Saturday, November 28, 2015

The latest on Franklin's OPEB

  • What is OPEB?

OPEB is "Other Post Employment Benefits"

  • What is Franklin's outstanding unfunded liability?

Per the latest actuarial report (shown below), the unfunded liability is 92.5 million dollars.

  • Is this an issue?

Yes, it is akin to a homeowner's mortgage, you need to have a plan to pay for it. Franklin has a plan to save for this liability and plans to increase their contribution to it as circumstances allow.

  • How is Franklin doing compared to other MA communities?

Franklin is doing better than most according to the actuarial update provided at the Town Council meeting on Nov 18th

Here is the cover letter from Sherman Actuarial Services, LLC (SAS):
"The Town of Franklin has engaged Sherman Actuarial Services, LLC (SAS) to prepare an actuarial valuation of their post-retirement benefits program as of June 30, 2015. This valuation was performed using employee census data, enrollment data, claims, premiums, participant contributions and plan provision information provided by personnel of the Town of Franklin. SAS did not audit these data, although they were reviewed for reasonability. The results of the valuation are dependent on the accuracy of the data. 
The purposes of the valuation are to analyze the current funded position of the Town's post­ retirement benefits program, determine the level of contributions necessary to assure sound funding and provide reporting and disclosure information for financial statements, governmental agencies and other interested parties. This valuation report contains information required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statements Nos. 43 and 45, respectively entitled "Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans" and "Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions." 
According to GASB principles, if the benefits are not prefunded, the rate earned by the General Asset Account must be used to select the discount rat used to measure the plan. To measure on that basis we have used a discount rate of 4.0%. The Town is currently partially prefunding the obligation with additional contributions of $400,000. Based on this policy, we have determined that a discount rate of 4.5% is appropriate for financial reporting purposes. If the Town were to commence fully prefunding the Annual Required Contribution instead of paying benefits when due plus $400,000, the measurement would likely be based on an 8.0% discount rate. 
Section II provides a summary of the principal valuation results. Section VII provides a projection of funding amounts. 
While the actuary believes that the assumptions are reasonable for financial reporting purposes, it should be understood that there is a range of assumptions that could be deemed reasonable that would yield different results. Moreover, while the actuary considers the assumption set to be reasonable based on prior plan experience, it should be understood that future plan experience may differ considerably from what has been assumed. 
The report was prepared under the supervision of Daniel Sherman, an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, who takes responsibility for the overall appropriateness of the analysis, assumptions and results. Daniel Sherman is deemed to meet the General Qualification Standard and the basic education and experience requirement in the pension area. Based on over twenty years of performing FAS 106 valuations of similar complexity, Mr. Sherman is qualified by experience ·in retiree medical valuation. Daniel Sherman has met the Qualification Standards of the American Academy of Actuaries to render the actuarial opinion contained herein. 
The costs and actuarial exhibits presented in this report have been prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices and the requirements of GASB 45. I am available to answer questions about this report. "
Respectfully Submitted,


DelCarte in autumn color 2015
DelCarte in autumn color 2015

The full report from Sherman Actuarial Services, LLC (SAS) can be read here:

Or use this link

Page 3 and page 10 were the two handouts for the Town Council meeting on Nov 18th

or use this link

The Needham story

In the News: Santa on the Town Common, YMCA diabetes program

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

Santa Claus is coming to town this Sunday to preside over a tree lighting at the Town Common. 
The event - set for Sunday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m. - will see the lights, strung by the Department of Public Works, come aglow and the season officially start. 
Barbara Rondeau, who organizes the tree lighting, said the town has been holding the event for the past 22 years. 
"When Santa comes to the common on a firetruck ... at that time, we do the lighting," she said. "He sits on the bandstand and each child gets a gift."
Santa on the Town Common - November 2014
Santa on the Town Common - November 2014

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Hockomock Area YMCA released Diabetes Prevention Program, designed to support adults that are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and reduce their risk for developing the disease. 
The one-year program, consisting of 24 sessions, will provide a welcoming environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating and increasing their physical activity. The classroom-based program is facilitated by a Y-USA trained facilitator at the Hockomock Area YMCA ,which has facilities in North Attleborough, Foxborough and Franklin.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin Federated Church: Christmas Concert - Dec. 12

Franklin Federated Church will present this year's Annual Christmas Concert, Peace on Earth, on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7:00 PM at the church at 171 Main Street.

The concert will feature an arrangement of classical music and Christmas melodies performed by "Quartet Duviteux," a string quartet of young, talented musicians who met as students at the New England Conservatory of Music.The quartet has been described as "proficient, passionate, gifted, international, irreverent, flexible, experimental, and joyful."

Quartet Duviteux
The group hails from all points on the compass. Maria van der Sloot, violin, is from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada; Luther Warren also plays violin, and comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota; Linda Numagami plays viola, and comes from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Cellist Marza Merophi Wilks was born in Peru and spent her high school years in Ithaca, New York.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the church office at 508-528-3803.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 11/27/15 - THU 12/3/15

FRIDAY 11/27/15
7:30pm   The Black Box: Electric Youth Reunion Concert
8-9:50pm   Frozen Friday DJ Public Skate at Pirelli Arena

SATURDAY 11/28/15
ALL DAY - #SHOPSMALL, support your local small business #shopFranklin

SUNDAY 11/29/15
4-6pm   Annual Christmas on the Common with Santa and Tree Lighting at the Town Common Gazebo

TUESDAY 12/1/15
Dec 1- Dec 12   Food Elves: 12 Days of Donating -  annual fundraiser for Franklin Food Pantry. To see how you can help, click HERE.

7pm   FPAC holds an open auditions for Othello at The Black Box

THURSDAY 12/3/15
9:30am-12:30pm and 4-7pm  Holiday Business Extravaganza at the Franklin YMCA
4-8pm   FDP’s 7th Annual Holiday Stroll at Downtown Franklin. Get your flyer HERE.
7pm   Meet the Poster Sisters of Imperfection at BFCCPS. Open to public.
7:15pm   Conservation Commission public hearing on updates of Open Space and Recreation Plan (Municipal Building, Council Chambers).

For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

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

Abbreviated Survey for the Open Space and Recreation Plan

The survey to update the Open Space and Recreation Plan has been abbreviated from two pages to a single page.

The single page can be downloaded to fill out from here

You can submit your completed survey in one of the following ways

  • Franklin Public Library
  • Franklin Town Clerk
  • Recreation Department
  • Planning and Community Development
  • Senior Center

or via postal mail to
Open Space and Recreation Planning Study 
Department of Planning and Community Development 
355 East Central St 
Franklin, MA  02038

Del Carte recreation space in autumn 2015
Del Carte recreation space in autumn 2015

The initial release of the survey and process to update the Open Space Plan

The report from the public meeting at the Library on Nov 14th

The Franklin Police Association fund raising could use your help!

The Franklin Police Association is a charitable organization that promotes the welfare, education, and the good will of the people of Franklin. In the Past, the FPA has raised money that was donated to help several organizations within the town of Franklin. 
The Franklin Police Association has donated to local youth and high school sport teams and this past year assisted in purchasing a specialty bike for a Franklin Resident with Parkinson’s Disease. The Franklin Police Association has also supported the schools by sponsoring classes such as the anti-bullying class, by supporting D.A.R.E. Camp for local students, and by supporting other benevolent organizations. 
Franklin Police Association gofundme image
Franklin Police Association gofundme image
For many years, the Franklin Police Association has sponsored an annual Senior Dinner that is held between Thanksgiving and Christmas to meet with and to provide a warm meal to the senior citizens of Franklin. During this dinner the Franklin Police Association serves approximately 300-350 meals. 
With your help this year we will be able to continue our support of the above programs and look forwad to assisting other organizations in our community. Any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated and will be continued to be put to good use.

Thank You for your support

The GoFundMe page is here

National Diabetes Awareness Month

During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the Hockomock Area YMCA is encouraging the community to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.

Statistics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one in four Americans (86 million people) have prediabetes, up from 79 million in 2010. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

The Hockomock Area YMCA has released a Diabetes Prevention Program designed to support adults that are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and reduce their risk for developing the disease.
Add caption

This 1-year program, consisting of 24 sessions, provides a welcoming environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating and increasing their physical activity. This classroom-based program is facilitated by a Y-USA trained facilitator at the Hockomock Area YMCA which has facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro and Franklin.

Individuals are encouraged to assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at

Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

The Hockomock Area YMCA is helping to improve health through their Prescription for a Healthy Lifestyles program which includes the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. These supportive, small group physical activity programs are making a positive difference in the lives of individuals diagnosed with or at risk of a chronic disease.

Making lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.
  • Aim for whole grains with every meal.
  • Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
  • Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.

To learn more about the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and other Prescription for a Healthy Lifestyle Programs, please contact or call 508-772-1310.

About the Hockomock Area YMCA:

Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. 
The Hockomock Area YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit

King Philip tops FHS 28-0 on Thanksgiving

From Hockomock Sports, we share the results of the  FHS Thanksgiving football game against KP.

King Philip777728

1st Quarter: (KP) Sean Garrity 5 yard rush, Zach Boari XP.
2nd Quarter: (KP) S. Garrity 36 yard rush, Z. Boari XP.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Steven Eaton 1 yard rush, Z. Boari XP.
4th Quarter: (KP) S. Garrity 75 yard rush, Z. Boari XP.
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

For all the results of Thanksgiving games around the Hockomock League

In the News: Turkey Trot draws a crowd, residents delivered goodies to Fire, Police

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

The fourth annual Franklin Turkey Trot kicked off at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning when more than 600 runners and walkers set off on the traditional 5-kilometer race to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. 
The turnout, according to race organizer Krystal Whitmore, was greater than ever this year. In the past the race has fluctuated, having between 270 and 450 participants, Whitmore said, but this year, she purchased 600 bibs and ran out prior to the race. 
“I’m a little taken aback,” she said. 
Racers who could not get a bib were still able to participate in the race
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

In 2014, local resident Cheri Lynch thought she might lose her husband to a heart attack - and she likely would have, if not for the fast actions of Franklin emergency responders. 
On Wednesday, she and others from across Franklin sought to recognize the town police and fire departments for the good they do by delivering dinners, baked goods and drinks to tide them over during the Thanksgiving holiday. 
Lynch said her family's interaction with Franklin police and fire took place almost two years ago, on Feb. 5, 2014. Her husband, Luke, had removed snow that had fallen from their driveway and then went to work at EMC in town. Shortly before arriving, she said, Luke felt ill and asked his son and wife to take him to the hospital. Before they could collect him, though, he collapsed.
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your time with family and friends today, and this weekend!

parmenter sign - no school for Thanksgiving weekend
parmenter sign - no school for Thanksgiving weekend

As you talk with your friends and neighbors, find out where they get their Franklin news. If they don't read Franklin Matters, perhaps you could suggest to them to subscribe. It is a simple two step process that gets them one email per day. Subscribe here

  • If you like what I am doing here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don’t like something, please tell me

Thank you!

Thanksgiving Football - Franklin @ King Philip, 10:00AM

Would it be Thanksgiving without a football game? The tradition continues today with FHS playing at KP at 10:00.

  • Franklin @ King Philip, 10:00AM

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

For all the other football games around the Hockomock League, check here

Important Tips to Get the Most out of Your Holiday Gift Buying

"With the holiday season and Black Friday approaching, knowing your rights as a consumer might be just as important as knowing where to get the best deals. 
The Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation (OCABR) and the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) provide important tips about consumer protection, theft, warranties, and more so you get the most out of your gift buying."

  • Make a Plan Before You Shop
  • Understand Consumer Protection Law
  • Learn Gift Certificate Laws
  • Stay Safe While Shopping Online
  • Know What to Do in the Event of Identity Theft
  • Be Aware of Warranties

MA Gov blog post on 6 Tips for Safe Holiday Shopping
MA Gov blog post on 6 Tips for Safe Holiday Shopping

Continue reading the full article online here to get the details on these six tips

"implement the new schedules for the entire Commuter Rail system in spring"

The press release from MassDOT and the MBTA:
After careful consideration, MassDOT and the MBTA announced the recently revised North Side Commuter Rail schedules will not be implemented until spring 2016. 
The revision of Commuter Rail schedules is a critical element of MassDOT and the MBTA’s efforts to deliver safe, reliable, on-time service to Commuter Rail customers. Building new schedules will help minimize cascading failures and ensure that on-time service can be delivered both safely and consistently. 
In December, the MBTA will release in draft form proposed new schedules for both North Side and South Side services, along with specific plans for extensive public engagement. Following the period of public engagement, MassDOT and the MBTA will make changes based on the feedback received and then implement the new schedules for the entire Commuter Rail system in spring 2016. 
“The coming changes will be the most substantive made in decades; when the process is complete, we are confident that the new schedules will serve the best interests of our ridership,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. 
“But the MBTA needs to do more than provide reliable Commuter Rail service to our customers – it needs to listen to those customers and understand their needs and concerns and incorporate them into service planning. We understand that even small challenges in long-standing schedules impact the daily lives of our riders and we need to hear and incorporate their feedback before finalizing schedule changes.”
MBTA commuter rail train at Franklin Dean station
MBTA commuter rail train at Franklin Dean station

This was shared from

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Annual Christmas on the Common - Nov 29 - 4:00 PM

The annual tree lighting ceremony will be held on Sunday, Nov 29th at 4:00 PM.

As in prior years, Santa Claus will probably arrive at the Town Common in grand style via one of the Franklin Fire Dept trucks.

The tree is up and ready to have the lights turned on

Christmas tree on the Franklin Town Common
Christmas tree on the Franklin Town Common



The tree on the triangle where Main St and West/East Central meet is also up and ready

Christmas tree on the triangle in downtown Franklin
Christmas tree on the triangle in downtown Franklin
Thanks to "Concerts on the Common" for putting together. If you'd like to contribute, the information on where to send the check is 

"Concerts on the Common"
PO Box 92
Franklin, MA 02038

Franklin Library: Thanksgiving week hours posted

The Library announced that it will close on Wednesday at 2:00 PM. It will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. It will be open for normal hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Franklin Public Library - THanksgiving week hours
This was shared from the Franklin Library page

Senator Spilka: Many Reasons to Give Thanks

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Dear Friend,

As we prepare to join family and friends in the annual tradition of Thanksgiving, I want to say how very grateful I am for the opportunity to serve the people of the 2nd Middlesex & Norfolk district and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When we work together, we have every ability to build a stronger future for our children, families and residents.

In a time when the challenges facing our state, the nation and the world seem so great, it is important to remember that we can turn to our neighbors, communities, friends and families for support. I wish you all health, wellness, strength and good cheer this holiday season.

Proud to walk with family and friends in honor of my sister and
mother-in-law to fight Alzheimer's and dementia

Last Formal Session of 2015
Last week, the Massachusetts Senate wrapped up formal legislative sessions for 2015. We passed bills in the following key areas:
  • Shared Prosperity & Income Inequality
  • Climate Change & Energy
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Shared Leadership & Transparency
  • Combating the Opioid Crisis
  • Protecting Taxpayers
  • Protecting Our Children & Families
  • Intergovernmental Affairs

Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 212, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133
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As always, if you would like additional information or have any concerns or comments, please call my office at (617) 722-1640 or email me at

Warm Regards,
Senator Karen E. Spilka
2nd Middlesex and Norfolk 
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Senator Karen E. Spilka | Massachusetts State House, Room 212 | Boston | MA | 02133

Rep Roy: What's happening in the district - November 2015 newsletter

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Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes to you and your family for a most Happy Thanksgiving. Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. We gather together around a table, thankful to have one another in our lives and grateful for the blessings bestowed upon us.

As I think about gathering this week, I am grateful for your friendship, support and guidance over the years, and most importantly, for the opportunity you have given me to represent the residents of Franklin and Medway. I thank you for continuously being there and coming together as a community, in both good times and bad.

And I thank my family, friends, and colleagues who work day in and day out to make Massachusetts a great place to live, work, and raise a family. That hard work and commitment is such a great way to give thanks and pay it forward.

As I look forward to carving yet another turkey, I hope that you too will enjoy your day and the beginning of a wonderful holiday season!

State Rep Jeff Roy · State House Room 527A · Boston, MA 02133 · USA

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