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.

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