Rep. Vallee holds office hours Friday
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Junior Robby Kent and sophomore Ali Sturtevant said they want to see an end to the misery they and their siblings have endured with previous budget cuts.
"We've been losing a lot of teachers since 2005," Kent said. "My brothers are both in middle school now, and they don't get as much attention from the teacher."
Councilor Robert Vallee said fixed costs, like pensions and health care plans, contribute to the town's financial woes.
"I know the budgets very, very well. I have a hard time finding any waste," Vallee said. "It's all very well-documented, and run very, very efficiently. The shortfall is there's a recession going on."
Selectman Richard Dunne asked the lawmakers if a 5 percent cut is realistic, or if the town should consider a 10 or 15 percent cut to local aid instead.
"Wait even just a few weeks," said Spilka. "If we don't hear anything by then ... it could be 10 percent."
Vallee said he is optimistic that Chapter 70 education money will be level funded.While these comments are from a meeting with Medway, the State picture likely would apply to Franklin as well. The Governor's budget was already announced, The House and then the Senate versions are forthcoming before we get to the final numbers.
"What I hear is, protect education at all costs," said Vallee.
Legislators say 5 percent cut in aid likelyfrom The Milford Daily News News RSS by Krista Perry/Daily News staff
Despite a tight budget, state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, has announced that more than $30,000 in state funds has been awarded to area Councils on Aging.Read the full article in the WickedLocal pages here
On Friday, Vallee said Franklin was awarded $22,841 and Medway received $10,346.
"In tight budget years (the state) is generally cutting programs, but this particular program went up" he said Monday. "It's indicative we're satisfied with the way grants are being utilized."
Each town was granted $7 per senior citizen. Vallee said last year, towns were only allotted $6.50 per senior.
Even in the midst of a recession, state Rep. James E. Vallee, D-Franklin, knows how to secure money for his towns: "persistence and tenacity."
"You wear them down. Essentially, you just keep running at them, and hopefully you can convince them," said Vallee, the new House majority leader.
After five years of pushing, Vallee said Franklin has been awarded $1 million in state funds for improvements to downtown. That money is separate from a $5 million federal grant.
The $1 million, available through a public works economic development grant, will pay for improvements to Main Street, Dean Avenue, Depot Street to Ray Street, and a municipal parking lot on Depot Street, Vallee said.
Read the full article about this state grant in the Milford Daily News here
The grant will help economic development efforts downtown. It will allow Franklin to spend less of its own money to do the work required. While the grant can not be used to offset our operational budget problems, the grant will help the overall budget by avoiding the expense of additional debt. Our debt to operations ratio will remain low.
After hearing rumors that Franklin was going to lose $448,000 for the past several weeks, town officials say they are happy with the $31 million total state aid Franklin is due to receive.
"We were very surprised we were level-funded. This was a pleasant surprise," said School Committee member Cora Armenio, adding that officials are still on their toes because "it's still not over."
"This is the most frustrating budget season I've ever been in, and it's really no one's fault," Armenio said.
Chapter 70 school aid is "the heart and soul" of Franklin's local aid, said Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting, who is president of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. The town is expected to get $28.7 million in Chapter 70 school funds.
"Hats off to Rep. (James) Vallee. We dodged a huge bullet - I didn't sleep" Tuesday night, before the House released its budget, Nutting said.
Read this "old news" from last week's Town Council meeting in the Milford Daily News here.
The Town Council meeting was reported live and those notes can be found here.
Rep. James E. Vallee (D-Franklin), House Majority Leader, announced today Franklin and Medway will receive level funding for local public education, as the House Ways and Means budget was released today with Chapter 70 dollars for Franklin and Medway at heartening levels.Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
Franklin’s Chapter 70 allocation totals $28,726,70, consistent with its Fiscal Year 2009 apportionment. Medway was level funded, too; the town’s allocation totals $9,230,437.
Each town is also slated to receive additional funding through a federal economic stimulus package for public education under the House Ways and Means proposal, according to Vallee. Franklin’s local aid total, with the inclusion of this funding, would exceed $31 million; Medway’s total would be nearly $12 million.
This was posted on the Franklin Gazette here
FRANKLIN - State Rep. James E. Vallee, D-Franklin, will hold monthly local walk-in office hours on Friday, April 17, at two locations in his legislative district.
Vallee, or a member of his staff, will be available at the Medway town administrator’s office, 155 Village St., 9 to 10 a.m., and his Franklin office, 4 West St., 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.Vallee welcomes and encourages residents to visit him during these times to voice concerns or questions they may have regarding any state-related issue. He encourages constituents unable to attend the district hours to call his State House office to schedule a more convenient appointment.
Vallee and his staff may be reached at 617-722-2600 or Rep.JamesVallee@hou.state.ma.us.