Friday, October 2, 2020

Economic Development Subcommittee: Listening Session 1 - Recap of Sep 30, 2020 Session


  • The first of several “listening sessions” was held on Weds, Sep 30.
  • While the meeting was delayed in opening officially, there was a healthy interactive discussion among the non-Council Chamber folks while waiting. The conversation unfortunately did not continue when the meeting opened.
  • It is a known problem with “listening sessions” where those doing the listening tend to respond to ideas rather than absorbing and asking no more than clarification questions like: please elaborate, what could work, what could be done… and that happened here too.

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #edcls0930

Photos (screen captures) shared via Twitter can be found in one folder 


  • Ready for EDC listening session #1 #edcls0930
  • Meeting opened but they are running late due to tech difficulty #edcls0930 So we'll wait.
  • While we have time to share the economic development page for Franklin  #edcls0930
  • And the Market Study which is one of the key inputs for the listening session soon to start #edcls0930
  • And the MetroWest study is also for consideration #edcls0930
  • Tonight is primarily for downtown Franklin, Franklin Cultural District along with the Crossing section segments of the Franklin market place #edcls0930
  • Tech resolution reached, meeting formally opening #edcls0930  (20 mins late)
  • Approx 21 via Zoom, some Committee and town folks in the Council chambers #edcls0930 Live stream and Verizon/Comcast cable subscribers also have access to their local channels
  • Tony Dasilva of the rail trail Committee notes an increase in traffic on the SNETT #edcls0930 Jamie adds about parking lot at Beaver and Grove, access to State forest, another lot coming to Spring St for access to the SNETT desire to be complete streets enabled
  • Long term plan includes work on Kenwood Circle and eventually all along Grove #edcls0930 to bring trail all the way down to the Crossing is desired. CSX owns and uses the stretch so it will take time, time, time
  • Friendly reminder if anyone needs the info to join #edcls0930
  • Senator Rausch in the audience #edcls0930 Lisa Piana of Downtown Partnership has some info and will be surveying their businesses.
  • #ThinkFranklinFirst campaign launches Oct 1 in town social media and newsletter #edcls0930 looking for help in sharing info. Work also underway on cultural district page to reflect current events, etc.
  • Recognizing that Amazon is a competitor, is there a way to develop a local delivery service to combine resources among the businesses. Would it be worth it to avoid hitting the Amazon button. #edcls0930 a grubhub for local items (not just food)
  • Suggestion on adding more lights downtown around the trees, will the sled be back? #edcls0930 Q on occupancy capacity for the next step per Gov Baker announcement yesterday. Outdoor back to 100, performance venue at half capacity doesn't cover Gillette yet
  • Looking to open Library, Senior Center, and Municipal building for Nov 9... #edcls0930
  • Drive through expanded hours coming to enable ballot drop off at Municipal building, stay tuned for more info coming. Visit town clerk page for updates. (will also share via of course) #edcls0930
  • Q on how many businesses are actually represented here? Trail folks, cultural folks, citizens, and there was out reach to business owners, etc. Personal invite to all 820 businesses by ToF office. #edcls0930
  • Raul of MAPC encourages use of students at Dean as a resource for helping in marketing or creation of collateral #edcls0930
  • How do we create a jingle on the #thinkFranklinFirst theme? #edcls0930 next one Oct 19, restaurants, hospitality, tourism target for that discussion but open to all
  • That's all for tonight, catch you all next time. #edcls0930 
EDC Chair Melanie Hamblen
EDC Chair Melanie Hamblen


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