Showing posts with label aaa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aaa. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating

Amid pandemic restabilization, Town achieves major peak 

For the first time in the town’s history, Franklin was awarded a AAA (Triple-A) bond rating by Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings. Progressing from the Town’s previous AA+, the new rating is indicative of exceptionally high creditworthiness in the eyes of municipal bond issuers.

“Achieving a AAA Bond Rating is the ultimate team accomplishment in local government” said Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen. “The rating reflects the unity and collaboration of everyone involved, past and present, including the Town Council, Finance Committee, boards and committees, department heads, staff, and the residents of the community. It’s like winning the Super Bowl. Everyone had to do their job to get this victory.”

Despite economic and social uncertainty posed by the pandemic, Franklin’s stable financial portfolio, performance and management has positioned the town’s reserves to its highest levels ever. The behavior and actions of the Town have resulted in the community being in the strongest position to continue to perform should fiscal stressors arise.

A ratings report published by S&P Global Ratings outlines the following as the primary contributing factors in achieving Franklin’s AAA rating:

●  Four consecutive operating surpluses, increasing reserves to its strongest levels ever with management projecting ongoing maintenance at these levels, as Franklin continues to work through their capital improvement plan

●  Prudent budgetary modifications amid the pandemic supported by great financial policies to position the town well as fiscal year 2023 approaches

●  Franklin’s employment and tax base saw little deterioration amid the pandemic which indicated a resilient and affluent local economy

●  Ongoing economic development projects and a strong real estate environment resulting in substantial tax base growth which keeps tax rates low and affordable

●  Maintenance of a favorable debt profile

●  Manageable pension and other postemployment benefits (OPEB) costs

“The Town Council, Finance Committee and all of our town staff have established strong financial policies and have remained committed to them,” said Hellen. “The support from the Town’s elected officials is without question a signature factor in the bond rating for their continued support of the staff’s professional expertise. But, the foundation for this achievement is having a great finance team that helps to see beyond the data, providing intelligent information for strategic short and long-term decision-making. I can’t say enough about the work of Finance Director Sandini, Treasurer-Collector Bertone and all of the employees who work in the finance offices. We’ve been zoned in on this goal for years and I am very happy for the entire team to achieve it.”

“The pandemic has only made the Town of Franklin more resilient and productive than ever before,” Hellen said. “With a AAA bond rating, ISO-1 Fire Department, a soon to be fully accredited Police Department and reducing liabilities, such as OPEB and Stormwater, with modest, common sense, slow-but-steady policies, the Town is as prepared as we have been to meet future challenges.”

This press release on the Town of Franklin’s AAA Bond rating was shared from here:

The Standard & Poor's rating letter can be found online: 

Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating
Town of Franklin Earns AAA Bond Rating

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The journey rather than the destination is a hiking theme through much of this Talk Franklin episode (audio)

FM #798 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 798 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my "Talk Franklin" conversation with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen. We had our conversation via the Zoom Conference Bridge.

Conversation around the following topics with a common thread of peaks and valleys, journey more important than the destination:

Welcome back

Friday 13th


So much good happening

  • Fire dept ISO Class 1

  • Clean audit report

  • AAA bond rating

  • DPW water conservation award


Where do you go from here?  The challenge is greater to maintain this


Budget through Finance Committee

Next up Town Council (May 25, May 26)


MAPC forum and recommendations

The recording runs about 38 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jamie as we “Talk Franklin”.

Audio file ->


Town of Franklin meeting calendar -> 

Town budget page ->

Franklin For All -> 


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

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

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 your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

The journey rather than the destination is a hiking theme through much of this Talk Franklin episode (audio)
The journey rather than the destination is a hiking theme through much of this Talk Franklin episode (audio)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

In the News: Franklin dancers take lead in dropping gendered titles; AAA traffic outlook for the 4th of July

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Kathy Brophy has always been a leader, not a follower.

In the world of ballroom dancing, those titles are traditionally gendered – male dancers lead while female dancers follow. But once Brophy took the hand of Maria Melchionda during a dance lesson to prepare for the “first dance” at their 2002 wedding reception, she knew she would take the lead.

Fifteen years later, Brophy, a Millis resident, continues to lead as a competitive pro/am smooth and rhythm-style dancer, practicing at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Franklin. But for the past decade, she’s been limited to same-sex dance competitions and barred from dancing in mainstream competitive dance contests - unless she were to follow and dance with a man.

Traditionally, and according to the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) rule book, a couple is defined as “one man and one woman.” Competitors can only compete in NDCA sanctioned events as a follower if they are a woman and as a leader if they are a man."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Hitting the road to the beach, campground or a family barbecue during the July 4 holiday? You won’t be alone.

AAA predicts a record-breaking 48.9 million Americans will travel during the holiday, up nearly 2 million – or 4.1 percent – from last year. A projected 1.3 million Massachusetts residents will be among those traveling, with about 1.1 million by car, according to the motor club.

A strong economy, record low unemployment and significantly lower gas prices are driving forces behind the increase, said Mary Maguire, AAA director of public and legislative affairs. The average gas price in Massachusetts is $2.64 a gallon, $.23 lower than this time last year."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)