Monday, March 25, 2019

Charles River Meadowlands Initiative Schedules Public Forums

As they come close to completing their efforts, working with BETA, the Charles River Meadowlands Initiative ( is presenting a series of community forums in Bellingham, Franklin and Medway in April. Any interested parties in these communities are invited to learn about the Charles River Meadowlands Initiative and share your thoughts.

State Rep. Jeff Roy and two of his colleagues (now no longer on Beacon Hill) helped secure a line item budget allocation to hire a consultant capable of professionally evaluating the recreation potential of the Charles River Meadowlands. 

The town of Franklin, in particular the Planning Department and Bryan Taberner, provided immeasurable help by receiving the funding on behalf of the Initiative and using their professional skills to help select a skilled consulting organization – the BETA Group.

Since late last year, BETA has been making field visits, developing maps, talking to officials in Franklin, Bellingham, and Medway, and developing concepts for consideration. They have helped identify real obstacles, for example potential rare-species areas that will likely have to be avoided. But the last few months have seen real, exciting progress.

The scheduled meetings include:

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - King Street Fire Station, 600 King Street, Franklin (enter the parking lot 6:30 PM from Constitution Boulevard. The meeting room entrance is on the King Street side of the building). In cooperation with the Franklin Department of Planning and Community Development

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - Bellingham Town Hall, Arcand Meeting Room, 10 Mechanic Street 6:30 PM. In cooperation with the Bellingham Planning and Zoning Department

Monday, April 29, 2019 - Thayer Homestead, 2B Oak Street, Medway, 6:30PM. In cooperation with the Medway Open Space Committee and the Medway Community and Economic Development Department.

For more information, please contact Alan Earls,

Charles River Meadowlands Initiative Schedules Public Forums
Charles River Meadowlands Initiative Schedules Public Forums

How to Speak Wine - April 2

How to Speak Wine - April 2

The dreaded “wine speak!” If fancy wine words make you tune out, then listen up. In this class we’ll explain the most commonly used wine terms and get to know what they mean in your wine. 

We’ll taste through a selection of wines that illustrate the concepts we talk about, and you’ll leave better able to communicate your wine preferences.

Sign Up  =

Sit Down Educational Wine Tasting Events Held In The Franklin Liquors Wine Room, Partnering With Norfolk Recreation And Medway Community Education

How to Speak Wine - April 2
How to Speak Wine - April 2

Good Friday ‘Cross Walk’ is scheduled on the Franklin Town Common

Friday, April 19- 12:00-1:00 pm

St Mary’s teens and families will host its annual ‘Cross Walk’ procession on the Franklin Town Common beginning at Noon on Good Friday. Christians of all denominations and ages are welcome. 

Participants will gather on the Church Square end of the common. Together, they will process through and around the Franklin Town Common and back to St Mary's lawn, pausing along the way to reflect on Jesus’ great love for us. 

Teens from St Mary’s parish will read reflections and prayers at each stop. Anyone who wishes to may help share the burden of carrying the heavy cross during the procession. 

All area residents and our families and friends from surrounding communities are encouraged to take part in this meaningful procession on Good Friday to remember Christ's Passion.

Good Friday ‘Cross Walk’ is scheduled on the Franklin Town Common
Good Friday ‘Cross Walk’ is scheduled on the Franklin Town Common

Register O'Donnell Promotes Foreclosure Assistance Programs

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Promotes Foreclosure Assistance Programs

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reminds homeowners who are in the midst of struggling to pay their mortgage or facing foreclosure that there are consumer programs available to assist them during these trying times.

Register O'Donnell stated, "While the eastern Massachusetts economy has been robust, some of our neighbors have faced economic hardship. Foreclosures can result from a number of reasons including an illness, a job loss or being on a fixed income."

To help consumers, the Registry of Deeds has partnered with several reputable agencies by promoting their services when it comes to mortgage modification and foreclosure programs. Consumers can either contact the Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 or NeighborWorks Southern Mass at (508) 587-0950. Another option would be the Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at (617) 727-8400. "These agencies," noted O'Donnell, "provide a range of assistance from helping with the mortgage modification process to providing legal services, to staving off a foreclosure, and to offering several forms of credit counseling. Additional resource options can be found on the Registry's website, under the Support tab."

The Register also provided a cautionary note to consumers. "Unfortunately, foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification relief is becoming a growing business scam. Some of these unscrupulous companies look to charge consumers outrageous prices for services by making unrealistic promises to them. If what they are telling you seems too good to be true, it probably is. Please check out any mortgage modification or foreclosure relief company before entering into a contract with them."

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds statistics show that during the past several months, a mostly downward trend has occurred when it comes to Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process. "With that said," noted O'Donnell, "we realize that while Norfolk County is a destination location to both live and work, one foreclosure in the county is one too many."

Register O'Donnell concluded, "The Registry is always glad to help those facing a mortgage delinquency or foreclosure crisis by directing them to the appropriate agency. These organizations are there to serve your needs in the most professional and honorable ways."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and/or

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham,, MA 02026-1831

Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Sunday, March 24, 2019

FM #160 - FinCom Budget Hearing #1 - FY 2020 a must listen for Franklin residents!

FM #160

This internet radio show or podcast is number 160 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording shares the Finance Committee Budget Hearing for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) held on Monday, March 18, 2019 in the Council Chambers.

Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen leads the presentation along with Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, Finance Director Christopher Sandini, and Treasurer Kerri Bertone. Each department head has an opportunity to add to the overview provided by Jamie as well as answer any questions from the Finance Committee.

My notes from the session can be found here

This is the first of two budget hearings by the Finance Committee. Yes, for those paying close attention, at the Town Council meeting there was an announcement for 4 sessions spread over two weeks.

Since that time, however, the number of sessions was reduced to two. This session covers ALL the municipal departments. The School Department will be scheduled for a later date (sometime in April) and after their presentation, the FinCom will vote on the recommendation to send to the Town Council.

The Town Council has two budget hearings scheduled; currently scheduled for May 22 and May 23. Given the experience from recent years, the Council sessions will NOT be as informative as the FinCom sessions.

The Council has shown their tendency for a reading of the budget voting document, line by line, and as each department is announced, a Councilor can place a ‘hold’ on the item which then when the reading is complete, that Councilor will have an opportunity to ask a question for that department or line item.

This may be an expedient manner of getting through the budget but from an awareness point of view does very little to share the insights on what drives each budget. These insights currently are only available from the FinCom meetings. Maybe there will be a change (I hope so) but the past several years has shown otherwise.

With that much as the background, the budget process is formally underway. I heartily encourage my fellow residents to spend a couple of hours listening to the FinCom budget hearing recording. You will get more info in this one session than you could get over several meetings. It should be time well spent. If you find otherwise, please let me know.

The total meeting recording runs just about 2 and one half hours. Yes, this is a long one. Settle in comfortably, have my Franklin Matters live reported notes handy, and have the budget doc handy.

Budget Doc

As the FinCom gets to each department/section the page numbers are announced so it should be easy to follow along.

And of course, if you have questions, feel free to ask me or any one of the FinCom members. And last but not least, let your Town Councilors know. They will go through this in May. What they will approve is how Franklin will operate beginning July 1, 2019.

Without further ado, here is the audio recording.


This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can always use your help.

How can you help?

In particular, if you have an interest in real estate, zoning or construction, I would like someone to help us by following the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and or the Conservation Commission meetings. I’ll provide the guidance on note taking and sharing. You need to bring an inquisitive, open mind and willingness to learn and share.

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors.
  • If you don't like this, please let me know.

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements.
Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes = search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes
subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes

Town Council - Recap of March 20 - great reading in the Auditor's Report

Two take aways for me from the Town Council meeting held, Wednesday, March 20 were 

(1) the breadth of offerings by the Recreation Dept and how such a great value that is to the residents of Franklin 
(2) the depth of information in one place for the finances of Franklin for FY 2018.

The presentation document shared by Ryan Jette at the Council meeting is shown here. Page by page, the number of program offerings, the total involvement of the community, the minimum cost to the community (all funded by the fees for each program). 

If you are not taking advantage of one or more of the Recreation Dept programs, what are you looking for? Seriously, raise the question, they have shown to be expanding to meet the needs over the years, it may very well be something to happen.

Financial Audit Report

  • An audit report can be dry reading. 

First and foremost, Franklin has a good report; there are no issues, the auditors found that Franklin's processing and accounting is all in good order. We are one of the 20% of MA communities to get such a clean report. We do have a lot of good folks working for the Town that make this happen and be thankful for.

  • An audit report does contain lots of great information.
In rounded numbers, $74M of the $144M revenue the Town sees comes from property taxes. $6M from excise taxes. $8M for charges for services provided. $48M from grants and contributions. The bulk of the 48M is state funding. Half of our overall revenue comes from property taxes. We could not raise sufficient funding from either the excise taxes or services we provide (even if we could try).  See pages 6, 7 and 8 for these numbers.

The unassigned fund balance on Page 9 amounts to 9.8% and is a good number to have. This is money that Franklin has in its 'savings' account, that is set aside for special purposes. $1.5M of that was used to balance the FY 2019 budget.

Page 10 highlights the general fund spending.

Page 11 shows our overall Capital Asset position. How much is all the land and buildings Franklin owns really worth?

Page 11 and 12 also provide a history of the Stabilization fund balances since the 1990's. What have we done with the money? The key answers are provided there, year by year.

In among the "Notes to the Financial Statements" which begins on Page 26, the definition of a capital asset and the depreciation schedule is found on pages 29-30. 

In addition:
  • The Norfolk County Retirement System is covered beginning on page 44
  • The Mass Teachers Retirement System is covered beginning on page 49
  • Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) is covered beginning page 52

My notes reported live during the meeting can be found
Recreation Director Ryan Jette presenting to the Town Council
Recreation Director Ryan Jette presenting to the Town Council

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - March 26, 2019

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.

“The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.”

1. Routine Business
a. Review of Agenda
b. Citizen’s Comments
i. In the spirit of open communication, “the School Committee will hear public comment not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee Meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment” – from Policy BEDH
c. FHS Student Representative Comments
d. Superintendent’s Report

2. Guests / Presentations
a. Special Guest – Ben Franklin
b. Robert Seide – Art Scholarship
c. School Start Times Advisory Committee Presentation
d. Technology Presentation

3. Discussion / Action Items
a. Policy – 2nd Reading/Adoption
I recommend adoption of Policy IJOAB – Extended Field Trips as discussed.

4. Discussion Only Items

5. Information Matters
a. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Budget; Community Relations; Policy;
Transportation; Public Schools Advocacy; Ad Hoc Superintendent’s Evaluation)

b. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC; Substance Abuse Task Force;
School Wellness Advisory Council [SWAC]; School Start Times Advisory Committee

6. New Business
a. To discuss any future agenda items

7. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from your March 12, 2019 School Committee Meeting as detailed.
b. Transfers
I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
c. FHS Scholarship
I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from Robert Seide for a FHS Scholarship as detailed.
d. FHS Donation
I recommend acceptance of the donation of a Nikon D60 Camera and 55-250mm zoom lens valued at approximately $300.00 from Ivy Patten for FHS as detailed.
e. JFK Gifts
I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1,075.00 for JF Kennedy Elementary School as follows:

  • $350.00 American Heart Association for Supplemental Supplies
  • $750.00 JFK PCC for Field Trips

f. Davis Thayer Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,700.00 from the Davis Thayer PCC for field trips as detailed.
g. Music Dept. Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $323.00 from various music parents for in-house enrichment for the Music Department.
h. Keller Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $4,098.50 from the Keller PCC for field trips as detailed.
i. HMMS Recurring Trip to Save the Bay
I recommend approval of the recurring request of Rebecca Motte to take 6th Graders to Providence, RI for Save the Bay program on June 5, 6, & 7, 2019 as detailed.

8. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

9. Payroll Mrs. Douglas

10. Correspondence

11. Executive Session
a. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA/RN unit as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.

12. Adjournment

The meeting packet and documents released for this meeting can be found online

Not some of the documents will only be posted AFTER the meeting (usually during the day Wednesday)

new scoreboard at FHS donated by Middlesex Savings Bank
new scoreboard at FHS donated by Middlesex Savings Bank

“We only have so much money regardless of where we land”

In the School Committee Legislative Forum, much discussion was on the reforms to the state's education funding process. Given the major hearing on Friday, the legislature is showing that the issue will be addressed. What the resolution will be remains to be seen. 

The Boston Globe report on the school funding hearing held Friday, March 22
"In this year’s first major hearing in the debate over education funding on Beacon Hill, dozens of mayors, teachers, school officials, and even a quartet of New England Patriots players urged lawmakers to boost aid to urban districts struggling with growing populations of high-need students and steep budget cuts. 
Brockton School Superintendent Kathleen A. Smith captured the argument of those demanding an overhaul of the state’s school funding formula, telling lawmakers that her city in 2017 spent just $1 on supplies per student, while wealthy Weston spent $275 per pupil. 
“I am saddened and dismayed that after five years of coming before you more than a dozen times to advocate for our neediest students, I am once again asking you to act and update a 25-year-old funding formula that is broken and no longer serves the needs of the increasingly diverse student population in our Commonwealth,” Smith, whose district has been contemplating a lawsuit over school funding, told members of the Legislature’s joint committee on education during a packed hearing Friday."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Milford Daily News also has an article on the hearing

My notes from the Legislative Forum held on Feb 5, 2019 can be found

Angelica DaSilva of Dorchester (right) attended a packed education hearing at the State House’s Gardner Auditorium. (DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF)
Angelica DaSilva of Dorchester (right) attended a packed education hearing at the State House’s Gardner Auditorium. (DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF)

Unfunded Mandates are also a cause of concern for school and local budgets. A bill currently filed would increase steps to test for lead in school drinking water.

"Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are pushing legislation aimed at improving the safety of drinking water in schools in part by requiring schools and child care centers to test every drinking water outlet each year for elevated lead levels. 
Legislation on tap in the Massachusetts House and Senate would force schools to immediately shut off drinking water outlets that show elevated lead levels. The water outlet could be turned on only after it has produced at least two sets of certified test results showing no elevated lead levels."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

FTC Consumer Alert: Those (not really) IRS calls (video)

Franklin Police Chief Thomas Lynch had a voice message to all residents recently alerting us to avoid phone scams. This FTC video delivers the same message

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle
Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education

You've probably gotten one of these calls: They say it's the IRS and they're filing a lawsuit against you for back taxes. They may threaten to arrest or deport you. What do you do? Watch this video to learn more:

Read more online

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

"we still have a long way to go to reach full equality"

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

"Portraits of past Senate presidents hanging in Karen Spilka’s office featured almost all male faces — until Spilka temporarily replaced each with an important woman in state history. 
The Legislature has a record number of women in office this year, but Senate President Karen Spilka is well aware that progress is - historically speaking - a new trend. 
Women were granted the right to vote in the United States in 1919, just about a century ago, Spilka pointed out on Thursday. And to add a little perspective, in Massachusetts, more than 20,000 men have served as representatives and senators, compared to only 210 women. 
And the portraits of past Senate presidents hanging in Spilka’s office featured almost all male faces — that is, until Spilka last week temporarily replaced each one with an important woman from the state’s history."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Senator Karen E. Spilka
Senator Karen E. Spilka
Contact info for Senator Spilka can be found on her page

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Franklin Public School News - March 2019

The Franklin Public School Newsletter for March 2019 is available here is a couple of formats. Follow the link to download your copy of the one-page PDF file. Or view the PDF file embedded here.

The links embedded in the PDF to other documents are also copied here to save you some time

Full PDF File

FY 20 School Budget Letter

Homework Update Memo

School Committee Homework policy

Homework Presentation to School Committee

School Start Times Update

School Start Times Forum (YouTube video)

Franklin Public School News - March 2019
Franklin Public School News - March 2019

Play the Census Bureau's Population Bracketology Game

Test your knowledge of population data! How close can you get to a perfect score of 63? Mouse-over results for the latest population estimates.
Play the Census Bureau's Population Bracketology Game

Play the Population Bracketology Game

Test your knowledge of population data! Start by choosing your geographic level: metro areas or states. Click on the name in each match-up that you think has the larger population. Green shows a correct answer, red indicates an incorrect answer. When you have opposing names picked for the next round, pick again. 
How close can you get to a perfect score of 63? When you are finished, play again or mouse-over results to view the most current population estimates for each pair.
Here are the data sources we used to build this data visualization:
Winners in each metro area match-up are based on a comparison of the July 1, 2017 population estimates. Metro areas included are the 64 most populous (based on 2017 population) in the 50 states and District of Columbia.
Help us spread the word about the Census Bureau's Population Bracketology game!
Play the Census Bureau's Population Bracketology Game

Get Answers to Your Data Questions

We're here to help you get the most out of Census Bureau data. If you have a question, visit Ask or give us a call at 1-800-923-8282 (TTY 1-800-877-8339). You can also connect with us on social media.

Population Bracketology Game

This is an official email from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us (

FHS selections for Basketball All Stars; Ali Brigham named MVP

Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Ali Brigham, Franklin

  • Ali Brigham, Franklin
  • Bea Bondhus, Franklin

Honorable Mentions:
  • Erin Qualie, Franklin

Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Devin Foster, Canton

  • Chris Edgehill, Franklin
  • Jalen Samuels, Franklin

Honorable Mentions:
  • Will Harvey, Franklin

For the complete of girls basketball All Stars

For the complete of boys basketball All Stars

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities - Apply Now!

Job Opportunities

To apply for a vacant position, please submit a resume and cover letter to  Please put the job title in the subject line of your email.  
  • Fire Chief
  • Administrative Assistant and Marketing Coordinator
  • Part-Time Conservation Agent
  • Summer Jobs - DPW and Facilities
  • Summer Engineering Intern - DPW 
  • Junior Building Custodian
  • Part-Time Custodian 
  • Firefighter/Paramedics - The Town of Franklin's Fire Department is in the Massachusetts Civil Service system
    • If you are currently a Firefighter/Paramedic in a Civil Service community and are interested in working for Franklin, send a resume and cover letter to
    • Please note: new hires must have and maintain a paramedic certification and complete an Associate's Degree within 5 years of the date they are hired.   
If you do not have a resume, you may send a completed Application for Employment instead.
To receive notifications of all job opportunities in the Town of Franklin, subscribe here .

Among the Town of Franklin job opportunities is the role of Fire Chief
Among the Town of Franklin job opportunities is the role of Fire Chief

Tri-County: The TC Insider

This email newsletter was shortened for publication here, to review the full contents visit

Tri-County: The TC Insider
March 22, 2019

To the Tri-County Community,

Spring means MCAS and next week our sophomores will sit for the ELA portion of the exams. All sophomore students will be taking the English Language Arts MCAS exam. The test will run for two days on Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27. We have been working very hard to prepare for this year's exams as ELA and Math will be new exams in an electronic format. Please have your sophomore students go to bed at a reasonable time each night this week and come to school on time and ready to do their best. Students may bring reading material if they finish early or may work on homework that is not ELA related. Please remind your children that cell phones, earbuds, iPods, or any electronic devices are not allowed at the testing sites. It would be better to leave them home or in their lockers during MCAS. Please make sure your child is in school and on time, each day of testing and if there is a problem, let the school know as soon as possible.

Spring sports practices began this week and we were actually able to spend some time outside. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate over the next few weeks and we can keep on schedule once the seasons begin. Spring weather is always a challenge.

Over the past few weeks' students selected classes for next year, so it's a busy time in the Guidance Department as we ramp up our Admissions process for next year as we finish student interviews with an eye towards our placement exam next month.

It is also the time of year where we sent our best craftsmen to the Skills USA District competition in Easton, MA at Southeastern Regional. Please take the time to check out the medal winners on our website. The Gold and Silver Medal winners will be competing in the State Competitions next month.

Thanks for your support.
Work Hard, Today Counts,

Mr. Procaccini

Upcoming Events

Admissions - Processing Applications
Going on Now

Tri-County Children's Center - Open Enrollment
Going on Now

MCAS - Sophomores
March 26-27

Senior Distance Learning
March 26-27​

Early Release Day
April 1

Student Ice Skating Outing -
After School

April 1

End of the 3rd Quarter
April 5

Spring Vacation
April 15-19

Incoming Freshman Placement Test
April 27

Program Advisory
May 1

Early Release Day
May 3

AP Exams
May 6-17 (various dates/times)

Senior Project Fair
May 23

About The TC Insider

The TC Insider is a biweekly newsletter for the families of Tri-County students.

Tri-County RVTHS
147 Pond Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School District · 147 Pond Street · Franklin, Ma 02038 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp