Thursday, August 31, 2017

FPAC Announces Open Auditions For Spamalot - Sep 7

Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) will hold open auditions for Monty Python’s Spamalot on Thursday, September 7 at THE BLACK BOX, FPAC’s home and performance venue, located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. Auditions will begin at 6:30 p.m. for ages 14-17 and continue at 7:00 for adults. Please prepare 16-32 bars of a musical theater song in the style of the show.

FPAC will present Spamalot on October 21-22 and October 27-29 at THE BLACK BOX as part of the Company’s 27th season. A hilarious retelling of the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, the musical parody was inspired by the 1975 classic comedy film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and likewise diverts from more traditional versions of the legend. 

Spamalot features irreverent shenanigans including a bevy of beautiful showgirls, a flatulent Frenchman and killer rabbits. Outside there is plague with a 50 percent chance of pestilence and famine. Throughout the show, Arthur, traveling with his servant, Patsy, recruits several knights including Sir Bedevere, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad to accompany him on his quest. They meet such memorable characters as the Lady of the Lake, Prince Herbert, Tim the Enchanter and Not Dead Fred. 

With book and lyrics by Eric Idle and music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, the 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” after receiving 14 Tony Award nominations.

For more information, including a breakdown of roles in the musical, visit or call (508) 528-3370. 

FPAC Announces Open Auditions For Spamalot - Sep 7
FPAC Announces Open Auditions For Spamalot - Sep 7

Election Prep: What does the Board of Assessors do?

While the Town Council sets the tax rate annually, the calculations on what the tax rate should be are based upon the valuations of all the commercial, industrial, residential, and personal property that Franklin has record of. These calculations are performed by the Assessors under the oversight of the elected Board of Assessors.

The state just changed the requirement for a property revaluation from every three years to every five years.

There are three members of the Board. One position is up for election this year. All three positions are four year terms of office and staggered to avoid a complete replacement and loss of institutional knowledge.

From the Town of Franklin Board of Assessors page

Establish and maintain valuations for all real and personal property within the community for purposes of generating tax revenues. 
Services and Programs 
Valuation, classification and assessment of all real and personal property for tax purposes. Conduct research of real estate market (including sales and ratio studies); prepare sales and other reports for state review and certification of values. Prepares and certifies abutters lists. Processes abatements, liens, and apportionment. Maintains assessors' maps, plans, property transfer records, and valuation data. Processes all real and personal property abatements and exemptions. Processes and abates motor vehicle excise. Prepares data for state approval of tax rate. 
Inquiries regarding the valuation of residential property, industrial and commercial valuations, or questions about personal property valuations should be directed to Kevin W. Doyle, Peter Mooney or David Ruberti. 
Questions regarding abatement and exemption applications, abutters lists, motor vehicle excise, ownership of real and personal property and general assessment data should be directed to the clerical support staff."

Additional detail on the tax rate and property valuation process can be found in last year's annual report.



Annual Revaluation Update
The revaluation of all real and personal property in the Town of Franklin was completed Fall 2015 in preparation for Actual Fiscal Year 2016 3rd quarter tax bills. Following is a brief review of that achievement.

Data Collection
Fourteen years have now passed since we installed the real estate valuation and assessment administration software developed by Patriot Properties, Inc. Because our start-up data was from a different form of valuation system and most of our data had not been refreshed in nearly ten years, it was necessary to complete a town-wide data recollection program prior to finalizing the FY 2005 valuations. Patriot Properties was hired for this task. Over the past 11 years, our appraisal staff has performed the on-going property exterior measuring and interior inspecting for all real estate classes. Such reviews are done for the Department of Revenue (DOR) required cyclical program, as well as for building permitted changes, pre-appraisal and abatement verifications.

Field Review
In addition to individual property on-site review, field reviews are required periodically to check for obvious data accuracy and consistency. This driveby review provides another level of assurance that when valuation schedules are applied, the results will be “Fair and Equitable”. Commercial/Industrial/Apartment Valuations Annually there are analyses of sales data as well as income & expense market data. The Board contracted Patriot to work with our Director to establish an income approach to value for each property. All requirements of the Massachusetts
Department of Revenue were met through final approval of the FY 2016 valuations.

Sales Analysis
The majority of the sales analysis was completed by September 2015, and the interpretation of sales continued through the next two stages of valuation. The town-wide program resulted in a valuation system that was applied uniformly throughout the town, while reflecting all the adjustments warranted individually and by neighborhood, to result in “Full and Fair Cash Values” as per Massachusetts General Law.

Value Generation
A system of valuation was established based on valid property sales and where applicable the income approach to value. These schedules concluded from the market were then uniformly applied to all taxable and exempt real property.

Final Value Review
Final reviews were completed in preparation for the DOR review. These include studies of various computer-generated reports to check for value consistency, final field checks required, and for DOR documentation and its analyses.

DOR Review and Final Approval
Any on-site and statistical reviews by the DOR took place from April to September 2015. The appraisal staff provided files, generated property records, answered questions and addressed any concerns. At the conclusion of the DOR review, we were granted approval authorizing public disclosure.

Public Disclosure
The DOR approved valuations were available for disclosure to the property owners. While the administrative staff provided property record cards and general data reviews, the appraisers conducted informal hearings on valuations.

Personal Property
Business assets and those of utilities are reviewed for valuation as taxable Personal Property. For fifteen fiscal years we have engaged the specialized services of Real Estate Research Consultants (RRC) in the discovery and valuation of these accounts. These services have served us well, resulting in DOR approval and consistently defendable valuations. Also, considerable new growth has been certified annually. Additionally, the RRC Personal Property Software installed in our office has benefited us. The personal property valuation formulas are very straightforward, and the administrative capabilities have met our needs.

Classification Hearing and Tax Commitment
Following some discussion and a few presentations relative to single versus split tax rates, the Council approved a single tax rate at $14.50 per $1,000 of taxable value as calculated by the Board for all property classes. The tax commitment and mailing were timely for an actual 3rd quarter tax bill.

Abatement Reviews
Upon mailing of the tax bills and on or before the due date of the first actual bill, property owners have an opportunity to file an Abatement Application on the basis of overvaluation or misclassification. 98 abatements applications were filed of 11,520 taxable accounts, or 9/10ths of 1%. Generally those with merit were resolved through our conducting a complete on-site exterior measuring and interior inspection. Usually a valuation discrepancy is the result of a data error or as a result of an inspection appointment not being arranged and thus the data having been “estimated”.

Technology Improvements
In addition to our state-of-the-art software for the valuation and administration of both real and personal property, Cartographic Associates, Inc. (CAI) of Littleton, NH has continued to maintain the digital/GIS-mapping program it first developed for us in FY 2005. Following aerial photography and planimetric (physical features) mapping, CAI constructed cadastral tax maps (depicting parcels) through the use of over 5,000 plans and over 15,000 deeds. These new maps are continuously in our process of reconciliation with our property records for consistency in both parcel inventory and land area. With the support of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting and the Town Council, we have capacity in our Patriot software to link and utilize the maps with our assessment file. In addition, for the past eleven years we have provided our tax maps on the web for the benefit of both the Town staff and the general public.

Appraisal and Administrative Staffing
The use of automation has minimized the former heavy burden of traditional data processing. Due to this and numerous other office improvements, the Town approved our Staff Restructuring Plan. We have adjusted our administrative support staff to Board Secretary Anne Covell who is responsible for continuing to improve our service to the public at the counter and by phone. She focuses her efforts on providing and reviewing public records, Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Commitments and Abatements, Exemption Applications, the general and specific support to the Appraisal Staff and any other assignments as required. She continues to train in various administrative duties and computer applications. We thank Anne for her efforts in 36 years of service to the Board. The Appraisers have made special efforts in the development and implementation of usable written instructions for the assessing office procedures and for MUNIS financial software applications. These instructions were developed consistent with all Mass. General Law and DOR requirements.

We thank Kevin W. Doyle, Director of Assessing for his diligence especially as Director beginning following his first two years here. He has overseen the completion of all our work these past fifteen fiscal years, five full revaluations and ten interim years of market adjustments. We are also pleased with the support work of Appraiser Peter Mooney since August 2004 and of Appraiser David Ruberti since July 2005. Our Director received his Massachusetts Accredited Assessor (MAA) in 1990. Within the past nine years both Appraisers completed their designation required education and experience, being granted their MAA designations and maintaining the periodic recertification required.

Town Revenue Enhancements
In addition to meeting all state requirements as well as daily office oversight, the Director and Appraisers have achieved many additional improvements to benefit the Town taxpayers. One such is the efficiencies built into the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Commitment and Abatement processes in conjunction with the new MUNIS tax software installation. These excise taxes represent about 4.5 million dollars in locally raised annual revenue, or about 6.5% of locally raised tax revenue. We assure the citizens that like real and personal property, taxes on these are assessed and abated appropriately and uniformly for the maximum benefit of all. Registry of Motor Vehicles’ automation aided the Director and Appraisers to further enhance revenue in assessing dealer and repair plate registrations. As well, with the automation improvements of the Environmental Police, this professional staff successfully developed a new annual revenue stream in the identification and assessment of excise taxes on boats principally situated in the Town of Franklin.

On-site Periodic Property Reviews
Because we have initiated the cyclical property remeasurement and re-inspection program acceptable to the Massachusetts DOR, we continue to make various public information efforts to assure property owners have advance information about this on-going program. Briefly, please note that the purpose of these property visits is to verify that the correct data is being used in the determination of valuations to achieve “full and fair cash value” in accordance with Mass. General Law Chapter 59. The Board appreciates the general public’s cooperation in its efforts to serve all property owners in all property types to assure fair and uniform values.

Your Elected Board of Assessors
Before entering the performance of his/her duties, each Assessor upon election has taken the oath of office specific to assessors. Massachusetts General Law has provided that because the DOR Commissioner of Revenue has regulatory oversight of assessing in every city and town, the
Commissioner likewise determines the training requirements for the assessors and any assistants. At this time, the Commissioner has determined Course 101, including the Classification Training Workshop, meets the minimum requirements. All three assessors have completed these and have been certified as such by the Commissioner of Revenue. The Board looks forward to continuing education opportunities offered by the MA DOR and the professional associations, the Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO) and the International Association of Assessing Officers
(IAAO). The assessors have attended seminars and workshops to broaden and reinforce their understanding of property tax law.

In particular, the Board has focused on current and possible future tax relief and deferral options for Franklin’s elder citizens. To that goal following meetings of the Town Senior Outreach Committee, last fall the Board, its Staff and the Office of the Council on Aging continued a broad-based effort to reach seniors. This resulted in successfully providing tax relief (exemption) information to additional seniors who owned and occupied their homes.

Also, with the valued assistance of Veterans Agent Bob Fahey, special efforts were made to identify veterans and their surviving spouses entitled to state exemptions, much of it reimbursable to the Town. At the close of FY 2015, Bob retired as Veterans’ Agent; his dedication to veterans and his assistance to our Board and Staff in these matters is remembered and always appreciated. The Board wishes to recognize and indicate its appreciation for the dedication and efforts of new Veterans’ Agent Dale Kurtz. We look forward to continuing to work with him in supporting our veterans.

All these efforts are consistent with the Board of Assessors commitment to meet its challenges as key Town Financial Team members to the benefit of all the citizens of the Town of Franklin.

As we write, the Board of Assessors and its Staff are preparing to finalize the Real and Personal Property Appraisal files for the Fiscal Year 2017 Revaluation subject to DOR review and Final Certification.

Respectfully submitted,

W. Ken Norman, Chairman of the Board
Christopher K. Feeley, Assessor, Clerk
Donna Greenwood, Assessor, Member Franklin Board of Assessors

Town of Franklin Board of Assessors photo
Town of Franklin Board of Assessors photo

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

Reminder: Report problems via the DPW Work Order form

The app and service provided by SeeClickFix was discontinued by the Town of Franklin over a year ago yet, some folks still report problems via the service. The service will accept them but the Town of Franklin does not monitor them.

If you do have an issue (pothole, broken street light, malfunctioning traffic lights, etc.), you should report the problem with the DPW Work Order form

Reminder: Report problems via the DPW Work Order form
Reminder: Report problems via the DPW Work Order form

Furry Friends of The Franklin Dog Park - Work Day - Sep 9

Hello dog lovers, Furry Friends of The Franklin Dog Park Committee have scheduled a clean up and to spread wood chips on September 9th at 8 AM.

Volunteers are needed and students who need credit for community service. We need wheelbarrows, spade shovels, rakes and bring your own work gloves. 

Refreshments and snacks will be there for all the volunteers. 

Rain date is September 16th at 8am. thanks, Furry Friends of The Franklin Dog Park Committee. 

Woof! Woof!!

Online Academy Selects New Abbreviation to Simplify Its name

The Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School is adopting 'GCVS' as its new abbreviation and 'nickname' to simplify administrative tasks and focus more clearly on its identity as a Commonwealth Virtual School. For the past several years, the school had used 'MAVA' as an abbreviation.

The school will call itself 'GCVS' on most references to emphasize its mission of providing comprehensive online education to students anywhere in Massachusetts.

"We want people to look at our name and immediately think - virtual education for any Massachusetts student," said Executive Director Dr. Judith Houle. "GCVS neatly expresses both our heritage and offerings as a full-service school offering an outstanding public school education in a 21st century model. Any student whose needs don't fit in a brick-and-mortar classroom has a place at GCVS."

GCVS is the state's first virtual K-12 public school of choice. It offers flexible, self-driven online learning programs and support services to any Massachusetts student. GCVS students are independent learners who need a different model than brick-and-mortar classrooms to accommodate their learning styles and individual interests.

GCVS' 2017-18 academic year starts when classes open on Aug. 30. Class opening will be followed by a series of picnics across the state on Sept. 8 to give students, families and educators a chance to meet and form connections face-to-face.

Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School
Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School

Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield, the Commonwealth's first virtual K-12 public school, delivers a transformative education with unique strengths and flexibility perfectly suited for the modern world. 
Our approach encourages critical thinking and an independent learning style that meets the key needs of diverse learners by providing educational resources that cultivate curiosity, exploration and inquiry.

Note the DESE profile for the school can be found here

"the program cannot run on autopilot"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Fear is growing in the immigrant communities in MetroWest and the Milford area who worry that President Donald Trump may dismantle an Obama-era program that offered protection to children who entered the U.S. illegally with their parents. 
Spearheaded by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 10 Republican attorneys general have sent Trump an ultimatum: either he begins to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood program by Sept. 5 or they will challenge the program’s legality in court. 
Alice DeSouza, a Brazilian immigrant who owns a business on Milford’s Main Street, said she knows several people in town who rely on DACA and most of them are young. Without DACA, she wondered what its recipients might do, adding that it’s possible kids, teenagers and young adults, without work or school, could end up in trouble. 
“All these kids are working, they have to pay taxes,” she said. “It’s good for the country, it’s good for the government – then what’s the point (of removing it)?”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Jessica Vaughan of Franklin, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonprofit think tank that favors tighter immigration." is quoted in the article

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Franklin School For The Performing Arts Celebrates Fall Expansion

Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) will expand this fall to assume the entire building of the Felix Cataldo Block in downtown Franklin. The renovation will connect all areas of the existing FSPA facility and provide spacious new dance and music studios, and a first floor waiting area for students and families. The expansion will also create and house Intermission, a new downtown cafe available to the FSPA community and open to the public.

“It will be exciting for FSPA to occupy the entire Cataldo Block and to have easy access throughout the building to all of our studios, offices, The Spotlight Shop, and the new Intermission café,” noted Raye Lynn Mercer, FSPA founder and director. “We look forward to FSPA’s updated presence in the downtown and the opportunity to provide a destination at Intermission where the public is invited to enjoy a menu of drinks and snacks in a space with an eclectic, artsy ambiance. Happily our beautiful old buidling is getting a facelift as we expand our performing arts campus.”

Founded in 1985 by Director Raye Lynn Mercer, FSPA is dedicated to the enjoyment of the arts for all ages and to the artistic growth and development of young people. The school offers classes in all dance disciplines, acting, musical theater, voice, and instrumental instruction, whether for recreational enjoyment or serious study. FSPA is also home to the Little Music School, teaching children as young as 18 months to play the piano, as well as the FSPA Ballet Conservatory with pre-professional training for young dancers. 

An extensive calendar of performing opportunities features all-student musicals, plays, ballets, voice and instrumental recitals, opera scenes, dance and musical theater showcases, and more. Student ensembles include dance companies, glee club and musical theater troupes, as well as the international touring ensemble Electric Youth, featuring students trained at the school. Many FSPA students are also cast, by audition, in the affiliated Franklin Performing Arts Company’s annual season of shows. FSPA TALENT offers management services for young performers who elect to pursue professional opportunities.

The added space at 38 Main now allows FSPA to offer more classes at optimum times during the week and to build upon several innovative programs launched over the past few years. FSPA Academy, introduced last fall, provides an academic alternative for students seeking a challenging curriculum in a supportive, flexible environment that encourages their creative goals. Provided Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in collaboration with TEC Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School (TECCA), the FSPA Academy delivers TECCA’s state-approved online curriculum and features an enhanced emphasis on arts, language and culture, including Music Theory, foreign language conversation classes, cultural field trips and more. 

In addition, an FSPA AfterSchool enrichment program offers supervised recreational experiences, including games, crafts and other creative arts activities, for students in grades K-5. The program begins at the close of the regular school day, with transportation available from Franklin and Medway schools and supervised transition back and forth to FSPA for performing arts classes.

“As we begin our 33rd season, we look forward to welcoming new students and families to FSPA for fun and recreation or for preparation for college and career,” said Mercer. “With the renovation and expansion, it will certainly be a very exciting back-to-school season for our faculty, staff, student families, and our entire community!”

FSPA will host Open Houses on Saturday, September 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Tuesday, September 19 from 4-8 p.m. at 38 Main Street in downtown Franklin. The community is invited to tour the facilities, observe classes and rehearsals, speak with faculty and staff, and learn more about FSPA programs in music, dance, and drama. An early October grand opening is slated for Intermission.

Fall classes begin on September 11, with ongoing registration for all programs. Call (508) 528-8668 or visit for more information, including a catalog and class schedule.

Franklin School For The Performing Arts  Celebrates Fall Expansion
Franklin School For The Performing Arts  Celebrates Fall Expansion

Reminder: LiveARTS - Tickets available for the 2017-2018 Concert Series

SUNDAY September 17, 2017 Benefit Concert
Victor Rosenbaum, world renowned pianist
Tickets: $40 Adults, $30 Seniors, $75 Family with children, Students under 18 by donation

SUNDAY October 22, 2017
Live Arts String Quartet
Tickets: $20 Adults, $15 Seniors, Students under 18 free

SUNDAY February 25, 2018
Boston Trio
Tickets: $20 Adults, $15 Seniors, Students under 18 free

SUNDAY April 8, 2018
Keisuke Weikuko, Oboe Trio, Boston Symphony
Tickets: : $20 Adults, $15 Seniors, Students under 18 free

All concerts are given at the Meetinghouse, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin, MA at 3:00 p.m.

LiveARTS is supported in part by grants from the Franklin, Norfolk and Wrentham Cultural Councils which are sponsored by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LiveARTS is an affiliated organization of First Universalist Society, Franklin, MA

LiveARTS: 2017-2018 Concert Series
LiveARTS: 2017-2018 Concert Series

School Day 1 complete, 179 to go

A sampling roundup of tweets from the opening of school across the Franklin Public Schools.

Franklin Garden Club - Monthly Meeting Schedule Set for Sep to May 2018

The Franklin Garden Club will offer an array of educational programs for the 2017-2018 season. The first meeting of the year will be on Tuesday, September 5 at the Franklin Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill Street, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. The meeting is open to the public, including those interested in becoming a member of the Garden Club.

The year’s programming schedule is: 

  • September 5: Kick-off Meeting and Perennial Swap 
  • October 3: Hydroponic Gardening
  • November 7: New England Hardy Succulents 
  • December 5: Holiday Auction
  • February 6: Attracting Birds in both Winter and Summer
  • March 6: Success with House Plants
  • April 3: Perennial Care 101
  • May 1: Hostas – the Best Perennial in Your Garden
  • June 5: Garden Tour and Annual Meeting

The Club engages recognized gardening experts to present the programs. Two field trips are planned, one to Borderland State Park in October and another to Bedrock Gardens and Sculptures in Lee, NH in June.

“The Garden Club, founded in 1987, offers members a wonderful opportunity to learn new information and tips from experts and fellow members related to many different aspects of gardening. Other Club activities include planting and maintenance of the Franklin Town Common gardens, sponsorship of an annual scholarship awarded to a high school graduate, and distribution of pine tree seedlings in the elementary schools,” noted Janice Cederquist and Mary Anne Dean, co-presidents. “We welcome anyone who is interested to attend the first meeting to learn more about the Club and planned activities.”

The Franklin Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts.

Franklin Garden Club
Franklin Garden Club

St. Mary's St. Vincent de Paul - "Rise and Shine" Food Drive

The St. Mary's St. Vincent de Paul Society would like to help our Franklin children to have a great start as they begin the new school year! It is so important for all students to have a nutritious breakfast before they head off to school each day! 

We are focusing on breakfast foods for our St. Vincent de Paul "Rise and Shine" food drive next weekend, September 2/3. We would appreciate donations of all kinds of breakfast foods, especially Pop-Tarts, protein bars, granola bars, pancake mix, maple syrup, jelly, juice boxes, crackers, graham crackers, school snacks and paper products. (Let's include coffee and tea for the adults too.)

Thank you all for your generosity and thank you also to our parents and teachers!

Donations may be dropped off at the doors of the church anytime.

St Mary's Parish, Franklin
St Mary's Parish, Franklin

“It’s very frustrating and there’s not a lot we can do”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The track at the high school has yet to be completed nearly two weeks after the contractor’s deadline, making the completed turf field unusable to the football team. 
The replacement project began in late June and was scheduled for completion by Aug. 15. Until the track is completed, the contractors will not allow the use of the field by the football team since it will violate and void the company warranty. 
The reason for the delay is unclear. Representatives from the contractor, Sprinturf, were unable to be contacted. 
Town Administrator Jefferey Nutting said that the contractor must pay a $1,000 penalty for each day past the contracted deadline they fail to complete the job. He also mentioned it takes two weeks to complete the track. This could result in at least a $20,000 discount to the $1.6 million job."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

the field is empty on Beaver St, the materials are not yet  delivered and ready for installation as of Tuesday evening
the field is empty on Beaver St, the materials are not yet
delivered and ready for installation as of Tuesday evening

a sidewalk has been added for the length of the Beaver St field
a sidewalk has been added for the length of the Beaver St field

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

11th Annual 9/11 Tribute Dinner

All present and past military service members and families are invited to a special tribute dinner to honor the heroes and victims of 9/11/01. This non-political free dinner is our gift to you.

When: Monday, September 11, 2017
Time: 6:00pm to 8:15pm
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton 11 Beaver Street Milford, MA
Reservations Required by August 31, 2017 at

11th Annual 9/11 Tribute Dinner
11th Annual 9/11 Tribute Dinner

Election Prep: What does the School Committee do?

While the Town Council approves the overall Franklin budget including the school district, the oversight of the school district is the sole responsibility of the School Committee. They hire the Superintendent, who in turn is ultimately responsible (1) for the hiring of all the other school personnel and (2) the day-to-day management of the district..

Under MA law, the school principals are granted responsibility for all that happens in their building.

All seven positions of the school committee are up for election on November 7, 2017. As of the last notification from the Franklin Town Clerk, there are not yet seven candidates for these positions.

Note: there was a request to remove this. It is factual and a historical record from August of 2016. 

From the Franklin Annual Report as published last year:

Vision Statement

The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement

The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

August 2016

Dear Members of the Franklin Community:

On behalf of the students, parents, faculty and community we are pleased to submit this report about the activities and accomplishments of the Franklin Public Schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

Our school infrastructure while aging remains solid. As out buildings age, however, issues continue to arise. Maintaining the school system at the level that our students deserve is a costly full time proposition. We are grateful to the many people who do this essential service for us. The technological structures in our schools are strong and have allowed us to maintain an enviable technological position in our classrooms and 
administration practices. Our new high school remains a place of pride for our entire community. School age population in our state has declined somewhat this year and this is the case with Franklin yet the population in the high school has increased again this year.

An issue of concern that cannot be ignored is the status of our operating budget. After completing a difficult fiscal year with a budget that was 18 percent below the state average our budget for the upcoming year is a full 20 per cent below the state budget. In the community that produced the great educator and Father of Public Education, Horace Mann the fundamental idea that all children are entitled to a free public education is an essential core value for the community. However, the continued decline in funding will impact the quality of the educational program over time. We need to engage this community at every level in the upcoming months to seek to seek a path forward in this area.

On a more positive note, we had a successful year academically. Our high school was rated a level one school, the highest rating the state awards. Our standardized testing was successful again this year. We implemented the PARCC assessments and will be working on transitioning to MCAS 2.0. Our college bound students were successful in fulfilling their aspirations attaining admittance to competitive schools such as 
Princeton, MIT, Brown and Cornell.

Athletically our teams performed well in all the sports. Our hockey team, in particular, won the state 
championship which was a remarkable achievement. Thanks to the help of parents and teachers, our students in all schools received the benefit of some wonderful school clubs and extracurricular activities.

This year we were able to successfully negotiate five employee contracts which will help us smoothly go forward into the future. We are blessed with a dedicated professional staff and a wonderful group of parents and students. We are a good school system on the path to being a great school system. With the support of this community we will get there which is a fitting destination for the community that gave America Horace Mann.

We must close on sad note. Dr. Maureen Sabolinski, our excellent school superintendent has announced her retirement at the end of this school year. In her 8 years as superintendent and over 30 years as an educator in our schools, Maureen has been the epitome of excellence as an educational professional. She leaves behind an outstanding record of accomplishments.

We are unanimous in our praise of this wonderful educator and all she has done for our children and we wish her the very best in her retirement.

As advocates for public education in our town, we extend our sincere appreciation to the parents, the employees and the residents of Franklin for providing support for the Franklin Public schools.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dr. Kevin O’Malley

Chair, Franklin School Committee

Parmenter school sign with the opening week schedule
Parmenter school sign with the opening week schedule

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

FHS Girls Cross Country: "Franklin (has) a trio of top runners in the league"

From Hockomock we share

"One annual sign that the new school year is upon us is the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association releasing its preseason poll for the upcoming cross country season. 
This year, three Hockomock teams are ranked. Both the Franklin and Sharon girls squad are inside the top 20 in the Girls Large School Poll while the Mansfield boys team placed inside the top 10 in the Boys Large School rankings. 

On the girls side, Franklin comes in at 14th while Sharon is ranked 19th. The Panthers won back-to-back division titles in 2015 and 2016, and with defending Hockomock League MVP Nicole Clermont and classmate Katherine Hartnett (first and second respectively at Hock championships) back for their senior seasons, Franklin is in a good pos
ition to go for the three-peat. Ella Gutkowski also finished in the top 20, giving Franklin a trio of top runners in the league."

Read the full article online here:

now a senior at FHS, Nicole Clermont was named "Player of the Week" in October 2016
now a senior at FHS, Nicole Clermont was named "Player of the Week" in October 2016

Franklin Federated Church: Rally Day - Sept. 10

Franklin Federated Church will kick off the program year with Rally Day on Sunday, Sept. 10 featuring a blessing of the backpacks during worship followed by a a catered barbecue cookout.

The day's activities begin at 8:45 AM with Adult Discovery Group, a Bible exploration. Sunday School registration for children preschool - grade 8 begins at 9:30 AM in the church parlor, just inside the front entrance.

Worship is at 10:00 AM. Children and adults are invited to bring backpacks and work bags to be blessed. The catered barbecue lunch will be held immediately after worship.

The day will wrap up with a Family Game Night at the church at 7:00 PM - kids and adults invited to join in the fun.

Franklin Federated Church is a Welcoming and Affirming Church affiliated with the United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches, USA. ALL are welcome. Learn more at: or

Franklin Federated Church
Franklin Federated Church

Monday, August 28, 2017

Election Prep: What does the Town Council do?

The key statement from Town Council Chair Matt Kelly is 
"The Town Council is the holder of all general, corporate, legislative, and appropriations powers of the Town of Franklin."

The Town Council approves the budget and authorizes all spending. One exception is that the School Committee is responsible for managing the school budget after the Town Council approves the amount as part of the overall Town budget. Hence, you'll often hear of the town side and the school side as the two groups provide separate oversight for their area.

The Town Council hires and reviews the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator (Jeff Nutting) is responsible for the daily operations of the Town departments (except as noted for the schools).

The Town Council is the legislative body to approve changes to the bylaws. Usually there is some controversy when the Town Council 'forgets' their legislative role and attempts to intervene in the day to day operations.

There are nine members of the Town Council all elected 'at large' (they represent all the voters of Franklin as opposed to the individual precincts). The Council chooses their Chair, Vice Chair and Clerk in the first session after each election.

All nine positions are up for election on November 7, 2017. Each position has a two year term.

Additional information on the Council, their process and procedures, fiscal policies, meeting agendas, minutes and a host of other information can be found on the Town of Franklin webpage


From the Annual Report - 2016

"The Town Council is the holder of all general, corporate, legislative, and appropriations powers of the Town of Franklin. In that capacity, I present a summary of our annual accomplishments.  
Votes in FY 16 include: 
• Approving the FY 16 Capital Plan. The Capital plan appropriated $1,938,607.09 to fund the Capital requests of the Departments of the Town. Requests included Fire Department equipment and a new ambulance, Police department requests for 4 cruisers and body armor. DPW requests including 4 vehicles totaling $272,000, Town and School facilities improvements totaling $240,000 for the schools and $423,000 for the Town, mainly Police Dept. improvements and a Fire Dept. roof upgrade. 
• The Council voted to appropriate $1.8 million dollars for sidewalks on Pleasant and Chestnut Streets. 
• Voted to rezone a portion of West Central Street from Residential 4 to Residential 5.  
• Voted to accept a parcel of land off Prospect Street. 
• Voted to turn over 17 acres of land to the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust for senior housing. 
• Sold town-owned land on Pond Street near Rt. 495 for $1,560,000 for condos. 
• Voted to increase the Senior Citizen Tax Work-off abatement Program from $750 to $1,000 and increased the per hour credit for the Senior Work-off Program from $9.00 to $10.00 per hour. 
• Adopted a tax work off program for Veterans. 
• Voted to refund old bonds, saving $730,000 based on information and guidance from Treasurer Collector, Jim Dacey. 
• The Council created a bylaw to prohibit parking on public property during winter storms to help with snow plowing efforts. 
• Created a bylaw to impose a $25.00 penalty, after a 21 day notice, to anyone who does not allow their old water meter to be replaced with a new and current model. 
• Amended the current alcohol regulations to require all employees of an establishment serving alcohol to have “TIPS” certified training. 

It is my pleasure to serve my fellow citizens and to submit this annual report on behalf of the Franklin Town Council for your review. 

Respectfully submitted, 
Matthew T. Kelly, 
Franklin Town Council"

Published here at the end of 2016

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

the sidewalks along Pleasant St and Chestnut St are complete. Most of Pleasant
was done last year and Chestnut St was completed this summer.