Sunday, March 8, 2020

In the News: Firefighters serve seniors traditional Irish meal; some residents don't like the civil discourse pledge

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

"St. Patrick’s Day came early to the Franklin Senior Center on Friday, as members of the Fire Department spent lunchtime serving plates of corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes and carrots, to a few dozen seniors.

Although the Lenten season has begun, Catholics in the group had no need to worry about enjoying the classic St. Patty’s day meal instead of sticking with fish and vegetables.

Firefighters had that covered.

“Maybe next year we’ll try not to plan it on a Friday during Lent,” said firefighter/paramedic Doug Perro, going on to quip, “However, we talked to Father Brian (Manning, of the Parish of St. Mary), so you get a special dispensation ... if you’re over 59.”
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"That’s what the Franklin Fire Department is all about."
"That’s what the Franklin Fire Department is all about."

"A civil discourse pledge has upset dozens of residents who say the Town Council is targeting free speech rights when it comes to their – and certain councilors’ – online activity. One resident has even suggested it’s a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

While the proposed pledge originally stated that a councilor’s participation on certain social media channels could violate the Massachusetts’ Open Meeting Law statute, a crowded meeting room applauded as council Chairman Tom Mercer suggested a slight amendment to the pledge toward the end of Wednesday’s meeting.

On Wednesday, councilors approved the Civil Discourse Pledge, Resolution 20-14, which was originally drafted by Town Administrator Jaime Hellen and the Town Council. The resolution follows a series of related administrative actions, starting in 2018 with harassment training for all municipal employees, said Hellen in a memorandum dated Feb. 7.

Designed as an aspiration for the town to make everyone in the community feel welcome, the amended resolution was approved, 6-2-1. Councilors Andrew Bissanti and Eamon McCarthy Earls were opposed, and Matt Kelly abstained."
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The audio file for the citizen comments and the civil discourse discussion can be found here

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