Showing posts with label credibility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label credibility. Show all posts

Monday, February 8, 2021

FM #454 Town Council Mtg - 02/03/21 P1 of 3 (audio)

FM #454 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 454 in the series.

This session shares the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, Feb 3, 2021.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: most members of the Town Council, selected guests, and Town Administration personnel were in the Council Chambers, one member of the Council was remote along with the public via Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I’ve split the full two hour forty five minutes meeting into three logical segments segments:

  • First - covers the opening through Finance and borrowing update (53 minutes)
  • Second - covers the  stormwater utility fee (1 hour and 12 minutes)
  • Third - covers the SubCommitte reports through to the close of the meeting (approx. 40 mins)

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda including documents released for this agenda.

Let’s listen to this segment of the Town Council meeting of Feb 3, 2021

Audio file =


Agenda document (and released supporting materials in one PDF)

Finance presentation

Stormwater proposal doc for discussion

My notes from the meeting  


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

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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.

I hope you enjoy!


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FM #454 Town Council Mtg - 02/03/21 P1 of 3 (audio)
FM #454 Town Council Mtg - 02/03/21 P1 of 3 (audio)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

FTC Consumer Alerts: Credit reports are now free, every week

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Cathlin Tully - Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection

If you're feeling anxious about your financial health during these uncertain times, you're not alone. That's why the three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report — for free.

Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

In the News: Franklin man's marathon; credit rating agency has praised the flexibility bill; municipalities can order residents to wear face coverings

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Adam Calvert knows a lot about going the distance.

Recently, the Franklin resident tied on his running shoes and hit the pavement for his very own marathon - a 26.2-mile route of his own design that took more than four hours to complete cheered on along the way by many supporters and joined for part of the distance by three fellow runners.

But the long run really began last March, when his wife, Emma, was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was just a few months into her fourth pregnancy. As Calvert supported her through the cancer treatments and pregnancy, while helping to care for their three other children, he made a decision: He’d join the Dana-Farber Marathon team and finally take on the Boston Marathon — an undertaking that had already been at the back of his mind — with her as his inspiration and Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund as his cause.

He was understandably disappointed when talk of calling off the iconic April event began late in March amid concerns about the coronavirus."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

credit rating agency has praised the flexibility bill
"A major credit rating agency has praised the municipal government flexibility bill Gov. Charlie Baker signed earlier this month as an advantage for cities and towns, and detailed how it will help local leaders.

In last week’s credit outlook for public finance, Moody’s Investor Service said the legislation that Baker signed into law April 3 “is credit positive for local governments because it will increase their ability to operate effectively during a period when they are managing a health emergency while also planning for the 2021 fiscal year starting in July.”

The bill got more attention for allowing restaurants to sell beer and wine with to-go orders and postponing the tax filing deadline until July, but it also provided the state’s 351 municipalities with deadline and scheduling flexibility on town meetings, tax payments and permits. Crucially, it also allowed cities and towns to tap into free cash, or remaining fiscal 2020 reserves, for fiscal 2021 budgets without having to go through the usual state approval process."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

municipalities can order residents to wear face coverings
"Attorney General Maura Healey’s office now says municipalities can order residents to wear face coverings in public.

On Monday, Healey’s office issued revised guidance on local authority when it comes to protecting public health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the new guidance, a municipality can, through its Board of Health, require people to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of infection, per General Law Chapter 111, §§ 26-26C, 31, 104."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Credit Repair Company Settles FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers By Telling Them “Piggybacking” on Others’ Credit Could Boost Scores

Credit Repair Company Settles FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers By Telling Them "Piggybacking" on Others' Credit Could Boost Scores

Defendants promise "huge" credit score increases, ease in obtaining mortgages

A Colorado-based credit repair company and its owner have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges they mislead consumers with promises to "drastically and immediately" improve credit scores and increase access to lower rates on mortgages.

In its complaint against the operators of (BMS), the FTC alleges that the defendants guaranteed consumers that, in exchange for fees ranging from $325 to $4,000, they could "piggyback" on unrelated consumers' good credit, artificially inflating their own credit score in the process.

"Good credit isn't for sale," said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "This company charged people thousands of dollars based on hollow promises that 'piggybacking' on a stranger's good credit would raise their credit score or help them get a mortgage."

In piggybacking, a consumer pays to be listed on another person's well-maintained credit account, ostensibly receiving the benefit of the good account on their own credit even though they can't access the account. In this case, the FTC alleges, defendants charged struggling consumers steep, illegal fees and made unsupported promises about how piggybacking would pave the way to new credit, including mortgages and other loan products.

According to the complaint, BMS made unwarranted promises in various advertisements that consumers' credit scores would increase by anywhere from 100 to 120 points over two to six weeks. BMS also allegedly charged consumers upfront for the credit repair services they offered, which is illegal under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the FTC Act, CROA, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

Under the terms of the proposed settlement with the FTC that will soon be filed with the court, BoostMyScore, LLC, BMS, Inc., and William O. Airy will be prohibited from selling fake access to another consumer's credit as an authorized user and from collecting advance fees for credit repair services, as well as other violations of CROA. They will also be prohibited from misrepresenting a product or service as being legal, as well as from misrepresenting the terms of a refund or return policy. The defendants also will be banned from further violations of the TSR. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $6,630,678, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $64,863 due to the defendants' inability to pay. Should the defendants be found to have misrepresented their financial condition, the full judgment would be immediately payable.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and stipulated final order was 5-0. The FTC filed the complaint and final order in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

This was shared from

Saturday, January 25, 2020

FTC Consumer Alerts: New year, new credit blog series

by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
With the start of a new year, many of us want to get our finances in order. We often think about budgeting, but what about credit? To help you get a handle on credit, we’ve put together a four-part blog series: (1) why does your credit matter; (2) getting your credit report; (3) reading your credit report; and (4) fixing your credit report.

Before you dig in to work on strengthening your credit, you may wonder: what is credit and why does it matter? When people talk about your credit, they mean your credit history. Your credit history is a record of how you have used money in the past. That includes things like how many credit cards you have, how many loans you have, and whether you pay your bills on time.

Continue reading Part 1

Part 2 - Getting Your Credit Report

Part 3 - Reading Your Credit Report

Part 4 - Fixing Your Credit Report

FTC Consumer Alerts:  New year, new credit blog series
FTC Consumer Alerts:  New year, new credit blog series

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

"it is an opt-in program"

From the Mass Consumer Affairs blog we find out about a new credit score becoming available in 2019.

"Your credit score has long been determined by a standard measurement known as FICO. Your score is determined using the information in your credit report, such as your payment history and how much debt you owe, and creditors and lenders, along with insurance firms and landlords, use your score to determine your credit-worthiness. The lower your score, the higher interest rates you will pay on your loans and credit cards, if you are approved for them at all. 
Starting in 2019, however, a new opt-in credit score system, UltraFICO, is being implemented and consumers could see a boost to their credit scores. 
Here are the important differences you should know: the original FICO score takes into account debt levels, new credit, payment history, length of credit history, credit mix, and several other factors. UltraFICO will also focus on cash behaviors, such as how much you keep in your checking, savings, and money market accounts, and how you use this money; how long you have maintained a bank account; and whether you’ve had negative balances."
Continue reading the article online

Other resources on this topic

From Consumer Reports

From Lifehacker

From the FICO site

It is a good thing that this new scoring is an opt in program which means you have to sign up for it. I would really think about it before doing so. Given the history of data breeches, you would effectively be giving the credit agencies, more of your data. What could go wrong with that?

"it is an opt-in program"
"it is an opt-in program"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

School finances being looked into

The Milford Daily News is reporting that the current school department finance person has been placed on leave while a shortfall of $580,000 from last years budget is investigated.
A previously undisclosed shortfall of $580,000 from last year's budget was apparently moved to this year's ledger, the School Committee announced yesterday, prompting an outside investigation and the placement of the school finance director on leave.

The discrepancy was discovered in recent weeks by Town Comptroller Susan Gagner as she squared away the district's books for fiscal 2007. Moving funds between fiscal years is illegal, as state law dictates that each year's budget be balanced individually.

It is not good that credibility in our town's finances takes another hit with this news.

Read the full story that Michael Morton has reported here.