Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Recap - Town Council Meeting - 05/05/21 - Cantoreggi recognized, LaCantina license changed, Franklin TV and communications updates

Quick Recap:
  • DPW Director Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi was recognized as a Top 10 Director across USA
  • Public hearing on stormwater legislation language cleanup; Bissanti so against anything stormwater, he voted against closing the public hearing
  • Addition of brewing to LaCantina license (granted in Legislation for Action) Neighbor comments on noise, parking to be addressed by Town Administrator
  • Melanson Heath audit provides a real clean report with no management letter (best report in years)
  • Franklin TV presentation provides insights in to how it is funded via cable fees, provides services to the Town via contract and programing for TV and radio of great value
  • Marketing and Communications Specialist Anne Marie Tracey provided an enthusiastic overview of the progress made in sharing awareness on what is happening
  • Town receives notification on sale of Maple Hill property finally to start the 120 day close on right of first refusal. Stay tuned to this one
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  #tc0505
Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/L6zifqjy7rspqDPB6
Audio segments for the meeting will be available in a couple of days

  • Getting ready for the Town Council meeting, agenda page and connection info found here https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/may-5-town-council-agenda #tc0505
  • Meeting opens shortly after 7 PM  #tc0505
  • Citizen comments for up to 5 minutes for an item not on the agenda #tc0505 Colin Cass speaking for the dog park, a section for smaller dogs exists in Medway but it is not used. Shouldn't be subtracted from the existing space, should be added to.
  • DPW Director Cantoreggi recognized as a "Top 10" professional out of 30,000 across the industry. Clean water is one of his specialties. #tc0505
  • 2 minute recess for photo op #tc0505
Public Hearing
  • Back to order, hearing for bylaw amendment, chap 185, special regulations. #tc0505 this was also required to get approval by planning board. Motion to close hearing, roll call 8-1 to close hearing
License transaction
  • La Cantina change of permit https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/mai/files/7a._la_cantina.pdf from wine to wine and brewery, motion and second, pouring permit expands to include malt (beer). Clarification on Gov Baker for COVID emergency order on food requirements. Farmer series excludes food #tc0505
  • Back to normal on May 29, not relevant to point in order. #tc0505  neighbor expressing concerns with problems with loud music and parking overflow in the neighborhood. Town had not heard of these problems will be setting up time to address concerns
  • #tc0505 this is the right thing to do and look at the impact on the area. Additional parking now available through the Downtown Sports space. Finally get to the vote via roll call 9-0. Neighbor muted to get to the vote with reminder to contact the Town Administrator
Melanson Heath audit report
  • Melanson Heath with audit results current audit for FY 2020  https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/mai/files/franklin_ma_fs20_-_final.pdf #tc0505 audit went well, account balances were reconciled in timely basis. Prior audit reports available on ToF page  https://www.franklinma.gov/town-budget/pages/audits  no exceptions found
  • Page 7 takes numbers to words, page 17 liability and fund balance section; net pension and OPEB, assumptions changed so results are shown here. #tc0505 page 19 general fund and stabilization funds unassigned fund balances of $11m what bond rating agencies look at
  • Right in target and a healthy position. Budget vs actual page 59  3.1m of free cash used 
  • Revenues over budget a decrease over prior year (motor vehicle and license permits) decent due to COVID. Expenses not as high within budget also due to pandemic albeit consistent #tc0505
  • No management letter this year, small side letter but no major items  #tc0505 page 12 of PDF  Next item is Franklin TV
Franklin TV presentation
  • Anticipating another percent reduction in cable fees as folks continue to cut the cord. (Slides to be added later) #tc0505 the Comcast and Verizon won't go away overnight as a way of generating revenues. i.e. working with TBB to generate programs
  • Next up Anne Marie Tracey, with a great lead from Pete!
Marketing and Communications
  • #tc0505 presentation doc  https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/mai/files/communications_and_marketing.pdf 
  • Communications needs are as diverse as the communications required. #tc0505 the menu is available to meet all needs via the social media options audiences include current residents, employees as well as potential residents, business and employees
  • Top pages of the town #tc0505
  • Much done on the Town side is replicated on the Schools side as well #tc0505
  • Capital budget round two approved tonight, coming to council in future. #tc0505 EDC meeting next Weds talking about restaurant, downtown parking, etc.
Legislation for action
Town Administrator report
  • Town Administrator report, town back to green, plans to gradually reopening. Passport renewals Weds until July, hiring part time agent and photo booth services in July. Senior Ctr gradually opening too, newsletter updates, Common ground cafe possible after Memorial Day #tc0505
  • Full budget hearings May 26-27  https://www.franklinma.gov/town-budget/pages/fy-22-budget-materials 
  • Went for bond rating, asking what will it take to get a AAA rating, EPA working again at 300 Fisher St
  • P&S received for Maple St property, clock starts today, legal review required before discussion on Maple hill ->
  • Purchase price $4.5m, have time to respond to this #tc0505 
Council comments, Closing
  • Kudos to acting clerk, got something in 10 minutes that it can take 10 days elsewhere. 
  • Pellegri - folks are following FinComm meetings via cable not Zoom. 
  • Thanks to the FinComm for the great job they did
  • Thanks to the Administration and to the audit team for a great audit. Pete is doing a great job, looking forward to many more. The enthusiasm of Anne Marie, a real pleasure and joy  #tc0505 Motion to adjourn, via roll call 9-0  That's all for tonight catch you next time


Recap - Town Council Meeting - 05/05/21
Recap - Town Council Meeting - 05/05/21

No comments:

Post a Comment