Saturday, March 2, 2019

Happy birthday - Franklin!

On March 2, 1778 Franklin came into being. It was incorporated as a town and remained a small town for many, many years. Then in the 1980's and 1990's the population growth hit great numbers. Entire farms disappeared into residential developments and the population has now settled around 30,000. Franklin operates as a city form of government but we still call ourselves "The Town of Franklin."

Jamie Barrett recorded and posted to YouTube the song he composed for Franklin: "The City that calls itself the Town of Franklin". 

And another version

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Police Department

I hereby submit the Annual Report of the Franklin Police Department.

This past year, the agency has been working diligently to accomplish the goals we set for FY18 and create new goals for FY19. Many of our previous and current initiatives are familiar and have been discussed in past annual reports as they are multi-year projects due to the complexity involved in their implementation.

In September, the Franklin Police Department joined the One Mind Campaign of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This campaign requires the department to adopt a policy on serving the mentally ill, establishing a formal relationship with a mental health service provider, training every officer in “mental health first aid” (8 hour training), and training 20% of the department in Crisis Intervention Team protocols (40 hour training). The campaign is designed to provide agencies with the training and tools necessary to better serve the mentally ill. The IACP provides three years to complete the 4 goals. The FPD anticipates completing the project by the end of 2019.

In January, 2018, the FPD in collaboration with the Medway Police Department applied for and was subsequently granted a Jail-Diversion grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Law enforcement based jail diversion programs seek to redirect individuals with behavioral health disorders from the criminal justice system into treatment when appropriate and safe to do so at the point prior to arrest. In addition these programs seek to enhance public safety by identifying strategies that can be safe and effective in handling acute situations in which police are called regarding a person who is in an emotional crisis. The grant will provide the hiring of a full-time (40 hours) mental health clinician who will work directly with patrol division personnel to evaluate and recommend alternatives to arrest during incidents. The agency looks forward to implementing this program in the fall of 2018. The FPD continues to pursue certification and eventual accreditation through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission.

Accreditation/certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation, and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to citizens. Members of the Accreditation Team have been working very hard and I’m pleased to announce the FPD will achieve certification within the next 3-6 months.

Franklin had 48 overdose incidents reported in 2017, four of which were fatal. In 2016 there had been 58 overdose incidents reported with nine fatalities. In 2015 there were 42 overdose incidents reported with four fatalities. The FPD continues to collaborate with the SAFE Coalition and other partners in our efforts to provide those suffering from substance use disorders with resources, referrals, assistance and support in their efforts to get well.

Another major development we continue to prepare for is the department’s inclusion in a regional communications initiative known as the Metacomet Emergency Communications Center (MECC). The MECC will provide dispatch and other communications services to eight public safety agencies to include the police and fire departments of Franklin, Wrentham, Norfolk and Plainville. Needless to say, this will be a significant change in our current operations. We are working hard to prepare the department for this change and to ensure that service delivery and customer service are positively impacted by this initiative. The MECC is projected to open and begin providing services in the spring of 2019.

In December, 2016 the department created a Domestic Violence Coordinating Unit to provide follow-up and specialized services to victims of domestic violence and other family related issues in an effort to break the cycle of violence. The unit conducted 207 follow-ups during FY18 and I’m pleased to announce the feedback we have received from victims has been nothing but amazing.

The Franklin Police Department had four veteran officers retire in the past year.

In March of this year, Officer Brian Chandler retired after faithfully serving the town of Franklin for 22 years. Brian started with the department in 1996 and served with the Patrol Division throughout his career. Affectionately known as BING, after the character on the TV show FRIENDS, Brian was always known for his warm smile and good natured laugh around the station.

In July we said goodbye to Officer Robert Burchill. Officer Burchill started his career with the Franklin Police Department in 1985 as a police dispatcher, and was promoted to patrol officer in 1986 and attended the police academy. We thank him for his 33 years of dedicated service to the Town of Franklin.

Officer Paul Fiorio, Known to more people around Franklin as “Hoofy”, than any other name, has unconditionally served the Town for 34 years. A larger than life presence, and a heart as big as they come, Paul has touched the lives of so many in this community.

Most recently Detective Michael Kenney retired after 27 years of service to the Town. Detective Kenney started as the Parking Control Officer in 1991, started the police academy in 1992 which led to a career that allowed him to be a patrol officer, traffic enforcement officer and then Detective.

We wish all of these officers the very best, health, happiness and prosperity in their next chapter. We hope that they will stop in from time to time to let us know how they are doing. You are always welcome at the FPD!

If you have a question, concern or wish to speak to me, please do not hesitate to call my office at 508-440-2710. I encourage you to call and look forward to speaking with you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Franklin, town officials, especially Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and members of the Town Council for their support of the FPD during this past year.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the tireless effort and dedication of the men and woman of the Franklin Police Department. Our employees are the only reason we are able to continually succeed in providing excellent and professional law enforcement and community related services to you. They are the embodiment of “doing more with less” and have been doing so for years. I’m very proud of the men and woman of the Franklin Police Department and I know you are also.

Respectfully submitted,
Thomas J. Lynch, Chief of Police

Chief Lynch also includes some tables with information on the department's operations that were not easily copied here. I recommend getting a print copy or viewing the PDF to continue reading the information there. (page 133 print copy, page 144 PDF copy)

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

Franklin Police Department retirees were recognized at a Town Council meeting
Franklin Police Department retirees were recognized at a Town Council meeting 

Memorial Day Parade - 2013

Photos of the groups and organizations marching in the parade in Franklin, MA on May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

or go directly to Flickr

On this date: Mar 2, 2018: Community Calendar

Stepping back into the archives for March 2, 2018 I find one of our regular features, the weekly outlook. The weekly outlook is posted Friday morning and shares the scheduled events through the following Thursday.

The Community Calendar was developed as a collaborative effort to help with the Cultural District application. Franklin is now one of 46 communities designated with a "cultural district". 

Many organizations with a Google calendar have integrated directly into the calendar. They can enter an event in their calendar and it appears magically on the Community Calendar. If an organization doesn't have a Google calendar, there is a form to request an entry to the calendar. This form is also open to anyone with an event to share for the community.

To submit an event for this Community Calendar, please use this form  (one entry will get your event visible on all three views of the Community Calendar)

If your organization or business would like to integrate with the community calendar, please contact me. If your organization would like to set up a Google calendar and integrate, that is good; if you need help, let me know.

The March 2, 2018 schedule outlook

Community Calendar
Community Calendar

Friday, March 1, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Planning & Community Development

The Department of Planning & Community Development (DPCD) maintains a professional staff that provides the Town of Franklin with a wide array of planning services. DPCD’s mission is to plan and implement comprehensive policies and initiatives that work to fulfill the land use-related goals of the people of Franklin. We make every effort to maintain the character of the community while enhancing its economic, cultural and social vitality.

The DPCD’s staffing reflects the diverse skills needed to complete the many activities and roles the Department participates. DPCD’s activities and services include, but are not limited to comprehensive planning, economic development, subdivision plan, site plan and conservation plan review, open space and wetlands preservation, historic preservation, zoning by-law and subdivision regulation development, downtown revitalization, brownfields redevelopment, affordable housing, public transportation, transit oriented development, and sustainable development including use of smart growth and low impact development concepts. The Department regularly identifies and sources funding for various community development projects and activities. DPCD balances its approach to these initiatives through long-term planning and public participation.

Support of Town Boards, Commissions and Committees
DPCD personnel provide staff support to several boards, commissions and committees, including the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Design Review Commission, Technical Review Committee, and the Cultural District Committee.

Approximately 65 percent of the Department’s total staff hours are utilized on Planning Board and Conservation Commission related issues. In addition, DPCD staff occasionally provides professional technical assistance to other public entities including Town Council, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Council’s Economic Development Sub-committee, and various ad hoc committees including the Town’s Master Plan Committee.

Site Permitting and Guidance
DPCD is not a permit granting authority; its function during the permitting process is to integrate laws, regulations and plans with the Town’s goals to ensure that the best interests of the Town and its residents are served. DPCD personnel organize and attend meetings, provide technical assistance, offer professional opinions, and guide developers, businesses and residents through the Town’s various permitting processes.

Conservation and Land Use
DPCD provides support to the Conservation Commission, as provided by MGL Chapter 131, Section 40. Conservation Staff, specifically the Town’s Conservation Agent, is responsible for speaking for the Conservation Commission when they are not present (see separate Conservation Commission Report). Although not a permit authority, the Conservation Agent does have limited police powers to regulate already approved Conservation Commission activities, stop unauthorized activities, and promote and protect the natural resources of Franklin and its wetlands, streams, brooks, ponds, lakes and watersheds. In addition, Conservation staff provides administrative support and reviews applications being presented to the Conservation Commission, as well as provides professional support to other Town Boards and Departments. During FY19 DPCD worked on various conservation and land use related projects.

Chapter 61 Properties.
During FY17 and FY18 DPCD staff, headed up by Conservation Agent George Russell, assessed privately-owned parcels within Franklin that are known as Chapter 61 parcels.
Chapters 61, 61A and 61B of Massachusetts General Law outline programs that require municipalities to reduce assessments of farm, forest and open space lands, provided the owners make a commitment to keep their lands in one or more of those uses. Should the owner of any of these parcels decide to remove them from their current tax status and offer them for sale, the town would have the right of first refusal. The parcels were evaluated in order to gain a greater understanding of which may be more prudent for the town to acquire, and to ensure that the Town gains the greatest benefit from its open space and recreation funds by objectively reviewing proposed land acquisition projects using established criteria.

Conservation Commission Managed Land.
During FY18, DPCD staff, again headed up by Conservation Agent George Russell, assessed the 125 Town-owned properties that are managed by the Conservation Commission. One result of the study was to identify parcels that could be utilized for passive recreation purposes, including the possibility of connecting Conservation properties with other public lands. DPCD continued to implement the Master Plan for the DelCarte Conservation area, including beginning the second year of pond treatments, and worked to procure the services of a contractor to construct ADA improvements to access the canoe launch. In addition, DPCD began the process of amending the Conservation Commission’s regulations and standard operating procedures to help streamline the approval process for "minor" projects.

Comprehensive Planning and Zoning
DPCD is responsible for traditional land-use related activities including updating the Town’s plans, and amending and creating zoning bylaws. A description of zoning and land use issues worked on by DPCD during the 2018 fiscal year is summarized below.

Zoning Bylaw Amendments.
During the 2018 fiscal year DPCD worked on amendment of several sections of Franklin’s Zoning Bylaw. Zoning Map Amendment 18-795 amended Franklin’s Zoning Map by changing the zoning district of two dozen parcels in area near Union, Cottage and Saxon Streets. The Zoning Map Amendment eliminated the Commercial II Zoning District from that section of Town. Zoning Bylaw Amendments 17-797 changed the setback requirements for accessory buildings and structures. DPCD is undergoing a project to better define the Town's zoning districts by following parcel lines. Where parcels are within two or more zoning districts the subject Zoning Map Amendment will move the
Zoning District line so each parcel is only in one zoning district, in most cases based on the current land use. DPCD will develop roughly a dozen Zoning Map Amendments to complete this project. The first three, Zoning Map Amendments 18-802, 18-803 and 18-804, were developed in the last quarter of FY18.

Planning and Implementation of Community Development and Economic Development Projects
Each year the DPCD works on many community and economic development initiatives. The Department develops strategies, proposes policies, bylaw changes and Town Council resolutions, manages projects, and seeks grants in efforts to balance Franklin’s community livability and its economic viability. DPCD encourages responsible community
development that meets the goals and objectives of the Town’s various planning documents, and the State’s Sustainable Development and Smart Growth Principles. Some of DPCD’s more important recently completed or ongoing projects and initiatives are summarized below.

Regional Planning. 
DPCD attends meetings and works on various regional planning issues with a variety of regional organizations, including Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Southwest Advisory Planning Committee, I-495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership, and the I-95/495 South Regional Technology Economic Target Area’s Coordinating Council. In addition, the DPCD occasionally supports the initiatives of other regional organizations including the Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, Friends of the SNETT, the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau, and a workforce development advisory committee established by Employment and Training Resources in Framingham. DPCD also provides support for the Charles River Meadowlands, an effort among citizens and officials from the Towns of Bellingham, Medway and Franklin, to work together and to work with Federal and State officials, to improve management and access of the Federally-owned meadowlands, and adjacent public lands.

Downtown Revitalization. 
For more than fifteen years the Town has made revitalization of Downtown Franklin a major focus and has worked to improve the Downtown in a variety of ways. The revitalization of Downtown Franklin must be carefully planned to ensure that improvements positively impact the entire community. During the 2018 fiscal year DPCD continued to work on projects related to implementation of the Franklin Center Plan, which was developed in 2002 and 2003 to provide Town officials with a vision and basic strategy for revitalization of Downtown Franklin. 

One component of the Franklin Center Plan is Cultural Uses. The issue of Cultural Economic Development has been a focus for DPCD in recent years, including working with the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau on a variety of cultural economic development marketing activities. As part of these efforts DPCD provided assistance to the Franklin Cultural District Steering Committee, a group of individuals and organizations working to increase the number of art and culture related events in the area, create a State designated Franklin Cultural District in Franklin center. 

The Cultural District Steering Committee has accomplished much; this group of hard working arts and culture advocates has: assisted DPCD with the Cultural District application process including development of a strong cultural district Partnership; worked hard to support art and culture programing; and even organized the annual Franklin Cultural Festival. Lovers of the arts in Franklin owe them a great deal for their passion and hard work. During recent years DPCD prepared Cultural District marketing materials, coordinated efforts with local stakeholders, and performed outreach and educational activities, including setting up booths and displays at various events.

A cultural district is a specific geographical area that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. It needs to be walkable, easily accessible, easily identifiable to visitors and residents, and serve as a center for cultural, artistic and economic activity. The goals of a Cultural District, as defined by the legislative statute, are to encourage business and job development, attract artists and cultural enterprises, establish the district as a tourist destination, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural economic development.

In June 2017 Franklin Town Council passed two resolutions that accomplished the following: created the Cultural District Committee; formally expressed Franklin’s interest in establishing a state-designated cultural district; endorsed state-sponsored cultural district goals; and endorsed submission of a Cultural District application. During FY2018 the Cultural District Committee was formed. DPCD provides the Committee with administrative and Technical support; during June 2018 the Town submitted a Cultural District application to Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Cultural District Committee’s responsibilities include applying for Cultural District designation, managing and marketing the District, assuring the Districts goals are obtained, and managing and strengthening the Town’s Cultural District Partnership.

Over the last few years a strong Partnership has formed in support of creating a state-designated cultural district in the Downtown area. The Cultural District Partnership includes many of Franklin’s well known organizations and businesses, including: Franklin’s School Department, Historic Commission, Public Library, Cultural Council, and Senior Center/COA; Franklin TV/Franklin Radio; Franklin Downtown Partnership; Dean College; Franklin Art Association; Franklin Performing Arts Company; the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse; and Franklin School for the Performing Arts.

Town Properties. 
DPCD regularly works with the Administration and other Town departments to assess and develop recommendations for Town-owned parcels of land, including Tax Title Properties and lands of low value. Each year recommendations are developed for a number of these properties, and the work is submitted to the Town Administrator and Town Council for consideration. DPCD works regularly on a wide range of economic development projects and programs, and is one of DPCD’s top priorities, second only to providing excellent administrative and technical assistance to the Town’s boards, commissions and committees. Potential benefits to the Town from successful implementation of DPCD’s business retainage and attraction initiatives are significant. Efforts focus on increasing the value of Franklin’s commercial and industrial tax base, filling the Town’s empty and underutilized industrially zoned buildings, and attracting the right mix of companies to the community.

As part of efforts to market the Town of Franklin, DPCD staff maintains a site selection web page -, and develops press releases, advertisements for industry periodicals, and economic development marketing brochures. DPCD regularly communicates with realtors, property owners and businesses to make them aware of State and Federal technical assistance programs and financial resources that can be made available to further their development, and to raise awareness of DPCD as a resource for local businesses. DPCD works regularly Massachusetts Office of Business Development, MassDevelopment and other agencies in efforts to attract the right mix of companies to Franklin’s industrial and commercial areas.

Redevelopment Projects. 
Redevelopment of Town owned properties is a regular DPCD activity. In recent years much progress has been made with three important Town-owned properties. Redevelopment of the former Municipal Building property at 150 Emmons Street was completed in FY17. The Town’s so-called Pond Street Property, former sewer beds, was sold to a developer in FY16, and construction of a condominium housing development is well on its way. 

The Town’s so-called “Nu-Style” Property on Grove Street, has been the subject of environmental assessment and remedial activities since 2006. The results of testing showed that to fully assess the property’s soil and groundwater contamination, a dilapidated former manufacturing building on site needs to be removed. During FY18 DPCD developed and the Town advertised a Request for Proposals, in attempt to find a company or individual to purchase, clean and redevelop the site. One proposal was received from an adjacent property owner, and the Town is working to execute a purchase and sale agreement.

DPCD will continue to undertake a wide range of community and economic development projects, programs, and planning initiatives that will keep the Town of Franklin’s goals and objectives current and representative of residents’ needs and desires. DPCD is proud of its accomplishments and welcomes public input on all of its efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of Franklin.

Respectfully submitted,

Department of Planning & Community Development Staff.

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Planning & Community Development
Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Planning & Community Development

Franklin Junction - 2013

Presentation by Ron Clough (MA DCR) on the history of trains in Franklin and a brief overview of the RailTrail effort by Ed Barth. 

Franklin Historical Museum - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013

FHM - Franklin Junction

or go directly to Flickr

While some of the photos are shown here, the photo essay published also includes a link to the presentation document shared

On this date: Mar 1, 2017: Live reporting from the Town Council

Stepping into the archives for March 1, 2017 I find that among the posts that day was my usual "live reporting" from a Town Council meeting. I try to report from as many Town Council, School Committee and Finance Committee meetings as I can attend each year to "follow the money". 

Working from home tends to help with some of the schedule but meeting work commitments with 8:00 PM conference calls can also interfere. It is the nature of the beast trying to balance work and life schedules.

Note: "Live" reporting is used when I am in the room. "Real time" is when I report via the live cable or internet feed. I laid out these definitions back in 2010.

For the meeting notes of Mar 1, 2017

All the notes from the meetings I report on live or remote are contained on the tab "Meeting Notes"

Assistant Town Clerk Nancy Danelo (in blue) swearing in the new Deputy chiefs
Assistant Town Clerk Nancy Danelo (in blue) swearing in the new Fire Dept Deputy chiefs
at the Council meeting of Jan 30, 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Metacomet Emergency Communications Center (MECC)

Construction on the building continues. We anticipate dispatching our first call in early 2019. Once complete the MECC will operate state of the art systems and equipment to handle the dispatching of police, fire and EMS calls for service for the four communities; Franklin, Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham. We will serve a combined population of just under 66,000 residents (2015 census data) covering 76.7 square miles.

The State 911 Department will begin “text to 911” service of the Next Generation 911 (NG911) system later this year. This will enable our call takers to assist with emergency calls with the deaf and hard of hearing population or those who cannot verbally communicate. Remember, “Call If You Can, Text If You Can’t”.

The MECC will staff highly skilled, trained, professional telecommunicators ready to assist, day or night. Rest assured we stand ready to help you in your time of need.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M Premo
Executive Director

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

In the Finance Committee meeting of Oct 16, 2018, we learned that Norfolk construction delays for regional dispatch center will affect Franklin and the budget for an additional three months. It was supposed to begin operation in Jan 2019, and is now scheduled for operation in March (Apr 1 for budgeting purposes). The discussion was to fund an $28K for Police and $70K for Fire to cover the delay.

The Franklin Matters notes from the FinCom meeting Oct 16

Facebook photo for MECC
Facebook photo for MECC

Public Tour of JF Kennedy School - Oct 2012

Photos from the public tour of JF Kennedy School held on Oct 4, 2012. At the time the School Committee was hosting a tour of each of the schools in the District, one per month.

JF Kennedy Elemntary School

Or go directly to Flickr

School Delay 2/28/19 - 2 hours

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Due to the weather conditions, Franklin Public Schools will have a 2 hour delay on Thursday, February 28, 2019.

When Franklin Public Schools has a delayed opening, ECDC will have a cancellation/delayed opening as follows:
The ECDC morning session will be cancelled. The ECDC extended and full day sessions will delay opening by 2 hours. The delayed opening will NOT impact the afternoon session.

Emergency busing will be in effect and students walking or waiting along routes will be offered rides by our drivers.

Office staff, please arrive as you are able.


The Franklin Public Schools

On this date: Feb 28, 2016: Reporting by Walking Around

Stepping in to the archives for Feb 28, 2016 I find that this was one of the "reporting by walking around posts" I did from time to time. I find myself doing less now as I am working from home most of the week and thereby can walk almost everyday to stay current. So hopefully, you see more photos daily rather than bunching them like I did.
"Reporting by walking around, I'll share some photos of the walk around Franklin Saturday morning."
The new Recreation Dept facility at 275 Beaver St
The new Recreation Dept facility at 275 Beaver St
Dip into the archives for 2016 and see what has not changed, or changed since Feb 28, 2016

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Human Resources

I just finished my first year as Human Resources Director for the Town of Franklin and it was a very busy, but rewarding year. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I look forward to serving as your HR Director for many years to come!

Fiscal Year 2018 was a big transition year for the Town. We had turnover in three key managerial roles, the Human Resources Director, Comptroller, and Treasurer/Collector. Stephanie Lutz, Susan Gagner, and Jim Dacey had almost 50 years of combined service and institutional knowledge with the Town. Finance Director Chris Sandini, Treasurer/Collector Kerri Bertone, and I have tough shoes to fill, but are catching on quickly and operations have continued without a hitch. Jeff Nutting and Jamie Hellen should be commended for their hard work in making sure that there was a smooth transition in leadership.

In addition to these three key managers, several other employees chose to retire or pursue other opportunities this year. We had a very busy year backfilling positions and even adding a few new positions. There were 16 new full time employees including 4 Police Officers, 3 Firefighters, 6 DPW Laborers, the Finance Director, and 2 Civilians at the Police Department. We also hired 3 new part-time Library Assistants at the Franklin Public Library, several part-time and substitute Custodians for the Facilities Department, part-time dispatchers for Police and Fire, part-time administrative positions and over 40 Referees, Camp/Program Counselors, Gate Guards, and Program Coordinators at the Recreation Department. In addition to local students working summer jobs in the Recreation Department, the Town also hired about 30 Franklin students to work in the Department of Public Works and Facilities Department. These students were instrumental in helping landscape our community and get the schools ready for the 2018-2019 school year.

In Fiscal Year 2018, we continued to struggle with the rising cost of healthcare. Other than wages and salaries, the health insurance budget represents one of the largest single costs to the Town. The Town offers health insurance to all active employees working more than 20 hours per week as well as retirees and their families. We currently have approximately 1200 employees and retirees from both the Town and Schools on our plan. Even a small increase in health insurance premiums can have a huge impact on the total budget.

When we started reviewing health insurance for FY19, we were faced with a potential increase of 10.9% on the HMO plan. Town and School management came together with the Insurance Advisory Committee to try to come up with creative solutions to keep costs down, for both employees and the Town. We enlisted our benefits broker, NFP Inc, to prepare a RFP and went out to bid on health insurance. The Insurance Advisory Committee ultimately decided to save costs in several different ways. We went through the arduous process of switching Health Insurance companies from Tufts Health Plan to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and added a small prescription deductible to our plans.

We also, for the first time, offered employees the option to enroll in a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan coupled with a Health Savings Account. A High Deductible Health Plan offers a lower monthly premium, but the employee may have a higher out of pocket cost, since the deductible would increase from $400 to $1500 for an individual and from $1000 to $3000 for a family. Since the decrease in monthly premiums would save the Town a significant amount of money, we were able to share the savings with the employees by depositing money into the employee’s Health Savings Account ($750 for employees on an individual plan and $1500 for those on a family plan). This money could then be used to pay for any health related expenses and reduce out of pocket costs. Even with this arrangement, the cost to the Town for the High Deductible plan was still lower than the standard HMO plan.

Through the changes listed above, our overall Health and Life Insurance budget for the Town increased by just 5.42%, which is slightly lower than last year and below the national average.

The Town continues to offer a very competitive benefits package, which, in addition to health insurance, offers employees the option to sign up for Life insurance, Dental insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts and/or Health Savings Accounts, Short and Long Term Disability, and two different vendors for deferred compensation retirement plans. In FY19, we plan to review all the benefit plans to make sure that we stay competitive and offer our employees robust, cost-effective benefits.

This year, we worked with MIIA (the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association) to offer Harassment Training to all our employees. A professional trainer came in and offered 12 different classroom sessions. The training focused on the federal and state laws around discrimination and harassment and our responsibilities as employees in preventing harassment and responding appropriately if it does happen. Employees generally had positive feedback about the training and felt that they learned a great deal.

2018 was a very demanding, but fulfilling year. I, along with Sandy Golebiewski, look forward to another great year of serving our employees and our retirees in 2019.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Bratt
Human Resources Director

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Human Resources
Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Human Resources

Parmenter 5K - June 2012

The Parmenter 5K was held on Jun 10, 2012 at the Gerald M Parmenter Elementary School in Franklin, MA 02038.

Parmenter 5K - 2012

or go directly to Flickr

On this date: Feb 27, 2015 - DPW gets grant to curb stormwater

Stepping into the archives for Feb 27, 2015, we find that the DPW had just received a grant to help with storm water management.

"The Department of Public Works plans to use money from a state grant to curb the amount of stormwater draining into the Charles River. 
The town on Tuesday won a $119,000 grant through a state Department of Environmental Protection initiative to help cites and towns manage local water supplies. In all, DEP awarded around $755,000 in grants to 12 communities, including Medway. 
Franklin DPW Robert Cantoreggi said Thursday the grant will fund work to build a water recharge area off Jefferson Road."
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News

The storm water management efforts by the DPW are plentiful and visible all around Franklin.

Rain gardens, tree wells... the listing goes on. 

DPW Director Cantoreggi will be leaving soon (?) to take the Town Administrator role for Norfolk.

one of the rain gardens at Parmenter School
one of the rain gardens at Parmenter School

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Historical Commission

The Franklin Historical Commission is a volunteer committee appointed by the Town Administrator and ratified by the Town Council. We are dedicated to maintaining, staffing, and operating the Franklin Historical Museum, and to preserving the historical assets of the Town of Franklin. Meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM at the museum and are open to the public.

We have up to 7 full-time members with voting privileges along with non-voting associate members.


Mary Olsson, Chair
Phyllis Malcolm,Treasurer
Jeremy Ball, Recording Secretary
Colette Ferguson
Bob Percy
Paul Pisani
Richard Remillard

Associate Members

Mary O'Neill
Kai Olsson

The Franklin Historical Museum has been in our present location for 8 years now. The museum occupies the old Town Hall Building at 80 West Central Street, just a half block before the fire station, and across the street from the new Horace Mann Square. We continue to work to engage the community and area residents so they rely on the
museum and find it a place to explore and celebrate the Town's heritage, achievements, and unique place in history.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Historical Museum is a center for community engagement, committed to facilitating the exploration of Franklin through a local, regional, and national lens, to a multi-generational audience.

WE ARE OPEN: Saturdays 10AM to 1PM; Sundays 1PM to 4PM; Thursdays 5PM to 8PM. During winter months (beginning of December thru end of March) we are closed on Thursdays.

Museum Hosts
Commission members and volunteers keep the museum open by giving of their time to host at the Museum during our open hours. Our hosts answer questions and share their knowledge of Franklin’s history. (Hosting is also a great way to learn more!) To become a host volunteer, contact any member of the commission.

Some of our events this year:

Town of Franklin Birthday Party
On March 3rd we celebrated the founding of the town by inviting local town residents who share the same birthday with the town. Those birthday celebrants attending were entered into a drawing for a $100 ‘picture of Ben’. And, as with any birthday celebration, cake was served.

Second Sunday Speaker Series
This year we are pleased to announce the founding of our Second Sunday speaker events at the Museum. On the second Sunday of each month, at 1PM, local and regional speakers share their knowledge and insight on various historical and cultural topics.

Appraisal Day
Antiques expert Nancy Wyman hosted another interesting appraisal session at the Museum in April. People discovered more about their ‘finds,’ and learned of their approximate market value.

Art Week
As part of this town-wide celebration, Dennis Ferguson performed on the Museum’s locally manufactured Trowbridge piano. Also performing were the Prolatio Singers, under the direction of Dr. Ferguson. Musician and artist Kai Olsson performed and displayed his paintings.

Little League Display
To recognize the founding of Franklin Youth Baseball in 1953, an informative and interesting display by Elaine Costello was presented in April. Some of the original players attended a kick-off reception in their honor.

Hi-definition Photographs
We are continuing to add to and refine our permanent collection of historic photographs on our iC4K Display Screen, invented and produced by Almont Green Studios of Medway. This display screen allows visitors to view and browse through large format digitized photographs of Franklin’s past.

Wedding Dress Display and Speakers
Returning this year, June through August, was another exquisite wedding dress display, the product of many volunteer hours. To complement the display were two separate event presentations on wedding dresses. The public was invited to submit their wedding photos to be scanned and added to our permanent collection.

Annual Events of the Downtown Partnership
The Commission enjoys being part in the annual events planned by the Downtown Partnership which include the Strawberry Festival, the Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Stroll. The Holiday Stroll is always a fun evening hosted by Mrs. Claus who reads to many wide eyed children.

Social Media
The Museum’s presence in social media continues to grow. Come join the discussion on Facebook (

Wall Calendars
In 2018 we produced calendars of old Franklin photographs and key dates. We plan to produce another for 2019, to be available at the Museum for a nominal fee.

School Participation
We encourage elementary, middle, and high school student visits to the museum to learn about Franklin throughout the course of the year. So many stories to tell! Learning about our town’s history is a wonderful gateway to history as a whole. Teachers are encouraged to contact us to make arrangements to bring their class in for a visit and hosted tour.

Demolition Requests
Under the demolition bylaw passed by the Town Council, the Historical Commission reviews any demolition request of a property built in 1930 or before. We make every attempt to encourage the preservation of any building of historical significance. We have the option to delay the demolition of a building for up to a year so that suitable alternatives can be considered.

This year, the following properties were approved for demolition:

  • 300 W. Central St. 1880
  • 70 E. Central St. 1900

This speaks to the ongoing issue of the disappearance of the Town’s historical assets.

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

exterior siding work is nearing completion, next up will be work to repair the cupola
exterior siding work is nearing completion, next up will be work to repair the cupola

The Big Y under construction in 2012

The Big Y was under construction during 2012 and this collection of photos showed the progress at that time.

Franklin, MA: Big Y - April 2012

or go directly to Flickr

On this date: Feb 26, 2014 - videos showing HMEA services

Stepping back into the archives for 2014, we find some things have changed and some things have not.

"As reported earlier, HMEA has new videos that were produced by Six One Seven Studios based here in Franklin.

Other videos in the series just produced can be found here

Autism Services ->

Employment and Rehabilitation Programs;

Shared Living;

You can visit HMEA's webpage for additional information;

To work with Six One Seven Studios to tell your own story, you can find out additional information on their webpage here"

- Six One Seven Studios moved from Franklin to Providence, RI and changed name as they expanded. They are now known as Luminous Agency.

- HMEA continues to be based in Franklin, continues to provide a variety of services and will be hosting their incredABLE 5K on the Dell property in the Forge Park Industrial Park on May 19, 2019.

The original post from 2014

Reminder: BFCCPS presents “No Strings Attached” - Mar 1 and Mar 2

The Fine and Performing Arts Department at the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School is pleased to announce upcoming performances of “No Strings Attached” to be held at the Horace Mann Middle School located at 224 Oak Street in Franklin, Massachusetts.

Performances will be held on Friday, March 1 from 7–9:30 PM and Saturday, March 2 from 2–4:30 PM. The public is invited and welcomed to attend the show! Tickets are priced at $17 for adults and $13 senior citizens and children under ten. Tickets will be sold at the door or an order form will be available for download at

“No Strings Attached”
“No Strings Attached”
When Carl, a teenager, wants to run away from home, he applies for a job with the mysterious Professor Pinecone and his traveling magical marionette puppet show. He quickly discovers, however, that the position comes with all kinds of strings attached. Once he feels the magical jolt in Professor Pinecone’s handshake, he embarks on the audition of his life. 

In this play-within-a-play, Carl becomes Pinocchio and improvises his way through the story, meeting some familiar characters — including a cricket with an attitude (“I’m Gonna Bug Ya”), the devious fox and cat (“Easy Money”) and the memorable Blues Fairy (“Blues Fairy Mama”) — as well as some new ones. With the help of this eclectic cast, Carl stumbles upon life’s lessons as he’s forced to make important decisions. After a string of poor choices (which makes his nose grow and ultimately leads him to make a donkey of himself), he finally does something good for a change by saving Geppetto from the mouth of a giant shark.

The production is under the direction of BFCCPS’s Fine and Performing Arts Director Mr. Christopher Heater, with a cast comprised of 36 students in grades Six through Eight. The cast is supported by a live orchestra and a dedicated 11 member backstage student crew.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School has been in operation since 1995 and provides a well-rounded, rigorous academic program designed to educate the whole child. BFCCPS’s educational philosophy, which is centered around strong core academic subjects, as well as yearlong courses in art, music, languages, technology, and physical education, integrated character education and community service, and strong parent partnerships, has led to local, state and national recognition.

If you’d like learn more about the educational mission of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School please contact the school’s Marketing Coordinator, Joanne Basile, at or 508-541-3434 x140.