Saturday, February 3, 2024

Watch Town Council meetings on YouTube back to February 2022

Franklin TV broadcasts many Town and School meetings to multiple channels. 
  • Verizon and Comcast
  • Live stream via Zoom
  • And to YouTube
You can find the Town Council playlist on YouTube for meetings since February 2022

Watch Town Council meetings on YouTube back to February 2022
Watch Town Council meetings on YouTube back to February 2022

Annual Report Of The Town Administrator - FY 2023 Report

Town Administration works with the Town Council together to improve the quality of life of the residents we serve. We are diligent in balancing the budget, keeping an eye on the Town's future needs and maintaining its assets.


The Town Administration offices consist of four full time staff members and one part time staff member; Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator, Amy Frigulietti, Deputy Town Administrator, Mark Cerel, part time Town Attorney, Julie McCann, Operations Assistant to the Town Administrator, and Lily Rivera, Marketing and Communications Specialist (dual position, servicing both the school and municipal departments). For four months in early 2023, Julie Jacobson also joined our staff as Special Assistant to the Town Administrator.

Town Administrator Jamie Hellen is responsible for the management of all municipal departments and employees, under the jurisdiction of the Town Council. He, along with the administrative staff, develops all Town Council Agendas and ensures that all necessary legislation is being voted on in a timely manner. The Town Administrator, along with the Human Resources Director, works on union negotiations with all municipal bargaining units. The Town Administrator also works closely with the Town's local legislative delegation, congressmen, senators and representatives to lobby and advocate for any legislation and earmarks that would benefit the Town of Franklin and its residents.

Julie Jacobson, Special Assistant to the Town Administrator, was brought on board after having recently retired from 12 years as Town Manager in Auburn, MA, and more than 30 years' experience in municipal government. She brought tremendous knowledge to her temporary position in Franklin, and in a short time spearheaded several projects with a primary focus on economic development. The Town Administration offices were extremely fortunate to benefit from her expertise while waiting for the position of Deputy Town Administrator to be filled.

Amy Frigulietti joined our team as Deputy Town Administrator in July of 2023. Amy has 20 years of experience in administrative and professional management and brings expertise in economic development, public policy and community outreach in the public sector. In addition to familiarizing herself with the community, Amy's work will include business development, cultural and historical resources development, college relations, shared streets initiatives, communications and public relations planning, and social services coordination.

Julie McCann was promoted to Operations Assistant to the Town Administrator in February of 2023. In her new role Julie is responsible for various projects including but not limited to Town Council meeting agendas, licensing and permitting, management of boards & committees and assisting with the Town Administrator's Budget Message and the Annual Report. She is also becoming involved with Town insurance related matters and the Safety Committee, working with Human Resources Director Karen Bratt in ensuring that Town staff takes advantage of training opportunities to lower insurance costs for the Town while maximizing proficiency of Town staff across a broad spectrum of safety related matters.

Our Town Attorney, Mark Cerel has worked tirelessly over the past fiscal year to provide sound legal advice to the Town Administrator and staff. He drafts many bylaws and resolutions brought to the Town Council for approval and has played a major role in educating and advising all staff involved in the Chapter 61A right of first refusal process.

Lily Rivera (no longer with Town/Schools as of August 2023) is a full time employee who works tirelessly for both the School and Municipal departments. She continues to develop processes and procedures to help streamline communications amongst town departments and has proposed and implemented new strategies to help better reach target audiences. She works closely with a variety of department heads to ensure delivery of essential day to day communications. Additionally, Lily will work on specialty projects to help meet department goals. This year, she produced a myriad of educational materials to supplement the Stormwater Utility Fee prior to implementation, including an educational video and posters to promote stormwater credits and abatements. Other specialty projects include a recruitment campaign for the Fire Department, digital parking portal for the Police Department, branding and creating promotional material for the Open Space and Recreation plan, creating an outreach plan for the town's Master Plan Committee and more. This year, Lily directly supported the Town Council's Arts and Culture Subcommittee by coordinating all events, promotional materials and crafting an arts and culture feedback survey. She has developed relationships with a variety of organizations around Town and is working to support existing programs and develop new initiatives to meet community needs. Lily continues to seek ways to improve resident communications through an equity lens and leverage her skill set to engage various segments in town.

Accomplishments in FY23 include:
Budget: An FY24 balanced operating budget was submitted to the Town Council and unanimously approved. We continue to update our Town Budget webpage with helpful resources such as how the budget process works, operating and capital budgets, financial audits, and fiscal forecasts. More information can be found here:

Municipal Aggregation: The Franklin Community Choice Power Supply Program that started in 2020 has saved Franklin residents and businesses an estimated 11.5 million dollars in electricity costs throughout the Town's 3-year contract with Colonial Power Group and Dynegy Energy Services. As our current contract is approaching termination in November of 2023, Town Administration has secured a new 24-month contract to continue to manage and supply its electricity program for Franklin residents and businesses beginning in November of 2023 through November of 2025.

Online Permitting: As part of our customer service expansion initiatives, we continue to expand and improve our Viewpoint Online Permitting System. There are applications for various permits and other services from a variety of departments including the Town Administrator's Office, the Health Department, the Senior Center, Cultural Council, and many more! We will continue adding new applications throughout the year to make for a more streamlined and comprehensive process. Our Viewpoint online permitting site can be found here:

Website: We continue to update the Town's website to make information more accessible for the public. All Agendas and Minutes for boards and committees are web-based and continuously updated. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Anchor (podcasts) and YouTube for up to date News and Announcements as well as visiting our website at

Franklin First: The Think Franklin First Gift Card program partners with local businesses to support the local economy by keeping money in Franklin.
Residents (or anyone interested) can purchase these gift cards which can be redeemed at a variety of participating businesses in Franklin. Over $68,000 in gift cards have been purchased and this number is only rising.

Town Employee Health Insurance: Franklin "Bends the Trend" by working with the Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) to keep insurance rate increases for employees to a minimum. In FY23, we joined the Massachusetts Strategic Health Group (MSHG) and will continue with them for FY24. Please see the Human Resources Department report for additional information on health insurance.

Compensation and Classification Study: The Town Administrator worked very closely with the Human Resources Department to complete a Compensation and Classification study. We hired GovHR, a consulting firm that specializes in municipal government to review all our non-union job titles and help us ensure that our employees are paid at a competitive rate. We finally completed the plan in December 2022 and made adjustments to salaries. We believe that some small changes to our plan will help us continue to recruit and retain our wonderful staff.

In the Town Administration Department our goal is to deliver high quality customer service to Franklin residents and stakeholders while keeping costs under control. There will be difficult challenges to our budget in the coming years; but you can be assured that the Town Administration, Town Council, School Administration and School Committee will work through them together. As always, our door remains open to the Franklin Community.

In closing, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the outstanding work of our incredible Town Staff. We are extremely fortunate to have the exceptional leadership of our Department Heads, and such a dedicated team of employees working tirelessly for the betterment of our community. A tremendous amount of work goes into keeping the Town running as well as it does. It is truly a team effort and we couldn't do it without the contribution of each and every employee. Thank you.

It is my pleasure to submit an annual report of the Town Administrator for your review, and please feel free to write, email, or stop by with any questions, concerns, or comments.

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie Hellen,
Town Administrator

The full Town of Franklin FY 2023 Annual Report can be found online

Reminder: FHS restores Community Services Hours as a grad requirement; Non-profits - Let's be ready to take advantage of this!

 At a recent Franklin School Committee meeting, Josh Hanna, the Principal of FHS, provided an update on the program of studies at the high school. The update is scheduled annually and gives the community a preview on significant course changes, adds, etc. before the students start registering for the next school year.

One key aspect that was announced can benefit the Franklin area nonprofits; the restoration of Community Services Hours as a graduation requirement at FHS. This becomes effective with the graduating class of 2028.

“Beginning with the class of 2028 Franklin High School students are required to complete 20 hours of community service as part of the requirement for graduation” 

As you have community service hour opportunities, please let Josh know. Please also give advance notice. He plans to be the central contact for now. He also plans to add a section to the FHS newsletter which goes out every 2 weeks to spread the word. Josh’s email is -> 

Sample of a recent school newsletter ->

If you want to listen to the meeting to hear the update the audio is available ->

(due to some technical difficulties that night, the broadcast video is not yet available)

FHS restores Community Services Hours as a grad requirement; Let's be ready to take advantage of this!
FHS restores Community Services Hours as a grad requirement; Let's be ready to take advantage of this!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Climate Change: A Spiritual and Moral Lens 10:00 AM Sunday, February 4, 2024

Please join Carolyn and Rand Barthel, lay members of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, on February 4, 2024, as they explore the spiritual and moral aspects of climate change and activism. Climate change will affect all of us, while further exacerbating current inequities and disproportionately adversely affecting the poorest among us. 

Carolyn and Rand are climate change activists who are recognized leaders in this work through their leadership in 350 Mass, a statewide climate organization (; local and state testimony in support of legislative change; and establishment of Energize Franklin. Afterwards, they will be available for conversation about their service or discussion of "nuts and bolts" approaches to reducing individual greenhouse gas emissions (your carbon footprint).

The First Universalist Society in Franklin (FUSF) is located at 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin MA. For more information about FUSF please visit us at our website: Our Interim Minister is Rev. Beverly Waring and she can be reached by emailing or calling 508-528-5348. FUSF is a Unitarian Universalist Welcoming Congregation.

Franklin's Event Outlook: February 2, 2023 to February 8, 2024

Why have multiple calendars?
There is a Cultural events calendar upon which other community events are layered to create the Community calendar. The Library and Senior Center calendars are too full of events to include all their events so we tend to focus on the major events. Town and School meetings are also kept separate. Links for all the calendars are shared here:

The Cultural calendar displays only the cultural events

Find the full Community event calendar

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

The Library calendar of events ->    calendar link

The Senior Center calendar of events ->

The Town meeting calendar is found
The School district calendar is found 

Franklin's Event Outlook: February 2, 2023 to February 8, 2024
Franklin's Event Outlook: February 2, 2023 to February 8, 2024

Franklin Food Pantry recognized for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy across Massachusetts

                   Recognition provides $50,000 in unrestricted funding and volunteer support from Citizens


The Franklin Food Pantry, a nonprofit whose mission is to alleviate food insecurity and compassionately empower their community through resources and collaboration, has been named a Citizens' 2024 Champion in Action® for their efforts advancing renewable energy.

Announced jointly by Citizens and NECN, the Franklin Food Pantry will receive $50,000 in unrestricted funding and promotional and volunteer support to propel their work to build a more inclusive and sustainable future for Massachusetts.

"The Franklin Food Pantry is extremely honored to receive the highly competitive Champions in Action Award, which will help fund solar panel installation and allow clients to access supplemental food assistance and programs in an energy-efficient, sustainable building," said Tina Powderly, Executive Director, Franklin Food Pantry.  "Investing in green energy is a priority for our organization and energy generated by solar panels will strengthen The Pantry's financial profile by offsetting future operating costs."

The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance, household necessities, and resource referral programs to more than 1,300 individuals per year. The organization recently moved to a larger facility with a loading dock and warehouse which allows them to easily distribute and ensure equitable access to food and other goods. The Pantry will use the Champion in Action grant to purchase solar panels for the new facility to help reduce operating costs and improve its environmental footprint.

As a Champion in Action, Franklin Food Pantry will benefit from:

  • A $50,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens
  • Media coverage and public service announcements from NECN
  • Complimentary membership to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
  • Volunteer support from Citizens colleagues
  • Public relations and promotional support

"Citizens is committed to driving positive climate impact by reducing our operational emissions, supporting our clients' sustainability journeys, and partnering with community organizations to drive change," said Lisa Murray, President of Citizens Massachusetts. "As one of our 2024 Champions in Action grantees, we are honored to support Franklin Food Pantry's work to create sustainable energy solutions within their organization and across Massachusetts."

 "The Boston stations of NBC and Telemundo are proud to support the work of Champions in Action, which directly elevates the impact of nonprofits throughout the Commonwealth," said Maggie Baxter, VP of Programming and Community for NBC10 Boston, NECN, and Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra.

Citizens' Champions in Action program celebrates and supports local nonprofits with operating budgets under $5 million who are creating lasting change in the communities they serve. Twice a year, a nonprofit in one of seven Citizens' markets is selected to receive funding, promotional and volunteer support to advance programming and services focused on a relevant topic that changes bi-annually.

Since the program's launch 21 years ago, Citizens has awarded more than $10 million in unrestricted grants and promotional and volunteer support to more than 375 Champion in Action nonprofit winners across the bank's footprint. In Massachusetts alone, 62 nonprofits have been honored, receiving more than $1.7 million in funding.

For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit Champions in Action | Be Inspired | Citizens ( To learn more about Citizens' work driving positive climate impact, visit Driving Positive Climate Impact | Sustainable Banking (  


About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.  

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions, with $222.0 billion in assets as of December 31, 2023. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at or visit us on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn or Facebook. 

About NBC10 Boston  

Owned by NBCUniversal, NBC10 Boston delivers viewers in the Greater Boston area, Southern New Hampshire and Northeastern Massachusetts NBC's award-winning daytime, primetime and late-night signature programs and local breaking news and information. The station features the most accurate weather in the region with "First Alert Weather" and an exclusive 10-day forecast. Additionally, NBC10 Boston features the market's only daily live lifestyle program, "The Hub Today." The station's investigative units, "NBC10 Boston Responds" and "The Investigators" answer local consumer inquiries and shines a light on questionable practices. NBC10Boston's news coverage and content is also delivered to viewers on-the-go through its dedicated website, a customized mobile app and via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. The station has been awarded eleven Edward R. Murrow awards since its launch, including for "Overall Excellence" and "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion." 


About the Franklin Food Pantry, Inc.
The Franklin Food Pantry, Inc. offers supplemental food assistance, household necessities, and resource referral programs to more than 1,300 individuals per year. The Pantry relies on donations and grants to purchase items and pay for daily operations, and partnerships with The Greater Boston Food Bank, Lovin' Spoonfuls, and local grocery stores to achieve greater buying power and lower costs. Programs include In-person Shopping, Curbside Pick-up, Emergency Food Bags, Mobile Pantries, Home Delivery, Kids' Snack Bags, Weekend Backpacks, Holiday Meal Kits, Community Gardens, and the Franklin Farmers Market. The Pantry is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in good standing in Massachusetts, recognized by Charity Navigator as a Four- Star Charity, and awarded GuideStar's Platinum Transparency ranking. The Pantry is located at 341 W. Central St. in Franklin, MA on Route 140. Please visit for more information.


About NECN  

Owned by NBCUniversal, NECN serves as the largest 24-hour regional news network in the U.S.  Since its launch in 1992, NECN has grown to include 3.6 million subscribers in more than 1,050 cities and towns throughout all six New England states. NECN has established itself as an industry leader as the only cable television news station to earn a George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I Dupont- Columbia University Broadcast Journalism Award, among many other accolades. On January 19, 2020, NECN relaunched its entire network targeting a new audience – millennial Women 25-54. As a digital-first network, NECN has changed the way it delivers news, entertainment, and lifestyle content across all platforms.


About Telemundo Boston 

Owned by NBCUniversal, Telemundo Boston, WNEU, is a local Telemundo owned station that serves viewers in the Greater Boston area. Telemundo Boston produces 10 hours of local news programming each week. The station's newscast, "Noticiero Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra" (Telemundo New England News) is the #1 Spanish- language newscast in New England airing every weeknight at 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM and delivers live, local breaking news, weather forecasts and special reports, as well as sports and entertainment information to Spanish-speaking audiences in Boston and in Hartford, Connecticut through a simulcast via WRDM. Audiences can also receive the most-up-to-date news and information across the station's digital and mobile platforms at, via the "Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra" mobile app, and its social media channels @TelemundoNI. 


About NBC Sports Boston 

NBC Sports Boston reaches more than 4 million households in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Programming includes the Boston Celtics, Arbella Early Edition, Boston Sports Tonight, Celtics Post Up, Monday Night Patriots, Quick Slants, Football Day in New England including pre and post-game programs surrounding all Patriots games, CAA football, basketball and more. and all of the network's social media channels (@NBCSBoston) provide continuous news, video and in-depth, up-to-the-minute coverage of New England sports. Visit for more information. Check local listings for the specific channel location for your area. 

Maxwell Morrongiello is campaigning for a spot with the Franklin Democratic Town Committee

Maxwell Morrongiello, a longtime local activist and member of the Franklin Democratic Town Committee (FDTC), announced his re-election bid for the committee on Tuesday.  

Maxwell Morrongiello
Maxwell Morrongiello

The FDTC, a grassroots organization supporting Democratic candidates across municipal, state, and federal levels, serves as a pivotal force in the community. Rachel Plukas, Chair of the FDTC, provides insight into the committee's significance and the upcoming election dynamics.

"The Franklin Democratic Town Committee plays a crucial role in advancing Democratic values. We are local organization that supports and campaigns for Democratic candidates at the municipal, state, and federal levels. As we approach the upcoming election on March 5th, it's essential to note that there are 35 available seats on the committee and less than 35 candidates. This doesn't diminish the importance of community engagement and participation," explained Plukas.

Morrongiello said he wants to raise awareness of the committee's role and importance in the community.

"There are 35 seats and less than 35 candidates, so the race is not competitive. But that doesn't mean it's not important," Morrongiello said in a statement. "I'm campaigning to promote awareness of the Committee, what they do, and encourage more people to get involved."

Morrongiello, 34, has been a member of the FDTC since 2009 and has attended more meetings than anyone else since he joined. He has been an active volunteer for the FDTC 4th of July fundraiser, helping raise money for the committee and a scholarship to support a Franklin High School student. He served in the past as Webmaster and on the Scholarship subcommittee and is currently involved in helping rewrite the FDTC bylaws.  Most importantly, Max has volunteered for countless Democratic candidates, including Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Jeff Roy. He said he believes in the power of grassroots organizing and advocacy.

"I have seen firsthand how our grassroots efforts can make a positive impact on our town, our state, and our country," he said.

Morrongiello holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Bridgewater State University and an associate's degree in liberal arts from Massachusetts Bay Community College. He graduated from both institutions with a 4.0 GPA. He is also the organizer of a large LGBTQ meetup group in the Boston area.

Morrongiello advocates for policies promoting equity, fairer taxation, and emphasizing evidence-based public policy. Positioned as an independent thinker and bridge-builder, he expresses a willingness to collaborate with diverse stakeholders and perspectives.

Morrongiello invites voters to support him and the FDTC in the upcoming election on March 5th. He said he hopes to keep the committee strong and effective and to continue working for the common good.

"Please like my page, and visit my website at to learn more about me and my platform," he said. "Thank you for your time and remember to vote on March 5th!"

Fwd: Don't Forget to Register for the Backyard Ecosystem Education (BEE) Program!

Don't Forget to Register for the Backyard Ecosystem Education (BEE) Program!

Registration Closes February 29, 2024

The Backyard Ecosystem Education (BEE) Program is an interactive program for Franklin residents and business owners to design and create a native, biologically diverse habitat at their property. The BEE Program consists of five themed workshops and one field day giving residents and business owners the skills to:

  • Attract wildlife and plant life to their habitat;
  • Support their habitat through climate change and other ecological stressors;
  • Plan and design their backyard habitat with professional practitioners; and
  • Be considered a Backyard Ecosystem Advocate

Upon successful completion and attendance of the BEE Program, participants will be considered a "Backyard Ecosystem Advocate" and their habitats, once established, will have the opportunity to become "Certified Wildlife Habitats" through the National Wildlife Federation. Register with the QR code above or by visiting https://BIT.LY/BEEPROGRAM

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration closes February 29, 2024. Registration is available to all residents regardless of ownership/rental status or living situation, all Franklin business owners, and up to five FPS high school students. The Conservation Department is currently collaborating with FPS - STEM to excuse up to five students for the scheduled field day, so students - please apply if you are interested! 

Join the Backyard Ecosystem Education (BEE) Program in 2024
Join the Backyard Ecosystem Education (BEE) Program in 2024

Workshop descriptions are listed below. Questions? Email

Workshop TitleDate, Time, and LocationDescription

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

4p - 6p

Location TBD

Residents will learn common wildlife species that they may find in their backyard habitats and/or how to attract these wildlife species to their habitats.
Plant Life

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

4p - 6p

Location TBD

Residents will learn common native and wildlife friendly plants and common invasive plants they may plant and/or find in their backyard habitats.
Landscapes and Regional Context

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

4p - 6p

Location TBD

Residents will learn to identify what landscape they live in, its regional context, and how to design a habitat suitable for their surroundings.
Climate and Other Ecological Stressors

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

4p - 6p

Location TBD

Residents will learn how to plan their habitat for climate change, design their habitat considering climate resilience, and mitigate future environmental stressors and disturbance events.
Planning and Design

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

4p - 6p

Location TBD

Residents will be able to sit down in small groups with professional practitioners to design their own specific backyard habitat applying all lessons learned in previous workshops.
Field Day and Graduation Luncheon

Friday, May 10

10a - 2p

Location TBD

Residents will be bussed around Town for a tour of raingardens, biodiversity areas, turtle nesting habitats, regenerative forests, gardens, and more. Lunch and a graduation ceremony will be provided.


Shared from ->

FPAC Presents "Tarzan - The Stage Musical" March 8 through 17

FPAC presents a re-imagined immersive production of Tarzan the Broadway musical starring Broadway’s original Tarzan Josh Strickland March 8-17! THE BLACK BOX will be transformed into a multi-stage rock concert centering the iconic Phil Collins music, while telling the classic story by blending Broadway and concert experience. 

FPAC Presents "Tarzan - The Stage Musical" March 8 through 17
FPAC Presents "Tarzan - The Stage Musical" March 8 through 17

Conceptualized and directed by Raye Lynn Mercer and Ali Funkhouser with choreography by Broadway’s Clay Rice-Thomson (Moulin Rouge!, KING KONG, Newsies, Matilda). Music Direction by Hallie Wetzell. 

Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure and Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock legend, Phil Collins, and a book by Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang. High-flying excitement and hits, like the Academy Award winning "You'll Be in My Heart," as well as "Son of Man," and "Two Worlds," make Tarzan an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Washed up on the shores of West Africa, an infant boy is taken in and raised by gorillas who name him Tarzan. Apart from striving for acceptance from his ape father, Tarzan's life is mostly monkey business until a human expedition treks into his tribe's territory, and he encounters creatures like himself for the first time. Tarzan struggles to navigate a jungle, thick with emotion, as he discovers his animal upbringing clashing with his human instincts.

Hockomock Area YMCA introduces new outdoor tree-climbing elements to enhance youth programming in Franklin

The Bernon Family Branch of the Hockomock Area YMCA has installed new outdoor tree-climbing elements as an enhancement to its outdoor challenge course in Franklin. The new climbing elements were funded by a generous donation from longtime Y supporters Paula Rooney and Gerry Shaw, and will be used extensively in spring and summer 2024 with youth participating in the Y’s Before & After School Care and Summer Camp programs, as well as local school groups visiting the Y.

outdoor tree-climbing elements
outdoor tree-climbing elements

In late August, the Franklin Y installed Monkey Hardware systems on trees on its property, each providing a different climbing level of accessibility. These kits effectively turn the trees into climbing walls and are paired with the TRUBLUE iQ auto belay system. The TRUBLUE auto belays allow climbers of all ages and skill levels to climb heights safely. Rather than pulling the young climber upwards, they allow climbers to ascend the tree on their own power, while providing rest as needed during the climb with its catch and hold technology. Once the climber has reached the top of the climb they have chosen, the auto belays use magnetic braking technology to lower the climber back down slowly and safely to the ground. 

The Monkey Hardware and TRUBLUE auto belays have received rave reviews from Y summer campers. "These new elements have brought the kids together in a new way that I have not seen in a long time. When a camper was climbing their whole group would be watching and cheering them on to reach the top," said Ashley Dumas, Youth Program Director at the Bernon Family Branch.  "It gave the kids something to work towards and accomplish. It was amazing watching the campers challenge themselves to make it higher than they did last time or try a harder climb."

The Hockomock Y is grateful for this generous donation made possible by Paula Rooney and Gerry Shaw. The Franklin Y's camp and playing fields also feature Gramdma's Place, an outdoor pavilion with weatherproof tables and seating, which was built with funds donated by the Rooney & Shaw family.

"From their decades in leadership at Dean College in Franklin to their contributions as Board members of our Hockomock Area YMCA, Paula Rooney and Gerry Shaw have a long history of supporting youth and families in the Franklin community," said Jim Downs, Hockomock Area YMCA CEO. "Our Y staff and members are so appreciative that they continue to find new ways to enhance operations at our Y and help us provide an even better experience for the youth we serve."

The Hockomock Area YMCA is currently accepting camp registrations for the 2024 camp season.  To view offerings and to register, visit:

About The Hockomock Area YMCA
Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. 

Our YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information, visit

Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio ( schedule for Friday, Feb 2, 2023

  • or 102.9 on the FM dial = Friday

9:00a/12:00p /6:00p Chapters – Jim Derick  Insightful, life-affirming stories and interviews

10:00a/1:00p/7:00p Music to Lift the Spirit - Jim Derick & Frank Falvey

11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm Senior Story Hour – Senior Center Scribblers Group

  • Franklin All Access TV - Our Public Access Channel         (Comcast 6, Verizon 26) = FRIDAY

8:30 am Frank Presents: Daniela Masters Pt 2
10:00 am Riffing on Main Street: Fatima Wojohat
11:00 am Senior Connection: Joe Landry
12:00 pm Brook'n'Cookin: French Toast
12:30 pm Sons & Daughters of Italy: Ciambotta
1:00 pm Physician Focus: Alzheimer's
1:30 pm Pizzapalooza: Game Day Pizza
2:00 pm New England Candlepins: Summer 2018 Show 2
3:00 pm Winning Ways with the MIAA: Pete Smith
7:30 pm Jake Auchincloss Town Tour
9:00 pm Circle of Friends: Seth Glier

  • Franklin Pride TV - Our Educational Channel        (Comcast 8, Verizon 28) = FRIDAY

7:00 am Public School Event: Annie Sullivan Winter Music 2022
8:30 am Mental Health: Kallie Montagano & Sonja Wagner
10:00 am FHS Varsity Wrestling: v King Philip 01-17-24
12:30 pm Universe of Adolescent Sleep
1:30 pm Public School Concert: Lifelong Music Pt. 2 01-29-19
3:00 pm U. S. Army: Jazz Ambassadors 04-01-19
8:30 pm FHS Varsity Swimming v King Philip 01-25-24

  • Franklin Town Hall TV - Our Government Channel (Comcast 9, Verizon 29) =  FRIDAY

8:00 am  Zoning Board of Appeals 01-18-24
2:00 pm  Zoning Board of Appeals 01-18-24

Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online   

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Franklin Town Council approves flying Pride flag during June, Planning Board associate & elections workers (video)

The Franklin (MA) Town Council took action Wednesday:

a. Joint Town Council and Planning Board Vote To Fill Associate Planning Board Vacancy

Jointly voting with the Planning Board to unanimously approve Mark Mucciarone for the role of associate

b. 2024 Election Workers
i. See Exhibit 1 of Appointment Transaction in agenda packet for list of names

Vote via roll call 9-0 to approve of appointments

a. Street Acceptance: Portion of Farrington Street
i. Legislation for Action Item 9a

Vote via roll call 9-0 to approve of street acceptance

b. Bylaw Amendment 24-904: A Bylaw to Amend the Code of the Town of Franklin at Chapter 82, Fees, Municipal Service - Second Reading (Motion to Approve Bylaw Amendment 24-904 - Majority Roll Call Vote)

Vote via roll call 9-0 to approve of ambulance fee increase

c. Resolution 24-07: Town of Franklin Flag Policy for Display of Flags at Franklin Municipal Building (Motion to Approve Resolution 24-07 - Majority Vote)

Much of the meeting was consumed by the discussion and passionate arguments on both sides. The vote was 6-3 to approve. Chandler, Pellegri and Dellorco voted no.

The Franklin TV video for this session is available for replay ->

Agenda doc holds the remote participation info -> 

My notes captured during the meeting ->

Photo album of key points in the meeting ->

Franklin Town Council approves flying Pride flag during June, Planning Board associate & elections workers (video)
Franklin Town Council approves flying Pride flag during June, Planning Board associate & elections workers (video)

Economic Development discussion on priorities within the list of goals (video)

The Franklin TV video for this meeting is available for replay ->


1. Discussion on EDC Goals for 2024-2025

Agenda doc also contains remote participation info -> 

My notes captured during the meeting ->

Economic Development Subcommittee meeting - Jan 31 at 5:45 pm
Economic Development Subcommittee meeting - Jan 31 at 5:45 pm