Showing posts with label chap 70. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chap 70. Show all posts

Saturday, January 15, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "State budget writers forecast continued growth in tax revenues"

"Budget officials on Friday revised upward their revenue forecast for the current fiscal year by $1.5 billion and then projected the state’s tax take would rise 2.7 percent in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. 

The “consensus revenue” figure of $26.915 billion for fiscal 2023 agreed on by Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael Heffernan, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, and House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz was toward the middle of the range forecasted by the state Department of Revenue at a hearing last month. 

The policymakers were swayed by economists’ predictions of a rise in revenue ($967 million) as society continues to recover from the pandemic. But those same economists, at December’s hearing, warned that there is also significant uncertainty. In the last couple of years, taxes have come in far higher than expected, mainly due to federal recovery efforts injecting large sums of money into the economy, and the state has revised its tax revenue numbers during the course of the year. "

Why share this item? 
As we get into the budget season, it really starts with the State budget when the Governor introduces his view of the budget on the 4th Wednesday of January. The Governor's numbers generally are used to determine the Chap 70 and local aid expected for Franklin which accounts for about 25-30% of our total revenue. 

Listen to the revenue calculation describe in the recent Finance Committee meeting and you'll hear how the revenue is calculated and then adjusted as the year progresses and the State finalized their budget (usually around Aug/Sep), and after Franklin gets peak at its own revenue and how those projects are coming through (or not) before setting the tax rate in December to 'close out' the budget cycle for a fiscal year.

"The annual budget process begins each year when the Governor files recommendations as a bill with the House of Representatives. Under the state Constitution, the Governor must submit a proposal by the 4th Wednesday of January or, in the event of a new term, within five weeks later. This bill is called House 1 or "House 2" depending on the year."

The golden dome of the State House. (Photo by Andy Metzger)
The golden dome of the State House. (Photo by Andy Metzger)


Monday, December 13, 2021

"School funding is both enormously important and extremely complicated"

It is timely that the Franklin School Committee has a workshop scheduled to help the new members understand the Franklin school budget. While much has been written around the impact of the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) and how it will help MA better fund schools, this Shanker Report looks at state to state funding comparisons and finds MA lacking.

This helps position the Franklin budget in the overall bigger picture of school funding across the nation. 

"This year's Shanker Institute report on the adequacy and fairness of school funding, which uses 2019 data, gives a stark picture of where we have been in Massachusetts. 

2019, of course, is when, in November, we FINALLY got a revision to the state formula, one-sixth (mostly) of which was FINALLY implemented this current fiscal year.

The work of Bruce D. Baker of Rutgers University), Matthew Di Carlo and Kayla Reist of the Shanker Institute, and Mark Weber, also at Rutgers University, the report looks at effort, progressivity, and adequacy; that is: how much are states actually trying in using the fiscal resources they have for schools, and do they make sure poor kids are getting more resources, and are districts getting enough money to get to outcomes needed.

And we don't look so hot, Massachusetts. "
Continue reading the article online

You can go directly to the Shanker Report ->

The MA profile can be found here ->

our effort level ranks #43 in the nation (out of 49)
our effort level ranks #43 in the nation (out of 49)

Friday, November 12, 2021

FM #655 - Finance Committee Mtg - 11/10/21 (audio)

FM #655 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 655 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Franklin, MA Finance Committee meeting held on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: the seven Finance Committee members present were in the Municipal Building along with some of the public, other members of the public joined via conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

The recording runs about 29 minutes.

Links to the meeting agenda and associated documents released for this meeting are included in the show notes. The link to my notes taken during the meeting is also provided.

Let’s listen to this segment of the Finance Committee meeting Nov 10, 2021


Audio file ->


Finance Committee Agenda doc (including connection info) ->


My notes captured during the meeting ->


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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.

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FM #655 - Finance Committee Mtg - 11/10/21 (audio)
FM #655 - Finance Committee Mtg - 11/10/21 (audio)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Recap: Finance Committee hears of FY 2022 overall budget reduction of $454K

Quick Recap:
  • New growth had been forecasted to be $1,199,593 and is being revised down to be $1,105,000; the $94,593 less revenue is one piece of several moving parts of the budget

  • The State numbers (Chapter 70, etc.) were finalized in August and now those numbers become real and update what had been expected when the budget was put together in Mar/Apr. The total net change to the bottom line is a decrease of over $400K. The Town side will absorb about $300K and the school budget will be reduced by $93K. The summary of how the decrease is absorbed can be found on page 12

  • Host community agreements are not considered 'general revenue', they are targeted to be mitigations for the impact of the sale of such cannabis products that generate the agreements. They are forecast for a five year revenue period, currently the max allowed under MA general law. The host community agreement funds are therefore allocated to DPW, SAFE Coalition, and Police Department as outlined in the memo/draft resolution on page 13

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter. I participated in the meeting in the Council Chambers. 
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #fincom1110 
Agenda document ->
  • #fincom1110 meeting about to start agenda and connection info ->
  • Chair calls meeting to order with 7 members present #fincom1110
  • Town Administrator Jamie Hellen speaks to the adjustments for FY 2022 as part of the annual budget process. Usually done about this time before the tax rate is set in late Nov/early Dec…  #finCom1110
  • new growth amount to be reduced, use 10 year average, and things have changed since it was forecasted earlier this year #fincom1110 main item of note from memo, packet on page 2, see totals of new growth over last 10 years preparation of savings in good times, paves way
  • "baring any unforeseen circumstances", everyone is seeing disruptions in supply chains; State revenues finalized after our budget was done, so the numbers are finalized at this time - page 7 in the packet show offsets on Charter school revenue vs. assessments #fincom1110
  • pause for Qs on revenue sheet; none at this time -  narrative of memo that intros the doc explains these line item changes #fincom1110 Fire/Police changes due to unforeseen retirements and resulting new hire training/staffing items
  • decrease to Schools also due to the lower revenue growth; Health Dept adjustment due to Health nurse starting later than anticipated, hence salary savings #fincom1110 health ins categories decreases reflect enrollment numbers vs. projections
  • host community agreements are not 'general revenue', they are targeted to be mitigations for the impact of the sale of such; #fincom1110 memo on 13 outlines where the incoming funds would be used
  • page 12 - outlines the total general operating budget adjustments #fincom1110 host agreements currently for a 5 year term;
  • motion to approve general fund adjustments #fincom1110 seconded, passes 7-0 (Corbosiero and Keophanga absent)
  • motion to approve resolution on host agreements, seconded, passes 7-0
  • late receipt of bills from printing (performed during prior fiscal year) #fincom1110 (possible pandemic related problem, hoping it a one time problem) motion to approve, seconded, passes 7-0
  • motion to adjourn, seconded, passes 7-0 #fincom1110
  • stay tuned for Town Council meeting coming up at 7 #tc1110  #fincom1110
 Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days


summary of how the decrease is absorbed
summary of how the decrease is absorbed

Friday, April 23, 2021

How much state aid does Franklin get?

As part of the continuing series to prepare for the Finance Committee budget hearings (which begin next week) and the Town Council budget hearings (in May), check out the link to the details on the State aid (local aid) coming to Franklin year over year from FY 2012 to FY 2022. 

The total of local aid is shown in the charts. A breakdown of the different components, the largest amount is Chap 70 (school aid), is shown in the Appendix. The graph shown below combines the total local aid from Appendix C4 and the Total Operating budget from Appendix C1.

Note: the state aid shown is for the operating budgets (municipal and school). Other grant aid is not part of the operating budget and not shown here.

  • Appendix C4 - Historic Data: Local Aid

Total State Aid as percent of Franklin, MA Total Budget
Total State Aid as percent of Franklin, MA Total Budget

Prior posts

What are the fixed costs of the Town of Franklin budget?

Town of Franklin - budget growth and split between municipal and schools - FY 2012 to FY 2022

School budget, executive summary by School Superintendent Sara Ahern

Monday, March 22, 2021

Franklin (MA) School Committee - FY 2022 - Budget Hearing - Mar 23, 2021

The document scheduled for presentation and discussion at the School Committee meeting Tuesday, March 23, 2021 for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

The full agenda and documents released for this meeting can be found on the Schools page

FY 2022 - Budget Hearing - Mar 23, 2021
FY 2022 - Budget Hearing - Mar 23, 2021

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Mar 23, 2021

Franklin School Committee 
March 23, 2021 - 7:00 PM
Meetings are recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. Zoom connection info located in the agenda doc linked to below

Vision Statement

The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance 
Moment of Silence
FY22 Budget Open Hearing
I.    Routine Business
A.    Review of Agenda
B.    Citizen’s Comments

In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made…. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDH

C.    FHS Student Representative Comments
D.    Superintendent’s Report
II.    Guests/Presentations
A.    Jefferson Elementary School Highlights, Sarah Klim, Principal; Kim Booth, Asst. Principal
III.    Discussion/Action Items
A.    Approval of PreK-12 Curriculum Director Positions
I recommend approval of the PreK-12 Curriculum Director positions as discussed.
B.    Policy- Second Reading / Adoption
I recommend adoption of Policy GBEB - Employee Conduct as discussed.
C.    Policy-First Reading
I recommend moving Policy GBEA - Conflict of Interest to a second reading as discussed.
IV.    Discussion Only Items
A.    Reopening of Schools Status Update (March 19, 2021)
V.    Information Matters
A.    School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Ad Hoc Supt. Evaluation, Budget, Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy, Policy, Transportation)
B.    School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC, Substance Abuse Task Force,
School Wellness Advisory Council, Franklin Racial & Social Justice Task Force)
VI.    New Business
A.    To discuss any future agenda items
VII.    Consent Agenda
A.    Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from the March 9, 2021 School Committee Meeting as detailed.
B.    Scholarships
I recommend acceptance of a check for $6,500.00 from the “Class of 71” for scholarships as detailed.
VIII.    Payment of Bills    Dr. Bergen
IX.    Payroll    Atty. Pond-Pfeffer
X.    Executive Session
A.    Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.
B.    Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A §21(a)(2) to conduct strategy session in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel.

XI.    Adjournment 
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Mar 23, 2021
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Mar 23, 2021

Monday, March 15, 2021

Watch "Massachusetts school funding primer" on YouTube

Take 10 minutes to get the insights into the MA school funding primer. This is timely. The budget season is upon us. The first pass at the school budget was previewed at the School Committee meeting Mar 9. The School Committee budget subcommittee is scheduled to meet again Tuesday, Mar 16 at 4:30.

This brief video will help with some of the basic terminology for the budget.

Video link =

School Committee meeting budget segment:

Budget book for FPS FY 2022 as previewed during the Mar 9 meeting

Monday, January 25, 2021

MMA: Gov Baker, Lt Gov Polito provide updates on forthcoming MA budget

Gov Baker spoke to the MMA meeting on Friday, Lt Gov Polito spoke on Thursday. Highlights of their remarks including insights on the State budget to be released on Wednesday as shared here:

"During the MMA Annual Business Meeting this afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker thanked hundreds of local officials for their “invaluable” partnership during the COVID-19 pandemic and announced that he would be filing legislation next week to authorize $200 million for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program.

The governor highlighted a number of programs and recently signed laws intended to help give an economic boost to main streets and downtowns that have suffered during the pandemic, particularly a $626 million economic development bond, $16.5 billion transportation bond and a new small business relief initiative that has distributed $232 million thus far to more than 4,000 small businesses. The multi-year transportation bond law includes funding for the popular Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge grant programs, as well as new Municipal Pavement Partnership and Local Bottleneck Reduction grant programs. "

Continue reading the article online 
"Speaking to more than 800 local leaders from across the state during the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show this morning, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced that the administration’s state budget plan for fiscal 2022, set to be released next Wednesday, will increase general municipal aid by 3.5%.

This meets the administration’s commitment to increase the Unrestricted General Government Aid account at the same rate as the projected growth in state revenues. The consensus projection of 3.5% was announced by legislative and administration budget writers late last week."
Continue reading the article online 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

MMA: "New video highlights link between taxes and essential services"

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)

"The leaders of Lawrence and Arlington share their views on the property tax and local services in a new video from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy that highlights the connection between taxes and the ability of communities to control their own destinies.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine are interviewed in the nine-minute video, “Property Tax 101: Why the Property Tax,” which explains the importance of the property tax and the value of local government.

“I think about local government as the most important form of government,” Rivera says in the video. “It’s the closest to people. Let me tell you something: if one mayor falls down on the job, if one city council falls down on the job, you feel it immediately. And so local government and the way we fund local government is very, very important.”
Continue reading the article online
Visit the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy online

Direct link to video "Property Tax 101: Why the Property Tax" on YouTube =>

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Representative Roy's letter to "correct erroneous comments"

Continue reading the full letter with the embedded PDF copy (below) or download the PDF to read on your device


Thomas Mercer, Chair
Franklin Town Council
355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038

RE: November 18, 2020 Town Council Meeting

Dear Chair Mercer:

I am writing to correct erroneous public comments aired at the Franklin Town Council meeting on November 18, 2020. Specifically, I am referring to comments from Councilor Kelly who called into question the work of Franklin’s legislative delegation. I know that Councilor Kelly attempted to clarify his remarks later in the meeting, but I feel it is important to correct the record so that the citizens of Franklin have a clear understanding of the delegation’s commitment to the community.
Let me begin with a discussion of Franklin’s receipt of state aid over the years. Contrary to the assertions made, the state has not decreased aid to Franklin. In fact, Chapter 70 aid, the largest component of state aid to Franklin, has increased annually despite precipitous drops in student enrollment over the last 10 years. The spreadsheet and charts included below show that since 2009, Franklin student enrollment has gone from 6,254 students to 5,236 in 2019 (a drop of over 1,000 students). During the same period of time, Chapter 70 showed drops following the
recession in 2009, but increases in every year from 2012 on. The impact of the drop in student enrollment as compared with the increase in Chapter 70 funds is shown most clearly by the increase in per-pupil expenditure from 2008 through 2019. That is, in 2008, Franklin spent $9,146.71 per student and in 2019 that figure was at $14,276.06. That represents a 56% percent attributable to the advocacy of your legislative delegation. "


Audio and notes of the Town Council meeting of Nov 18, 2020 can be found here
Town Council chair Tom Mercer opens the meeting
Town Council chair Tom Mercer opens the meeting



Thursday, October 15, 2020

The rainy day fund, pandemic spending, deceptive framing all in one MA FY 21 budget

Pulling together multiple sources today.

"Despite the pandemic-related recession and high unemployment rates, and an expected drop in state tax revenues, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday released a budget proposal for the current fiscal year that is actually higher than the budget he proposed in January.

Baker, a Republican, is recommending a fiscal 2021 budget of $45.5 billion, or 3.8 percent more than was spent in fiscal 2020. The budget he released in January would have spent $44.6 billion, or 2.3 percent more than in the prior fiscal year.

The high budget is largely driven by excessive spending in MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. It would be paid for with an influx of federal money as well as a $1.3 billion draw from the state’s $3.5 billion rainy day fund.

“The rainy day fund is there to support services when it’s raining, and I think most people would agree it’s raining,” Baker said at a State House press conference."

"The revised budget is built on a projection that state tax revenues will be $3.6 billion lower than originally estimated, due to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Overall, the updated budget would be balanced through a blend of increased federal assistance, a drawdown of $1.35 billion from the state’s $3.5 billion stabilization fund (preserving $2.1 billion for future needs), and changes to a range of appropriation recommendations.

The Division of Local Services released revised Cherry Sheet amounts for each city and town today based on the new budget recommendation. The DLS update includes receipt and assessment items for municipalities and regional school districts. (Link to updated Cherry Sheets for regional school districts.)

The governor said that he hoped the Legislature would return a final budget to him by Thanksgiving."

"Today, Governor Baker filed his FY21 budget with you. While I had hoped for better than the inflation-only increase that was passed in July, I to some degree was also resigned to it. However, to hear the Governor repeat the deceptive framing posed by Secretary Peyser yesterday, that the funding to schools this year surpasses that laid out by the Student Opportunity Act, is infuriating. I have had reason to wonder if the Governor has any understanding of the school funding formula before this, but this statement has confirmed that he either does not or chooses willfully to ignore the principle upon which it is based.
Pandemic funding is precisely that: it is funding for an EMERGENCY. To have that funding then touted as filling the gaping hole in our basic needs is simply wrong; having to spend money to repair my car does not take away my need for gas money.
Moreover, the funding for the pandemic has been flat: it is distributed regardless of student need, regardless of community need. Every student in every district, whatever its wealth, received that emergency funding. The state's funding formula, on quite the other hand, is progressive: it recognizes that greater need requires greater resources to meet.  "

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Tracy Novick explains MA school funding for Worcester

Tracy Novick works as a field director for the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), and as a parent and resident of Worcester, MA, she was recently re-elected to the Worcester School Committee. She tries to explain the MA school funding formula/process in less than 10 minutes and comes close.

As you listen to this, substitute "Franklin" for "Worcester". We have one charter school, they have several. We have some Title 1 students, they have far more than we do. 

I'd share the school budget numbers to plug in to replace the Worcester numbers but those are influx this year given the circumstances of the pandemic.  You can find the 'current' and prior school budget info on the School Committee page:

Video link =

Tracy writes about the Worcester schools
For more about MASC  visit

Friday, July 31, 2020

Senate President Spilka Announces Local Aid and Chapter 70 Funding Commitment for Fiscal Year 2021

Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) announced today that the Senate, House and Administration agreed to an unrestricted local aid and chapter 70 funding commitment that provides a baseline amount for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). This commitment will provide certainty and critical support for municipalities and school districts as they finalize their budgets.

"The Senate actively pushed for this joint agreement so that our cities and towns can be clear-eyed about their fiscal situations as we all navigate very uncertain times," stated Senate President Spilka. "Our cities and towns make up the fabric of our communities, and our schools are the foundation of the future success of our children and our Commonwealth. We must do all we can to provide certainty, stability and support to these critical components of our state, and so I am very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement on this funding."

For FY21, the Administration and leaders in the House and Senate have committed to no less than the FY20 level of funding for unrestricted general government aid (UGGA) and chapter 70 education aid. Additionally, there is a commitment to Chapter 70 increases for inflation and enrollment that will keep all school districts at foundation, under the law as it existed for FY20, providing an additional $107M in aid over FY20.

This increase comes in addition to approximately $450M in new federal supports for K-12 schools to assist with educating students during the pandemic. These funds include:
  • $194M for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Grants through the Title I formula;
  • $16M for ESSER Discretionary Funds;
  • $25M for Remote Learning Technology Grants;
  • $202M for School Reopening Funds;
  • Up to $15M for Competitive Federal Funds.
Information on local aid and Chapter 70 amounts for each municipality can be found at this link (Opens an Excel file =

Despite the almost unprecedented fiscal climate, the amount of state and federal aid allocated thus far ensures the Senate, House and Administration can continue prioritizing significant investments in Massachusetts students.

Senate President Spilka, along with her counterparts in the Administration and House, remains committed to implementing the Student Opportunity Act. As state leaders work towards finalizing an FY21 budget, the ability to provide increased investments for school districts and municipalities will be evaluated. 

  • Chapter 70 = 28,416,161
  • Unrestricted Local Aid = 2,623,839
Senate President Spilka Announces Local Aid and Chapter 70 Funding Commitment for Fiscal Year 2021
Senate President Spilka Announces Local Aid and Chapter 70 Funding Commitment for Fiscal Year 2021

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message

If you are reluctant to read the PDF copy, a good portion of the Budget Message is shared here. The link to the Full PDF copy is at the end.

Executive Summary FY 2020 Budget

While fiscal challenges remain, our resolve to overcome them is relentless.

The FY 20 proposed budget will be balanced with use of approximately $390,000 from our
Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day account), which will bring the balance of that account to zero. Further, both the School Department and the Town will cut budgets to make ends meet While this will work for one year the FY 21 budget will require policy decisions on how to handle the budget shortfall. The fiscal forecast suggest a shortfall of approximately $4,000,000 +/-

We continue to face challenges in properly funding the annual operating budget, Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) and roads. We should continue to maintain the capital plan and debt capacity in the annual operating budget to fund capital improvements.

The Town’s property tax revenue (not including debt exclusions) will increase by 2½ % plus new growth, or about $2.7 million. Local receipts, which include the excise tax and permit and license fees, etc. will increase $240,000, mostly due to increased motor vehicle commitments. Net State Aid (based on the House budget) will decrease $861,500. The FY 20 “net” revenue increase is estimated at about $2.5 million dollars. The final amount will not be known until the state has adopted a FY 20 budget

Proposed FY 20 Highlights

Town Administrator - The office will be reconfigured with the recent retirement of the Town Administrator. The staff will include the Town Administrator, Assistant to the Town Administrator and the Administrative Assistant/Marketing Coordinator. This will save money and help the town to continue to expand its communication and marketing efforts.

Police – The police have added five positions through the collective bargaining process while saving money from the new schedule change and the employees of the PD and Command staff should be commended for their innovative outside the box approach.

Regional Dispatch – The dispatch center opened in May 2019.

Franklin Schools – The recommended School budget is far short of the School Committees request by over $2 million dollars. The proposed FY 20 State Aid is about $900,000 less than in FY19. The reduction is related to the lack of proper funding for Charter Schools. We are working with our elected officials to try and mitigate the problem.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School – The school is relocating to its new location on Washington Street in 2019. The increase enrollment from Franklin diverts funds from the Franklin Public Schools to the Charter School. This is a flaw in the funding formula (see above)
in state law.

Library – The Library will continue to meet the Minimum Appropriation Requirement of the State
Library Commissioners.

Historic Museum - The part time archivist wages have been moved from the Town Administrators budget to this budget into a separate line item for the Museum.

Employee Wages/Benefits – All collective bargaining expire on June 30, 2019. The town is currently in negotiations with the Unions, Pension costs increased by about 10% or about $540,000, OPEB is funded at $600,000 and health insurance continues to be a challenge. Thanks once again to the employees for working together to constrain health insurance increases. This is critical to maintaining staffing levels.

Budget Overview

In compliance with Article Six, Sections 6-3-1 through 6-5-2 of the Franklin Town Charter, I am submitting the proposed FY 20 budget to the Town Council and Finance Committee.

Each department is required to submit a proposed budget to the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator, the Comptroller, and the individual Department Heads review their budget request.

The Town Administrator also reviews the highlights of the Town’s fiscal plan with the budget subcommittee of the Town Council. Based on input and the meetings with the Department Head, the Town Administrator makes a budget recommendation to the Town Council and the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee reviews the Town Administrator’s proposed budget and forwards their recommendations to the Town Council. The Town Council holds two public hearings prior to adopting the budget.

Financial Policy Summary
While the budget process identifies issues and concerns that the Town will address on an annual basis, it also must do so based in a framework of sound financial management. The Town Council has adopted fiscal policies in the past and should continue to update and review them on a regular basis. The Finance Committee and Town Council reviewed and adopted new Financial policies in 2019. Below is a summary of current policies:

Balanced Budget
● Annual costs funded from current revenues.
● Do not defer current costs to future years.

Current status – Whenever possible we refrain from using one time funds to balance the budget. FY 20 is an exception due to extra challenges we face. We are all the funds left in the Budget Stabilization account, $390,000 to prevent further reductions in staff. We have not addressed our (post-retirement health insurance) although this year we have budgeted $600,000 to continue to fund the obligation of about $74 million (2018 actuarial study). (Editor's note: FY 2019 was also an exception as some of the Budget Stabilization Fund was used to balance the FY 2019 budget. The remainder of that fund is being used this year; hence two consecutive exceptions.)

Compensation and benefits
● Budget with current revenues
● Compensate at market rates

Current status – We have nine municipal unions. All unions have collective bargaining agreements through June 30, 2019.

● Estimate annual revenues in detail and project for the following five years.
● Maintain full and fair market value of property assessments.
● Ensure fees charged cover costs incurred.

Current status – Future revenue projections are included in the budget. New growth and local receipts have been adjusted to reflect the trends in actual collections. Included in the projections are the enterprise funds direct and indirect charges that pay back the general fund for costs attributable to those funds. Again this year we are charging the water and sewer enterprise accounts for their OPEB obligation.

Financial Reserves
● Adequately fund and maintain reserves (Stabilization, Free Cash, Overlay Surplus)
● Maintain Stabilization account at $6 million or 5% of recurring general fund revenue (less debt exclusions and SBA reimbursement).
● Short-term revenue surpluses shall fund non-recurring projects.
● Free Cash will be used to fund the capital budget and for unforeseen expenses.
● Overlay surplus will be used for capital budgets and non-recurring expenses.

Current status - the General Stabilization fund balance is just about $6 million, which is recommended by our auditors and

Long-Term Debt - Proposed
● Reserved for large capital projects.
● Net general fund debt service (not including debt exclusions) shall be targeted at not more than 3.5% of recurring general fund revenue. We are currently well below that number.

Read the full message online

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message
Fiscal Year 2020 Budget pie by category of budget expenses