Saturday, March 8, 2014

Citizen Advisory - Fraud Alert

The Franklin Police Department would like to remind all citizens to be cautious of any phone 
calls, mailings or individuals who knock at your door and request that you provide personal 
information, data or ask that you send money by any means such as a gift card, debit card, money order or check to any person, entity, business or company that you do not have a personal knowledge of, or a business relationship with. 

We cannot stress strongly enough just how clever and deceitful these individuals who are trying to get your money from you can be. They will telephone you repeatedly hoping to engage you in conversation because as long as they can keep you talking they may be able to get you to provide them the information they want.
Franklin Police
Franklin Police

Let me give you an example. Franklin Detective's are currently involved in an investigation where, innocently enough, the victim provided Franklin as their hometown. The caller, who had identified himself as an FBI agent in an attempt to gain the confidence of the victim stated that he knew the Franklin Police Chief and provided my name. All of this information is available via computer and was obviously searched while talking on the phone.

This "FBI agent" has repeatedly called the victim back and the caller ID now shows the 528-1212 phone number of the Franklin Police which is also easily done by using computer applications. Again, be very cautious as these callers have no conscience or remorse for what they are trying to do. 

They will represent themselves as a representative of a Government Agency, Insurance Company, a Bank, a Law Enforcement Agency, or tell you that you have won a prize or anything else to gain your trust. They are aided by computer applications and programs that will automatically dial phone numbers, screen or disguise who they really are and where they are calling from in an effort to get you to disclose personal information about yourself or to send them money through and untraceable means to an untraceable location.

The bottom line is this. If you have doubts or concerns at all about anyone who calls or otherwise contacts you looking for information or promising you anything that you have no knowledge of hang up the phone and immediately call your local police department. 

Stephan H. Semerjian, Chief

Spring forward!

Remember to turn the clocks ahead one hour tonight!

Spring forward one hour

The wikipedia page has some good background info on Daylight Savings Time

Reach Out For Youth and Families Breakfast

Good Morning Healthy Futures Franklin!

Attached is an invitation to our Reach Out for Youth and Families Breakfast.  The Hockomock Area YMCA's annual Reach Out for Youth in Families Breakfast benefits our Annual Campaign.  This year's breakfast is on Thursday, March 27th at Gillette Stadium (Putnam Club).  I hope you can join me as a guest and hear the powerful stories of our Y's impact and how our number one priority is being there for our community.

Hockomock Ymca
Hockomock Ymca

Through our Annual Campaign, our Y supports youth, adults, seniors, and families on a daily basis.  Whether a family has been stricken with an illness and finds themselves needing childcare or a sports class to keep the children busy, or an older adult finds themselves looking for a way to connect with others and find social interaction, we are there for all ages.  We do not turn away anyone from YMCA services or programs, regardless of their ability to pay.  Our Health Innovation Team specifically works with our partner school districts and community groups in increasing physical activity and nutrition and supporting individuals with, or at risk for, a chronic disease through our Healthy Futures Initiative and our Prescription for a Healthy Lifestyle Program.  Our Adventures in Respect and Darkness to Light Initiatives are a couple of the other powerful ways in which our Y gives back to our local partners and community members.   

In 2013, we gave out over $1.5 million in financial assistance.  All of that stayed in our 15 communities, directly helping kids, families and adults that needed it most.  This year, our goal is to raise over $1 million as we expect the need in our communities to continue.

I hope you will consider joining me on Thursday, March 27th as we kick off this year's campaign and continue to support our efforts to help even more kids and families through our 2014 Reach Out for Youth and Families Campaign.

Please forward to anyone you think would be interested in joining us at the breakfast and I ask that you either RSVP to me or the email/phone number included on the invitation ( or 508-643-5278).  If you cannot make the breakfast we are having our post event in Franklin at 3 Restaurant on April 1st.

Hope to see you there!

Marissa L. Garofano MPH, CHES
Director of  Community Wellness
Hockomock Area YMCA

Library - Book and Bag Sale - Mar 15-16

The monthly Library Book and Bag sale is scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday, Mar 15-16

Franklin Library - Book and Bag sale
Franklin Library - Book and Bag sale

For additional info on Library events visit their blog here

In the News: job gains for MA, upskirt law revision

Massachusetts posted its largest single-year jobs gain in 2013 since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. But it still has an unemployment rate above the national average. 
The state’s employers added 55,200 jobs in 2013, the biggest annual gain since 2000 when the economy grew by 95,500 jobs. 
But the state also shed 4,500 jobs in January. The state finished January with an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, according to data released Thursday morning, a drop from 7.1 percent a month earlier, but still higher than the 6.6 percent national average.
Read the full article here

Governor Deval Patrick on Friday signed a bill passed by the Legislature to close a loophole in state law that the Supreme Judicial Court said made it legal to take cellphone pictures up a woman’s skirt. 
“I’m hard-pressed to think that a person doesn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their own clothes,” Sen. Brian Joyce, D-Milton, said after the Senate unanimously passed an amendment sent over from the House that now makes it illegal for someone to photograph the “sexual or other intimate parts” of an unsuspecting person. 
“It’s sad and somewhat bizarre that we even have to pass such a law,” Joyce said. “Clearly there are some twisted individuals.”
Read the full article here

Note: if the Legislature had craft the previous law properly, the Supreme Judicial Court would not have been in a position to overturn it. It is good to see the Legislature turn around so quickly. They can really accomplish something when they want to.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 3/7/14 - THU 3/13/14

FRI 3/7   3:30pm   Silly Science & Mystical Math, grades 1-4, Franklin Public Library. Theme: Geology Rocks!
FRI 3/7   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked, Franklin Art Center.
FRI 3/7   7pm   Culinary Cabaret, Clarke Center Milford. $75 - tickets available here:

SUN 3/9   1-4pm   Antique Appraisal Day, Franklin Historical Museum. 1-3 items, $5 per item.
SUN 3/9   3pm   FSPA performs with MetroWest Symphony Orchestra, Framingham. Tickets available  here:

TUE 3/11   7:30pm   Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee Meeting, open to public, Franklin YMCA.
7:00pm Finance Committee - FY 2015 Budget Hearing (1st of a series) Municipal Bldg

THU 3/13 7:00pm Finance Committee - FY 2015 Budget Hearing (2nd of a series) Municipal Bldg

For more details on above events click HERE and select the event of interest.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

National Defense Authorization Act: What Would Benjamin Franklin Do?

From Rich Aucoin:

For those interested, below is the text of the speech I delivered before the Franklin Town Council last night.

What Would Benjamin Franklin Do?
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is routine legislation passed annually to finance US military operations overseas.

But new language was quietly added to the NDAA in 2012 which authorizes Guantanamo Bay-style indefinite detentions on US soil.

The new language is dangerously vague and strongly implies that America is now a "battlefield" in the war on terror and that anyone, including US citizens, can now be denied constitutional protections and be subjected to the laws of war: kidnapped in the middle of the night on accusation alone, hooded, shackled and locked away possibly for life with no right to counsel, no right to face her accuser, no right to a jury of his peers.

So dangerous is this new language that President Obama issued a signing statement promising that his administration would never indefinitely detain Americans under the laws of war but warned that future presidents could do so unless the new language is fixed.

Benjamin Franklin's famous quote comes to mind: "They who sacrifice essential liberty to gain temporary safety shall have neither."

Franklin and the Founders took great pains to guarantee the Rights of due process and trial by jury. They carefully enumerated these Rights in both our state and federal Constitutions to ensure they could never be nullified.

To ensure these Rights would live on forever, the Founders devised a system of checks and balances, a constitutional structure of human "pillars" to uphold the rule of law. All elected office holders, including local councilors like yourselves, were to swear an oath to protect and defend constitutional governance. If at any time state or federal officials failed in their pillar duty, then the local pillars would be a last line of defense, standing by ready to take up the load and save the structure from collapsing. Each of you is a pillar in this system. Each of you bears the duty to stand up when other office holders stand down. Some local officials in other towns have claimed they do not have the authority to uphold constitutional government. But if so, why did they swear to uphold something that they did not have the authority to uphold?

The resolution I will be bringing supports constitutional government by reasserting the Right of Due Process for the people of Franklin, as enumerated in Articles 12 and 18 of our state Constitution and Amendments 5 and 14 of the US Constitution.

Congressman Jim McGovern has voiced strong support for this resolution, helping it win passage in towns like Oxford and Webster. Representatives Jeff Roy (D) and Ryan Fattman (R) have also stood up for this resolution.

Everyone watching this meeting knows how Benjamin Franklin would vote if he were here today. I am asking you to vote how Franklin would vote. I am asking you to honor his legacy. I am asking you to defend both liberty AND security. I am asking you to be a pillar for the rule of law to ensure that our children and their children will inherit the same America that we were blessed to inherit. I am asking you to keep your oath.

Read Across America

Senator Karen Spilka
On Tuesday, March 4th, the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School in Franklin celebrated Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss' birthday. Teachers and students dressed in red and white and participated in many Dr. Seuss-related activities throughout the day. Various members of the community came to visit and read aloud in classrooms. We are honored to have so many guest readers visit our school and share in our celebration of reading! The event was organized by reading specialist Karen LaPlaca. 
Representative Jeff Roy
Guests included: Senator Karen Spilka; Representative Jeff Roy; Officer Chris Spillane of the Franklin Police Department; Town Administrator Jeff Nutting; Mrs. Karen Alves from the Franklin Senior Center; Paul Molla from the Franklin Fire Department; School Committee member Roberta Trahan; Franklin Town Council members Steve Williams, Matt Kelly, Brett Feldman, & Judy Pfeffer; Allison Medeiros from the Franklin Public Library; Raye Lynn Mercer & Nick Paone from FSPA; Don Tappin & Joe Mullen from the BFCCPS Board of Trustees; former Head of School Dr. Kevin O'Malley; founding teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Henderson; & eighth grade teacher Mrs. DiMartino and baby Ryan

 More photos can be found at the Charter School website

Franklin Downtown Partnership has a few dates to remember

The Franklin Downtown Partnership has set the dates for this year's events and general meetings. 

Contact information for the chairperson for each of the events can be found under the Events tab located on the Downtown Partnership webpage

Franklin Downtown Partnership - 2014 event dates
Franklin Downtown Partnership - 2014 event dates

For additional information on the Franklin Downtown Partnership, visit their webpage here

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What is the public need?

The 2.5 hour Town Council meeting on Wednesday covered many topics. One of the more contentious was the license application for the 'last' beer/wine license currently available. During the course of the discussion, it was revealed that

  • there are 13 or 16 beer/wine licenses in Franklin (does anyone really know the total?) 
  • only one is open at this time 
  • the amount is limited by population and reset with each census count every ten years
  • there is some turn over of licenses from time to time due to business (one business could close freeing up the license)
  • the open one arose from the Davita Market obtaining the full alcohol license and they gave back the beer/wine license
  • the applicant filed their interest in November 2013
  • the applicant only came up now due to the meeting schedule and having worked out some details on the application itself
  • the applicant has been up for a license before, when the prior beer/wine license was advertised, they were one of three and did not end up with it
  • the public need is the primary reason for consideration of the license
  • competition (i.e another liquor store across the street is not to be considered, legally)
  • the applicant has been operating since 2001
  • the applicant did not obtain their license request by a 5-4 vote
  • this current license will be advertised, the applicant may re-apply 
  • the applicant may also appeal the council decision to the state ABC commission

For a Town Council looking to foster local business, this decision doesn't make sense. You got to wonder what else might have been in their minds to vote no.

Fortunately, this is not over. There will be a new try for the applicant (assuming they decide to pursue it).

The detailed live reporting notes for the remainder of the meeting can be found here. Given the long meeting Tuesday and last night's long session. I have additional info to post and make available for both the Tue and Wed meetings.

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

Elks Care Elks Share 5K Road Race & Walk

The Second Annual

Elks Care Elks Share 5K Road Race & Walk

to benefit the

Franklin Food Pantry & Wounded Warrior Project

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014


1077 Pond Street


Registration:  9:00 AM    Start: 10:00 AM

Help Support the Franklin Food Pantry and
Wounded Warrior Project

·       Post race refreshments, giveaways, raffles, and prizes 
·       T-SHIRTS available to runners that register online. While supply lasts.
·       REGISTER NOW to get your T-SHIRT!!!
·       Run or Walk Route - 5K loop of paved roads
·       Awards given to top three male & female finishers in each age group
·       Professional Race Timing by RaceWire
·       Online registration fee $25.00                                                                               
·       Giveaways, raffles, and prizes
·       More info on Web Site

"the last one available"

In a memo to the council, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said he’d prefer professional offices, which create less traffic, for the south side as opposed to commercial development. 
"Professional office space helps the tax base without the heavy traffic counts, noise, etc., found with commercial development," he said, adding the Planning Board could issue a special permit for offices. 
Nutting also urged councilors to consider the recent condominium development for the Cook’s Farm property on East Central Street, saying it could create additional traffic on Rte. 140. 
Rezoning the residential zone on the north side of Rte. 140 for commercial use, he added, may create the perception of an "extended strip mall" from one end of Franklin to the other.
Read the full article here

Note: The Milford Daily News is implementing a 'pay wall' for their website. They had recently changed their website and it has been riddled with bugs. Hardly a day goes by where I encounter no errors on the page (and this occurs across multiple browsers so it is not just one issue).  The amount of material shared from their webpage may decline. I'll need to consider subscribing. If I do subscribe and continue to link to their material, it will also 'force' you to consider subscribing. I have stopped sharing articles from the Boston Globe for the same reason. That was an easier decision as they rarely had an article that covered Franklin. MDN has more articles but does not have something every day.

For the 2.5 hour meeting, the decision to move the zoning of RT 140 to the Economic Development Subcommittee took less than a minute. For complete coverage of the meeting, you have come to the proper place.

In the News: Oscar trip, mock trial, former astronaut

After a whirlwind weekend of limos, glimpses of celebrities, an awards dinner and even taking a twirl around Ellen DeGeneres’ studio, Franklin’s Karen Purvis said she still can’t believe it all happened. 
“It was absolutely amazing, I was really in awe,” Purvis said on Wednesday after she returned from a weekend in Los Angeles attending the Oscars.

Read the full article here

Wayland and Franklin high schools are among the 16 named regional finalists in the 29th annual High School Mock Trial Program presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association. 
The "Sweet 16" teams will now compete in trials this week. Eight winners will emerge and compete next week for a chance to reach the Final Four semifinal elimination round, where four teams will compete during trials held simultaneously on March 20 in Boston and Worcester.

Read the full article here

Former astronaut Susan Kilrain spoke to Dean College students.
Throughout her presentation, at times thrilling and funny, Kilrain had the more than 100 people in Dean’s Campus Center rapt. Speaking with a Southern drawl, she walked them through every detail of her second mission to space in July 1997. 
As she closed, her message to students was concise and, she admitted, cheesy: shoot for the stars and strive to do what you love. 
"Do what your passionate about, but keep it realistic," she said.

Read the full article here

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


As mentioned during the citizens comment for the Town Council meeting, this is a draft of what Rich Aucoin discussed:


WHEREAS, the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts is not a “battlefield” subject to the “laws of war;” and

WHEREAS, Federal Judge Katherine Forrest has ruled Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA unconstitutional;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that neither Congress nor the President can Constitutionally authorize the detention and/or disposition of any person in the United States, or citizen of the United States “under the law of war” who is not serving “in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;” and

WHEREAS, for the purposes of this resolution, the terms “arrest,” “capture,” “detention under the law of war,” “disposition under the law of war,” and “law of war” are used in the same sense and shall have the same meaning as such terms have in the 2012 NDAA, Section 1021(c); and therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that notwithstanding any treaty, federal, state, or local law or authority, enacted or claimed, including, but not limited to, an authorization for use of military force, national defense authorization act, or any similar law or authority enacted or claimed by Congress or the Office of the President directed at any person in the Town of Franklin, who is not serving “in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger,” it is unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful for any person to:

a. arrest or capture any person in Franklin, or citizen of Franklin, within the United States, with the intent of “detention under the law of war,” or

b. actually subject a person in Franklin, to “disposition under the law of war,” or 
c. subject any person to targeted killing in Franklin, or citizen of Franklin within the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Town of Franklin requests the Massachusetts State Legislature recognize the duty of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to interpose itself between unconstitutional usurpations by the federal government or its agents and the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, as well as the duty to defend the unalienable natural rights of the people, all of which is consistent with our oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Town of Franklin, requests our Congressional delegation commence immediately with renewed efforts to repeal the unconstitutional sections of the NDAA, towit,

sections 1021 and 1022, and any other section or provision which will have the same or substantially the same effect on any person in the United States not serving “in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;” and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Town of Franklin requests our Congressional delegation to introduce, support, and secure the passage of legislation which clearly states that Congress not only does not authorize, but in fact prohibits the use of military force, military detention, military trial, extraordinary rendition, or any other power of the “law of war” against any person in the United States not serving “in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger.”

Recognizing our duty to defend the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as recognizing the duty of the people to protect our unalienable natural rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, we, the Town Council of the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts, do hereby adopt this resolution.

Live reporting - closing

old business
no bylaw for parking hours
Nutting - I would like to come forward with a comprehensive measure to cover the parking meters, etc.

new business
will come forward wit h a draft  resolution

Aucoin - we should assert as a town, I did attend the meeting when you were all sworn in
the draft resolution shares elements of both the Federal and State constitutions

Jones - could we include a public hearing for the final beer/wine licence?
Nutting to advertise, or discuss it first? (discuss)

Bissanti - I would like to get the RFP moving for Pond St as soon as possible

Cerel - can't do a general RFP, need to be specific
there needs to be some specific inputs required

Nutting -  we can bring Norma to show what is required?
Cerel - preliminary expression of intent is nonbinding
on for next meeting

Pfeffer - acknowledge B Swenson passing for service at the Library
Senior Center showing a movie on loosing one's sight, Mar 26th

motion to adjourn

live reporting - legislation

2. Resolution 14-10:Confirmatory Order of Taking – Land off Cottontail Lane
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

3. Resolution 14-11:Appropriation – Legal – Other Contractual Services
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

a result of legal issues ongoing, we need some funds for legal expenses

4. Resolution 14-12:Appropriation – Human Resources – Medical Expenses
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

budget over expended or will be by the hiring of the four firefighters via the grant

5. Resolution 14-13:Authorization to Expend Funds in Excess of Available Appropriations
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

snow and ice removal, we have exceeded the budget, when we have a final number we will come back to move money from free cash

Live Reporting - Facilities

Michael D’Angelo, Director of Facilities
Richard Gaskin, Manager of public facilties

presentation copy hopefully to be added later

overview of the facilities covered
org chart included
hire students during the summer to supplement the help

will be requesting an additional custodian for the new high school

over 10,700 work orders for maintenance

interesting charts, the high school has been declining in work orders yet all the other schools have shown an increase in work orders
(staff more diligent in doing work with tickets and only with tickets)

preventive maintenance schedule, long list of items from roofs to floors, etc.

the solar farm will be providing 70% of the power required, not many can say that

replacing LED lights, did 3 school complex, have plans for remaining buildings to replace exterior lights with LEDs

capital repair projects of 8.6M over the last 12 years

in the middle of buying the fixtures, furniture and equipment for the new high school

Pfeffer - there are 22 buildings; how often are they toured? 
D'Angelo - likely at least once a month, some buildings more than others, high school taking 15 hours or so now
I had provided the 5 year outlook with our capital

Pfeffer - I am fishing to see if any other building hasn't been maintained
D'Angelo - the old museum would need work not sure what you'll do with that

Pfeffer - how is the leaking roof problem?
D'Angelo - there are active leaks on the old high school due to the snow and ice build up, we haven't been able to get to

Pfeffer - we spend lots of money on HVAC, how come we don't have that inside?
D'Angelo - there are more advantages to having the outside contractors, they also serve as equipment reps

Kelly - prior to the School Building Committee turning over the high school, will you be providing us with a maintenance plan
D'Angelo - after the training, let us get into the building and see what is going on

Kelly - or are we going to see you coming with requests?
Mercer - why don't you share the schedule of what is being done with the summer schedule? 

Kelly - so you'll bring us a schedule?
D'Angelo - yes

Kelly - why do you have so many work orders here? so this shouldn't concern me?
D'Angelo - no
Gaskin - a lot of this is very minor, should have the major work taken out so you can see a break down by category

Kelly - "school dude" - has the library issue been taken care of?
D'Angelo - it has not been yet, it is not work that we do
we want to see what the outcome of the whole thing

Kelly - isn't that our problem? that we are just waiting and seeing?
D'Angelo - we presented a very comprehensive plan to work on the library

Kelly - So you're not going to do anything until you get a decision?
D'Angelo - I am going to do the right thing

Kelly - so how does one get the summer position?
D'Angelo - this is a free ad, they should fill out an application with HR

Bissanti - have you thought of doing some hiring to compliment the HVAC?
D'Angelo - it is a weird specialty, a little bit of electrical, some plumbing, a good HVAC guys get good money, I tried to get someone from a company but they are so expensive

Jones -  a lot of the HVAC is service contracts?
D'Angelo - yes, a lot of those things are specialties, these people have licenses and special insurance, they do it well to work for us or they don't work for us

Jones- we wouldn't want to have our folks work on these to put them out of warranty
D'Angelo - yes, you are absolutely correct

Jones - as part of the subcontractors, would it be wide to have some one come in to do an annual sweep?
D'Angelo - our current contract with the custodians requires them to do the work

Nutting - our custodians go above and beyond what they do to maintain what we have

Mercer - what yu staff is dealing with is over 1 million sq foot of space, they do a wonderful job 

Live reporting - Sewer study appropriation

1. Resolution 14-09:Appropriation - Sewer – East Central Street Pump Station Study 

Cantoreggi asking for some funding to re-evaluate the sewer plan, the East Central pump station
doesn't have a whole lot of storage capacity
owners were going to build some wet wells.
with Cook's Farm coming online, and Franklin County Club looking to be part of the system
they will come for a permit, I want to provide the best answer
looking to do the analysis to see what is required, we have the overall capacity within the town, it is a matter of how to convey it to the pump station

clarifications on what the study will do
matter of upgrading the pumps themselves and not a new station
looking at the peak times
built large holding tanks, to hold and then flow in the off hours

If bigger pumps, does it mean bigger buildings?
Not really, we should be able to do it within what we have

the owner has been working with us, it is typical thing we can negotiate with them

Country club has a package treatment plant, it holds it breaks it down and then send it on
they are a maintenance issue, it is up to you to allow them to come on board
we'll have to figure out how to meter as they get water from Wrentham and we usually meter from the water use

Nutting - need the study to decide what is needed so we can move accordingly

The same company we have been working with, not something we can do in house

(read the motion after the vote was technically voted)
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

The Finance Committee did not meet to vote on this

Live reporting - Audit report


Jim Dacey, Susan Gagner
  • Auditors
Frank Byron, Karen Snow - Melanson, Heath

management discussion an analysis
puts into words what the numbers say
various stabilization account history
skip this for now and go to the number pages, P14

the only place where capital assets appear

long term liabilities, OPEB = other post employment benefits, added per GASB standard changes

$89M = OPEB full liability
$31.8 M, this amount will increase each year when the town does not meet the actuarial funding requirements

GASB 68 - unfunded pension liabilities
required for reporting in 2015, all at once, not in an incremental fashion (like OPEB)

unassigned balances currently at 8% which is right in the range of 5-10 percent that the fund agencies look for

indicates a very strong financial position

page 20 budget vs actual
surplus of state and local revenues, town has been consistent with conservative revenue estimates

page 21 - balance sheet
includes the enterprise funds

strong cash balances in the enterprise accounts

page 25

Q - Padula - p14 clarification on the unfunded pension costs
A - pension vs the health insurance
the whole amount will appear at once, approx. $43M

Nutting - the difference is that the county has a funding schedule to catch up by 2031, after that there will be a lesser requirement. OPEB has no funding schedule currently. It will grow exponentially if we don't fund it.

Nutting we did put a little more since this Jun 30 2013 position. Every dollar into OPEB is not a dollar to be used for operations

Karen - on the management letter, not material deficiencies
4 this year, 5 last year
some are long term issues will take time to resolve (like the risk plan)
need to develop a formal risk plan with formal controls to mitigate the risk

fund balance policy, in process, provided some examples of other clients and how they have handled this; how to define which money to use when

current year recommendations issues 3 and 4
small debit balances, where did they come from, could be posting errors

looked at the library and departmental receipts
they don't have a real process to provide an audit trail for the receipts
look at ways to improve the reporting around the receipts
a frequent issue in municipalities

this is a good letter things are working well

Susan - did visit three departments to work on the risk assessments
have review the samples provided and have a draft to work with, should have one in place before the end of this fiscal year

will be visiting the library to ensure they have a better register process

Jones - each report has come back sparkling, the audits are great indications of good handling of our money

Karen - no adjustments, just some re-classifications, it is good to see that this is in good shape

Nutting - we always take the management letters seriously, every year the auditors come up with something to make us a stronger entity

Live reporting: Town Council - Mar 5, 2014

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

January 15, 2014, January 22, 2014
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.

Hillside Nurseries - rescheduled to next meeting

Rich Aucoin, Franklin resident
speaking in favor of the proper oath of office that the Town Council should have been sworn in with
(text to be added)
restoring constitutional governance to Franklin, MA



- Application for a new Wine and Malt Package Store license by Jay Gayatri, Inc., dba Old Gold Convenience

Nutting - provided a map of the existing licenses for other package stores

Attorney representing the client
have been operating several years (since 2001), some renovations planned to accommodate the interior
training on the ABC rules and regulations has been conducted
would work with the local police to obtain training if not already in hand

no expansion of building, additional electrical and shelving to be added

is there a public need?
There is a full liquor store across the street, the clients are looking for beer and wine to compliment their existing business. It is not a competing business, this is a supplement to their existing business

Other services within the store, a convenience store, carry the convenience items

Question to Chief Semerjian, no objection to another license?

This is the last one available at this time (license allocation)
there is no cap on restaurants, there is a cap on the beer and license 6 each (based upon population)

Mark Mann - trustee for the liquor store across the street
invested money in the property, they work hard and smart to do the best for the town
they do quite a bit of business with beer and wine
fear on ability for them to pay their rent down the road due to over saturation
I urge you to deny the application

Cerel - the issue of competition is not of concern, the issue is public need, is there a need for the public at large.

Jack Fadel - 50% of our business is on beer and wine, would end up getting into crazy competition

Nutting - when we have had one left before, we have done an advertisement through a public process

Mercer - our practice has been to announce to the public?
Cerel - in those cases, it has been an all alcohol license, that is usually more desirable. This came from the Davita's receipt of the all alcohol license

Nutting - it is available based upon census results so every ten years, or can ask the Legislature for one

Bissanti - can the argument be made?

Cerel - it would be dependent upon the needs and the geography being served

Owner - had tried before but couldn't get it would like to get it to meet the needs of their clients

Lawyer - it has been sitting in town hall for some time, they filled the application since Nov, no one else has come forward. The convenience store owners all know what they are doing.

Padula - just because you can have competition, doesn't mean they should. They are not a stones throw away, they are right across the way

Lawyer - by statue there is a liceses available, we can argue about where, this council has previously granted licenses a stone throw away. The map shows other licenses making decisions to put them together.

Padula - help me understand what is the public need?

Lawyer - this would be an extremely valuable compliment to my clients service to their customers. They are two different establishments, one selling convenience items with a beer/wine and the other is a full liquor store which can sell the convenience items

Bissanti - I like the fact that this store is in the commercial district, the other possible locations are not in the commercial district zone

Feldman - when had they applied?

Owner -

Mercer, Jones, Pfeffer, Williams, Vallee - voted no
vote failed 5-4

motion for denial on basis for no public need on basis of over saturation in current area
Williams, Peffer, Jones, Vallee, Mercer - voted yes
same 5-4 vote

Walk for Hunger - Sunday, May 4

Project Bread will hold its 46th Walk for Hunger on Sunday, May 4.

More than 40,000 people are expected for the 20-mile walk, which raises more than $3.5 million to fight hunger in Massachusetts.

The route weaves through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertow, and Cambridge, and includes entertainment and free snacks.

Registration is now open at, or call 617-723-5000 for more information.

project bread's Walk for Hunger
project bread's Walk for Hunger

Ladies Night Out - Thursday, March 6

LNO* at Pour Richard's Wine and Spirits!

Thursday, March 6 6:30-8:30 PM

Introducing the cuisine of Twelve Fine Food and Spirits, opening soon just over the Bellingham line!

Featuring the cocktail creations of Fair Spirits: gluten-free, quinoa-based, organic Fair-Trade certified vodka and liqueurs.

Also Featuring Painted Lady Flower Farm, an organic flower farm located right here in Franklin. They will be selling CSA-style flower shares.

As always, Pour Richard's will be pouring samples of delicious wine.
C'mon, what were you going to do Thursday night? (And doesn't this sound like more fun?)

14 Grove Street in Franklin-see you there!


"town has bigger issues on its plate"

The Milford Daily News reported on the public meeting Tuesday writing in part:
Residents on Tuesday saw several conceptual designs for the redevelopment of the former town hall, including detailed proposals with parks, caf├ęs, offices, retail shops and performance spaces.

More than 50 people attended the workshop on what exactly should happen to the less than 1-acre piece of land at 150 Emmons St., considered by town officials to be an "important gateway" to the downtown.

Hoping to come away with ideas that will drive their decisions for the space, Town Councilors also sat in on the nearly two-hour meeting.

Read the full article here

For my reporting on the meeting you can find that here

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Live reporting - Emmons St public meeting

Jeff Nutting opens with an overview of the evening, some conceptual drawings to be presented a couple of minutes each, followed by general discussion

photos of some of the design proposals from Allevato interns

Meghan's first up to describe her concept

Nick Testa's conceptual drawing
a park with Horace Mann theme, open to multiple 
Andrew Javier presenting for Juan who couldn't make it tonight
food stands, food trucks, and farmers market space

Corinne Javier presenting along with Andrew

mixed use retail or offices, with park space, terraced for performance space

Axel and David collaborated on this
a gravity well soaking everything in, build on this concept of urban fabric, the park as a gateway, a gem
mom and pop deli or intranet cafe

UMass Student coudn't be here tonight
UMass student couldn't be here tonight

The sale price would be dependent upon the use of the land and possible building. Lease option could also be considered.

The park would depend upon how much space would be used for it vs. the remainder of the lot, placement of the building, etc.

* Lisa Piana, Downtown Partnership Executive Director, presenting goals collected from the partnership members

  • enhance downtown center and support the downtown businesses
  • gateway property
  • encourage foot traffic and avoid traffic issues
  • safety of the area

Dean College students already cross in many spots in that area
Thanks to the Economic Development Committee for involving us in the planning process
We are happy to continue to work on this important piece of the downtown

* Paul Cheli, member of the Citizens Committee
important Recreation Dept already located in this space, need to maximize the revenue from the property to enhance what the Rec Dept does

  1. up front money to relocate the Rec Dept
  2. ongoing revenue of more than $20K per year
  3. reputation of the developer

If there is a desire for a park, there is a longer list of waiting for senior housing before

* Brian Kelly, Facilities Director for Dean College
highly interested in working with the town on development of the space
While economic growth is critical, folks will pay more for space closer to home that is green space and recreation
parks revived demand for neighboring office space in NYC according to a study quoted
organized events at the parks generate other revenues for neighboring businesses
where the sense of community is strong, the crime rates are down
it is not for the Dean students, this is for Franklin

* Sue Sheridan, representing the Franklin Art Association
agree that this property should be for community use, should not be just retail space
looking for space all over to get space to hold their art shows, forced to go to the library in Bellingham for their recent show
pursuing a cultural district designation, should be a cultural space, public performance space
perhaps even an art museum, get a 501(c)(3) org to leverage grants from the State to explore this

* AK Bistro owner
where is everybody going to park? you have to put the infrastructure in place before people can gather
there is a retail space next to us that is hard to fill because they are worried about parking
there needs to be more space for people to gather

* Jeff Roy, State Representative for Franklin and Medway
delighted to see that the proposals included a status of Horace Mann
since we are his birthplace, it is a shame that we don't have a fitting memorial place to recognize him
The FSPA are going to bring a live theater into that area
green space does have a way to bring people
the proposals are great ways to use this space
we are the home of the birthplace of the father of education

*Jim Schultz, member of the partnership
founded and based upon culture, arts, books, etc.
lesson from Lehigh Valley after the steel mills left, provide space where art and farmers can sell their wares
in all cases, the spaces are filled on the weekends
don't look short term on the sale proceeds, look long term to preserve art and culture

* (add name)
affordable care act, folks are utilizing the ER for their care
there is space downstairs could be used as a free clinic
a big supporter of what they want but also what they need, medical services, free legal services
not for selling it outright

*Debbie Pellegri, Town Clerk
it was the Horace Mann High School at one point and torn down
it needs to be a better building, a better design
I see too many brick buildings
we would love to see some green space
we have been talking about this for years, where we could put the status for Horace Mann
garden, gateway, welcome to Franklin
keep or sell, developer would be willing to work with us

* Tina Guarnio, retired art teacher
kids love art, they need a place to shine
having an area in this spot would be wonderful for the kids as well as the adults involved in the arts

* Gary Carrentino (?)
a triangle park in downtown Providence
weekend, farmers market, kids crafts,
Weds and Sat, look at it and see and bring it back here

* Bob Brown, resident
I see a parking garage in there, it wouldn't be any uglier than what is already there
the box theater would be looking for parking
parking in downtown gets people there
it could be a revenue generator

* Judy Pfeffer, Town Council
where does anyone think we are going to find a million dollars to put a park
a children's park on that corner is the worse space
it is a money thing, we don't have the capability to take this off the tax rolls

* AK Bistro owner clarify position
parking is needed,the geography is what it is, teach people that you can walk from one side to another
if you provide the resources to actually come downtown, there will be an incentive for businesses to come
there is a retraining that needs to happen

* Brian Kelly, again
evidence shows it brings revenue to town, it might not be much right now but it will be there forever

* Pandora Carlucci,
thanks for inviting the participation, I never thought about having the clinic and coupling the needs of the Food Pantry
think about who we are, we have before us an opportunity to consider what we want
it is a complicated decision
I drive by this site everyday, sometimes multiple times a day
we are very fortunate to be able to make this decision, we have time to make the decision
thank you for including Horace Mann

* Joel D'Errico, resident
 would like to touch on what Cheli mentioned to see if it could be kept in the municipal use
we have the need for retired senior housing, housing authority would control folks that live there
it would increase the foot traffic downtown

* Jeff Nutting
outside engineering evaluation on the road conditions, approx 45-50 million needed to bring the roads to currency; the council will put on for consideration, a debt override to put money to the roads and sidewalks
some years we can give money for roads, some years we can't
would people support a dedicated override, not a regular override, but dedicated to this purpose, a provision added later

* Cheli
45-50 M is a conservative answer

Davis Thayer may be closed in a couple of year given the student population decline

* Andy Bissanti, Town Council
what would you perceive of the timing and construction for the project?

* Calareese
would be dictated by the RFP,
it is important that the curb cuts get integrated prior to the project to get done

* Glenn Jones, Town Council
thanks for coming out tonight for sharing your ideas

* Nutting
any money from the sale of this building could be used for any other project that would be a similar asset
$20-30,000/space estimated for above ground parking garage

* Beth Dahlstrom, Town Planner
could the town use CPA funds?

* Nutting
explains the Community Preservation Act, there is a lot of communities that have joined
the real estate market isn't what it was, it failed at the ballot box before
it would be a tough issue to balance

* Rae Lynn Mercer, FSPA Director
opening the Black Box at 15 W Central St
currently responsible for a lot of traffic downtown
thrilled that the project has come full circle to come downtown
I hope that this decision is dealt with carefully and with the big picture
we happen to have a beautiful Town Common but it is not downtown
the economic impact of art and entertainment needs to be considered as the gateway
our theater with Artistry Kitchen could help to transform Franklin
we need to be careful about the big picture
focus on culture and gathering space

meeting closed

The documents that were handed out that night were shared online later and can be found here