherwise

environmental folks looking at manganese and treating it to remove it from the water
would require a couple of buildings at two of our wells to help treat the water

hearing on use of the Emmons St building coming up on Jan 21

cost for the Lincoln St bridge is unknown

is Prop 2 1/2 likely to stay? Yes, don't see that going away anytime

when we designed this building, we did so to put the Schools and Town offices together
it has worked out so well

ultimately the Council is the legislative body that sets the budget, yet better than a true city form of government with an elected mayor

any ideas for feedback are welcomed...

found mistake in FY 17 where the total for the Regional Dispatch ($47K) is missing)

Old business
no subcommittee meetings have been held due to the holidays, but they should be starting again soon

one vacancy scheduled to be filled with Council meeting on the 15th

appointment of Dacey also scheduled for the Council meeting
posted internally and followed the remainder of the interview process

all the senior management positions in Town are scheduled for retirement over the next 5 years
transition and documentation, succession planning is important and becoming more so

New Business
opportunity for a small increase in the FinCom budget for training and conferences

FinCom used to have a reserve fund to provide for some small transfers of funds to cover minor expenses within the overall Town budget

During February try to figure out the budget calendar

next meeting Feb 4th, joint budget subcommittee scheduled for 2/3/14 at 6:00 PM

motion to adjourn, approved

Franklin School District: Schools Update



Our  counseling and administrative team collaborated today to provide meaningful counseling and  support to the faculty, staff and students at Davis Thayer.  The Open Circle conversations went well and students transitioned  quickly into the daily routines of learning. We are appreciative for the assistance and support of our colleagues from the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School and Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. Both schools sent counselors to help us during this difficult time. Their support and expertise made a difference to our staff and most especially our students. 
We also want to extend our thanks to the community members who have reached out to support our school staff and students. Many in the community are asking what they can do to help during this tragic time family. At this time we are trying to respect the privacy of the family but we understand that many in the community want to help. We encourage anyone wanting to offer assistance do so by donating  to the memorial fund established at Dean Bank. Donations may be sent to the Lexi and Sean Munroe Memorial Fund, c/o Dean Bank  PO Box 307,  Franklin, MA 02038.

Thank you again for all of your well wishes.
Respectfully, Maureen Sabolinski

This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT either IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at 508-613-1777.

Come Together to support the Munroe Family

For a few years, Neighbor Brigade (a non-profit) has quietly been assisting our people/families in our Franklin Community who have had medical/emergency or other types of crisis in their world.  The local chapter is run by Linda Gagnon who has received many phone calls/text/emails about ways to help the Munroe family.  She will be meeting with her co-leaders to gather more information but if you would like to help, please head to the website and find the Franklin chapter.  This organization uses their website to coordinate the needs.  It truly streamlines the process and the Brigade members get right to work.
Here is some info from the Neighbor Brigade website:
Neighbor Brigade establishes and mobilizes community-based networks of volunteers to provide immediate and free assistance to neighbors experiencing sudden crises such as cancer treatment, illness, accident, or other tragedy.  Neighbor Brigade transforms local communities into networks of support through which neighbors quickly mobilize to help other residents in emergency situations. It is a simple idea with tremendous impact in providing relief to those in crisis while strengthening the fabric of a community. 
Neighbor Brigade's volunteers provide critical support services such as home delivered meals, transportation to and from medical appointments, and home maintenance help. The organization is comprised of town-specific chapters, each managed by screened and trained volunteer Chapter Leaders who recruit and coordinate volunteers within their town. Chapter Leaders utilize online management tools to alert their volunteer base of recipients' needs and schedule their volunteers to meet these needs. There are no eligibility requirements for recipients and all help is delivered quickly, with care, and completely free of charge. Recipients may be self-referred or referred by others, either via phone or an online referral through Neighbor Brigade's website.

This was also posted on Facebook: 
If you would like to help, donations can be made to:
The Lexi and Sean Munroe Memorial Fund
c/o Dean Bank
PO Box 307
Franklin, MA 02038

Submitted by Lisa Buccella