Saturday, November 14, 2020

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - Nov 17, 2020 - 6:30 PM

Finance Committee Meeting
Agenda & Meeting Packet
November 17th, 2020
6:30 PM



1.    Call to Order
2.    Public Comments
3.    Approval of Minutes - None
4.    Beaver Street Interceptor Replacement Update - DPW Director Robert Cantoreggi
5.    Future Agenda Items
6.    Adjourn

Connection info in Agenda document
Beaver Street Interceptor Replacement Update
Beaver Street Interceptor Replacement Update

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Budget Sub Committee Meeting/Workshop - Nov 17

Budget Sub Committee Meeting/Workshop
Virtual Meeting (Links in agenda) 
Nov 17, 2020 - 6:00 PM
Call to Order 

1.    Budget Development Process and Timelines
2.    FY 22 Priorities
3.    Per Pupil Expenses
i.    What would the budget look like?
ii.    What additional enrichment services would be funded?
4.     Unfunded Mandates -- Quantified, Where Possible
a.     Cost Analysis of Selected Unfunded Mandates (not all inclusive)
5.    Medicaid reimbursement information
6.    New Business -- January Budget Workshop
a.    Revolving accounts
b.    Special Education Process and the budgetary impact
c.    Budget drivers
d.    Student teacher ratios

Budget Sub Committee Meeting/Workshop - Nov 17
Budget Sub Committee Meeting/Workshop - Nov 17

Town of Franklin, MA: Think Franklin First gift cards coming Nov 25

"BIG NEWS ALERT! We are excited to announce the upcoming launch of Think Franklin First gift cards!

With the incredible support of Dean Bank & the Random Smile Project, these Franklin-only gift cards will be available for purchase beginning on Wednesday, November 25th.

See more..."

"They will be redeemable at a wide variety of local businesses! This economic development initiative is intended to help support our local businesses by directing spending away from competition/online retailers into our local economy, where it makes an important impact"

"especially in these difficult times. Stay tuned for more information as we move towards our official launch date! #shoplocal #shoplocalma #ThinkFranklinFirst"


Think Franklin First gift cards

Think Franklin First gift cards coming Nov 25
Think Franklin First gift cards coming Nov 25

FHS Chamber Concert November 5, 2020 (Video)

FHS Chamber Concert November 5, 2020 => 

Statement from Hockomock on Girls Soccer Post-Season

The Fall 2020 sports season has almost reached its conclusion. Special thanks to everyone’s flexibility and tremendous support through all of the COVID protocols. The Hockomock League is proud to stand by its athletes, coaches, school administrations, and parents to conduct this unique season.

Our Divisional Champions earned their title through traditional hard-fought dual meets and games. We then constructed a postseason tournament, the Hockomock Cup, for our team sports in Field Hockey and Soccer, to provide additional games for our athletes in a postseason competition in lieu of the cancelled MIAA tournaments. Golf concluded, and Cross Country will conclude, their seasons with their traditional team and individual championships.

Throughout this season, we have followed closely the COVID mandates of our local Boards of Health and must respect their professional decisions on the rules of quarantine. Consequently, the Girls Varsity Soccer Hockomock Cup was impacted by those BOH decisions forcing Foxboro and Canton Girls to forfeit opening round games due to quarantine.

Once again, working together, the League has come up with a flexible solution to keep our athletes engaged in competition. As Canton and Foxboro honor their quarantine, the Girls Varsity Soccer Hockomock Cup will continue with its scheduled games into next week to determine the Hock Cup champion. A Challenge Cup bracket has been added in Girls Varsity Soccer to allow Canton and Foxboro to play against each other on November 19. The winner of that game will then face the Hockomock Cup champion on November 20 for the Challenge Cup title.

The Hockomock League ADs

Mark Houle, Attleboro           Danny Erickson, Canton

Joe Cusack, Foxboro              Tom Angelo, Franklin

Gary Brown, King Philip            Mike Redding, Mansfield

Peter Boucher, Milford            Kurt Kummer, North Attleboro

Bill Matthews, Oliver Ames    Nick Schlierf, Sharon

Ryan Donahue, Stoughton      Mark Ottavianelli, Taunton 


This statement was shared from the Hockomock League page

“People need to change their behavior and get serious”

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:

"THE NUMBER of communities at high risk for COVID-19 nearly doubled on Thursday even with a new set of metrics sharply raising the threshold for attaining that designation.

The new metrics were implemented last week and caused the number of high-risk, or red, communities to drop from 121 to 16. But the number rebounded this week to 30 as rising case counts began to overwhelm some communities.

Norfolk, which reported 48 cases per 100,000 people last week, saw the number increase to 145.8 this week, largely because of an outbreak at a state prison there. Its positive test rate (positive tests divided by total tests) rose to 11.6 percent."
Continue reading the article online
"SOUNDING MORE and more like a coach trying to rally his team against a superior opponent, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday implored Massachusetts residents to take COVID-19 seriously.

He said infections have been headed in the wrong direction since Labor Day and are rising faster and faster. He insisted the problem for the most part is not at workplaces, schools, or restaurants, but in situations where people let their guard down while engaging in familiar activities in casual settings with people they know.

“It’s the innocent acts of small gatherings where COVID is finding its greatest opportunity to spread,” Baker said at a State House press conference. “People need to change their behavior and get serious.” 
Continue reading the article online

 The Governor's Press Conf YouTube link =>

FHS field hockey tops Attleboro, heads to Hockomock Cup Final

Via, we share the fall sports results for Franklin High School on Friday, Nov 13


Field Hockey = Hockomock Cup = #KR3 Attleboro, 1 @ #KR1 Franklin, 6 – Final 
– Franklin scored four unanswered second half goals to pull away from the upset-minded Bombardiers to secure its spot in the Hockomock Cup final. The Panthers pounced early as Amanda Lewandowski scored twice, unassisted at 3:04 and from Kaitlyn Carney at 8:47, to take a 2-0 lead after one quarter of play but Attleboro’s Madison Ellis cut the deficit in halftime with a second quarter goal. In the third, Stephanie Bell scored back-to-back goals to push the Panthers’ lead to 4-1, and Sara Carney and Jill Fenerty added fourth quarter goals to seal the win. Neilee Hess made six saves in net for the win. Franklin will host King Philip in the Hockomock Cup final on Tuesday at 4:00. 
For other results around the Hockomock League 
FHS field hockey tops Attleboro
FHS field hockey tops Attleboro

CommonWealth Magazine: FY 2021 budget moves in Senate and House this past week

From CommonWealth Magazine we share articles of interest for Franklin on the state budget:

"House budget addresses COVID-related education dilemmas"

"The coronavirus pandemic created – and exposed – multiple problems with the state’s education system, from preschool through high school. Now, lawmakers appear poised to use the must-pass vehicle of the annual state budget to begin figuring out how to address some of these issues.

A large consolidated amendment passed at the end of Tuesday’s budget debate, after midnight, includes several education-related study commissions, funds, and data tracking requirements.

On the childcare side, Massachusetts’ childcare system is primarily private-pay and expensive, with some subsidies available for low-income children – a system that has long raised concerns about the lack of affordable, quality childcare for many families. Forced closures due to COVID-19 and expensive reopening requirements put many providers in financial peril.

The House budget includes several investments in early education, including a new $10 million fund to help lower income parents pay for childcare on a sliding scale."

Continue reading the article online

"Senate spending plan hews close to House version"

THE SENATE WAYS and Means Committee on Thursday released its own nearly $46 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2021, a 5.5 percent spending increase over the current year, which is in many ways similar to the budget proposal currently being debated in the House.

The House’s initial proposal was slightly higher – $46.021 billion – and amendments are still being added on the House floor.

Like the House budget, the Senate budget includes no new broad-based taxes and relies on a significant draw from the state’s rainy day fund. There are no major cuts to services. Both the House and Senate budgets adopt proposals made by Gov. Charlie Baker to require large businesses to remit sales tax collections more quickly – though not to require daily remittances of sales taxes – and to delay implementation of a state charitable deduction.

“There’s definitely more similarities than differences in our budgets,” said Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, a Westport Democrat.

 Continue reading the article online

Elections: Voting for Military and Overseas US Citizens

In addition to ballot by mail, absentee ballot, there is sometimes mention of UOCAVA. What is UOCAVA?
UOCAVA is the acronym for the MA legislation:
If you are a Massachusetts citizen, you have the right to vote in all elections, even if you are deployed, stationed outside the Commonwealth, or residing overseas.

Military voters, dependent family members of military voters, and overseas citizens are protected by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), a federal law which guarantees your voting rights.

If you are a military or overseas voter, you are exempt from voter registration requirements in Massachusetts. In order to get your ballot, you simply need to submit an absentee ballot application.
Find out more about UOCAVA on the Secretary of the Commonwealth page
Elections: Voting for Military and Overseas US Citizens
Elections: Voting for Military and Overseas US Citizens

MBTA Update: Commuter Rail notice - Interstate travel COVID-19 changes

According to the new travel order, passengers traveling from NY, WA or DC coming to MA must also quarantine for 14 days or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Passengers must also fill out the online Massachusetts Travel Form or risk a fine.

For more information visit or text MATraveler to 888-777.

Last Updated: Nov 13 2020 04:35 PM


The update to the existing travel order reflects:

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and do not need to quarantine. The Department of Public Health metric for determining lower-risk states for the purposes of Massachusetts’ interstate travel policy considers data over two weeks before moving a state from lower risk to high risk. One week of data is the standard for moving states into the lower risk category.

Additionally, the threshold of daily cases per 100,000 residents is 10 (which ensures that Massachusetts’ standard is in line with other states). States are included on the “lower-risk” list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 10 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.  

Data is from as of November 11, 2020.

The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states includes: 

  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
More info on the MA Travel order can be found

Interstate travel COVID-19 changes
Interstate travel COVID-19 changes

Friday, November 13, 2020

Franklin events: Nov 13 - Nov 16

A quiet looking calendar with the FPAC Virtual Gala and Telethon scheduled for Saturday, a virtual concert at the Library on Sunday, and the Cultural Council Masterclass scheduled for Monday evening.

Friday, November 13
 Franklin Interact: Monster Dash - CANCELED due to COVID-19
Saturday, November 14
 FPAC: Virtual Gala and Telethon
Sunday, November 15
 Franklin Library: Hungrytown (folk concert)
Monday, November 16
 FCC: Annarella's Favorites: Italian Ricotta Cookies & Almond Crunch Biscotti

If you have an event to add to the calendar, you can use the form to submit it for publication:
Community Calendar
Community Calendar

Panther News: November 13, 2020

Panther News November 13, 2020  

video link =

Town of Franklin, MA: December 5 Election Update

The mail-in ballots for the upcoming Town Election on December 5th have arrived and are being sent out by the Town Clerk's office
Want to know more about important election dates, voting options, and candidates?
Visit our website at  

Town of Franklin, MA: December 5 Election Update
Town of Franklin, MA: December 5 Election Update

Dean College: Spring 2021 Plan

 October 29, 2020

Dear Dean College Community,

Thank you to everyone for your dedication and commitment during the
past several months as we have navigated our way through the Fall 2020

Following careful planning by all in our Community for the past several
months, Dean College is excited to announce that we will resume inperson instruction and the residential educational experience for the Spring Semester 2021. While being online for the fall semester was the best choice for our community, we are thrilled to see our students in person once again.

The 2020-2021 academic year has been and will continue to be a different experience for all of us. I marvel at the level of engagement our staff and faculty have provided during the fall semester and I am so proud of the effort of our students. Through their determination, creativity and support of each other, our entire community has risen to the challenge and shown what The Dean Difference is all about.

Dean has made and will continue to make a substantial investment in numerous areas as we prepare our campus for residential operations. From testing procedures and personal protective equipment to dozens of facility updates in residence halls and other buildings, we are making every effort to provide the safest campus experience possible.

For students, multiple options exist when determining how to attend classes. Students may choose to return to campus for in-person instruction either as a residential or commuter student or take classes online, similar to our fall semester. For those selecting to live on campus, Dean will do our best to deliver an enjoyable and fruitful campus life experience. Students should be aware however, that there will be safety requirements and behavioral practices to which we must all adhere.

We have created a guide, Dean College Spring 2021 Plan, that summarizes the most important changes to the academic and student experience for the Spring Semester 2021. Please read and review this guide carefully while making plans for the upcoming semester. Our guidelines will continually be updated to reflect current public health conditions. We will make our community aware of any significant updates to these guidelines through ongoing communication.

Dean has also established a COVID-19 section of our website which will contain the most current information including the Spring 2021 Plan, a list of frequently asked questions, and short videos.

The College will continue to be thoughtful and transparent in our communications as we finalize and implement this plan. We ask for everyone’s cooperation and attentiveness to these guidelines as we all navigate through these unprecedented times.

With warm regards

Dr. Paula M. Rooney
Dean College President

The full plan can be found on the Dean web page

"I need to go do whatever I can"

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:
"Throughout the presidential campaign, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon often repeated a mantra from her collegiate softball days to rally staff on endless Zoom calls: We can do hard things.

Even for someone with an optimistic attitude, 2020 presented a particularly high number of “hard things” for the woman running Joe Biden’s campaign — a pandemic that turned traditional campaigning upside down, a polarized left that wasn’t thrilled about a three-time, middle-of-the-road presidential candidate, an unpredictable opponent who frequently said the election was rigged before any votes were cast.

But the mantra, however unflashy, turned out to be true.

“Once she commits to a goal, she’s going to grind it out,” said longtime friend Cloe Axelson, who played softball at Tufts with Dillon and worked on early campaigns with her. “She’s so tough, and she just does the work.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

You may recall the Washington Post ran an article in August

The Milford Daily News picked up on the Post article in October
The Washington Post and MDN had also run an article in March when she joined the campaign

“She’s so tough, and she just does the work," a friend said of Jennifer O'Malley Dillon.Andre Chung/For The Washington Post
“She’s so tough, and she just does the work," a friend said of Jennifer O'Malley Dillon.Andre Chung/For The Washington Post

FHS boys soccer tops Foxboro 3 - 1

Via, we share the fall sports results for Franklin High School on Thursday, Nov 12

Boy Soccer = Consolation Rounds = Franklin, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final 
– Franklin opened the scoring just before halftime and tacked on two straight in the second half on its way to a 3-0 win on the road at Foxboro. Ben Moccia redirected a free kick from Terry O’Neill to put the Panthers ahead just before the halftime whistle. O’Neill doubled the lead in the third quarter, blasting a penalty into the back right corner with just over five minutes to play in the third quarter. Charlie Amante shouldered in a cross from Moccia to extend the lead to 3-0 in the fourth. Foxboro’s Matt Angelini got the Warriors on the board, burying a touch from Adam Connolly. 
For other results around the Hockomock League 
FHS boys soccer tops Foxboro 3 - 1
FHS boys soccer tops Foxboro 3 - 1

Town of Franklin, MA: Senior Coffee Hours - Nov 19

This month's Senior Coffee Hours with State and Local Officials will be held on Thursday, November 19th at 8:30 AM.  
Join Zoom Meeting  =
Meeting ID: 865 3864 3813  Passcode: 883566

Via Phone: Dial-in at 1-646-558-8656 
#Seniors #Connections @jeffroy @FranklinSrCntr 

Town of Franklin, MA: Senior Coffee Hours - Nov 19
Town of Franklin, MA: Senior Coffee Hours - Nov 19

Franklin Cultural Council: Annarella's Favorites: Italian Ricotta Cookies & Almond Crunch Biscotti

The next Franklin Cultural Council’s Masterclass is schedule for Monday, Nov 16. Are you registered? It’s FREE! 

Join owner of Annarella's Bakery, Suzanne Gendreau, for a night of Italian baking!
Join us to make Italian Ricotta Cookies and Almond Crunch Biscotti!

PDF copies of the recipes will be emailed to you. Please reach out to us at if there are questions!

**The Almond Crunch Biscotti has almonds that need to be caramelized 1-2 hours minimum before the class starts***
Topic: Annarella's Favorites: Italian Ricotta Cookies & Almond Crunch Biscotti
Time: Nov 16, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register online

Annarella's Favorites: Italian Ricotta Cookies & Almond Crunch Biscotti
Annarella's Favorites: Italian Ricotta Cookies & Almond Crunch Biscotti

virtual Senior Health & Wellness Fair = Nov 20

Senate President Karen E. Spilka is excited to announce a one-hour VIRTUAL Senior Health & Wellness Fair that will be broadcast on Facebook and on November 20, 2020, at 10 am. EST. 
Designed to help seniors maintain their mental and physical health during the Pandemic, it will feature expertise and resources from local and state experts, including: strategies to beat social isolation with AARP Massachusetts President Sandra Harris; short workshops on at-home fitness, fraud prevention, and finding the right care; and overviews of community organizations and services that can help with transportation, fighting scams, and lifelong learning, as well as helplines and other resources-by-phone. There will be fun and entertainment too! 
Learn more:
virtual Senior Health & Wellness Fair = Nov 20
virtual Senior Health & Wellness Fair = Nov 20


DLS Alert: Commonwealth Employees Targeted by Phishing Campaign

DLS Alert: Commonwealth Employees Targeted by Phishing Campaign

The following is a notification from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS).

Commonwealth Employees Targeted by Phishing Campaign
Curtis M. Wood - EOTSS Secretary and Chief Information Officer

As many of us in state and municipal government are increasingly conducting our work remotely, the cybersecurity risks of data breaches, disclosures of sensitive data, and targeted cybersecurity threats have increased. As you will see below, we are seeing a rise in malicious cyber attacks, specifically aggressive phishing campaigns over e-mail and texts. The Commonwealth continues to be in contact with our federal partners at the Department of Homeland Security to stay vigilant of emerging cyberthreats and remains on high alert to protect Commonwealth systems and ensure continuity of government operations.

The Commonwealth has recently been the target of an aggressive phishing and smishing campaign. The malicious actors are using free e-mail services, such as g-mail, to create fake e-mail accounts designed to impersonate Commonwealth Leadership and are using social engineering tactics to elicit a sense of urgency. In addition to e-mail, the scammers have started using text messages as another way to phish our community. This technique, often referred to as smishing or SMS phishing, is a text-message based variation of traditional phishing scams, and a growing cyber threat. This particular campaign does not contain any links or malicious documents, but rather requests that the user purchase a gift card on behalf of the executive.

If you receive an e-mail or a text message requesting you to purchase a gift card, to pay by gift card, or to wire money – for any reason – that's a sure sign of scam. Any correspondence, whether e-mail or SMS-based, imploring (or even threatening) the need for an immediate response, should be treated with healthy skepticism.

Remember to pay attention to key warning signs:
  1. False sense of urgency
  2. External e-mail address as either the sender or the reply-to address
  3. Misspellings and Typos
  4. Consider the purpose; is this someone you'd typically correspond with?
  5. Be wary of suspicious attachments and links

read the red outlines for details on what to look for
read the red outlines for details on what to look for
read the red outlines for details on what to look for 1
read the red outlines for details on what to look for 1

Job Search Workshop: "Simplicity and Personal Brand for Job Seekers"

Stephen Melanson, the corporate branding specialist, has announced a two-session workshop for job-seekers.

Dec 10 and 17 - 1-2:00 PM ET

If you're looking for your next professional role, you have to break away from the pack and be clear about your value. And if it's not simple enough, it won't work as well as you need.

Why would an employer be crazy to not hire you? Do you know? Can you verbalize it in about 5 seconds, or describe it in a few words?

In this two-session package, we'll cover:

  • The rules for 'Simplicity' as a business tool
  • What 'Verbal Branding' is, and how to use it
  • How to differentiate and not commoditize yourself
  • Building a strategy for job seeking that works
  • Viewing the effort to sell yourself
  • How to be more effective in less time
  • The scary, critical truth about being memorable
  • Confidence and a little courage
Register via Eventbrite:

TESTIMONIAL QUOTE: Conference Speaker for Top 5 Asset Management firm worldwide: Annual Summit, 2019 "Yours was the only session to get a perfect score from the audience."

NOTE: There are no refunds for this package. Please be sure you can attend before signing up.

To learn more about Stephen Melanson:


Job Search Workshop: "Simplicity and Personal Brand for Job Seekers"
Job Search Workshop: "Simplicity and Personal Brand for Job Seekers"


Thursday, November 12, 2020

FM_#389 School Committee Meeting - 11/10/20 Part 3 of 3 (audio)

FM #389 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 389 in the series.

This session shares one of three segments for the Franklin, MA School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: some of the School Committee and Central Office personnel were in the Council Chambers, the remainder of the Committee was remote via conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I’ve split the two hour and thirty-five minutes meeting (2:35) into three logical segments:

First - covers the opening through the Superintendent's Report, covering the re-opening status; including testing for FHS athletes and theater students to enable their return this week (about 48 minutes)

Second - covers the presentation/discussion on the Portrait of a Graduate (about 47 mins)

Third - covers the Discussion Actions Items, and the remainder of the meeting. (about 60 minutes)

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and to my notes. The meeting packet folder will hold the Superintendent’s Report and Portrait of a Graduate presentation copy. Those are usually posted to the folder the day after the meeting.

Let’s listen to this third segment of the School Committee meeting of Nov 10, 2020   Audio file =



We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial. 

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

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I 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 or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

newly elected vice-chair of the School Committee Denise Spencer
newly elected vice-chair of the School Committee Denise Spencer

Superintendent Sara Ahern answers a question
Superintendent Sara Ahern answers a question