Showing posts with label audit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label audit. Show all posts

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 -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-798-talk-franklin-05-13-22

--------------

Town of Franklin meeting calendar -> https://www.franklinma.gov/calendar 

Town budget page -> https://www.franklinma.gov/town-budget

Franklin For All -> https://www.mapc.org/resource-library/franklin-for-all/ 

--------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/ or www.franklin.news/

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)

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 4, 2022 - 7 PM

Franklin Town Council
Agenda & Meeting Packet
May 4, 2022 - 7:00 PM

Meeting will be held at the Municipal Building
2nd floor, Council Chambers 355 East Central Street  

1. ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR
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.
b. Chair to identify members participating remotely.
2. CITIZEN COMMENTS
a. Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to three 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.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
a. March 16, 2022
b. April 6, 2022
4. PROCLAMATIONS / RECOGNITIONS
a. Proclamation - Harriet DiMartino

5. APPOINTMENTS - None Scheduled.

6. HEARINGS - 7:00 PM
a. Alcoholic Beverages Licensees, Failure to Pass Compliance Check - Continued from 4/13/2022
i. TM1 Solutions, Inc. d/b/a 7-Eleven 37380 - 664 Union Street  https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/6a.i_7-eleven_1_0.pdf
ii. Dharma Bhakti Corporation d/b/a Liquor World - 365 West Central Street


b. Street Acceptances: 
i. Joseph Circle
ii. Susan's Way, and a portion of Lawrence Drive
 
7. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS - None Scheduled.

8. PRESENTATIONS / DISCUSSION
a. Discussion: Congressman Jake Auchincloss, 4th Congressional District
b. Presentation: FY21 Annual Financial Audit - Melanson and Heath  
https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/8b._presentation_-_audit.pdf
9. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
a. Resolution 22-27: Order of Acceptance of Joseph Circle as a Public Way and Related Utility and Drainage Easements (Motion to Approve Resolution 22-27 - Two-thirds Majority Vote)   https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/9a._22-27_street_acceptances_joseph_circle.pdf
b. Resolution 22-28: Order of Acceptance of Susan's Way and a portion of Lawrence Drive as Public Ways and Related Utility and Drainage Easements (Motion to Approve Resolution 22-28 - Two-thirds Majority Vote)   https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/9b._22-28_street_acceptances_susans_way_and_portion_lawrence_dr.pdf
c. Bylaw Amendment 22-879: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic, Appendix A, Fines, Parking Violations - First Reading (Motion to Move Bylaw Amendment 22-879 to Second Reading - Majority Vote)  https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/9c._downtown_parking_fines.pdf
d. Bylaw Amendment 22-880: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic, Article IV, Stopping, Standing and Parking, §170-15 Parking Prohibitions and Limitations, D. Parking Prohibited, Downtown Parking Map - First Reading (Motion to Move Bylaw Amendment 22-880 to a Second Reading - Majority Vote)  https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/9d._22-880_downtown_parking_map_0.pdf
e. Resolution 22-29: Gift Acceptance - Fire Dept. ($275), Veterans’ Services Dept. ($100) (Motion to Approve Resolution 22-29 - Majority Vote) https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/9e._22-29_gift_acceptance_fd_vets_375.pdf

10. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
a. Davis-Thayer Update

11. SUBCOMMITTEE & AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS
a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee

12. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

13. COUNCIL COMMENTS

14. EXECUTIVE SESSION

15. ADJOURN

Note:
Two-Thirds Vote: requires 6 votes
Majority Vote: requires majority of members present and voting



Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 4, 2022 - 7 PM
Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 4, 2022 - 7 PM


Friday, April 22, 2022

More Perfect Union: 044 - MASS State Auditor Candidates Chris Dempsey and Diana DiZoglio (audio)

In this episode, the group is joined by Massachusetts State Auditor candidates Chris Dempsey and Diana DiZoglio to talk about what the job entails, what problems face Massachusetts what they aim to accomplish in this position.

Audio file -> https://more-perfect-union.captivate.fm/episode/044-massachusetts-state-auditors-chris-dempsey-and-diana-dizoglio 

044 - MASS State Auditor Candidates Chris Dempsey and Diana DiZoglio (audio)
044 - MASS State Auditor Candidates Chris Dempsey and Diana DiZoglio (audio)

Friday, March 25, 2022

"despite legislation having good intentions, there can be unforeseen cost elements"

"The State Auditor’s Division of Local Mandates released a report yesterday that identified 29 state statutes passed between 2016 and 2020 that have a significant financial impact on Massachusetts cities and towns without sufficient state funding to offset the costs.

The “Five-Year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report” finds that the state continues to pass laws that often require resources from cities and towns for implementation, and that these measures are largely financed by local property taxes as state aid lags behind increasing local costs. The report also documents that state aid as a share of total municipal revenue decreased between fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2020, while state assessments on cities and towns increased. "

Continue reading article online ->

Download a copy of the full report here ->


“Five-Year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report”
Five-Year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

MA State House News: Baker differs on tax breaks; Auditor says communities should get support to run elections

Via CommonWealth Magazine, we find these share worthy: 

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER told lawmakers on Tuesday that Massachusetts can easily afford his package of $700 million in tax cuts, and the state needs some of the changes benefitting higher-income taxpayers to prevent them from moving elsewhere.

“Not only can we afford this tax relief proposal, we believe it’s time to give Massachusetts families back some of the tax revenue that they created through their hard work,” Baker told the Legislature’s Revenue Committee at a hybrid hearing held in person and virtually on the first day the State House was open in nearly two years.

The tax relief package in some sense pits a Republican governor against a Democrat-controlled Legislature whose leaders to date have not made reducing taxes a high priority. During the hearing, Democratic lawmakers focused most of their attention on the governor’s proposed reductions in the estate tax and the income tax on short-term capital gains — two taxes that benefit wealthier individuals. They suggested the money for those tax breaks could be better spent on reducing taxes paid by lower-income taxpayers."

Continue reading the article online
"THE STATE WILL OWE cities and towns more than $2 million to keep polling places open for additional mandated voting hours during the September 2022 state primary and November 2022 general elections, Auditor Suzanne Bump said Tuesday.

Under the 1983 Uniform Polling Hours Law, cities and towns must keep polling locations open for at least 13 hours on primary and general election days, an increase from the previously-required 10 hours of voting. The law also directs the auditor to certify what offering the extra hours will cost municipalities with the costs to be paid through the secretary of state’s office."
 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Comptroller

To the Town Council and the Citizens of Franklin:

In accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, the Annual Report of the Town Comptroller for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 is hereby submitted. All invoices and payrolls presented during the fiscal year by various departments were examined for accuracy and legality before being submitted to the Town Administrator for approval and to the Treasurer-Collector for payment.

The reports contained herein present fairly the material aspects of the Town of Franklin's financial position and results of operations. Financial reporting is in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Uniform Municipal Accounting System (UMAS) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

The Town’s auditing firm, Melanson, Heath & Company, found the Town’s 2019 financial statements and systems to be in good order. The audited financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2019 are included.

On a side note I’d like to thank my staff for their professionalism, dedication and commitment to excellence. Our team is truly amazing and I look forward to making many significant improvements in the coming years.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher M. Sandini, Sr.
Finance Director/Town Comptroller 

Visit the Comptroller's page  https://www.franklinma.gov/comptroller


In particular, the most recent one can be found

Continue reading the Annual Report for 2020

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Recap - School Committee - good work and progress highlighted room for opportunity on communications remains as school year closes

Quick Recap:
  • Update on the Virtual learning academy (VLA) provided. This 'virtual school' served the remote students for all the elementary schools and without explicitly saying so found disparity among the different schools by grade level and brought the students to a good place for this challenging year. Interesting stat - 270 students started the year, 220 finished (50 went into school with return of in person learning).
  • Update on the District Improvement Plan for their diversity, inclusion and equity work highlights the need for additional communications as many in the community were unaware of this work being done with a cross section of stakeholder representation. For a recent example, the FHS incident report was shared only with the direct FHS community and not the broader Franklin community
  • Davis Thayer transition moves to next phase as building materials, etc. get determined to move or whatever. Decision to turn building over to Town is still a future item, timeline TBD.
  • Workshop planned for July session in place of regular meeting, discussion of an outside audit a possible topic to find out what we have, where we could be and plan accordingly. The 3rd party view would augment the info provided to the Committee


----

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session

 

Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album

https://photos.app.goo.gl/F9uRGSN6ejSb3GkR8


The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #schcom0608

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23schcom0608&src=typeahead_click 

 

Agenda document - https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/agenda-6-22-21

 

Meeting packet folder - https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/pages/june-22-2021-school-committee-meeting-packet

 

  • Real time reporting underway for the School Committee meeting, last one of this school year #schcom0622
Virtual Learning Academy update
District Improvement Plan - goals update
Discussion action items
Reopening status
Information matters
  • Information matters, reminder in budget brochure to be shared; policy meeting July 28; workshop at July 27 meeting in lieu of regular meeting #schcom0622 Next meeting July 13, mostly routine things; raising possible outside audit for workshop discussion
  • Dr Bergen comments on last day of school year. #schcom0622
Consent agenda
  • Consent agenda motion to approve, seconded, desire to split them as D'Angelo was not part of the two meetings, she abstains from both of those separate votes; other three combined passes 6-0 (Spencer left) via roll call #schcom0622
  • Motion to adjourn, passes 6-0 via roll call That's all for tonight, catch you next time!

  

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days

 

good work and progress highlighted room for opportunity on communications remains as school year closes
good work and progress highlighted room for opportunity on communications remains as school year closes


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 5, 2021

FRANKLIN TOWN COUNCIL
Agenda & Meeting Packet
May 5, 2021

Meeting will be held at the Municipal Building
2nd floor, Council Chambers, 355 East Central Street
7:00 PM 


1. ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR
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. 
b. Chair to identify Council Members participating remotely

2. CITIZEN COMMENTS
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.

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
None Scheduled

4. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS
Brutus Cantoreggi, Public Works Director - American Public Works Association, Public Works Director of the Year Award

5. APPOINTMENTS
None Scheduled

6. HEARINGS - 7:10 PM
Bylaw Amendment 21-868: Chapter 185, Zoning Article V, Special Regulations

7. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS
La Cantina Winery/La Cantina Brewery, Change of Category on their Farmer Series Pouring Permit from Wines to Wine and Malt Beverages, 355 Union Street, Franklin, MA 02038

8. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS
a. Melanson & Heath - FY20 Audit 
b. Franklin TV - Pete Fasciano 
c. Anne Marie Tracey - Town Communications and Civic Engagement Update

9. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS
a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee

10. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
10a. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Bylaw Amendment 21-868: Chapter 185, Zoning Article V, Special Regulations - Second Reading (Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 21-868 - Two Thirds Majority Roll Call Vote)

10b. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-24: Gift Acceptance - DPW Highway & Grounds Division, Sand Sweeper (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-24 - Majority Vote)

10c. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-25: Ambulance Refund Acceptance - Fire Department (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-25 - Majority Vote)

10d. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-26: Gift Acceptance - Historical Commission, $100 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-26 - Majority Vote)

10e. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-27: Gift Acceptance - Police Department, $300 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-27 - Majority Vote) 

11. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
a. COVID-19
b. FY22 Budget Update - FY22 Town Administrator Budget Materials

12. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

13. COUNCIL COMMENTS

14. EXECUTIVE SESSION
None Scheduled

ADJOURN

Note:  Two-Thirds Vote: requires 6 votes
Majority Vote: requires majority of members present and voting


Town Council agenda web page with links to all docs

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 5, 2021
Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 5, 2021


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Town Council - Recap of March 20 - great reading in the Auditor's Report

Two take aways for me from the Town Council meeting held, Wednesday, March 20 were 

(1) the breadth of offerings by the Recreation Dept and how such a great value that is to the residents of Franklin 
and  
(2) the depth of information in one place for the finances of Franklin for FY 2018.

Recreation
The presentation document shared by Ryan Jette at the Council meeting is shown here. Page by page, the number of program offerings, the total involvement of the community, the minimum cost to the community (all funded by the fees for each program). 

If you are not taking advantage of one or more of the Recreation Dept programs, what are you looking for? Seriously, raise the question, they have shown to be expanding to meet the needs over the years, it may very well be something to happen.




https://www.slideshare.net/shersteve/franklin-recreation-dept-update-32019

Financial Audit Report


  • An audit report can be dry reading. 

First and foremost, Franklin has a good report; there are no issues, the auditors found that Franklin's processing and accounting is all in good order. We are one of the 20% of MA communities to get such a clean report. We do have a lot of good folks working for the Town that make this happen and be thankful for.


  • An audit report does contain lots of great information.
In rounded numbers, $74M of the $144M revenue the Town sees comes from property taxes. $6M from excise taxes. $8M for charges for services provided. $48M from grants and contributions. The bulk of the 48M is state funding. Half of our overall revenue comes from property taxes. We could not raise sufficient funding from either the excise taxes or services we provide (even if we could try).  See pages 6, 7 and 8 for these numbers.

The unassigned fund balance on Page 9 amounts to 9.8% and is a good number to have. This is money that Franklin has in its 'savings' account, that is set aside for special purposes. $1.5M of that was used to balance the FY 2019 budget.

Page 10 highlights the general fund spending.

Page 11 shows our overall Capital Asset position. How much is all the land and buildings Franklin owns really worth?

Page 11 and 12 also provide a history of the Stabilization fund balances since the 1990's. What have we done with the money? The key answers are provided there, year by year.

In among the "Notes to the Financial Statements" which begins on Page 26, the definition of a capital asset and the depreciation schedule is found on pages 29-30. 

In addition:
  • The Norfolk County Retirement System is covered beginning on page 44
  • The Mass Teachers Retirement System is covered beginning on page 49
  • Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) is covered beginning page 52


https://drive.google.com/file/d/14FpwU6WMmIZjNEqda6lBRnOXOhArjGZe/view?usp=sharing





My notes reported live during the meeting can be found
Recreation Director Ryan Jette presenting to the Town Council
Recreation Director Ryan Jette presenting to the Town Council