This is #28 in the Franklin Matters series of podcasts. This one focuses on what happened this week in Franklin with key points from the School Committee meeting, the Franklin Area Climate Team, the Financial Planning Committee, and the FINCOM meeting of January 6th.
Time: 11 minutes, 40 secondsMP3 File
This podcast for Franklin Matters is number 28 in the series. In this edition, I’ll focus on what you should know about what is happening here in Franklin, MA as we begin 2009.
From the School Committee meeting 1/13/09, there was a very good presentation on the high school arts program and how it is bringing art into the community. Art teacher, Mike Caple was accompanied by two students, Rachel Nault and Madison Weber, to make the joint presentation.
You can view the presentation on web now. The School Committee meeting was streamed live over the internet. This was the third town meeting to be broadcast this year. You can go to the video archive and view the meeting in its entirety or specific sections according to the published agenda. The link is on the town web site and will be included in the blog post that accompanies this.
Continuing with the SchCom meeting, Peter Light. previously announced as the interim principal for Franklin High, was announced as the permanent replacement during the meeting Tuesday evening. You should recall that Pam Gould had tendered her notice to leave Franklin to take the Asst. Superintendent of HR position in Plymouth. I would have liked her to stay here, she was doing so well. Given the choice to move up and on or stay, I do agree with her choice. I wish her well.
Peter has done well in dozen years he has been here in Franklin. I expect he will make a great principal for the high school. He knows the community. He has the willingness to listen and the drive to do good things.
How did he move from interim to permanent so quickly? While not explicitly stated, it was acknowledged that Peter was a finalist for the principal position in Needham. Reading between the lines, I think it was better to make him permanent, to keep him here rather than run the risk of losing him.
Wednesday evening, along with about 25-30 others, I viewed the documentary “Kilowatt Ours” at the Franklin Library. This was the fourth and final of the Energy $ense series sponsored by the Franklin Area Climate Team. Information on the prior sessions is available on Franklin Matters. There is a special link on the right hand column under Important Links. Look for “FACT – Energy $ense Series”.
At the library, I picked up a flyer for “The Green Reel – 2009 Winter Film series”. There will be additional details on this series of 5 films to be published on Franklin Matters. The first film is “King Corn” to be shown at Agudas Achim in Attleboro on January 25th.
Thursday evening the Financial Planning Committee got together to review the status on the report they are pulling together. The various sections of the report were covered in detail in my “live reporting” notes already posted on Franklin Matters.
The draft report will be previewed with a focus group, followed by a town wide open forum. The date remains to be determined for this forum but I would encourage you to stay tuned. As soon as it is available, this is one forum we should all participate in. The budget details for the short term outlook for Franklin will be critical points to understand.
When someone like Rebecca Cameron says:
”It finally hit me how much we are dependent upon the state”
I think this is a break through moment.
Rebecca sits on the Finance Committee and has insights into the details of the Franklin budget process that many of would like to have. She now is part of the group developing this long term plan for Franklin. I have said before that the work this group is doing is going to be critical to what Franklin does in the short term and longer term. The information they have gathered and are about to share should create a better understanding across the Franklin community of what the real issue are.
One key point on the operation of the Fire Department was captured during the Finance Committee meeting on January 6th. Chief McCarraher was answering questions from FINCOM members as he reviewed his capital budget plan. One question was why not outsource the ambulance services. The answer the Chief gave is important to understand how smartly the Fire Department has created its staffing plan and how efficiently they do utilize their resources. Let’s listen to this clip from the meeting:
... insert clip ...
The Fire Department staffs a minimum number to provide a first response and calls in off-duty resources when there is a fire. He had 10 folks regularly on, needs fifteen for a fire when it occurs. In the meantime, he uses the extra time of the fire staff to answer ambulance calls for which they are reimbursed. Very smartly done. Can’t be much more efficient than that. If you don’t follow this line of thought, please be sure to talk with the Chief, or send me an email or comment.
To quickly recap this segment, we talked about
- live streaming for town meetings
- the high school art in the community program
- Peter Light the new principal at the high school
- the efforts of the Franklin Area Climate Team
- finally the Financial Planning Committee
There is a whole lot going on in Franklin, please try and stay current with what is happening. If you have good news or insights you would like to share, please leave a comment or send me an email.
This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow citizens of Franklin, MA
For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music NetworkJon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music