Showing posts with label commission.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label commission.. Show all posts

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Matthew Sheehan running for Norfolk County Commissioner

Dear Norfolk County,

My name is Matthew J. Sheehan, and I’m running for Norfolk County Commissioner. I'm a Dedham resident and graduated from the Norfolk County Agricultural School in 2003. I am a pilot for American Airlines and volunteer at the Above the Clouds kids flying charity in Norwood. We take kids who face adversity flying out of Norwood Airport. I also serve on the Board of Trustees at “Norfolk Aggie”. Norfolk County has a commissioner position up for re-election this year, and I would like the opportunity to be considered!

I have attended some Commissioner meetings. There is a dispute between the Norfolk County Registry and the commissioners over hiring a full-time IT director. This position would be on-site and would handle over $80,000,000.00 worth of Real Estate transactions. The incumbent is against this position, which has resulted in a lawsuit at the expense of our taxpayer dollars. Our future is online and we need to start treating cybersecurity seriously.

Matthew Sheehan
Matthew Sheehan
Norfolk County offers veterans services that include rides to the VA and meals during the holiday season. Each city and town has a Veterans agent who I would like to work closely with not only expanding these services but focusing on suicide prevention. I have many friends and family who have served in all branches of the military. This is extremely important to me, and I would be honored to help where I can.

Norfolk Aggie sits on some of the most beautiful land in the county. The students learn about Agricultural Mechanics, Animal, Plant, and Environmental Science. There is currently a solar project which would potentially destroy 30 acres of irreplaceable green space. I support solar panels on existing structures but not the clearing of forests and fields. The constituents, students, and the aggie community are overwhelmingly against this. The town of Walpole has stopped this project due to the public outcry. In response, the county government has hired a lawyer to appeal and push the project through

It's time to end these lawsuits that equal $200,000.00 worth of taxpayer money. May 2nd at 7 pm at Norfolk County Agricultural High School is the town hearing regarding the solar panels. Everyone in the county has a right to attend. Join My campaign! We’re on social media and will have a website soon. It’s time for a new Generation of Leadership!

Download a copy of Sheehan's flyer can campaign info ->

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Franklin Charter Discussion - Frank & Steve close out with Part 3 - 11/29/21 (audio)

FM #730 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 730 in the series. 

This shares part 3 of my conversation with Frank Falvey, of Franklin Presents, a long time Franklin resident and cable show host. This is part of a three-part series on the Town Charter, the process to change it, and some of the possible revisions that Frank and I discuss.  


Links to the current Town charter (modified in 2013) and the charter report for 1995 (prior changes) are included in the show notes. 

The recording runs about 40 minutes: Let’s listen to this recording of Frank and I talk about the charter.  Audio file ->


Feedback via email ->

Current Town Charter -> 

Charter Commission Report - 1995

MA General Law Chapter 34 

Division of Local Services (DLS) - newsletter summarizing change change process 

Part 1 - 

Part 2 - 


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"

Falvey and Sherlock in FHS for the first live broadcast on Nov 2019
Falvey and Sherlock in FHS for the first live broadcast on Nov 2019

Sunday, November 14, 2021

GOOD DEEDS: Paid Consultant - Not a Cybersecurity Expert


By William P. O'Donnell, Norfolk County Register of Deeds


This is part of a series of essays which demonstrate why a much heralded by some Abrahams Study when it comes to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and Registry Technology is flat out wrong.   Recommendations to eliminate the on-site Registry Chief Information (CIO) and the on-site Registry IT Technology Department which has been an integral part of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds operations for decades is not a sound policy.  These misguided recommendations from a paid consultant who never visited the Norfolk Registry of Deeds do not recognize the role the Registry IT Technology Department has had on modernization initiatives that have benefited Registry users and Norfolk County residents.


A Register of Deeds is tasked to run the Registry of Deeds by state law and the voters.  The Norfolk Registry of Deeds is a place where land records from the deed to your home and business, from the homestead that protects your home to the mortgage discharge that tells the world your loan has been paid off all are recorded.  During the last fiscal year over 205,000 land record documents got recorded and processed by the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  These recordings could not be done without a dedicated staff.  But it also could not be accomplished without using technology as well as the expertise and knowledge of the Registry IT Technology Department.  As Register of Deeds it is my fiduciary duty to fight these bad policy recommendations on behalf of home and business owners who rely on the land records and data at the Registry of Deeds for the legal title to those homes and businesses.  There are frauds going on now as it is that involve stealing the legal title to homes and property. Imagine what would happen at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds if there was no on-site Registry IT Technology Department to at least battle the cybersecurity predators and criminals.


State law requires monies to be collected by all 21 of the Registries in Massachusetts.  The Norfolk Registry of Deeds collected over 81 million dollars during the last fiscal year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  These monies got collected using technology.  If there is no on-site Registry IT Technology Department what could happen to this money which comes back to cities and towns in the form of local aid, public safety, educational reimbursements as well as social services programs?  If there is no on-site Registry IT Technology Department in the Registry building working with and helping Registry staff collect Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds through the use of technology what could happen to those Community Preservation Act projects in the cities and towns of Norfolk County?  Nothing good is coming out of this “Abrahams recommendation” as there are too many possible bad outcomes that could take place without a robust on-site Registry IT Technology Department.


The report of consultant, Mark Abrahams, who never came by the Norfolk Registry of Deeds as part of his study, just does not properly recognize the role of the Registry IT Technology Department has in the overall scheme of operations at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  Does anyone think in five years there is going to be less technology in protecting the land records that authenticate the title to your home or in providing services to Registry users, departments in county municipalities and the general public?  Technology will continue to transform and be an integral part of our day to day society.  Another question that needs to be answered is why make a recommendation to get rid of a 2 permanent person Registry IT Technology Department in this age of cybersecurity attacks and ransomware? There is a newly appointed legislative committee at the Massachusetts State House that is examining cybersecurity and the tremendous costs in terms of money and operations on towns, businesses even a local ferry system that have been victims of cybersecurity intrusions and breaches. Paid consultant Mark Abrahams missed the boat on his study of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and its IT Technology Department.  It is crucial that the Norfolk County Commissioners recognize this and do not implement the Abrahams recommendations as it relates to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.


Another compelling reason to totally disregard Mark Abrahams’ IT Technology recommendations is that right in his report Mr. Abrahams states “IT security is not part of our scope.” How can someone in this day and age of cybersecurity breaches and ransomware be making any IT Technology recommendations when you did NOT look at IT security? It would be a dereliction of duty amounting to negligence some may argue gross negligence to act on IT Technology recommendations at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds made by a paid consultant where “IT security is not part of our scope.” What is at stake is the land records and data that are used to authenticate the legal real estate title to your home as well as your business.  The biggest asset most of us have is our home.  This asset is too valuable to act on recommendations of a paid consultant who also wrote “…we are not security experts, however cybersecurity and disaster recovery came up in our interviews and meetings.”  Mark Abrahams and his assistant who looked at “Information Technology” are not proficient in cybersecurity why should their IT Technology recommendations be followed?


Some may argue you should not be even making any IT Technology recommendations in this day and age without assessing cybersecurity.  In courts of law individuals come in to offer opinions on various subject matters.  However, before these persons give an opinion to a jury a judge would examine their credentials to be an “expert” and give an opinion.  Who can forget the trial court scene when Joe Pesci as criminal defense attorney Vinny Gambini was trying to qualify Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito as an automobile expert in the comedy movie “My Cousin Vinnie.”  Unlike Mona Lisa Vito in the movie however, Mark Abrahams and his opinions on Information Technology should be disqualified.  This paid consultant is not qualified to give an opinion on Information Technology.  It is not just an unsound decision to just accept Mr. Abrahams IT Technology recommendations, it borders on reckless given all the possible negative impacts and bad outcomes that could take place in implementing Information Technology (IT) recommendations made by this paid consultant. 


The Abrahams IT Registry technology recommendations are not about saving money. The Norfolk Registry IT Technology Department is a 2 permanent persons operation.  Mark Abrahams writes in his report “We feel that from a management perspective, the IT operations are being well run considering the limited staff.” All things being fair and equal those words should end any debate about eliminating the on-site Registry IT Technology Department working at the Registry building for and with Registry staff, Registry users, Norfolk County municipal governments and the general public.


If you are as concerned about this matter as I am or have received good service from the Norfolk Registry  of Deeds, please feel free to sign the online petition linked here  

Please contact the three Norfolk County Commissioners that will make this decision. Norfolk County Commissioners, Joseph P. Shea, Chair, Peter H. Collins, Richard R. Staiti 614 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026 

Or email them at:,


Thank you.

GOOD DEEDS: Paid Consultant - Not a Cybersecurity Expert
GOOD DEEDS: Paid Consultant - Not a Cybersecurity Expert

Monday, August 16, 2021

Representative Jeff Roy appointed to 250th American Revolution Anniversary Commission

Speaker Mariano appointed Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) to the special commission to investigate and study the promotion and celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the American Revolution. The Massachusetts Commission on the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution was established in the FY22 state budget which was signed by Governor Charlie Baker on July 16, 2021. 
Revolution 250 will explore the history of the American Revolution and the ways that this story still resonates in society today. Culminating in 2026, 250 years since the American colonies declared independence from the British Empire, the organization will pull together residents, visitors, planners, educators, artists, students, the business community, and politicians to recognize the importance of our culture and values. 
The Commission’s members — leaders in the historical, cultural, tourism, and political sectors — are expected to partner with the other states, and with the federal America 250 Commission, to commemorate, celebrate, and investigate the will and determination of the people 250 years ago who risked their “lives, liberty, and property” for the cause of American Independence. 
“It is a great honor for me to serve on this commission given my love of, appreciation for, and understanding of history,” said Representative Roy.  “I have worked closely with the Massachusetts Historical Commission over the past year on this legislation and am committed to ensuring that the anniversary does not pass without appropriate acknowledgment from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is sure to be a great educational effort and will be a boost for our local economy.” 
Franklin and Medway have a long and distinguished connection to the events surrounding American independence. Franklin is home to the first public library in America started with a donation of books by Benjamin Franklin, as well it being along the route that saw the victorious French army march through on their return from the battlefield of Yorktown. Medway’s Evergreen Cemetery is the final resting place for about 50 Revolutionary War veterans. 
The Commission will be tasked with overseeing the operations of Revolution 250, a consortium of organizations working together to commemorate the 250th anniversaries of the events that led to American Revolution. With over 30 institutional members, it operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 
To learn more about the commission, including news, upcoming events and how to become a sponsor visit the website

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Zucchini races return on September 10

Here are details on the Zucchini Races, sponsored by Franklin Agricultural Commission, scheduled for September 10, 2021 at the Farmers Market. 

Zucchini races return on September 10
Zucchini races return on September 10

Friday, August 6, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Design Review Commission

The purpose of the Design Review Commission (DRC) is to promote safe, functional, and attractive development of business and commercial areas to unify commercial properties, both visually and physically, with surrounding land uses and to protect and preserve the unique and cultural features within the Town. The Commission uses the Town codes and bylaws to ensure new developments and sign installations enhance the New England character of the Town’s commercial centers and thoroughfares. The DRC has approval authority on signage and recommendation input to the Planning Board on Site Plans as to landscaping and lighting and Building Plans as to exterior design, colors, and materials.

The DRC is comprised of 5 regular members and 2 associate members. Currently there are vacancies on the Commission: one full time regular member and two associate members. All members are resident volunteers who are appointed by the Town Council. Current Commission members are Mark Fitzgerald, Chair, Chris Baryluk, Vice Chair, Samuel Williams, and James Bartro.

During FY20 the DRC reviewed and addressed several Site Plans as to landscaping and lighting and exterior Building Plans as to elevations, design, colors, and materials. Reviews included projects such as the apartments at Dean Avenue Downtown. In addition, sign applications were received, hearings held, and decisions issued for over 50 signs during the past fiscal year.

Due to concerns regarding the Covid-19 virus, Design Review Commission Meetings are held remotely via Zoom. Anyone wishing to attend a meeting may do so by clicking on the Zoom link or by calling the phone number provided.

Meetings are held at 7:00 pm on two Tuesdays a month. Meeting times, dates, and agendas are posted on the Town’s website:

Respectfully submitted, 
Mark Fitzgerald, Chair 

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Design Review Commission
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Design Review Commission

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Agricultural Commission


The Franklin Agricultural Commission was officially established in 2018 after a group of residents who were interested in promoting local agriculture organized a steering committee to find most effective way to promote and sustain our local agriculture and farms. Working with the Town Administration and Town Council the AgCom was formed with the mission to preserve, revitalize, and sustain the Franklin agricultural industry and its lands: encourage the pursuit of agriculture, promote agricultural- based economic opportunities, and protect farmland. The Agricultural Commission is a 5-person appointed commission with 2 associate members. In 2020 we welcomed new Associate Member CJ Koshivas from Fairmount Fruit Farm.

Although the Covid 19 Pandemic greatly curtailed our efforts in 2020, the AgCom has maintained an active presense in the community. We have kept our AgCom page on the Town of Franklin website up to date with information about our local farms and other initiatives. Our Facebook Page is also active in keeping the public aware of what is going on in our Franklin Farm Community.   On the Facebook page we feature videos and pictures of local farms and other agricultural events and keep the public aware of what is happening and how they can support our local agricultural community.

Early in the Pandemic we reached out to local farms to see if there was any way that we could offer them assistance. Our farm community banded together to support each other and the citizens of Franklin working to make healthy and local food easily available. Fairmount Fruit Farm brought in new local vendors and worked hard with a curbside pick up and delivery program. Local citizens were key in supporting these farms and we hope that these partnerships and local interest in farms will continue to grow stronger in the future.

The pandemic has paused the expansion of our Pollinator Pasture project, but we are ready to go when it is safe to work in groups again! With the wide and often discriminate use of pesticides in our society, bee populations have been declining. Pollinators are vital to our food supply and our Pollinator Pastures are a no spray, no mow area planted with native bee friendly plants where pollinators can feed without worry. The project has been very well received and we are excited to expand to additional sites, work with our schools on adding Pollinator Pastures to some of the school grounds, and to add a certification for private Pollinator Pastures so residents can help the bees at their homes too.

In an effort to educate the public and reduce the use of pesticides in the community we have also worked with the DPW to create an opt out list of sidewalk glyphosate spraying. We were excited to add additional properties to our original list of 180 properties that opted out of DPW glyphosate spraying. We will continue to work with the Town and DPW to find healthier and more environmentally friendly ways to keep the Town of Franklin looking nice in the coming year.
Saving our remaining Farmland and Open Space are important to the AgCom. We continue to work with the Town Administrator, members of the Town Council, SNETT, Metacomet Land Trust, and concerned citizens to find ways to conserve and preserve the open lands in Franklin. We are hopeful that the passing of the CPA will assist in this endeavor and look forward to working with the CPC committee to improve the Town of Franklin.

Members of the AgCom have been active in advocating for Agriculture both in town and statewide. We are a member of the Massachusetts Association of Agricultural Commissions (MAAC) and have attended MAAC annual meeting and Boot Camps on a variety of agriculture related issues. We have quarterly meetings with AgComs from surrounding towns and work with them to support and promote our agricultural industry regionally.

Although the Covid 19 Pandemic has made it more challenging to meet some of our goals, the Agricultural Commission is excited for the future. We have created some great programs that we will continue to build upon and grow and are grateful to have increased interest and awareness of our local farms. We have big plans and invite the citizens of Franklin to join us on our mission to keep our families and our environment healthy and to increase the visibility and viability of our local Franklin Farms and help us introduce farming to the next generation.

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Agricultural Commission
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Agricultural Commission 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

"members simply could not reach a consensus on an issue that became incredibly controversial"

"AFTER 16 MONTHS of work, members of a commission tasked with updating the state’s laws for reporting child abuse have failed to reach an agreement and will not make any recommendations to the Legislature.  
The report of the mandated reporter commission is scheduled to be released Wednesday. At a meeting Monday, commission members decided to include in that report a summary of their deliberations and of feedback obtained in a public comment period – but not to vote on any legislative recommendations.  
“There’s no recommendations,” confirmed the state’s child advocate, Maria Mossaides, who chairs the commission, after the meeting.  
Asked why the commission decided not to make any recommendations, Mossaides said she was “unwilling to speak for the commission on that matter,” and she would let the document speak for itself when it is released. "

Friday, June 25, 2021

Recap: Town Council meeting - deserved recognitions made; 2 restaurant alcohol licenses approved; open meeting law complaint received and addressed

Quick Recap:
  • Two sets of recognitions: one for officer Mellor leaving to go to law school; second, for the multiple police and fire personnel from Franklin and Norfolk who responded to the Winter St fire
  • Two restaurant all alcohol licenses issued, one for Sierra Brick Over Pizza, the other for Proof to operate the second floor as a separate restaurant in the same building as Glen Pharma
  • Open meeting complaint received and acknowledged for not approving meeting minutes in the timely manner as required by law; changes being made to adjust process
  • Two transactions to help close out the FY 2021 finances, both about 200K in total and considering these are the adjustments on a over $100+ budget during a pandemic year, the Town did (and does) well managing their budget
  • Veterans Officer Dale Kurtz to retire, replacement to be hired
  • parking bylaw change referred to Planning Board for their review and decision before it comes back to the Council for 2 readings before final vote


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

The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #schcom0608 


Agenda folder ->


Agenda doc (including connection info) ->



  • Getting ready for the Town Council meeting at 7 PM. The agenda doc can be found. #tc0623
  • Dial in info for the session can be found in the image #tc0623
  • Frongillo participating remotely, Dellorco not present in the ViceChair spot. Steve Gilmore talking of the Be The Match for Gigi, link and info shared earlier #tc0623
  • Match entries on Saturday will be entered into a drawing for tickets to a Patriots game when #12 visits this season #tc0623 Citizen commenting on the condition of the Brick School. Unipay payments fee will be waived beginning in July (hurrah!) For bank transfer
  • Paperless payments coming to more payments, fee waivers at 35 cents vs. postage at 55 cents #tc0623 per Kerri Bertone the Treasurer/Collector
  • Officer Mellor leaving Police Dept to go to law school. #tc0623
  • Plaque presented #tc0623
  • Chair Mercer lists the fire and police personnel from Franklin and elsewhere who were involved in the Winter St fire #tc0623 2 min recess to allow for in person recognitions
Annual Appointments
  • Clerk Jones reads the listing of annual appointments to boards and committees #tc0623
  • Motion to approve appointments, second, passes (Kelly also not present during break) (although both are expected some time for the meeting) #tc0623 vote via roll call 7-0-2
License approvals
  • Next up, open meeting complaint about Town Council meetings not approved timely. #tc0623 well handled with response by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen
  • "This is petty, of all the things we do, and this is the worse thing to happen?" #tc0623 "I hope Mr Higgins isn't reading my thought bubbles" "A rule is a rule, a law is a law, and we must comply." Attny Cereal recommends an authorized response (vote by council) vote ->
  • Motion and second, via roll call 7-0-2 (2 absent) EDC met last Weds, two discussions, HPP and home based business;
Legislation for action
Town Administrator's Report
  • TA report, will look at the red brick school house, was scheduled for historical tour for CPC #tc0623 job posting to replace Anne Marie Tracey was made, interviews hopefully in July. Looking to fill before Sep. Chrissy will be leaving and part of transition; Alysia ->
  • Will replace Chrissy, backfilling for Chrissy, job posted In council comments, cool story on the 2nd performance of Bright Stars during the storm Sat night. #tc0623 Chair Mercer recognizes that the police and fire personnel come out in good numbers in recognition of some ->
  • That the public may not always be aware of or see,
Executive Session
  • Motion to move to executive session (to return) via roll call 7-0-2 #tc0623
  • They're supposed to come back to open session but that's all for me tonight, catch you next time! #tc0623

Note: I did not wait for their return. Per conversation with Chair Mercer the morning after, one of the two items for the session were in fact brought to a vote, the other was held due to the 2 absent councilors (Dellorco, Kelly)


Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days


The Winter St heroes, Franklin police and fire along with some Norfolk personnel
The Winter St heroes, Franklin police and fire along with some Norfolk personnel