Showing posts with label Jim Roche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Roche. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Q & A - continued (live reporting)

Q - Are Marini's apartments or condominiums?
A - Condominiums. Condos are actually a good deal for the town, they are taxed upon their value. They generally have less children.

Comment from a resident who teaches in Wellesley. She would love to teach here but with the cuts so frequently, she would be one of the first out the door.

Q - Why is the override only affecting the schools?
A - Jeff answers that the 1.8 million in new revenue was split and the town managed to use their portion. The safety (fire and police) got their overtime cut.

Jim Roche
The safety departments were looking for additional folks but they did not get approved in the budget. The town will suffer but it won't be as visible.

Comment: You have a bad rap, you didn't ask for enough so you don't know what you're doing. I am not hearing the buzz that I heard last year. I am hearing a lot more negative this time.

Wayne Ogden
Q - How does the charter school funding work?
A - It is a state formula but the dollars per student that the district pays is what the charter is eligible to receive. So if our funding goes up, they will benefit. If ours go down, theirs will as well.

Q - What about out of town students?
A - We only use school choice to fill spots that would otherwise be empty. Therefore there is no additional cost for us but there is additional revenue.

Q - Can we talk about re-districting?
A - It is highly likely that this will happen sometime. The large majority of the new development coming is in the Keller-Sullivan district. You already tight for space there. As the new construction comes online, this will increase the pressure to re-district and balance the school population amongst the existing facilities. One other factor is the 17 modular units that would need to get replaced in the next several years. Would we replace them or add on to an existing elementary school. There is a space needs committee working on this issue.

Q - Is the Brick school open or closed?
A - It is still in currently but it has not been fully funded. There are open classrooms at Davis Thayer that could easily absorb the classroom.

Q - The Newcomer's group is looking to use space for the meetings but the town facilities are not generally open or under consideration.
A - Jeff Nutting says that this could be discussed.

Q & A session (live reporting)

Jeff shifts the topic to Finances

Fixed cost continue to rise above our ability to raise revenues

There is a three-year plan as part of this years budget, we get more negative each year going out.

All employees are getting modest raises, generally less than the cost of living.

"Don't beat up public employees just because the town is having financial problems"

"We talk about regionalization and every where else in the country that happens but doesn't happen here."

There is a ballot item this November to remove the State Income tax. This provides 40% of the state revenue. What would replace it? No one has answered that question.

Steve Whalen

"A town's budget is a reflection of it's values"

Steve explains how the tax rate analysis he did was done separately it is not an official town document. He did the analysis to answer the comments coming during the override discussion last year that "we can't afford it" He is a financial analyst in his work life.

The residential tax burden goes to affordability.
Being 24th out of 30, tells Steve that if we chose to, we can afford to pay more.
15th out of 17th amongst the towns with a single tax rate.

"One thing I would say to you as an analyst, the override is not about overspending and waste. It not about miss-management. It is about what kind of town you want to live in."

Based upon Steve's analysis, "it is a sensible thing to do."
After tax cost about 50 cents per day.

Newcomer - "There is a different approach this year, it is not being thrust down our throats."

Jeff Roy
"If the layoffs go through, it is a step back of some magnitude."
You are getting factual information to make a choice.
Look at Randolph and what is happening there.

Steve Whalen
OPEC and the oil countries don't care that MA has a Prop 2 1/2 in place.
If I were in Hopkinton, #4 on the listing, I would be digging into the numbers to find ways.

Jim Roche
If property values decrease, the overall taxes will not decrease, we will raise the tax rates.

Arlington plan outlined. Whether we go that way or not, we do need to go with a longer term plan.

Jeff Nutting
Q - What happened to Chap 70? Isn't that the local aid designed for the schools? Where is it going, is it going into the general town fund?
A - Yes, it is but as long as we are above the net school spending per the State, we can apply it as we need to.

Wayne Ogden
Reviewing his handout that will be used in the Town Budget meetings next week.
First chart, the State average spending category by category showing where Franklin is less than the state average in 10 of the 11 categories.
Last year, we were 9 of 11. Next year, Wayne predicts that next year if the override were to fail we will be lower than the state in all 11 categories.

Wayne walks through the numbers to get from the level service number less the town funding to get to the override number of $2.8 Million.

Use gas instead of oil to heat schools and have locked in a good rate to save money.
Impact of failed override restated as

  • 17 teachers and one administrator at the High School
  • 12.5 teachers at the middle schools
  • 15 teachers at the elementary schools
  • district wide reductions in curriculum teams, professional development, text books, late bus, increase pay-to-ride, and loss one additional administrator at the Central Office
  • increase in class sizes
Why send layoff notices so early?
If a teacher gets another position, we don't pay their unemployment.

Sample teacher salaries across several communities the highest and lowest salaries are very comparable.

Q - What is the cost of the late bus?
A - $39,600. There are so many bad choices.

Q - How does the school facilities budget affect the budget?
A - It is not a money savings measure. There are more likely to be increases in future years.

Jeff Roy did find the clip of Jeff Nutting predicting last year that this year we would need approx $3 million for another override, hence his "Nostradamus" nick name.

Jim Roche
Q - I understand why we are here again this year. Mis-management is the perception.
A - The use of the surplus and the growth in Chapter 70 has allowed the town to avoid the problem. The base needs to grow substantially.

Steve Whalen
"Hard to argue that you can be a real high quality town with really low taxes."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"I had a lot of preconceived notions"

"Definitely, take the opportunity to go out there. Certainly, before I got involved in town government, I had a lot of preconceived notions about what was going on," Roche said.

"It's a big, important decision, and there are a lot of factors in there," he said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

Listen to all that Jim Roche said as he said it at the Finance Committee meeting here


Learn all you need to by visiting here frequently.

Visit the School Committee override page for the schedule of information sessions

Be informed to cast your vote on June 10th

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Finance Committee Meeting Summary 5/6/08

The audio segments from the Finance Committee meeting of Tuesday 5/6/08 are as follows:

Nutting updates the Facilities Issue (audio)

Override Information (audio)

Possible 4 Corners Bldg/Land Sale (audio)

Budget adjustments for snow/ice (audio)

New Ladder Truck arrives next week (audio)

Override Election Budget Approved (audio)

4 Corners Bldg for $2.5M (text)

Override Information

From the Franklin Finance Committee meeting on 5/6/08, Chair Jim Roche reviews the information on the upcoming override vote scheduled for June 10th,

Time: 2 minutes, 57 seconds

MP3 File

Learn all you need to by visiting here frequently.

Visit the School Committee override page for the schedule of information sessions

Be informed to cast your vote on June 10th

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Citizen Comments: Jim Roche (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting of 4/16/08, citizens comment. Jim Roche of the Finance Committee advocating for an override vote for the town wide problem for the full set of voters to decide.

Time: 1 minute, 45 seconds

MP3 File

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

in the News - FINCOM Meeting - 2 articles

Posted Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:30 AM


Despite support from most individual members of the Finance Committee, last night the group collectively decided against recommending an override to Town Council because they did not have enough time to properly plan.

After School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy requested the board discuss putting an override question to the public to prevent 45 layoffs in the schools, Finance Committee members spoke in favor of a tax hike.

Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche made a motion to ask the Town Council to place a $1.5 million override question on the ballot to support the school, police, and fire departments. No one seconded his motion.

Read the full article here


Posted Apr 15, 2008 @ 12:46 AM


After a lengthy presentation from school officials advocating for a $58.6 million budget, the Finance Committee last night voted to recommend the $55.4 million budget proposed by Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche said he wanted to be clear that the school budget is not being cut, "it's just not getting increased by as much" as officials say is necessary to maintain teachers, other staff and programs in schools. Nutting's recommended budget represents a 1.5 percent increase, or about $800,000 over this year's $54.6 million budget.

Even if the School Department gets the $58.6 million it is seeking, schools will not be able to hire new teachers, Superintendent Wayne Ogden said.

Read the full article here

Saturday, April 12, 2008

FINCOM: Technology Budget FY 09 (audio)

From the Finance Committee meeting on 4/9/08, the discussion on the Technology budget for FY 09. Jeff Nutting, Tim Raposa, Ken Norman, Jim Roche amongst others.

Time: 12 minutes, 16 seconds

MP3 File

FINCOM: Comptroller Budget FY 09 (audio)

From the Finance Committee meeting on 4/9/08, the discussion on the Comptroller budget for FY 2009. Jeff Nutting, Susan Gagner, Ken Norman, Rebecca Cameron, and Jim Roche participate.

TIme: 12 minutes, 44 seconds

MP3 File

The proposed Town budget can be found here (PDF).