Showing posts with label Hellen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hellen. Show all posts

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Many Override questions answered at Franklin Senior Center on Wednesday (audio)

FM #1227 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 1227 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Override Q&A session conducted at the Franklin Senior Center on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Town Administrator Jamie Hellen was joined by School Superintendent Lucas Giguere and School Business Administrator Dr Bob Dutch to provide an override and answer many questions. 

Town Clerk Nancy Danello provided an update that as of that afternoon, 3700 ballots had been cast for the early voting on the June 11 Special Election. She was also there to answer questions on the election process but none were raised.

Many of the questions were asked by skeptics in the group. It seemed apparent that some myths were dispelled, yet despite the info, some seemingly were not changing their minds.  

The conversation runs just less than 2 hours. Let’s listen to the Q&A session on June 5. Audio link ->


Override Info page -> 

FY 2025 Town budget page -> 

Citizen Discounts and Exemptions info page -> 


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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.

I hope you enjoy!


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Many Override questions answered at Franklin Senior Center on Wednesday (audio)
Many Override questions answered at Franklin Senior Center on Wednesday (audio)

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Voices of Franklin: Dear Franklin Town Council & School Committee, "Please, vote to put the override on the ballot in June"

Dear Franklin Town Council & School Committee, Mr. Helen and Superintendent Giguere, 

I am writing to you this evening to urge you all to vote to put the override on the ballot this June.  Anyone who claims this has been a rushed process has simply not been paying attention.  I take particular umbrage at the residents who have lived here far longer than I have who are claiming this override process has been rushed.  As someone who only moved here in late 2021, and, again, has a toddler and an infant at home, I should be the resident who has no idea of the financial straits Franklin is in.  And yet I am aware.  The idea that this override process has been rushed is simply absurd.  A simple Google search will pull up the former Superintendent of Schools comments from 2008 - 16 years ago - about the financial crunch facing the Franklin Schools.  

Former Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, "taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society."  That's the ballgame - taxes are the price we pay to enjoy all the benefits of civilization.  At the local level, that means our water and sewer systems work, our roads are paved, we have police and fire departments, we have good schools, and all of those services must be funded adequately.

I believe reasonable people can disagree.  I also believe that reasonable people, when looking at the financial data provided, will happily shell out more money in property taxes in order to continue to fund our local government properly, because the alternative is horrifying.  

Let me be clear - I want to live in a town where our local services are properly funded.  If that means I pay more in property taxes to do so, then I will do so happily.  I want the Franklin Police Department to be fully funded (and I want them to get the new police station they need when the time comes for that).  I want the Fire Department to be fully funded.  I want the DPW to be fully funded. I want the Library to be fully funded.  I want the Facilities Department to be fully funded, and yes, I want to make damn sure the schools are fully funded as well.  And I know that nothing in life comes free, so I (and many more people in town) are willing to pay that cost, to ensure that our local services remain the best they can be.  

I know Franklin does have people on fixed incomes, and this will be difficult for them.  This includes my own aunt and uncle living here as well.  I have all the sympathy in the world for people on fixed incomes during these times of crazy inflation. I can only hope that they understand this override is absolutely necessary and their sense of civic duty and pride in the town of Franklin motivates them to vote in favor of it, despite the additional hardship such an override will represent.

However, I believe a lot of the opposition to the override comes from people who are currently in the workforce, people who have seen the property values of their homes skyrocket in recent years, and simply buy into the narrative that government is the problem and that taxes are a form of theft.  Please, ignore those people, as they do not represent the majority of voters here in Franklin.  Please, vote to put the override on the ballot in June.  Thank you all for your service - I know that you all get a lot of flak in your positions as government leaders.  Keep your heads up, ignore the negativity, and please do the right thing and put the override to the ballot in June.  I look forward to seeing the joint Town Council/School Committee meeting this Wednesday at FHS.


Ben Liberto
23 Southgate Rd.  

Voices of Franklin: Dear Franklin Town Council & School Committee, "Please, vote to put the override on the ballot in June"
Voices of Franklin: Dear Franklin Town Council & School Committee, "Please, vote to put the override on the ballot in June"

If you have something to say, you can find the guidelines here

Friday, April 12, 2024

Franklin Announces DPW Director Cantoreggi Reinstated as of April 11, 2024

On February 15, 2024 the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission announced that Franklin DPW Director, Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi violated Conflict of Interest Law relative to the unethical acceptance of gifts, G.L. chapter 268A, section 23(b)(2)(i). In the attached Press Release from the State Ethics Commission and the Disposition Agreement between the Ethics Commission and Mr. Cantoreggi, Mr. Cantoreggi admits to the proposed violations and waives his right to a hearing.

On February 9, 2024, when the Town was in receipt of this information, Mr. Cantoreggi was placed on unpaid administrative leave indefinitely and until further notice. Since this time, the Town has been working to gather information in order to fully understand the extent of Mr. Cantoreggi’s actions in his official capacity as Department of Public Works Director.

“While the realization of this ethics violation has been very difficult for Town staff, the Town Council, and the Franklin community at large, this incident was an isolated incident and does not reflect on the entire organization,” stated Jamie Hellen, Franklin Town Administrator. “The Town has independent annual financial town audits in addition to effective standards, training, internal controls and policies in place and a truly remarkable staff culture. These were careless and hubris actions by Mr. Cantoreggi, but do not reflect a widespread problem in the organization.”

The Town has issued a report on the complete findings of its own internal investigation. Notably, and most importantly, zero taxpayers dollars were affected by this violation and succeeding decisions. No bribery allegations, charges, or findings relevant to a quid pro-quo or “something for something” or any other illegal or criminal act were found. There were no procurement violations found.

In addition to a $15,000 fine to the State Ethics Commission and significant damage to Mr. Cantoreggi’s reputation, both personally and professionally, the Town instituted the following corrective measures:
An unpaid suspension for two months; a wage loss of $29,935, or $44,935 in total, when accounting for the civil penalty from the state;
A six (6) day redaction of employee Earned Time (aka “ET” which is equivalent to vacation time) for time off during the two ski trips as they were not work related;
No accrued additional Earned Time during the time of the two-month suspension, which is lost time for a total of approximately 11.3 days (91 hours);
One-year prohibition on attendance at industry sponsored events and conferences in an effort to focus on DPW staff needs and succession planning;
Execution of a “Last Chance” Agreement for any unknown past and future incidents;
Release and waiver of all legal and privacy rights;
Public apology acknowledging impacts on the organization and community; and
Repeating his state mandated Ethics Training and documenting the receipt and review of the Conflict of Interest Law Summary.
Based on the facts of the Ethics Investigation, as well as additional supporting factors and materials that have been laid out, the Town Administrator has decided to reinstate Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi as the DPW Director, effective Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 7:00 AM.

“I deeply apologize to all of the residents of Franklin for making such a poor decision without truly thinking through the ramifications of it,” said Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi. “I am very regretful of the unintended consequences my poor judgment has had on the Town, my staff, my colleagues and my family. I have committed my professional career to the Town of Franklin and truly love my job. Over the past eight weeks, I have used this time to reflect and it has reaffirmed how much I value my role as the Public Works Director for the Town of Franklin. It has not been easy being under the scrutiny of false accusations by some, but I have also been humbled by the amount of support I have received by so many others. I will never be able to express my deep gratitude to the members of the community, the Council, and Town Administrator for their time working on this ordeal. Going forward, I will recommit myself to working to be the best Public Works director, colleague, friend, husband and father. I know we have all made mistakes in life, and I can unequivocally say that I have learned huge lessons from this. I am so grateful for the second chance, I will not let you down, and I pledge to do everything in my power to earn back the public's trust.”

The Town Council received a briefing from the Town Administration on March 13, 2024 in Executive Session. In an effort to be transparent and proactive with the public, these materials have been posted on a dedicated webpage.

“Mr. Cantoreggi’s actions are extremely disappointing, and as the DPW Director he should have known that his acceptance of these gifts violated the Conflict of Interest Law,” stated Tom Mercer, Chair of the Franklin Town Council. “These proscribed actions not only reflect poorly on
Mr. Cantoreggi personally but also on the Town of Franklin. While significant reputational damage has been done, I feel the prescribed disciplinary action is on par with the misconduct. As a lifelong Franklin resident and one who values his expertise, he has earned a second chance in my book due to his dedicated and innovative leadership over two decades. While we may individually have our own views on the matter, the entire Town Council has agreed to move forward together. ”

“It is vital that Franklin residents have the utmost trust and confidence in the integrity of their government,” stated Hellen. “With this information I acknowledge a violation of the public’s trust and confidence. I will work with Mr. Cantoreggi to build back public trust and confidence moving forward. Mr. Cantoreggi is remorseful for his lapse in judgment, and I believe if there is anyone who can restore both his own reputation and the reputation of the Town, it is Brutus.”

Town Administrator website with all materials ->

Franklin Announces DPW Director Cantoreggi Reinstated as of April 11, 2024
Franklin Announces DPW Director Cantoreggi Reinstated as of April 11, 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024

Next Newcomers & Friends meeting features Hellen & Giguere - April 3 - Not just for Newcomers . . .

Join us at our next bi-monthly gathering on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Please join us as we host Franklin’s Town Administrator Jamie Helen, and Franklin’s School District Superintendent Lucas Giguere. They’ll be updating us on what’s going on in our town and in our schools. Take advantage of this great opportunity to get answers firsthand … bring your questions!

We’re meeting a week earlier than usual to accommodate our speakers. This is one of our favorite events of the year … join us to learn new things, meet new friends and have fun in our community.

We meet at Escape Into Fiction from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The bookstore is in downtown Franklin, 12 Main Street. Arrive early to take advantage of their wonderful selection of books, puzzles, games and gifts for all ages. Light refreshments will be served.

Next Newcomers & Friends meeting features Hellen & Giguere - April 3  - Not just for Newcomers . . .
Next Newcomers & Friends meeting features Hellen & Giguere - April 3  - Not just for Newcomers . . .

We are a multi-generational, member-driven organization and are always excited to welcome new faces and new ideas. Residents of Franklin, or any surrounding town that doesn't have a Newcomers Club, are welcome to join us. In addition to our bi-monthly meetings, we hold fun and varied events to stay connected throughout the year.

Look for us on social media for more information:

Monday, February 12, 2024

Town of Franklin, MA: DPW's Cantoreggi suspended indefinitely

Jamie Hellen, Franklin Town Administrator's statement:

"Effective immediately, Robert "Brutus" Cantoreggi has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, indefinitely, and until further notice. This leave is related to a personnel matter.

In Mr. Cantoreggi's absence, I have appointed Town Engineer, Mike Maglio, as Acting Director of Public Works for the Town of Franklin until further notice. Mike has served the Town for 13 years at the highest level of professionalism, skill and expertise. I have the utmost faith and confidence in Mike and the entire DPW staff to provide the leadership and direction necessary to manage DPW operations while Mr. Cantoreggi is on leave. There will be no disruptions in service or any projects in town.

I will not have any further comment on this matter until all information has been collected. I fully recognize everyone wants to know what occurred and what led to this decision, however I cannot answer those questions at this time. But rest assured that, when appropriate, all information that led to this decision will be made available to the public in full view. I do not have any timeline. In the meantime, your patience is greatly appreciated."

Shared from the Town of Franklin, MA Twitter account, @TOFranklinMA posted at 9:33 PM on Sat, Feb 10, 2024:

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Franklin Ridge gets additional $8.5M funding from MA subsidies

via Town Administrator Jamie Hellen:
"The Town was awarded $8.5 million in grant funding this morning for the Franklin Ridge Senior Housing project, which will be funded by $2.5 million from the Low Income Federal Tax Credit (LIFTC) and $6 million from other state Executive Office of Housing and Livable communities subsidies.

Today, the Governor announced that 26 projects in 19 communities will receive federal-state grant funding for affordable housing construction. I attended today’s ceremony ⁦at Hyde Square Task Force in Boston. Only 19 cities and towns were given money, which speaks to the Town's consistent and collective advocacy, as well as the shovel ready nature of the project.

We cannot underestimate the consistent advocacy of all Town Councils, past and present, and also our entire delegation including Congressman Auchincloss, Jeff Roy and Becca Rausch, and even our former Senator Karen Spilka. This is exactly how federal-state-local partnerships are supposed to work. It is a true team effort!

We will have more details as they become available. I suspect when we have a Franklin Ridge presentation update later this spring we will get a better understanding of how this all works and the timeline.

BTW, this now brings the total allocated local, state and federal money to approximately $13 million (not including the municipal land, staff or permitting efforts). "

Full press release from Gov Healey's office

Less than a week after her State of the Commonwealth address in which she vowed to tackle rising housing costs, Governor Maura Healey today committed resources to support the production and preservation of more than 1,900 housing units in 19 communities across the state. 

Gov. Healey, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities Ed Augustus joined state Sen. Liz Miranda and state Representative Samantha MontaƱo in Jamaica Plain to celebrate the Blessed Sacrament Church historic adaptive reuse project and to announce subsidies and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) support for several affordable housing projects across the state. 

“These housing projects are a great example of why we expanded the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in our tax cuts bill,” said Governor Healey. “From a church transformed into mixed-use mixed-income housing in Boston to the re-use of a vacant nursing home as affordable rental housing in Northampton, these funds will make it possible for thousands of Massachusetts residents to afford a home. We look forward to continuing to work to pass the Affordable Homes Act this year to create much-needed housing across all income levels in the state.” 

Last fall, as part of a $1 billion tax relief signed by the governor, the Administration raised the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to $60 million annually – a $20 million increase over the previous year.  

“We are expanding housing opportunities so more people can live, work and stay in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “This is just one piece of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s strategy to increase our housing supply and lower costs for hard-working Massachusetts residents.”  

The projects include:  
  • Residences at the Park – Athol 
  • 135 Dudley Street – Boston 
  • 775 Huntington – Boston 
  • Blessed Sacrament – Boston 
  • Mildred Hailey 3 – Boston 
  • NUBA Apartments – Boston 
  • Thatcher Apartments – Brockton 
  • Clifton Place – Cambridge 
  • Jackson Place – Cambridge 
  • Sacred Heart – Cambridge 
  • 4th at Broadway – Chelsea  
  • 25 Garvey Street – Everett 
  • Franklin Ridge Senior Housing – Franklin 
  • Library Commons 2 – Holyoke 
  • Prospect Place – Northampton 
  • Southern Tier – Oak Bluffs  
  • Schoolhouse Apartments – Rockland 
  • The Exchange 4%/9% - Salem 
  • 24 Webster Avenue – Somerville 
  • Plaza Apartments – South Hadley 
  • Residences at the Vault – Springfield 
  • Baldwinville School – Templeton 
  • Residences at Lawrence Hill – Wellfleet 
  • WCG Homes – Worcester 

“These projects, which will now be built as a result of the increase to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, are a direct result of the governor’s tax relief bill,” said Secretary Augustus. “The funding of these projects is proof that housing production for all of our communities is a top priority for the Healey-Driscoll Administration. The governor's Affordable Homes Act will soon fund even more, much needed, affordable housing in the commonwealth.”  

Included in today’s announcement are two projects that will serve highly vulnerable populations.  

Located in Lynn, Solimine House will provide 150 affordable senior housing units with a strong health care link. 

Located in Boston, 900 Morrissey Boulevard will provide 99 single-room occupancy units, with extensive support services, to chronically homeless individuals in a now-vacant hotel.  

“Pennrose is honored to be entrusted by the Hyde Square Task Force to preserve this incredible historic asset with them and to create performance space for the community that fulfills their mission.  We are incredible grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston for their commitment, dedication and resources to make this restoration and transformation a reality and to complete the work on this campus that has been done so well by the Jamaica Plain NDC and others,” said Charles Adam, Regional Vice President, Pennrose. 

"We are fortunate to partner with Pennrose to preserve this community gem. This project will add much-needed affordable housing to Boston's Latin Quarter and include a performance space to help Hyde Square Task Force further our mission. We are grateful to the Commonwealth and the City of Boston for helping us complete the vision for this amazing building and campus,” said Celina Miranda, Executive Director of the Hyde Square Task Force. 

Statements of Support: 

Amy Schectman, CEO, 2Life Communities: 

“Today’s awards illustrate the depth of Governor Healey’s commitment to producing truly affordable housing throughout Massachusetts. 2Life is so proud to partner with the Healey/Driscoll Administration to make sure all older adults have a path to aging in community—a full life of connection and purpose.  Solimine House in Lynn, funded today, will bring 150 all-affordable apartments AND be a demonstration of the efficacy of integrating housing and healthcare on a single site.” 

Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO, Preservation of Affordable Housing: 

“We are grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration for tackling the housing crisis head-on by expanding affordable housing production and preservation across the state. This vital funding, along with strong local support, will provide new rental homes for nearly 100 low- and moderate-income families in Cambridge and Wellfleet while advancing the Governor’s goals of addressing climate change and creating new jobs.” 

Mathieu Zahler, Principal of MPZ Development and Jason Korb, Principal of Capstone Communities: 

“Access to high-quality, affordable multi-family housing is an acute need not just in urban areas but across every community in Massachusetts. We are incredibly grateful to the Healey administration, including Secretary Augustus and his team at EOHLC, for providing critical funding that will allow us to reimagine the future of the historic Baldwinville Elementary school and break ground on first multifamily residential building to be permitted in Templeton in the last 25 years.” 

Clark L. Ziegler, Executive Director, Massachusetts Housing Partnership: 

“Today’s funding awards represent another major step forward by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to expand housing opportunities and reduce pressure on rents through the development and preservation of affordable housing. The Massachusetts Housing Partnership is pleased to support that effort by making long-term fixed rate mortgage financing available to many of these developments at below-market interest rates.” 

William H. Grogan, President, Planning Office for Urban Affairs: 

“We are extremely grateful to the Healey Administration’s commitment to addressing the Commonwealth’s housing crisis and ensuring that every person has the right to a safe and secure place to call home. Our communities need high quality housing options that are affordable to residents at different income levels, and the Administration’s support will make this type of housing a reality.  With today’s award of housing resources from the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, coupled with support from the City of Brockton, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs will be able to proceed with our Thatcher Street Housing development in Brockton, which will provide 121 units of much-needed affordable and mixed-income housing in a sustainable, vibrant and diverse community that is located near residential and educational uses and incorporates public transportation access.” 

Alexis Breiteneicher, Executive Director, Valley Community Development: 

“We are thrilled that, with the Commonwealth’s support, this property will convert from existing fossil fuel systems to all-electric systems powered by alternative energy sources, including geothermal and photovoltaics." 

Chrystal Kornegay, CEO, MassHousing: 

“I applaud Governor Healey’s investment in the people of Massachusetts, by expanding affordable housing options across the state. Affordable homes support working families and stabilize households in need. MassHousing is proud to partner with the Healey-Driscoll Administration, to help move the Commonwealth’s housing agenda forward.” 

Roger Herzog, Executive Director, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation:  

"The projects announced today in EOHLC’s latest funding round represent the continued successes we are able to achieve through close collaboration with our non-profit partners and the Commonwealth. We remain committed to helping to create new, quality affordable housing at a time of dire need and look forward to continuing to work with Governor Healey and her administration as she makes this issue a top priority in her agenda.” 

Andy Waxman, Vice President of Development, The Community Builders New England: 

“We are immensely grateful to the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities for recognizing the significance of the 900 Morrissey development, which will provide safe, stable, service-enriched housing to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents. TCB is committed to providing stable housing and supportive services that make neighborhoods stronger. We extend our sincere appreciation to the Pine Street Inn for their invaluable partnership in making this development possible.” 

Gilbert Winn, CEO, WinnCompanies: 

“Today’s affordable housing tax credit awards smartly address the needs of neighborhoods, towns and Gateway Cities in fast-growing areas where working individuals and families hope to settle in and contribute to the local economy. These awards represent another important facet of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s thoughtful and comprehensive strategy to tackle the Commonwealth’s housing crisis.” 

Benjie Moll, Principal, Arx Urban:  

“Arx Urban is grateful for the crucial support provided by the State of Massachusetts. This partnership will make it possible for us to build a 62-unit mixed-income, deeply sustainable, transit-oriented community for the Chelsea community.” 

Phil Cohen, Principal, Boston Communities:  

The funding announced today will have a huge impact for families across the state. We are extremely grateful for everything this administration is doing to expand affordable housing options, keep families in their communities, promote transit-oriented developments, mix incomes, and promote diverse communities and diverse development teams.” 

Marc Dohan, Executive Director, NewVue Communities: 

“NewVue Communities is very grateful for support from the Healey-Driscoll Administration that will fund the conversion of two vacant but historic schools into 53 new affordable and intergenerational apartments in the Town of Athol.   The Town of Athol has been a great partner with NewVue as we have worked together to convert the former Ellen Bigelow and Riverbend schools into the Residences at the Park and help meet the growing demand for housing.” 

Keith Fairey, President and CEO, Way Finders: 

“Way Finders is grateful to the Healey – Driscoll Administration for their willingness to comprehensively solve the Commonwealth’s housing crisis.  The awards provided to our Western Massachusetts projects demonstrate the administration’s understanding of our challenges and exemplify the type of investments needed to create more housing affordability, choice, and opportunity in our region.” 

Michael Johnston, Executive Director, Cambridge Housing Authority: 

“The Cambridge Housing Authority is grateful for the Healey-Driscoll Administration and Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities' support for the Revitalization of Jefferson Park. Conditions were so poor at Jefferson Park that a third of the families onsite were relocated and units boarded up five years ago. The funding being provided by the administration is the final critical piece to start construction on the new Jefferson Park, which will replace 175 obsolete units and add over 100 new deeply affordable homes onsite with 130 units or nearly 47% serving families needing three-bedroom homes or larger. CHA is thankful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for supporting a healthy and sustainable future for public housing communities.” 

Gordon Pulsifer, President, First Resource Development Company: 

“The First Resource Development team would like to thank Governor Maura Healey, Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, Housing Secretary Ed Augustus, Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox and the entire team at EOHLC for today’s funding award announcement for Residences at the Vault located at 310 State Street Springfield , Ma. Residences at the Vault was built in 1924 and was the home of a Federal Land Bank one of the first in the country. The building will be converted into 60 apartments (1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments). While maintaining all historic aspects such as the open banking lobby and the original vaults. Residences at the Vault will provide on site management and 24 hour security. New housing is badly needed in the Springfield area. Our Management Co First Resource Management Co. has extensive wait lists for families waiting for housing. Last year we opened 96 new apartments in downtown Springfield and the housing lottery produced several thousand applications demonstrating this demand.” 

Yvette Dyson, Executive Director, Worcester Common Ground: 

“The widening gap between the privileged and the underprivileged underscores the significance of the funding allocated to preserve 73 units at Worcester Common Ground. Through this initiative, Worcester Common Ground aims to implement energy conservation measures, including both energy retrofits and solar installations. The profound impact of this funding round is immeasurable, particularly as the aging buildings are in dire need of upgrades to improve the lives of residents. The focus on energy savings and the incorporation of healthy mechanisms within the units directly correlates with the well-being of our community's backbone – the vulnerable populations. We express our gratitude to the Healey Administration for their understanding of the ongoing necessity for affordable and healthy housing, providing everyday conveniences to those who need it most” 

Emilio Dorcely, CEO, Urban Edge: 

“We thank the Healey-Driscoll administration for their continued leadership and sense of urgency in responding to the unprecedented housing crisis in Boston and throughout the Commonwealth. This award will support the ongoing redevelopment of Mildred Hailey, an affordable multi-family rental project in Jamaica Plain, and will add much needed affordable housing units into the Boston market. In the fifty years since Urban Edge was founded, the role of public-private partnerships has been critical to bringing transformative investments to housing initiatives that will help make Boston a more equitable and vibrant City.” 

John B. Cruz III, President and CEO, Cruz Companies: 

“Our team is so excited to help rejuvenate this area where I grew up and attended school and church, right here on Dudley Street, but later witnessed years of redlining and disinvestment causing the steep decline of what was a diverse, bustling neighborhood and Boston’s second largest commercial node. We applaud our leaders in Boston and the Commonwealth for their investment in this effort to revive and reimagine Roxbury, and to bring back its vibrancy under the banner of Nubian Square, with our buildings named for notable Black figures from Roxbury like my father and Boston NAACP leader Leonard Alkins. I am both humbled and grateful to have our company help shepherd this historic rejuvenation, as we’ve done in Mattapan and Dorchester, bringing new housing and mixed uses for a successful future. It truly has special meaning for me.” 

Rafael Mares, Executive Director, The Neighborhood Developers: 

“Impact Residential Development and The Neighborhood Developers are grateful to EOHLC and the City of Everett for their support and funding for 25 Garvey Street. This will help with a critical need for affordable homes for Everett families to have stability and thrive.” 

Franklin Ridge senior housing expansion proposal
Franklin Ridge senior housing expansion proposal

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Town of Franklin, MA: Jamie Hellen selected as MMA Association Vice-President

Town of Franklin, MA (@TOFranklinMA) posted Sat, Jan 20, 2024:
"Congratulations to our Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen, on being selected and elected by municipal colleagues as the 2024 @massmunicipal Association Vice-President! #MassMuni24"
@CityofWaltham Councillor John McLaughlin @JMcLaughlin94 (far left) & @TOFranklinMA Town Administrator Jamie Hellen (2nd from left) have been elected to serve as the next MMA President & Vice President, respectfully
@CityofWaltham Councillor John McLaughlin @JMcLaughlin94 (far left) & @TOFranklinMA Town Administrator Jamie Hellen (2nd from left) have been elected to serve as the next MMA President & Vice President, respectfully

Note: Jamie is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Jeff Nutting. Jeff was elected President of MMA in 2009.


"Team Franklin at the ⁦⁩ Annual Conference. Day 1 in the books, Day 2 begins now! Our largest group ever at the conference!"
Team Franklin at the ⁦ @massmunicipal ⁩ Annual Conference
Team Franklin at the ⁦
⁩ Annual Conference

Friday, December 1, 2023

This Talk Franklin covers the FY 2025 budget cycle starting with the tax rate for FY 2024 getting set (audio)

FM #1107 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 1107 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my "Talk Franklin" session with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen. We had our conversation in the Municipal Building on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.  

Topics for this session

  • Budget cycle starting new with tax rate hearing pinning FY 2024

  • Tough decisions face in FY2025 and beyond

  • Migrant housing situation stabilized

The recording runs about 39 minutes. Let’s listen to my conversation with Jamie on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Audio link ->


Town Administrator page ->

Talk Franklin podcast page -> 

Agenda for Tax rate hearing Nov 21, 2023 

Budget cycle and financial terms audio with Chris Sandini & Kerry Bertone


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

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Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

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.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

This Talk Franklin covers the FY 2025 budget cycle starting with the tax rate for FY 2024 getting set (audio)
This Talk Franklin covers the FY 2025 budget cycle starting with the tax rate for FY 2024 getting set (audio)