Showing posts with label assessment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label assessment. Show all posts

Monday, April 3, 2023

Self Assessment - In person session - Tuesday April 4 - Natick Community/Senior Center

This Tuesday April 4, I will facilitate a MCOA  "Self Assessment" program at the Natick Community & Senior Center. 117 East Central Street  Natick, MA 01760.
 2 - 3:30 PM
  • We will discuss assessments and why companies require them.
  • Learn how to "Work from the inside out."
  • We will review "why people hire people."
  • You'll have the chance to take some free assessments.
  •  Meet people in person - Network!
Even if you don't register, come on by!  Walk-ins welcome.

If you know anyone who could benefit by attending, share this information with them!  It's free.

Ed Lawrence
Certified Interview Coach
Authorized DISC Administrator
Member, CPRW Certification Committee

Self Assessment - In person session - Tuesday April 4 - Natick Community/Senior Center
Self Assessment - In person session - Tuesday April 4 - Natick Community/Senior Center

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Good news, the tax rate is going down; however, that doesn't mean our taxes are decreasing

The Town Council gets to formally approve the tax rate for Fiscal Year 2023 at the Council meeting on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022. This annual event formally closes the cycle on the Fiscal Year calendar as it approves the tax rate for the budget approved in June and adjusted in October. 

The tax rate hearing portion of the agenda doc can be found here ->

The numbers in this doc allowed me to update (adding FY 2023 #s) to my spreadsheet to produce these charts.

As this chart shows, the tax rate does fluctuate from year to year. We have been as low as 8.86% in 2007, and as high as 14.84% in 2015.

the tax rate does fluctuate from year to year
the tax rate does fluctuate from year to year

The tax rate is going down from 14.05 to 12.58%. This is due to the increase in overall residential and commercial property valuations increasing. We have all seen what the housing market is doing. This chart shows the relationship between the total assessed valuations and the property tax rates. When the market drops in 1988 and 2008, the rates rise. As the market increases, as in the most recent 2 years, the rate declines.

the relationship between the total assessed valuations and the property tax rates
the relationship between the total assessed valuations and the property tax rates

We do have a single tax rate and that is one question the Council will need to confirm. It is likely they will continue with a single rate. A dual rate doesn't raise any more money than the single, it only takes more from one party than the other. In this case, if we did have a split rate, taking a single dollar from the Residential rate would raise the Commercial/Industrial rate by $4 to raise the same revenue. What do you think might happen as businesses reacted to a $4 tax rate increase? 

We do need to grow our overall revenue base and more commercial/industrial growth would be better than more residential growth. We have shifted slightly through the years, but generally in and around an 80-20 split. Follow the bar, or the line. The bar and the line add up to 100%.

commercial/industrial valuation split vs. residential
commercial/industrial valuation split vs. residential

So bottom line, while we do need more commercial/industrial growth, whether the tax rate goes up or down (as it does this year), the one other constant in the mix is that the tax bills do increase. This last chart shows that relationship.

whether the tax rate goes up or down the tax bills do increase
whether the tax rate goes up or down the tax bills do increase

A PDF version of the four charts can be found here

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Franklin Food Pantry Releases Client Needs Assessment

Report Provides Overview of Food Insecurity in Franklin Community


The Franklin Food Pantry is proud to release its Client Needs Assessment, a comprehensive overview of food insecurity in the Franklin community with recommendations to address the crisis. In 2021 and early 2022, the Franklin Food Pantry reviewed expert literature on food insecurity, conducted research among its current neighbors, interviewed community partners and assessed third-party data sources. The report’s findings will drive programming and operational initiatives to reach more households experiencing food insecurity and related challenges.

The Franklin Food Pantry will focus on the following areas to better support its neighbors:

  • Community awareness
  • Nutrition
  • Community garden
  • Partnerships, programs and wrap around services
  • Youth programs
  • Transportation
  • Housing

“The biggest take-away of the Community Needs Assessment is that many more people in Franklin are food insecure than we see accessing our services. We have always assumed there are those in the community whom we haven’t reached, but it was difficult to confirm this assumption with only internal data,” said Tina Powderly, executive director for the Franklin Food Pantry. 

“The report shows that in Franklin, while there are 3,284 people who receive MassHealth, only 1,508 are enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That translates to 549 to 755 households who could benefit from The Pantry but who do not currently shop with us. We want to reach those individuals and encourage them to visit us. As we support people in becoming more food secure, we must focus on moving out of their immediate anxiety so clients can think long term. We can do that with programming to help progress along a continuum toward stability.”

The report includes answers from a weekly question that staff asked current Pantry clients. The information gathered from the clients’ answers will influence future Pantry programming. To date, the Pantry has increased community garden beds, implemented client service office hours, provided free Covid-19 test kits, offered a hybrid distribution method, and launched a new mobile pantry site.  The Pantry continues to evaluate future programming based on feedback from its neighbors.

Franklin Food Pantry Releases Client Needs Assessment
Franklin Food Pantry Releases Client Needs Assessment

“This assessment shines a bright light on our neighbors’ struggles and what resources are available to help them,” continued Powderly. “Food insecurity is not just an individual problem. It is a community, state and national problem, and we all must work together to help lessen food insecurity. We are very grateful to our local partners for their participation in this critical research and for their collaboration and hard work addressing the issues outlined in the Community Needs Assessment.”

To read the entire report please visit our website. If you or someone you know needs additional help, please direct them to The Pantry. 

The Pantry is open on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 5:30 –6:30 PM for drive-up distribution (no appointment needed), and Thursday and Friday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM for appointment-only shopping. 

About the Franklin Food Pantry 

The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to almost 1,100 individuals per year. The Franklin Food Pantry is not funded by the Town of Franklin. As a private, nonprofit organization, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other strategic partners. We are grateful for our many partnerships, including that with the Greater Boston Food Bank, that allow us to achieve greater buying power and lower our costs.  

Donations and grants fund our food purchases, keep our lights on, and put gas in our food truck. Other programs include home delivery, Weekend Backpack Program for Franklin school children in need, mobile pantry, emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. The Pantry is located at 43 W. Central St. in Franklin on Route 140 across from the Franklin Fire Station. 

Visit for more information.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Franklin Police to Participate in Accreditation Assessment

Chief Lynch is pleased to announce that a team of assessors from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is scheduled to arrive on June 22, 2022, to begin examining various aspects of the Franklin Police Department’s policies and procedures, operations and facilities.  

Verification by the Assessment Team that the Department meets the Commission’s standards is part of a voluntary process to gain state Accreditation -- a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession.

The Massachusetts Police Accreditation Program consists of 257 mandatory standards as well as 125 optional standards.  In order to achieve accreditation status, the Department must meet all applicable mandatory standards as well as 60% of the optional standards.  

Achieving Accreditation is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.  Anyone interested in learning more about this program is invited to contact Chief Lynch or the Department’s Accreditation Manager, Deputy Chief James West.

Franklin Police to Participate in Accreditation Assessment
Franklin Police to Participate in Accreditation Assessment

Shared from Town of Franklin Police Dept Facebook page

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

School Committee Space Needs Subcommittee - 05/10/22 (audio)

FM #792 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 792 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the School Committee - Space Needs Subcommittee meeting held in the 3rd floor training room on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. 

The meeting reviewed data requested about aspects of the study in the prior meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for June 6 to preview the update to be provided to the full School Committee at the regularly scheduled meeting of June 14, 2022.

SubCmte Chair - Al Charles; committee members - Denise Spencer, Elise Stokes; Central office support - Supt Sara Ahern, Business Manager Miriam Goodman, Student Services Director Paula Marano.

The recording runs about 55 minutes, so let’s listen to the Space Needs discussion on May 10, 2022. Audio file ->


Meeting agenda => 

My notes for the meeting => 


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

School Committee Space Needs Subcommittee - 05/10/22 (audio)
School Committee Space Needs Subcommittee - 05/10/22 (audio)

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Space Needs / Facilities Analysis Sub Committee - Mar 29 - 6:30 PM (virtual only)

Franklin Public Schools
Franklin School Committee

Space Needs & Facilities Assessment Sub Committee

March 29, 2022 - 6:30 P.M.  -  Virtual Only

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

● Call to Order
● Subcommittee Objective, Goals & Expectations
● Space Needs & Facilities Assessment Historical Context
● Known Facilities Needs (maintenance, repairs, etc.)
● Review of Next Steps/Action Items
● Finalize Meeting Schedule
● Adjournment

Space Needs / Facilities Analysis Sub Committee
Space Needs / Facilities Analysis Sub Committee

Friday, July 9, 2021

The Guardian: "Why declining birth rates are good news for life on Earth"

Given that there is a discussion about Franklin's population and rate of growth, putting our stats in context with national and world trends should help. 

"Fertility rates are falling across the globe – even in places, such as sub-Saharan Africa, where they remain high. This is good for women, families, societies and the environment. So why do we keep hearing that the world needs babies, with angst in the media about maternity wards closing in Italy and ghost cities in China? 
The short-range answer is that, even though this slowdown was predicted as part of the now 250-year-old demographic transition – whose signature is the tumbling of both fertility and mortality rates – occasional happenings, such as the publication of US census data or China’s decision to relax its two-child policy, force it back into our consciousness, arousing fears about family lines rubbed out and diminishing superpowers being uninvited from the top table. 
The longer range answer is that our notion of a healthy, vibrant society is still rooted in the past. The inevitable byproduct of the demographic transition is that populations age, in a chronological sense, but life expectancy, and particularly healthy life expectancy, have increased dramatically over the last half-century, and the societal definition of “old” has not kept up (though artistic experiments such as casting 82-year-old Sir Ian McKellen as Hamlet might help to challenge age-related stereotypes)."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
Davis Thayer Facility Analysis Subcommittee meeting of Oct 2020

You can find the demographics study on the Town of Franklin page

The Comprehensive Facilities Assessment

Download your copy of the detailed report here: 

screen grab of DTFA meeting in Oct 2020
screen grab of DTFA meeting in Oct 2020

Monday, January 11, 2021

Session #1 - 50+ Jobseeker - elf-assessment, career pathways, and Ageism

Session #1: Self-assessment, career pathways, and Ageism

3 dates! Attend any one or all three.

Tuesday, January 12th 10:00 am – 12 pm

Friday, January 15th 1:00 pm – 3 pm

Monday, January 18th 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Virtual Doors open 15 minutes before the start time

Facilitators: Melody Beach and Ed Lawrence

If you are already registered with the 50+ program, you have already  received an email inviting you to join the sessions. (Same link works for all three sessions)


Not yet in the program? Pre-Registration is required:


 For additional information, please contact: Susan Drevitch Kelly, Founder/Program Director at or 781-378-0520.

Session #1 - 50+ Jobseeker - elf-assessment, career pathways, and Ageism
Session #1 - 50+ Jobseeker - elf-assessment, career pathways, and Ageism

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Dec 12, 2018

The published agenda and documents for the Franklin Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 12, 2018.  

(Note: where there are active links in the agenda item, it will take you to the associated document)

You can also find the full set of documents in one PDF

Agenda ItemSummary
Town Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting of December 12, 2018 - 7:00 PM
a. This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast Channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by others.
a. Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the agenda.  The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments.  The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.
a. November 14, 2018
Board of Health - Ciera Maffei
Zoning Board of Appeals - Philip Brunelli
Zoning Board of Appeals - Christopher Stickney
Shaws Supermarkets- Change of Manager
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School
Risk Assessment
a. Capital Budget Subcommittee 
b. Budget Subcommittee 
c. Economic Development Subcommittee
Resolution 18-70: Appropriation Cable Funds in Support of PEG Service and Programming per M.G.L Ch.44, §53F3/4 (Motion to Approve Resolution 18-70 - Majority Vote (5))
Resolution 18-71: Town Council Meeting Schedule for 2019 (Motion to Approve Resolution 18-71 - Majority Vote (5))
Bylaw Amendment 18-826: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic- 2nd Reading (Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 18-827 Majority Roll Call Vote (5))
Bylaw Amendment 18-827: Amendment to the Water System Map - 2nd Reading (Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 18-827 Majority Roll Call Vote (5))
Purpose #2: to conduct strategy session in preparation for negotiations and/or to conduct contract negotiations with non-union personnel, namely: new Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, on compensation and other terms and conditions of his employment agreement.
Reconvene in Open Session if necessary, re: vote to offer employment agreement, specifying compensation and other employment terms and conditions to the new Town Administrator Jamie Hellen.

Franklin TV and Franklin radio are funded via cable access fees
Franklin TV and Franklin radio are funded via cable access fees
The Financial Risk Assessment Report