Saturday, August 27, 2022

Town of Franklin (MA): Five Year Fiscal Forecast (FY 2023-2027) Now Available

The Office of the Town Administrator has released the Five Year Fiscal Forecast for FY23-27. This memorandum provides a synopsis of the financial outlook for each year as well as a "snapshot" of the town today. 


August 15, 2022

To: Town of Franklin

From: Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator

Re: Town Administrator Five-Year Fiscal Forecast FY23-FY27

Welcome to the first “Five-Year Fiscal Forecast” from my office in almost three years. Due to the immense time pressures put on the office during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, as well as the consistent economic shifts, it was difficult to depict an accurate picture of future town fiscal affairs. As mentioned in this year's budget narrative, I’m committed to getting back on a regular routine with this traditional update now that the country is moving past the regulatory structure of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the global and national economy in the center of everyone’s minds and the start of the new fiscal year (FY23) upon us, summer is a perfect time to hit a quick reset on town fiscal matters and get the view from 30,000 feet. I am hopeful to publish a more comprehensive version later this fall/winter as the Town approaches its annual tax rate hearing in December. By then, staff will have revenue trends through the first quarter of the fiscal year, finalized state aid numbers, and expected new growth figures. The forecast is also a requirement of bond rating agencies.

Quality of life and organization stability in Franklin

Before I dive into the forecast details, I believe it is worth taking a step back for a moment to pause and reflect. Over the past few years, our community, like the rest of the world, has gone through a tremendous disruption. Everyone has dealt with unforeseen adversity, challenge, and loss. Yet despite these professionally and personally challenging times for everyone, the overall quality of life in Franklin, as well as Massachusetts as a whole, could be considered some of the best in the United States.

The Town has exceptional, diverse schools and education opportunities, unprecedented achievement in public education, one of the most prepared local public safety operations in the state, a dedicated and well-trained public works department and countless exceptional

amenities for families and citizens of all ages and backgrounds. The Town is an attractive area for major corporate businesses and has a strong local economy with many diverse economic sectors. The Town continues to make historic investments in open space and recreation to add to the great quality of life in town.

The Town has developed a proven financial management strategy. We have had strong financial audits for many consecutive years. For the first time in the Town’s history, a AAA Bond rating was awarded due to prudent financial management, a diverse economy and well executed financial policies. For details, please visit the S&P Global Rating from May 2022 for the facts surrounding the AAA Bond rating. It is one of the most important documents to read for any member of the community.

From a bird’s eye view, everyone should feel an incredible sense of achievement for being a model community that is supportive, innovative and full of continued promise. We owe an immense amount of gratitude to our municipal and school employees for their incredible dedication over the last three years, by not only weathering a global pandemic, but improving the organization and continuing to succeed at an elite level. The social fabric of the community and citizens remains very good with a positive outlook given the countless events, festivals, community organizations and opportunities for all. As we move into a fiscal year without any COVID-19 restrictions or regulations for the first time in three years, I believe Franklin is more resilient and prepared for the future than we were three years ago. The organization remains very stable.

FY22 Closeout

Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) closed out on June 30th. July is one of the busiest times for the Finance staff closing out the past fiscal year, entering the new one, working on state required reporting and closing out budgets. I am pleased to report that all departments did a phenomenal job managing their budgets in FY22. As a result, very few year end transfers were required and another sterling financial audit was presented in May for FY21.

The revenue source with the greatest fluctuation to economic conditions, “Local Receipts”, ended up coming in at pre-pandemic levels, which is very good news. This dynamic was predicted and reflected in the FY23 budget revenue assumptions.

This trend is bolstered by a slowly returning local economy. Hotel revenues are now about 60% back to pre-pandemic numbers. The new cannabis excise (sales) tax provided an additional $104,000 in new revenue for less than a half a year of collections. Motor vehicle excise taxes were higher than budgeted due to the valuation of cars increasing. Ambulance receipts have increased due to higher demand for EMS services. As the Town enters FY23, revenues remain steady in this category, but FY24 may need some expenditure adjustments in order to deliver the services that we see trending in demand.

That said, Local Receipts are revenues mostly generated based on consumer behavior (hotels, meals, cannabis, licenses) and public demand (such as ambulance runs or building permits). Thus, they can stabilize or decrease with the changes in consumer patterns and the broader economy. They can also increase, which the Town must consider that staffing or equipment may be needed to adjust to meet those demands. The fees in this category need to mirror the capacity at the staff level to deliver the services.

Indications from the Federal Reserve and leading local economists acknowledge that to quell inflation, policy will be focused on reducing demand for goods, services and products to help ease cost increases. I tend to believe any policy action at the federal or state levels will take a while to settle into the local consumer patterns that drive revenues in local receipts.

Nonetheless, this is an area of revenue that the Town will need to monitor in FY23 heading into FY24 to ensure we have the capacities to meet the demand for services. We'll also need to monitor any major declines in revenues from attempts to quell inflation.

A couple of final statistics to close out FY22: only ten (10) single family homes were built in Franklin during Fiscal Year 2022. By comparison, in 1994, at the Town’s peak, the Town built 172 single family homes. Population in 2021 decreased for the 1st time in over four decades.

Population in 2021 decreased for the 1st time in over four decades
Population in 2021 decreased for the 1st time in over four decades

Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating
Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating

SAFE Coalition asks you to join them WEDNESDAY for International Overdose Awareness Day

SAFE Coalition
SAFE Coalition asks you to join them WEDNESDAY for International Overdose Awareness Day

In addition to our candle light vigil, we will be placing 2,290 purple flags on the Franklin, Wrentham, and Millis town commons.

These 2,290 flags represent the number of lives lost on Massachusetts last year to an opioid overdose.

Would you like to join us in placing the flags?

I would like to volunteer!

The Franklin High School Newsletter has your back to school info

Check out the latest Franklin High School Newsletter for all the back-to-school information you will need:

Shared from Twitter -> 

The Franklin High School Newsletter has your back to school info
The Franklin High School Newsletter has your back to school info

Dan Rather: We Should Not Become Inured to the Shock

After the affidavit  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
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Dan Rather: We Should Not Become Inured to the Shock
We Should Not Become Inured to the Shock

The Department of Justice has released the affidavit it used to obtain permission to search Mar-a-Lago and seize files from Donald Trump. The document fills in some details but leaves many questions unanswered, largely because it is heavily redacted — as it should be. The sanctity of the investigation demands it. So does the security of the nation.

What we knew before has been further confirmed — Trump absconded with hundreds of classified documents. We now know these were incredibly sensitive and included information on clandestine human sources and secrets not to be shared with foreign governments. We may never know the documents' exact contents — that's how sensitive this material is. 

What is so striking, as many others have observed, is that as president, Trump was notoriously uninterested in details. He doesn't read. He certainly doesn't pore over policy details. He is famous (or infamous, depending on who is assessing) for "not getting into the weeds." So why these documents? Why did he care so much? What, if anything, do they have in common? Can they point to a motive? We can speculate on what that might be, understanding that he has long ago lost any benefit of the doubt. 

The government said it gleaned the information it included in the affidavit from "a significant number of civilian witnesses." This detail will undoubtedly fuel Trump's paranoia, but it also suggests just how unsafe these national secrets were at Mar-a-Lago. 

As we learn more, as we look for clues, as we wonder and question, we should be careful not to lose track of the big picture. 

At the very minimum, this situation represents a major breach of national security. Do we really believe that any other citizen of this country, which is who post-presidency Trump is, would be walking free if found in possession of these documents? Rather than being persecuted, as Trump self-servingly claims, this affidavit makes it clear that the Department of Justice was extraordinarily patient — possibly to a fault. They gave Trump every opportunity to hand these over. And yet he didn't. Why not? 

At this moment, around the world, women and men are risking their lives for our country. We have a system of secrecy that protects the most sensitive aspects of our national security. It is in place for a reason. Because the lives of Americans and the future health and safety of the nation depend on it. 

That this saga has become "partisan" is not a reflection on the seriousness of these documents. Rather, it is a reflection of how unserious the Party of Trump is when it comes to our national wellbeing.

As shocking as this episode is, we must not become inured to it. Shock like this should not wear off. It should propel us forward to ensure that justice is served and nothing like this ever happens again. 

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© 2022 Dan Rather
548 Market Street PMB 72296, San Francisco, CA 94104

Rainbow Café - Tuesday, August 30 at 10 AM

Hello All,

Rainbow Café - Tuesday August 30 at 10 AM
Rainbow Café - Tuesday August 30
I am looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, August 30 at 10 AM at the Franklin Senior Center for our Rainbow Café.  If you know anyone who would enjoy attending please share and invite them to join us.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!


Ariel Doggett

Respite Coordinator
Supportive Day Coordinator

Ariel Doggett

"We rise by lifting others" - Robert Ingersoll
There is no act of kindness too small

Episode 023 - Weddings and Religion; Same-Sex Marriage, Interfaith Marriage, and more (audio)

A Priest, a Rabbi, and a Minister walk into a radio station:

"In this episode, Dr. Pandora Carlucci and Jay Horrigan are joined by Reverend Junger, Reverend McAdams and Rabbi Alpert to discuss the role of religion in marriage, what the responsibilities of religious leaders are in the marriage process, what religion teaches us about marriage, how the different religions have handled disputed types of marriages like same-sex and interfaith marriages and much more."

Audio link -> 

"A Priest, a Rabbi and a Minister walk into a Radio Station…"
"A Priest, a Rabbi and a Minister walk into a Radio Station…"

Did you hear about the student loan announcements? Scammers did, too

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

By K. Michelle Grajales, Attorney, Division of Financial Practices

You've probably already heard about the new government plan that will forgive some federal student loans, once it's up and running. Also in the news: the federal student loan payment pause has been extended to December 31, 2022. 

But scammers are watching the news, too, so know this: you don't need to do anything or pay anybody to sign up for the new program — or the pause. Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee eligibility. 

And anybody who says they can — or tries to charge you — is (1) a liar, and (2) a scammer.

Did you hear about the student loan announcements? Scammers did, too
Did you hear about the student loan announcements? Scammers did, too

Friday, August 26, 2022

Franklin's Event Outlook: Aug 26, 2022 to Sep 1, 2022

Ah, school starts next week. That truly is the end of summer! But that is also next week, and there is stuff to do in and around Franklin in the meantime. Start with the Farmers Market, take in the Franklin TV block party, get a head start on the State Primary by voting on Saturday... and make the most of #artshappenhere in Franklin!

Friday, August 26
1:00pm - Farmers Market (Franklin Town Common)  NOTE time change due to weather forecast - market will open ONLY from 1 to 4 PM
4:30pm - Riana's Plate (food truck) (67 Degrees Brewery)
6:00pm - Patrick Durkin (live music) (La Cantina Winery)
6:00pm - Dave Penza (live music) (67 Degrees Brewery)

Saturday, August 27
11:00am - Yoga in the Taproom (ticketed event) (67 Degrees Brewery)
9:00am - State Primary - In Person Early Voting (Franklin High School)
10:00am - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
2:00pm - South Street Six (live music) (La Cantina Winery)
3:00pm - Franklin Cable Block Party (Franklin TV Studios Hutchinson St)
4:00pm - Franklin Cable Annual Meeting  (Franklin TV Studios Hutchinson St)

Sunday, August 28
1:00pm - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)  

Monday, August 29
9:00am - State Primary - In person early voting (Franklin High School) 

Tuesday, August 30
9:00am - State Primary - In person early voting (Franklin High School)
5:00pm - Author Susan K Hamilton book launch for "Stone Heart"  (Escape Into Fiction)


The Franklin Art Association Art Gallery remains open during business hours at Escape into Fiction (Main St, Franklin)

Find the full calendar

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

The Town meeting calendar is found

The School district calendar is found 

Community Calendar
Community Calendar

School Committee Space Needs working on vendor RFP evaluations

The Franklin Public Schools, School Committee - Space Needs Subcommittee met on Thursday afternoon, Aug 25, at 2:00 PM.  My notes taken during the meeting while participating remotely are as follows:

Quick Recap: 
  • Discussion on recap of what got them to this point, three proposal out for evaluation by team members, need to evaluate the specifics of the proposed process then look at the dollars associated with the proposals to make an overall recommendation. Individuals to complete their evals by 9/5, Miriam to compile for subcommittee to review at next meeting (9/13) and prepare recommendation for full committee to review at the 9/27 meeting.
  • Discussion on stakeholders to ensure appropriate representation of community segments, likely to request via a form for participation on such working group to have ready when vendor selection is complete so they can move forward. Expectation setting for stakeholders on work required and overall timeline for work to be completed (report Mar to May) for School Committee to decide before end of 2023 school year (June 2023). (Implementation timeline would be part of approval/decision but likely to be at least a year away from decision.)

participants (either by voice or view - I joined a couple of minutes late) 
Chair Al Charles, E Stokes, D Spencer, L Giguere, M Goodman

Chair Al Charles began with a recap of prior actions of the subcommittee.

RFP proposals being evaluated by core team, between 15&27, to SchCmte for approval, and then to contract

Proposal evaluation includes two aspects, one for specifics, a second for the dollars, only evaluation on the work proposed before getting to the dollars, layer the $s in later

Reference checks on the proposals put forward, individuals can do so, as well as the procurement office, to be accumulated by Lucas to avoid open meeting law (OML) issues

Clarification questions on process: Dollar amounts determine level of involvement, between $10-50k, RFP allows for evaluation of separate proposals; Discussion on background of RFI vs RFP processing, out to bid can force acceptance of lowest 'qualified' bidder - qualifications need to be specified in the bid proposal process

Discussion on time to read, review, Lucas example of about an hour; individuals would be to be done by 5th, the Subcomm to meet the week of the 12th, to allow for review, etc, before SchCom meeting on the 27th where this would be up for discussion and approval

Redistricting cmte discussion (examples of stakeholder groups)

  • Subcom
  • Facility's
  • Parents of each sch
  • Town Council rep
  • 3 non parent members (possible prior parents of redistricting)

Size problem with logistics, steering committee and communications absolutely required

Approx 30 as proposed

Target for a Mar to May report timeline, with recommendations by SchCom before end of school year

Discussion on school start time large group and multiple subcommittees, a different process

Setting expectations up front will be key, keeping all informed is important, it will be a lot of info to review and discuss, so over communication is better than missing someone/something

Clarity, and nonbinding req for responses, tied to release of info on process outline

There will be other resources as needed to provide specific data details as they arise

Next meeting, Sep 13 at 6:00 to 6:45pm

Possible agenda topics: 

  • Compilation of RFP data
  • Questionnaire draft
  • Comms draft
  • Determine timeline targets, consultant approval at the 27th meeting, then contract required
  • Laying foundation for the work to set up for the real work

The published agenda is here:

  • Call to Order
  • Recap of Events
  • Review RFP process and Timeline
  • Advisory Committee Planning
  • Adjourn
Complete agenda including remote connection info ->

School Committee Space Needs working on vendor RFP evaluations
School Committee Space Needs working on vendor RFP evaluations

Escape Into Fiction sets up teacher wish lists

"New #teacher wish lists in the store for our #localteachers. Come in or email to create yours!  
We love our #teachers. 10 books/author, grade, school!  
#franklin #franklinpublicschools #wrenthamma #kpschools"

Shared from Twitter ->

Where is Escape Into Fiction? 12 Main St in downtown Franklin or visit them on the web at ->

Escape Into Fictions sets up teacher wish lists
Escape Into Fictions sets up teacher wish lists

Senator Rausch: Sep 6 - Primary Voting Info

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Senator Rausch: Sep 6 - Primary Voting Info

Senator Rausch State House Briefing   
Part 2, Chapter 20 (August 25, 2022)   

It's primary season! Do you have a plan to vote in the Tuesday, September 6 Massachusetts primary election? As a registered voter, you have the choice to vote by mail, vote early, or vote on Election Day. I fought incredibly hard to bring vote by mail to our Commonwealth, and I'm deeply proud that we have expanded access to the ballot box through my legislative work. In such uncertain times, it is crucial that we protect our democracy by preserving our constitutional right to vote. 

In this newsletter, you'll find everything you need to make a voting plan for the Massachusetts primary election. For real-time updates, please follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a constituent and need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me and my team via phone (617-722-1555) or email ( We are here to help.   

Happy voting!

Yours in service,  

Senator Becca Rausch   

Resources at a Glance 

Check your voter registration, find your polling place, and preview your ballot 

Find your early voting site

Register to vote or update your voter registration 

Download an application to vote-by-mail, call 800-462-VOTE (8683) to request an application, or email (and include an e-signature) 

Application and ballot tracker

Find your local election office 

Senator Rausch: Sep 6 - Primary Voting Info


The deadline to register for the September 6 primary election is Saturday, August 27. You can check your voter registration, find your polling place, and preview your ballot here. 



Fill out a vote by mail application  

If you did not receive a vote by mail application in the mail, you can request one online, contact your local election office, or call 1-800-462-VOTE to get a copy mailed to you. If you are an unenrolled or independent voter, make sure you indicate on the application which party's primary ballot you want to receive. If you do not apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary, or you miss the deadline, you should get another application in the mail in September to vote by mail in the November 8 general election. 

Send in your vote by mail application 

Simply mail, email, fax, or drop off your application to your town or city clerk. The application sent to you will be addressed with guaranteed prepaid postage. If you submit the application via email, the application must have your signature on it. Your town or city clerk must receive your application by 5PM on Monday, August 29. 

Submit your mail-in ballot 

You can submit your mail-in ballot via mail, ballot drop box, or at your early voting location. 

A mail-in ballot will be sent to you at the address where you registered to vote, or a different address of your choosing if you designated it on your application. You will receive your ballot, instructions for voting by mail and completing your ballot, and an envelope pre-addressed with postage guaranteed to send to your local clerk. Remember to check the back side of your ballot and vote there too. Do not forget to sign your ballot! 

The deadline to drop off your ballot is 8 PM on Election Day, Tuesday, September 6. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by your town or city clerk by 8 PM on Tuesday, September 6. 



If you do not want to vote by mail, you can still vote early in person or head to the polls on Election Day.  

In-Person Early Voting 

Polling will begin on Saturday, August 27 and end on Friday, September 2. 

Voting on Election Day 

Polls will be open from 7AM-8PM on Election Day, Tuesday, September 6th. If you are in line by 8PM, you must be allowed to vote.  

If you have any questions about voting in Massachusetts, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office at 617-722-1555 or the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office at 1-800-462-VOTE. Happy voting!  

Virtual Evening Office Hours

 My team and I host virtual office hours every month

My team and I host virtual office hours every month. Residents from any part of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District, as well as residents of the Norfolk, Worcester and Middlesex District (which takes effect in January 2023), are welcome to share their questions and opinions on state issues with me and my team via video chat or phone call.    

Sign up for a 15-minute appointment here.    
Upcoming virtual office hours:    

Monday, September 12, 5-6 PM

Our mailing address is:
The Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts State House, Room 218
24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133