Showing posts with label late bus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label late bus. Show all posts

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"keeping everything on the table"

Milford Daily News
Posted Apr 11, 2009 @ 10:23 PM


Once again, Franklin schools are facing the prospect of losing the popular late bus.

Superintendent Wayne Ogden and Assistant Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski have not included the late bus in next year's budget, which still has about a $2.5 million deficit, Sabolinski said. That budget seeks to maintain level services from this year.

The first priority is keeping teachers, School Committee members and administrators have said.

"When you look at it, $40,000, $50,000 - that's a teaching position. We tried to save every teaching position we could. Every $50,000 is a teacher, and a series of baby steps gets you where you need to be," Sabolinski said.

Read the full article about the late bus and the current budget in the Milford Daily News here

The School Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 7:00 PM

The Town Council will hear the Financial Planning Committee report on Wednesday, April 15th. at 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Transportation Update - 10/14/08

Here is the promised slide that was shared during the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, 10/14/08.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

FM #16 - 5 Things you should know

#16 in the series of podcasts on what matters in Franklin, MA. This one focuses on the 5 things you should know about Franklin this week: (1) the late bus decision, (2) zoning bylaw rescheduled yet again, (3) Financial Planning Committee, (4) Energy $ense Series at the Library begins and (5) Question 1 on the ballot in November.

Time: 20 minutes, 59 seconds

MP3 File

Session notes:

Music intro

FM #16

This podcast for Franklin Matters will focus on the 5 things you need to know about what happened this week.

First, the Town Council approved funding for the Late bus. Yes, this is the Late bus that due to the override was out of service. In late July, it seemed like the bus could be provided. By the end of August, the bus was back out. As noted in the School Committee meeting of 9/23/08, the Holmes bus company had reduced the cost of the late bus for this year from 40,000 to 10,000. The middle school PCC’s got together and pledged to pay for it. The School Committee worked with the Town Council and Town Administrator and it became know that the Town Council would consider it at their meeting 10/1/08.

In this clip from the Town Council meeting on 10//1/08, we hear the full discussion and vote
- insert clip on Late bus -

I think the Late bus is a good thing but I don’t like how it is being paid for. Money was “found” in an account that could be used for public transportation. This does nothing to restore confidence in Town government. The townies who are keeping track just put another notch in their belt, ha more found money, they did it again.

Second, the bylaw to rezone some parcels along RT 140 near the Knights of Columbus and Dunkin Donuts ended up being rescheduled for yet another meeting as it was evident that the matter was not going to gain enough votes. Two councilors were absent (Bartlett, McGann) with a two thirds majority required to pass. Due to the reschedule we don’t not know of the outstanding information was provided.

Third, the working sessions for the Finance Planning Committee (FPC) continued earnest this week. The Dept of Public Works (Brutus Cantoreggio) and Facilities (Mike D’Angelo) came in to review their departmental operations, their forecast for the next several years, cost drivers for their areas and answer a number of clarifying questions from the committee. There will not be any presentations at the next FPC meeting as they begin to digest what they have learned from the first four departments. The School budget is scheduled for review at a meeting in November.
You should recall that the FPC is charted with developing a long term plan for the Town, assuming there is an override next year (very likely) what is the long term outlook, how many will there need to be, or is something like the Arlington plan going to work in Franklin. This is important work. I encourage you to keep track of what is going on here. There is a whole lot of great data and information being presented. I am doing my best to report it live but if you have a chance to attend, please do so. It will be worth your while.


The Friends of the Franklin Public Library are pleased to sponsor The Franklin Area Climate Team’s “Energy $ense” Series for residents starting on October 6, at 7:00 p.m. The Franklin Area Climate Team has developed a four part speaker series titled “Energy $ense for Franklin Residents” that will feature energy professionals from around the state who will provide practical solutions on how to reduce your energy costs and improve the environment at the same time.
The schedule is available on the Town website, as well as on Franklin Matters.

Fifth, I still believe Question One is the most imminent danger that Franklin faces. Question One is on the ballot in November.

The State Income Tax Repeal is also known as Massachusetts
Question 1. It is an initiated state statute that will appear on the November 4,
2008 ballot in Massachusetts.[1] If the measure passes, it will end the state's
current 5.3% income tax on wages, interest, dividends and capital gains.

You can find objective information at this link:

You can find the Yes position here:

You can find the No position here:

Where would you cut $11 million from the Town Budget?

Public safety is about 9 M, Central Gov’t Services is about 9 M. Public Works is about 6 M. If 2.8 million cost the town 44 teachers, what would loosing $11 million dollars cost the town?

The idea of the commonwealth is for all of us together to work and pay for the community services we need. If you think taking $11 million dollars out of the Franklin budget would bring you the community you want, I’d like to know what it would look like.

These are the five things that matter to Franklin this week:
  1. Late bus back in
  2. zoning postponed again
  3. FPC meeting
  4. energy $ense for Franklin residents
  5. the imminent danger of Question 1
---- ---- ----

This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow Franklin citizens and voters by Steve Sherlock

For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"From a fiscal standpoint, it's a small action"

Posted Oct 01, 2008 @ 10:45 PM


Town Council last night voted to fund the late bus service to the town's three middle schools at a reduced price of $10,000.

Only Councilor Judith Pond Pfeffer objected to the funding. Holmes Bus Service offered to provide the service, which normally costs about $40,000 annually, for $10,000 this year after school administrators announced the district could not afford it.

The town will pay for the service out of an old account, Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting said.

The money comes from funds "donated" to the town in 2001, he said. In 2000, he explained, the Zoning Board of Appeals rejected an affordable housing application for Franklin Commons at 575 East Central St. by The Gatehouse Cos. The town lost an appeal and negotiated a settlement that reduced the number of units and gave Franklin $40,000 to be used for extending the bus service to the development or for other public purposes, he said. Since the GATRA, or Greater Attleborough Transit Regional Authority, bus passes by the development, the town no longer needs to fund extending bus service there, Nutting said.

Chairman Christopher Feeley thanked the owner of Holmes Bus Co. for his generosity, noting that he is "not even a Franklin resident."

"For the amount of money it's going to cost us, for the service we're going to get - we'd be foolish not to do this," Feeley said.

Read the remainder of the article in the Milford Daily News here

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Live reporting - late bus approved

no citizens for comment

motion to add item for election day poll workers, passed 7-0
motion approved, passed 7-0



  • Funding School Late Bus
Nutting speaking for the Late Bus, the bus company has come back with a reduction to $10,000 for the one year. If the Council would like to pursue funding this, the town has a gift of $40,000 for transportation or other public purposes as a negotiated settlement from Gatehouse in lieu of further litigation after the town lost a court decision. Council could move to transfer the gift.

Feeley moves to fund the Late Bus, authorized expenditure of $10,000 from the comprehensive agreement

Pfeffer disagrees with use of this for 3 middle schools as not being in the "public interest". Three PCC's have volunteered to fund this, let them. Why is not the School Committee here to support this.

Feeley I'll take that one. They offered to be here, I did not think it would be necessary.

Vallee references a letter received this afternoon from Paula Sandham and speaks in favor of the late bus.

Whalen has heard lots of feedback for not funding the late bus, he disagrees with that and explains why. School Dept made their decision based upon a set of circumstances at that time. We are now under a different set of circumstances have changed. Does meet the definition of "public purpose" in his view. This is perfectly appropriate.

Doak was surprised to hear about this funding sitting there for awhile. It is not recurring revenue, it can legitimately be used for this. The PCC's fund a lot of extra things that the school department does not fund.

Mason, my concern is that a number of people will read the paper and say, the override failed, the late bus should not be here. The opportunity is here because of the generosity of the bus company. At the end of the day, you need to side on the needs of the children.

Zollo, if anyone were to think that they were misled, that is not true, the circumstances changed, this money is available, lets use it, it is both legal and appropriate.

Stacy Bower - we were told that the late bus was lost if the override lost. If the PCC wants to fund it, let them. The Fire Dept and Police Dept were also looking for funding. The late bus is not required by the State. Doesn't feel that the Town should use this generous gift. The late bus is a luxury in town. When is the town going to say "enough"?

Feeley regardless of what happened in the past, I am supporting this as a good thing to do.

Approved 6-1 (Pfeffer no).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

late bus on tap for Town Council

Milford Daily News
Posted Sep 27, 2008 @ 11:12 PM


Town Council on Wednesday will discuss whether to fund the school district's popular late bus at a steeply discounted rate.

Parent Communication Councils were willing to fund the bus at $10,000 after School Superintendent Wayne Ogden announced the district did not have funds for it this year, but the district is turning to the town instead, said Chairman Jeffrey Roy, after Council Chairman Christopher Feeley and Vice Chairwoman Deborah Bartlett offered their support.

The late bus has been a hot issue since administrators first warned the district it would have to eliminate it without additional money from the Proposition 2 1/2 tax override that was voted down in June. Concerned about the children of working parents, who would miss out on after-school activities and getting extra help with academics, School Committee member Ed Cafasso pushed the School Committee to find a way to keep the service.

read the remainder of the article in the Milford Daily News here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In the News - salt prices, students organize, late bus may return

"It was worse than I expected," said Brutus Cantoreggi, Franklin's director of public works. "That's a lot, especially with everything else going up. Fuel is killing me."

Franklin is part of a 24-town consortium that locks in contract prices for road salt. Other area communities in the consortium include Medfield, Medway, Millis, Walpole, Sharon, Wrentham and Norwood. The low bid this year was from Eastern Mineral at $70.20 a ton. Eastern Mineral's bid last year was $52.68.

read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"Carrying big bulky binders was not the answer I was looking for, and with the demands for tracking student portfolios along with the pressure from impending cuts that would increase class ratios and teaching burdens, I was intent on finding the right tools for this challenge," Bergen said. "Kids who are disorganized are disorganized as adults."

Meanwhile Productive Education LLC of Framingham was reaching out to superintendents across Massachusetts to tell them about its new Organize360 system using Document Organizing Assistant binders, or DocOA, pronounced "Doc Away." It is a three-ring binder-organizing tool for handling school papers.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Following Superintendent Wayne Ogden's announcement that the district this year does not have the money to fund the late bus, parents, administrators and Holmes Bus Service "stepped up to the plate" and found a way to continue offering the service, Roy said.

"We had a bus company (Holmes) willing to negotiate a better deal for the district, which brought the total down to a reasonable $10,000," Roy reported.

Parent Communication Councils from Franklin High School, Annie Sullivan, Remington and Horace Mann middle schools all committed to donating up to $3,300 to completely cover the cost of the late bus, Roy said.

However, the councils will be able to keep their money, he said.

"The Town Council chairman (Christopher Feeley) is very receptive to the notion of the town picking up the cost of the late bus ... There is clearly an overwhelming need for it," said Roy, adding that Feeley and Vice Chairwoman Deborah Bartlett will bring the topic to the council.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Live reporting - late bus appears to be coming back

Jeff Roy

previous meeting determined there was no funding for the late bus
after the meeting, parents, administrators, and the bus company stepped up to the plate

the bus company negotiated a better rate, reduced the cost to approx. $10,000
local PCC's started fund raising, commitments made for funding

Roy explored if the Town would be open to picking up the cost of the late bus, Feeley will bring it to the Council, Bartlett also aboard bringing it to the council

a collective effort

Is this for the middle and high school?
Initially for the middle school, could get that answer as the final details are worked out

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

FM #11 - School Committee 8/26/08

Another in a series of podcasts on what matters in Franklin, MA. This one focusing on the School Committee meeting of 8/26/08 and then the news of Supt Wayne Ogden's resignation.

Time: 40 minutes, 6 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes

Music intro

My intro

FM #11

From the School Committee meeting on Tuesday 8/26/08, there were a few items of real interest. There are a number of items on the agenda and respectfully while all of them are important these are the most important. The most significant item of all for the week occurred after the public portion of the meeting but we’ll get to that in due course.

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing. Benjamin Franklin

Miriam Goodman and Maureen Sabolinski provided an update on the pay-to-ride program. Miriam also had an analysis (copy of the one pager provided) of pay-to-ride for the past four years and an outlook for this school year 2008-2009.

Franklin: Pay-to-Ride FY05 - FY09

Late bus
Based upon the decline in enrollment Supt Wayne Ogden recommended keeping with the failed override plan of cutting the late bus. It was not included in the budget unless the override had passed so no additional action was required of the School Committee on the recommendation. There was additional discussion primarily from Ed Cafasso to find the “short money” and keep the bus running. There was not additional support for this idea across the committee. The override failed hence no late bus.

FHS Scheduling problem
The High School encountered a scheduling problem. After cutting the teachers and the classes associated with the override failure, the schedule came up with a hole were approx. 200 students had an empty period. As state last forbids study halls, they played with a couple of options. One additional teacher (in English) resigned in early August and backfilling that position with another English teacher did not provide coverage for the schedule. Backfilling the English teacher with a music teacher did cover the hole so they did hire a music teacher.

The major news of the week occurred after the public portion of the School Committee meeting ended. As you have no doubt heard by now, Supt Wayne Ogden submitted his resignation effective June 30, 2009. To those who call him a quitter, he is hardly that. A quitter would have provided two weeks or less notice and gone out the door. Wayne took the far more courageous option of providing significant notice to the School Committee in order for them to start to look for a replacement, while he continued in his role running the school department.

Yes, it is a disappointment but Franklin voters have no one to blame but themselves. The majority of those who came out to vote on the override defeated the increase to provide a level service budget to the schools. The real issue lies with the many, many voters who did not come out to vote at all. As I have mentioned previously, the quick numbers on the override showed that 500 voters changed their vote from 2007 to 2008 and voted NO. An additional 1000 voters who came out in 2007 to vote Yes, simply did not show up.

We do have tough time ahead of us. We need to work together. We need to make our presence felt at each and every school committee meeting and town council meeting.

Don’t just sit there.
Please get up and do something.

If you need inspiration, view the Do You Believe video posted from YouTube on Franklin Matters on 8/30/08.

The Ben Franklin quote comes from the following website:


This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow Franklin citizens and voters by Steve Sherlock

For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In the News - late bus eliminated

Posted Aug 27, 2008 @ 12:36 AM


At the superintendent's recommendation, the School Committee decided not to have a late bus, despite earlier assurances that it would be saved.

In nearly a 180-degree turnaround from his previous announcement, Superintendent Wayne Ogden last night recommended the School Committee not offer the popular late bus this year, and members did not search for a way to fund it, saying they could not afford it.

Ogden said the board did not need to take any action, because it wasn't in the budget to begin with. He had thought he found the funds for it, but now says they won't have the money.

"I'm sorry to say this, because I really felt a month ago we were going to be able to do that (keep the late bus)," Ogden said, explaining that earlier revenue projections from pay-to-ride bus fees did not materialize as expected.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"there's a huge appetite for busing"

Posted Jul 16, 2008 @ 12:17 AM


It looks like the School Department will be able to save the late bus, thanks to more students than expected paying to ride the regular bus.

The department's fiscal constraints had threatened to end late bus service this year, but school officials subsequently committed to finding a way to continue offering the popular bus.

At last night's School Committee meeting, Superintendent Wayne Ogden outlined four options regarding late bus service for middle and high school students: using a fee-based system in which all students pay about $10 per ride; partnering with GATRA; eliminating the late bus altogether; or funding the late bus through pay-to-ride bus fees. The late bus costs $40,000 a year to provide, and it runs from Monday to Friday.

Ogden recommended using pay-to-ride revenue to keep the service intact, to which the committee responded favorably.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

live update - pay to ride/late bus

Supt Ogden reviewing what has been done in these areas.

Pay to ride currently at 1754, just about the same amount as this time last year. There had been a forecast of a ridership loss with the increase. With the current and projected enrollment in ridership with the increase in fee, we could cover the late bus with this additional fee revenue.

Last year 'pay to ride' was 1801 for the year. We might very well be able to break even and cover the late bus.

Cafasso - hard to fathom given the circumstances with the increase, that the ridership is holding strong. This is a good thing though. The recommendation makes sense.

Horace Mann and Remington were the most subscribed for the late bus schedule.

School Dept working with GATRA to see what options they can provide by way of additional route.

Amount of manpower and effort to recover the $1 for the late bus riders who are not on pay-to-ride or reduced lunch. If the funding continues to run as expected (increased ridership and increased fee, totals an overall increase in revenue).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

live reporting - late bus

Sabolinski -
Exploring options, will have another update in late July
GATRA is one alternative being looked at
current bus service from Holmes is also being looked at

If GATRA is willing to be a partner, there are needs to be fulfilled particularly for the kids, especially from the high school based upon the survey results

Jeff Roy - "happy to hear that you are committed to find a way to have some way to get the kids home"

GATRA is only $.50 versus the late bus at $1.00, could be better for the families involved

looking at Holmes for a "pay for use"
kids who opted for "pay to ride" rode the late bus free
pay to ride does cover a two-way fee, this would then be a third charge

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In the News - late bus

Posted Apr 24, 2008 @ 10:00 AM


As a single mother and teacher, Joni Magee relied on the late bus to take her daughter home throughout her middle school years, she said.

Without it, her daughter, Angelica, would not have been able to hone her debating skills in student government, mock trials, Model United Nations, or develop her creativity in the Art Club, Magee said.

They live four miles from the school, which is about an hour walk, she explained.

"The late bus really did allow her to have these extracurricular activities. I really couldn't have picked her up and she wouldn't have been able to participate," said Magee, who teaches at Stacy Middle School in Milford and is the Franklin High School Parent Communication Council vice president.

School Committee members said earlier this month that a Proposition 2 1/2 tax override could prevent teacher layoffs, increased pay-to-ride fees next year, and save the late bus. Without it, students like Angelica, who depend on the late bus every week, would have to forgo clubs and activities, and many students who get detention would have to trek home, whether that means carrying 40-pound backpacks several miles or dodging traffic across Rte. 140.

Read the remainder of the article in the Milford Daily News here.