Friday, October 30, 2015

Franklin Candidate for Town Council - Robert Dellorco

Robert Dellorco and I met recently at Panera to talk about his campaign for Town Council. This is the summary of our discussion.

FM - What is your Franklin story?

Dellorco – I grew up in Hyde Park but my father was born in Franklin in the same house as Horace Mann. And now I am on the Horace Mann Statue Committee. Interesting how things come around! I lived here most of my life, with my wife and three kids. They all went through the Franklin schools and on to college. My father had strong ties to Franklin. My mother was born in the same house as her mother in Hyde Park. It would have taken something really significant to get her out of Hyde Park. They made a pact, they would live in Hyde Park but my father would be buried in Franklin. So my father was coming out to Franklin every week. On Thursday nights. He worked in Walpole for 44 years. The one night he missed was during the blizzard of ’78. Other than that he was here. 
In the Dellorco family, the cousins are like brothers. When it was time to move, there was really no other choice but to come to Franklin. When we first came here, I got involved coaching youth sports. Coaching my cousins, then my own kids. CYO basketball, Pop Warner. Some of those kids are always going to be my kids.

Sitting on the porch with a couple of kids talking about the opioid problem, we can’t be quiet about it anymore. We need to be talking and sharing together to tackle this problem. 
Debbie Pellegri got me involved with the 225th Anniversary of Franklin. So I drove the bus around. Come to find out, that was what my father had done for one of the earlier ones. There was really no place for me to go but here. My brother moved out at the same time. I saw Chief Benedetto at Dunkin and he said, what’s with all the Dellorco’s coming to Franklin?

FM - What do you see as a challenge for the position of Town Council?

Dellorco – The budget obviously. Hopefully State aid won’t get cut or too badly. Our representatives at the State House will take care of us. I have made some connections too. I had worked for the first Tom Menino campaign for City Council. He taught me one of his favorite sayings: “People are going to come to you and ask for help. Some of the things you can do, some of the things, you won’t be able to do. But bottom-line, they asked you for help, so do the best you can.” I never forgot that. You learn to keep an open mind and listen to everyone. The biggest thing that bothered him was ‘It’s not in my backyard.’ It bothers me too.

The opioid problem really concerns me. You know how involved I am with that. It is a terrible problem. I am doing what I can to help. Ben Waters is helping connect some of the high school kids with a program we are going to do with Franklin TV. Ben is a good kid. 
What also concerns me is the roads, we have to do something. We had the override for the roads and it didn’t pass. Maybe we didn’t do enough for it to spread the word. We need to do something. The folks that came to the Council to complain about their roads, like the roads off Northgate, or Uncas Road, the roads are horrible. Uncas is getting fixed now. As well as the other roads in that area, Crocker and Lewis Sts. 
I am concerned about the Medway power plant. I am not sure why we haven’t done much with that. It seems to be a Sitting Commission issue rather than a Medway decision. We should find out what we can do. That and the Spectra pipeline, it was off, and now it’s on again. Some are saying we can’t do anything about it. I think if we get enough people to send a message then we should be able to do something.

FM - What do you bring to the position that would set you apart from the other candidates?
Dellorco – Obviously, I have voted the other way on some issues. I am not just going with the flow. I have an open mind. Because I have been a union steward, and have negotiated contracts, I can be an advantage for the Council in negotiating contracts with our unions. What I do at MassPort, we are in charge of all the vehicles. Purchase, maintenance, etc. So I have some connections with spec’ing out the new ambulance, fire truck when it comes to it.

When this is a new council, we need to work as a team. I’d rely on Tom Mercer if there is a building question. Or Brett on something with power or solar. Or Steve Williams on something in public safety. Or Andy on something with zoning. We need to work together to leverage each of our specialties. At the end of the day we are a team. We have to operate as a team. 
The hardest thing, sometimes are hands are tied. Somethings we can do, somethings we can’t (like Mayor Menino’s comment). We can do better by letting the folks know the difference. That we need to do. 
Right after football, I am going to start working with Sidwell on getting additional JV teams for lacrosse both girls and boys. They have enough kids in the youth programs coming up but the high school teams are limited. I also heard that they are trying to get a gymnastics team at the high school. And it is not just sports for me, if someone were to say we are cutting the band, I’d be involved. Anything we can do to keep the kids busy and off the streets is good.

If you have any follow up questions for Robert, you can contact him via email at

You can also visit his Facebook page

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 3rd. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion.

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