Monday, May 15, 2023

Finance Cmte completes FY 2024 budget hearing series, approves it as proposed, TA Hellen indicates possible additions for School's budget in summer (audio)

FM #996 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 996 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Finance Committee meeting and last of three budget hearings for the FY 2024 budget year. The meeting was held on Thursday, May 11, 2023. 

Eight members of the Finance Committee participated (1 absent - Koke); 6 present in the Council Chambers, 2 remote. Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Comptroller Chris Sandini, Treasurer/Collector Kerri Bertone. 

Quick recap:

  • Police Chief TJ Lynch lays out the case for adding four officers to the total to address systemic issues with the schedule and to reduce overtime that results from it

    • Ideally, he would add a minimum of 2 more (to remove the ‘bad’ shift remaining), along with 2 more dedicated to traffic control 

  • Fire Chief James McLaughlin makes the case for adding 2, 1 EMS Captain, and 1 firefighter/paramedic. This would be an interim step towards enabling a 3rd ambulance. Calls for 2022 exceeded 5,000 for the first time, 2023 on pace to exceed that total. 44% of the calls result in a patient transport to the hospital. 

    • These two would be positioned at the downtown station, and during their normal 5 day shift could respond as a third ambulance. To bring on a full time 3rd ambulance for all shifts requires staffing of 10 (8 more than these 2)

  • Gary Primo, Metacomet Emergency Call Center (MECC), provides the regional dispatch function for 6 communities. Potential for more growth, expanding within their existing footprint to provide the space for that. It will take time to negotiation with the other communities to jin, as well as time to set up the connections for implementation.

  • Gus Brown, Building Inspector, minor adjustments to the budget, actually doing better than a couple of years ago (after restructuring) 

  • Committee vote 8-0-1 (1 absent, Koke) to approve the budget and enterprise funds as proposed. 

  • Town Administrator Jamie Hellen then outlined the possible addition of approx. $800K to the school budget. He would wait until the State budget is finalized this summer (July/Aug) before doing so to ensure the funding as proposed is possible. Desire is to get the funding to the Schools before September. 

  • Question unanswered is what the Schools will be able to do without a confirmation of their additional $800K funding? Would they still need to make the cuts and then adjust during the summer (assuming the additions did happen)?

The meeting recording runs about an hour and 40 minutes, so let’s listen to the Finance Committee meeting May 11, 2023.

Audio file ->


Meeting agenda document -> 

FY 2024 budget information -> 

Jamie's slides with the plan for "next steps" for the School budget (presentation to be put on the Town page, in meantime, here are photo captures) ->

Franklin TV YouTube link ->

FY24 Town Administrator Budget Materials website  ->

My notes can be found in one PDF ->

Link to Finance Committee => 


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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.

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TA Hellen indicates possible additions for School's budget in summer - P1
TA Hellen indicates possible additions for School's budget in summer - p1 

TA Hellen indicates possible additions for School's budget in summer - p2
TA Hellen indicates possible additions for School's budget in summer - p2

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