Showing posts with label open government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label open government. Show all posts

Friday, January 11, 2019

"the Commission was unable to come to an agreement on joint recommendations"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"After holding on to their public records law exemption in a landmark 2016 reform law aimed at making government more transparent, lawmakers assigned to come up with ways to open up the Legislature have now blown past two deadlines and are entering 2019 without consensus recommendations. 
In late 2017, as a statutory deadline approached for a commission tasked with studying the public availability of legislative records and information, the group had yet to meet, and lawmakers gave their colleagues on the panel another year to complete their work. 
The extra year, however, did not lead to the delivery of recommendations. The group of six representatives and six senators charged with examining legislative transparency and whether to apply public records law standards to the state Legislature is entering the 2019-2020 session, and near-term rules debates, with no report."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For access to information on the Legislative Branch (both House and Senate)

Find information on the Legislative Branch of the Massachusetts state government
Find information on the Legislative Branch of the Massachusetts state government

Monday, January 29, 2018

In the News: town government 101; school choice by the numbers

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Kelsey London knew a two-hour talk about government would likely be heavy educational material for her two young daughters. 
“It’s still a good introduction,” she said at the Franklin Public Library Saturday morning, “even if you don’t understand everything.” 
The Franklin family was at the first event in a planned discussion series in town, meant to help residents understand and become involved in government. 
The forum drew about 20 people. Local and state officials explained how government works, from the simple – the difference between a senator and a representative – to the complex – how Franklin officials decide the town budget."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Franklin Town Government 101 group on Saturday (Jeff Roy Facebook photo)
The Franklin Town Government 101 group on Saturday (Jeff Roy Facebook photo)

The article on School Choice which Milford Daily News ran on Jan 20, 2018 has been re-posted with an interactive table. The table depicts two graphs: one of the sending and receiving students for a school district, and two, the sending and receiving funds for the school district. 

View the full article online

A screen capture of the Franklin selection is shown here:

school choice by the numbers
school choice by the numbers

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Franklin Town Government 101 - January 27 - 10 AM to noon

Franklin Town Government 101

What makes our town government tick? How can you have your voice heard? How can you get involved? What are the big challenges facing town government this year?

Come to Franklin Town Government 101 to find answers to some of these questions!

WHEN: Saturday, January 27 10-noon (snow date, if library closes, Feb. 3)

WHERE: Franklin Public Library, 118 Main St., Franklin, MA (ground floor meeting room)


10:00 AM Welcome and Introductions

10:10 AM Government and the Potential to do Good 
– Dr. Robert Krim, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Framingham State University. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Krim is the Founder and Executive Director of the Boston Management Consortium, a partnership between the City of Boston and the Greater Boston management training and organizational development community. This partnership helped the City to be innovative and efficient and, in particular, helped lower the homicide rate by 50%.

10:40 Town and State! 
– Franklin State Rep. Jeff Roy has previously held positions on the Franklin School Committee and Town Council. He will discuss the rewards (and perils) of getting involved in town government. He will also discuss some of the lessons he has learned about municipal government, as well as providing some perspectives on how state policies and funding help (and sometimes complicate) town government.

11:10 Franklin 2018 – the Challenges Ahead 
– a conversation and question and answer period with Town Council representative Tom Mercer and School Committee member Denise Schultz, moderated by Steve Sherlock of Franklin Matters.

12:00 Adjourn

Franklin Town Government 101 is sponsored by Franklin in Focus, a citizens’ group supporting more transparent and effective government in Franklin.

Franklin Town Government 101 - January 27 - 10 AM to noon
Franklin Town Government 101 - January 27 - 10 AM to noon

Note: Yes, I am looking forward to participating in this discussion

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In the News: how to get involved workshop in Milford; Dean dance program expands

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"After the September referendum where residents backed a ban on recreational marijuana businesses, Bryan Cole saw an outcry pour over social media: more folks wanted to get involved in local government. 
Cole, a Town Meeting member, knew what help he could offer. 
“I thought this was a way to sort of turn that frustration into a real change,” he said Monday, while discussing a workshop he’s organized to teach residents how exactly they can join the ranks of Milford and state government. 
“It’s important to make sure that Town Meeting and the representative town government actually represents the people of the town.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Dean College and DanceAbroad Argentina have announced a unique collaboration that blends intensive language immersion and concentrated studies in dance in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, beginning in January 2018. 
Dean College and the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance, known for its Bachelor of Arts and new Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in Dance, is DanceAbroad Argentina’s exclusive collegiate partner. Participating college dance majors from any college or university will earn up to 15 college credits during this collaborative full-semester academic program. 
Courses of instruction include Tango technique and its history, as well as ballet, modern dance, jazz, dance composition and Spanish language coursework at either the beginning, intermediate or advanced level."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Dean College and the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance
Dean College and the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In the News: 'Tis the season, public records, OPEB liability explained

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin
"The Franklin Performing Arts Company will host a special performance of the original holiday musical “’Tis the Season!” for community youth, family and social services organizations at 3 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Franklin High School auditorium, 118 Oak St. 
FPAC will distribute complimentary tickets for the performance through community organizations including the Hockomock Area YMCA, local Best Buddies chapters and the Franklin Food Pantry."

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

"Ahead of the unanimous passage of what they said was the first public records overhaul in more than four decades on Wednesday, a key House lawmaker said the measure would increase transparency without adding an unfunded mandate on cities and towns. 
"As a former local official and someone who pays a lot of attention to municipal government, I don't view anything in this bill as an unfunded mandate," House Ways and Means Committee Vice Chairman Stephen Kulik said. He said, "Any public agency, including cities and towns, have responsibilities inherent to provide public access to the documents of what they do."

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

"The Town Council was told at its meeting Wednesday that Franklin is in relatively good shape in terms of other post-employment benefits (OPEB), but should continue to ramp up its contributions. 
Consultant Dan Sherman gave a presentation to the council on the concept."

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"ensure greater transparency in government"

To ensure a continued and consistent focus on the Open Meeting Law, Coakley created the Division of Open Government to educate individuals about the law, enforce the law, and act as a readily accessible resource for members of public bodies, members of the public, municipal officials, and the press. The division has focused its efforts on educating members of public bodies and the public at large about the revisions to the OML, establishing a complaint process, and resolving Open Meeting Law complaints. 
“The goal of the new law is to promote uniform interpretation of the Open Meeting Law and ensure greater transparency in government,” said Coakley. “As we move forward, we will continue to work with these governmental bodies, news media, and the public to ensure that we reach this shared goal of good governance.”

Read more: In first year, AG's office handled Open Meeting Law complaints, conducted training sessions 

Franklin provides a "Visitor's Orientation to Meetings" focused on the Town Council but generally applicable to other committee meetings.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report that showed:

"... government transparency is associated with residents’ feelings of efficacy and empowerment: Those who think their government shares information well are more likely to say that people like them can have an impact on government. It might be the case that signals from government that “we want to be open about what we do” make people think they can take advantage of that openness and influence the way the government operates."
This report helps foster the activities that you and I have been taking here. Our engagement on the website, through the weekly and daily newsletters, and on Facebook are helping to encourage Franklin to do more in these areas. Franklin regularly wins an award for for government information sharing but it can still do better. One of the major issues with the budget crisis we face is the lack of trust in the information provided. Increasing the transparency will foster trust.

The full report can be found here: 

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Open Meeting Law Changes – Request for Comment

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via At Issue & In Focus by Massachusetts Attorney General on 4/13/10

The Open Meeting Law was recently revised as part of the 2009 Ethics Reform Bill, and will centralize responsibility for state-wide enforcement of the law in the Office of the Attorney General.  The effective date of the revised law is July 1, 2010. Historically, the Attorney General has enforced  the Open Meeting Law applicable to state governmental bodies.  Local District Attorney's Office's were responsible for enforcement of the laws relative to cities, towns, and counties. 

Among the changes that become effective July 1, 2010, the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, § 19(c),  will require that, for local public bodies, "notice of public meetings must be filed with the municipal clerk and posted in a manner conspicuously visible to the public at all hours in or on the municipal building in which the clerk's office is located."  The law does not specify the ways in which cities and towns can satisfy this requirement, but an outdoor, weather-proof bulletin board would seem the most obvious means.  Concerned about their practical ability to post numerous meeting notices outdoors, many municipalities have requested that the Attorney General approve alternative notice posting methods as allowed by the Open Meeting Law.  Specifically, numerous municipalities have requested that they be permitted to satisfy the "at all hours" requirements by posting their meeting notices on their town websites.

The AGO, through its Division of Open Government is requesting public comment on proposed alternatives to the notice posting requirement in the Open Meeting Law.  Comment should be submitted by April 23, 2010.

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"every person has a place in the political spectrum"

Posted Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:41 AM

Life in the Barack Obama administration is tough - it's a seven-day-a-week, 15-hour-a-day job, leaving precious little time for loved ones, or really anything else.

But for Franklin native Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, who serves as President-elect Barack Obama's associate director of personnel after working three presidential campaigns, it's all worth it.

"I love what I do. There are so many great parts of my job. To me, the best part is, I get up every morning and do something I believe in," said O'Malley Dillon.

"I really have been lucky - I've lived in Louisiana, South Dakota, Florida, and got to know people from all over the country, and it's been a tremendous experience," she said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Monday, April 28, 2008

Franklin recognized for open government

WEBSITE SUPERSTAR - Franklin is one of only 24 communities in the state whose website has been designated a "superstar" by the Massachusetts Campaign for Open Government. The organization recognized municipal websites that make it easy for citizens to obtain access to key government records online. Franklin was honored for making its Town Council agenda and minutes, budget information, and general bylaws available to visitors at - Rachel Lebeaux

A small piece in the Boston Globe, so small I won't make you go find it, but if you wish the article is here.