Friday, February 19, 2021

Town Council - recap of Feb 17, 2021 Meeting

Quick Recap:
  • Special alcohol license approved for Dacey's Market. Not part of the Town pool of such licenses.
  • Community Preservation Committee appointments approved. 30 candidates for the four at large residents spots. Thanks to all for stepping up. A good team to go forward
  • Complete Streets approach presented to Council, will return for a formal approval as a 'policy' not a bylaw. Will also provide some bonus points for applications to State for grants for work on roads, sidewalks and the like
  • Annual review of Town Administrator presented and report approved by 8-1 vote (Bissanti no). Will come to Council again for formal approval and there will also be a 'goals setting session' and discussion on how to better improve the overall review process
  • Fire Dept found a good deal on two pumper trucks saving a bunch of money, purchase authorized. They will arrive later this year, replace two front line units, which will then move to reserve and the two current reserve units (2000 and 2007 vintage) will be marked surplus and sold.
  • Storm water bylaw articles I, II, and III returned for their second reading. Elongated and misplaced discussion again ensued as folks were getting wrapped around these are setting up for the possible utility fee coming up later this year. They were all passed by 8-1 vote (Bissanti no on all)
  • Sad to hear that 38 Franklinites have lost their lives during this COVID-19 pandemic. 85% of them were over 75 years old

Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album


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  #tc0217 

Public Hearing - Dacey's Market
  • Moving to public hearing on MADD Deli/ Dacey's Market 
  • Special home rule legislation passed by state house. This is unique to the site, can't be moved or reused without special legislation, Bissanti recuses
  • #tc0217 "feels good to be help a neighborhood business" hearing closes via roll call 8-0-1 (8 yes, 1 recused). License transaction, motion to approve. Passes via roll call same vote as above 8-0-1
Community Preservation Committee appointments
  • Community preservation Committee nominations, 30 at large applied for 4  seats, selected 4 which we see tonight #tc0217 
  • Nice diverse group, have work to do! 4 chosen deliberate to have Community knowledge ... All have shown support/interest
  • FYI approx 26 via Zoom, another 7 on live stream, and some unknown # via Comcast/Verizon #tc0217 all also committed to approach it is this an open mind, management of open space, willing to build a program from scratch for the community and preservation/development efforts
  • #tc0217 TA Jamie Hellen thanks the 5 Committees for their public discussion and selection. Nominated individuals contained in the doc linked here
  • These appointments would come back in June for the annual renewal on the 1 or 2 year appointment to enable the staggering terms per the bylaw #tc0217 something for everyone, many new folks just starting to get involved, affordable housing a trend item
  • #tc0217 why only released on Tuesday? Just timing with holiday and 30 folks to contact. Many thanks for the number of volunteers to come forward. CPC in Hyde Park has a project on the Dedham line, good story, like to see something like that hear.
  • #tc0217 there will be nine individual votes, one per nominee, all will be via roll call (assuming the votes are the same, I'll be concise) if there is a difference it will be noted; first 9-0 for Livingstone, second 9-0 Malcolm, third 9-0 Feeley, fourth 9-0 Halligan …
  • #tc0217 fifth 9-0 Simarian, sixth 9-0 Giardino, seventh 9-0 Oxford, eighth 9-0 McNeill, ninth 9-0 Doyle. 
  • That completes the community preservation Committee approvals! 
  • A good team to take on some challenges. Thank you!
2 minute recess 
  • Two minutes recess #tc0217
  • #tc0217 resuming meeting.
Complete Streets presentation
  • Presentation on Complete Streets …. Five straight appearances for DPW Director Brutus Cantoreggi, engineer Mike Maglio also presenting #tc0217
  • #tc0217  doesn't have to be everything done on the right side of the slide, major piece is the approach of transportation as a whole not just cars first
  • #tc0217 signage and markings are an easy less expensive approach to integrate. State grant applications can be helped with this designation, also a housing Community. An opportunity loss rather than a money loss. Was part of Master Plan (but not prioritized)
  • Part of overall planning for downtown development, ease of access, sidewalks, etc. #tc0217 
  • Sidewalk on Beaver St from RT 140 to the parks already funded, had this been available it could have applied. Washington St survey of the sidewalk planning is being done
  • #tc0217 battle with impervious coverage and we are talking about adding sidewalks. It is connectivity where there are none, not like taking or reducing them in the cul-de-sac. 
  • Where are the gaps? Input from Planning dept, and Police where accidents occur.
  • General consensus thumbs up to develop a policy to bring back to Council in April for one vote (not a bylaw) #tc0217 
Town Administrator review
  • Annual review of Town Administrator asking council for approval to go to review file.
  • #tc0217 subcommittee section usually is empty, this time it contains the TA evaluation report 
  • There will be a goal session in future to include the evaluation process adjustments. Looking for TC to accept report as presented.
  • #tc0217 "it is easy to be critical of everybody but yourself" he works hard, settling into role, good for the community. Need to figure out a better eval process for future.
  • #tc0217 Mercer has worked closely with Jamie over the past 2 years, talking regularly, his admin team has worked well together, look at how much we have done during this challenge! The evaluation is not the TA, it is the entire staff, it is true, you are going to find this …
  • Anywhere else. #tc0217 an incredible team here with a service level like no other. 
  • Motion and second to accept the report, via roll call 8-1 (Bissanti no)
Legislation for Action
  • Moving to legislation for action. #tc0217 
  • Gift to the library, motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0 via roll call
  • Appropriation for fire trucks #tc0217 
  • Using $300k from funds set aside, and financing $800k. Motion and second; Chief McLaughlin speaking for, good timing for purchase. Order price for 2019 but completing now, good opportunity
  • Engine 4 since 2000 has served us well, has been in reserve. Local vendor. Corroded frame rail to replace $105k for engine 3 from 2007. Could save $ now, avoid maintenance in next several years. #tc0217 Engine 1 would go into reserve at King St Station. Stars aligned
  • #tc0217 could save some free cash for a few years instead of putting aside the fire truck fund. A choice, let's continue to put it aside per Kelly. "It is a great deal" these are stock trucks, all the hose and stuff from the existing trucks will go to these.
  • Came up during a regular discussion with vendors and found these as an opportunity via one of the vendors. Cab space, length of the truck, all considerations for us and our environment, given space on the streets how used etc. 30' long #tc0217 disposition of surplus …
  • State process defined for surplus, funds do come back to general funds. #tc0217 motion and second, vote passes 9-0 via roll call. Chief thanks council for support on behalf of the department.
  • Stop sign listing updated #tc0217 Chief Lynch here to answer questions on the proposed amended street listing 
  • Kelly advocates for stop sign at Main St, Eamons St. Missing one there is a problem
  • If someone calls for a stop sign, where does the process start? It can start at Police,  DPW will coordinate with Police and engineering before placement. #tc0217 motion, second to move to second reading passes via roll call 9-0
Stormwater extended discussion
Town Administrator report through to closing
  • #tc0217 grants applied for Museum, COVID update, cases down, status yellow again, capacity increases for business, 38 have died in Franklin from COVID-19. 85% of the deaths were over 75. 65+ can start on 2/18 for appts for vaccine. Teachers next after 65+
  • Our local clinic is not likely to be active as we are so close to Gillette. #tc0217 
  • Pre-budget what have we given for raises town and school
  • Reminder Senior Center coffee hour via Microsoft Teams in the morning (2/18).
  • How is the snow budget doing? About $900K to date, about $200K per storm so we'll be over after this weekend. Not just snow, the salting events. #tc0217 Chair Mercer apologizes for late hour, motion to adjourn, passes 9-0
  • That's all for tonight, catch you next time!


For all the documents released for this meeting

Town Council - recap of Feb 17, 2021 Meeting
Town Council - recap of Feb 17, 2021 Meeting

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