Showing posts with label questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label questions. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

School Committee candidate Jen D'Angelo responds to questions

For the following you can read FM = Steve Sherlock and JD as Jen D'Angelo, candidate for School Committee. The answers were provided by Jen via email in response to the offer made to all the candidates for the Franklin Election Nov 2, 2021. 

Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. This is my public service effort to enable informed voters for the election Nov 2, 2021.

FM = Briefly, what is your ‘Franklin story’? Tell us briefly about your life here.

JD = As a lifelong resident and a proud graduate of the Franklin Public Schools, it is my privilege to run for reelection. I have strong connections to the community and a vested interest in supporting the growth and development of our resources including our schools. I have had many opportunities to participate in town organizations including volunteering with a variety of groups beginning in high school. Some of those opportunities include delivering food baskets to those in need during the holidays, teaching religious education at St. Mary’s Church and fundraising to support a number of other local organizations. Most recently, I have had the privilege and honor of serving on the Franklin School Committee. Though this was my first time holding a public office, I found my knowledge of the community to be invaluable in our work.

FM = Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life and voting is one of the primary responsibilities of citizens. While the law does not require citizens to vote, voting is a very important part of any democracy. What can you tell us about your own voting record? And if you have not been an active voter, please tell us why? And how important is it that we elect people who are active participants in the election process?

JD = Voting, considered by many as the most basic right of citizenship, is an opportunity for individuals to voice their opinions on leadership, public issues and legislation. I have been an active participant in the election process for many years voting in both local and national elections. The United States has a long history of voting milestones which eliminated barriers to voting and in essence promoted an equal voice for all citizens. Though I exercise my right to vote, I have not seen any evidence that would suggest a strong correlation between the voting history of elected officials and their ability to positively contribute to their communities.

FM = Have you been vaccinated for COVID-19? Do you think there should be a mask mandate in Franklin? Finally, what measures should the government take to protect the public from the virus, and how should these efforts be delineated between the local, State, and Federal governments?

JD = I feel medical information and the sharing of that information is a personal choice. Though I have been vaccinated, I do not feel it is appropriate to dictate what others should and should not do medically. People have unique health situations and I believe healthcare decisions should be made by individuals. With access to current data as well as expertise in the healthcare field, I believe the Department of Public Health should be making the decision on mask mandates in Franklin. Our government, both state and federal, have taken appropriate measures to provide information, recommendations and treatments to ensure the public's safety. We cannot expect elected officials to make perfect decisions all the time especially when information and situations are constantly changing. Collectively, we have to make decisions that best meet the needs of our personal situations.

FM = What are the 3 most important actions you believe are needed to move Franklin forward?

JD = It is difficult to identify three important actions when so many of our opportunities for growth and development are connected. Below are the three fundamental areas we should consider to ensure our actions as a committee and a community support our visions:

A. A collective effort to build respectful and collaborative relationships among our community members, elected officials, boards and committees. Over the past several months, the amount of hateful rhetoric has been overwhelming. In order for our town to identify and address our areas of growth and move forward to expand opportunities for all residents, we must be able to engage with one another in a respectful way.

B. A commitment to engage the community in our work as a school committee. Though engagement is different for each person, creating meaningful ways to contribute is essential. Some community members are eager to attend coffee chats while others are content to receive email newsletters and discuss topics that are important to them with their peers. I feel it is the duty of the School Committee to find ways to create opportunities for those who would like to engage in issues relative to not only the school community but also our town as a whole. Another piece of engagement is feeling your opinions are respected even when they differ from others. From community members I have had the opportunity to speak with, this was one area they felt could have been better and something the elected committee should continue to build upon in the coming years.

C. A deeper dive into the current culture of our district. While financial resources can make a difference in improving educational outcomes, there are other variables that are just as, if not more, important. For example, competitive teacher salaries improve the quality of candidates and increase retention, lower teacher to student ratios allow for more personalized learning and a structured system of supports for all students are known factors to minimize achievement gaps and create meaningful educational opportunities. Changes in district and school culture can happen independent of and be more impactful than spending. This should also include maintaining high expectations for staff, students and families and focusing on doing what works while eliminating what doesn’t. A strategic reallocation of resources is a more sensible and realistic approach and creating a long-term strategic plan will be an important step in establishing sustainable change in the district.

FM = What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? Or what do you bring to the table that helps to set you apart from the others?

JD = Education is a collaborative effort among teachers, administrators, families, community members and elected officials. As an elected committee member, my major focus has been and will continue to be those issues and concerns that are a priority to the parents, students, and teachers I represent on the committee. It is important to be open to the opinions and views of all in order to make thoughtful decisions in the best interest of our students. As our schools face some challenging decisions in the coming years, I am confident I can continue to be an impartial committee member who can make well-informed decisions based on the needs of our community. With over seventeen years of experience in public education, I am well versed in a variety of areas including school finance, curriculum and state and federal regulations. In addition to my work experience, I also hold a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University and Master of Education from Bridgewater State University. I feel my unique skill set is invaluable as a member of the Franklin School Committee.

FM = With the Franklin Public School District managing the largest portion of Franklin's budget, what are your ideas to help solve the structural deficit in the operating budget?

JD = I wholeheartedly believe you cannot solve a problem until you have identified the root of the problem. Financial strain in Franklin is not new nor is the narrative that we (the school district) are underfunded. If you look up the term “structural deficit” the definition would read “a budget deficit that results from a fundamental imbalance in government receipts and expenditures”. In simpler terms, we spend more than we generate. So how do you solve this issue when you do not know the root of the problem? Is spending the problem or is it the lack of funds generated or is it a combination of the two? The first step in creating a solution is to examine our current situation through an operational and efficiency study done by an external review. The review would examine the adequacy of the educational and non-educational services delivered and the efficiency with which they are delivered. It will also help to identify short- and long- term costs that should be incurred and savings, if any, that could be gained through the implementation of best practices. Potential opportunities to collaborate with our municipal departments may also be considered similar to the transfer of the maintenance responsibility of school facilities to the town facilities department which took place in FY09.

School Committee candidate Jen D'Angelo responds to questions
School Committee candidate Jen D'Angelo responds to questions


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

School Committee candidate Dave McNeill - 10/06/21 (audio)

FM #631 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 631 in the series. 


This shares my conversation with candidate for School Committee Dave McNeill.  


This is one of a series of conversations with candidates for the Franklin Election on Nov 2, 2021. I do this to provide Franklin, MA voters with accurate and timely information that they can use to cast an informed vote.  Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of this or any candidate.


We cover the candidate questions as previously developed in conjunction with the community and shared with the candidates in advance. Five of the questions are ‘general’ in nature, the sixth is specific to the role of the candidate. In this case, for the School Committee.


Our conversation runs about 14 minutes, so let’s listen to my interview with Dave McNeill.  ** Audio file => https://player.captivate.fm/episode/3124b629-293a-485b-ac30-9674db83ca6f


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Candidate questions -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/election-2021-candidate-interview.html 

Candidate page on Facebook ->  https://www.facebook.com/DaveMcNeillforSC 

Election Collection 2021 ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-election-collection-2021.html 


-------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 


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"


School Committee candidate Dave McNeill - 10/06/21 (audio)
School Committee candidate Dave McNeill - 10/06/21 (audio)

Town Council candidate Melanie Hamblen - 10/06/21 (audio)

FM #630 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 630 in the series. 


This session shares my conversation with candidate for Town Council Melanie Hamblen  


This is one of a series of conversations with candidates for the Franklin Election on Nov 2, 2021. I do this to provide Franklin, MA voters with accurate and timely information that they can use to cast an informed vote.  Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of this or any candidate.


We cover the candidate questions as previously developed in conjunction with the community and shared with the candidates in advance. Five of the questions are ‘general’ in nature, the sixth is specific to the role of the candidate. In this case, for the Town Council


Our conversation runs about 29 minutes, so let’s listen to my interview with Melanie Hamblen. 

** Audio file ->  https://player.captivate.fm/episode/6d5a0f20-75b2-49b9-ad8e-3bae9224c777 


--------------


Candidate questions -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/election-2021-candidate-interview.html 

Candidate page on Facebook ->  https://www.facebook.com/MHamblenTCFranklinMa 

Candidate accomplishments recap -> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vefVafcVhcD5vantpBY6TaXMnMCPc9KP/view?usp=sharing 

You can email Melanie at mjhamblen@verizon.net 


Election Collection 2021 ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-election-collection-2021.html 


-------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 


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"

 

Town Councilor Melanie Hamblen in the 1949 LaFrance fire truck when received back from Bellingham
Town Councilor Melanie Hamblen in the 1949 LaFrance fire truck when received back from Bellingham

School Committee candidate Mark Bisson responds to questions

For the following you can read FM = Steve Sherlock and MB as Mark Bisson, candidate for School Committee. The answers were provided by Mark via email in response to the offer made to all the candidates for the Franklin Election Nov 2, 2021. 

Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate nor an attestation that the statements are true. This is my public service effort to enable informed voters for the election Nov 2, 2021.

FM = Briefly, what is your ‘Franklin story’? Tell us briefly about your life here.

MB = My wife, Lindsay, convinced me to move to Franklin eight years ago because she said that “Franklin has everything!” She started teaching first grade here in town in 2004 and insisted that our future children attend Franklin’s fabulous school system. We now have 3 children. Our son is five and attends kindergarten, our daughter is four and attends our public preschool, and our youngest daughter is two-years-old. We love our franklin community, and of course my wife was correct, Franklin does have everything. We believe that it is important to play an active role to help continue to support our community at every level. Lindsay is active in our community as the secretary of the PCC at ECDC and as the Vice President of the non-profit organization the MOMS Club of Franklin, MA, which is a support group for Franklin moms with young children. I have played a supportive role within the MOMS Club helping with events and setting up. Our family really believes in the MOMS club, and has been an instrumental group for not only our family, but so many other wonderful families here in the Franklin community, and I have always been really inspired by what this group of moms have been able to accomplish. So now it is now my turn to become an active leader within in our community, and I know that I can play a positive and constructive role within the school committee.

FM = Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life and voting is one of the primary responsibilities of citizens. While the law does not require citizens to vote, voting is a very important part of any democracy. What can you tell us about your own voting record? And if you have not been an active voter, please tell us why? And how important is it that we elect people who are active participants in the election process?

MB = I agree, voting is a fundamental right and responsibility of every American citizen. I believe we all have a responsibility to participate in the election process, and a duty as citizens to be well informed on the candidates and policies we vote on. My past voting record mostly consisted of major elections as opposed to local elections. But as I have gotten older and now have children of my own, I believe I have an obligation to play a more active role in the process. I tend to vote for the individuals who have the best ideas and policies, and not based on which party they belong to.

FM = Have you been vaccinated for COVID-19? Do you think there should be a mask mandate in Franklin? Finally, what measures should government take to protect the public from the virus, and how should these efforts be delineated between the local, State, and Federal governments?

MB = I believe in an individual’s right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their health. Much like voting, I believe that individuals have a responsibility to be well educated/informed on the issue and do a risk assessment based on all available facts and data, because ultimately these decisions will affect them, and their families for the rest of their lives, and they should not be taken lightly.

The government should play a vital role in identifying, educating, and combating any threat to our country and its citizens. The state and local governments have to play a vital role in their regions to provide sound/fact-based information, coordination, and effective guidance. I believe a balanced approach has always been required whenever dealing with an unknown, like the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, we have not seen this type of approach and instead we have seen contradicting standards, mandates that are not based in science, or even commonsense, and misleading and coercive measures to get individuals to respond a certain way, which inevitable lead to mistrust and hesitation.

FM = What are the 3 most important actions you believe are needed to move Franklin forward?

MB =  1.  An important action to move Franklin forward is for the school committee to communicate better with the community. The members of the school committee have an obligation to clearly articulate what they are doing, and most importantly why they are doing it. Since the decisions and policies that are being voted on by school committee members impact teachers, I feel that the school committee also needs to be communicating with our Franklin teachers. Communicating via different platforms and not just social media should be utilized to ensure we are reaching as many members of our community as possible. School committee newsletters could be created and sent out via emails to all the Franklin Public schools families and staff and published on the school committee website. The newsletters could be published in the Franklin Town News newspaper, their website (www.franklintownnews.com), on Facebook, etc. I believe we can also accomplish this by openly communicating with the teachers, parents, and community through open forums with the school committee to brainstorm wants, needs and best practices.

2. Another important action to move Franklin forward is to redistrict the schools. Now that the Davis Thayer school is closed, I believe students should be properly redistricted to schools more evenly and closest to their homes.

3. Finally, I believe leadership and a balanced approach are very important actions needed to move Franklin forward. The stripping of the parents right to choose the best course of action for their children has been a real eye opener for me as a parent, and as a tax paying resident of Franklin. I believe that the school committee had an opportunity to show leadership and stand up for the parents right to choose, and trust to that they would make the right decisions for the health and safety of their children and our community. But ultimately, they were subjugated by DESE, and as a result they relinquished their authority, which not only silenced the members of the school committee, but all of the parents of Franklin as well.

FM =   What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? Or what do you bring to the table that helps to set you apart from the others?

MB = I believe I bring a commonsense approach to problem solving.

I believe I am able to communicate effectively with the public we serve, but I will be able to encourage the public to get involved with the decisions we are facing.

My career and background is in the commercial construction/building industry. I have built some very large projects, including the largest Buddhist Temple built outside of Thailand in the world (which is located in Raynham, Ma). I know how to manage a budget, a schedule, to communicate effectively, and to maintain the highest-level of safety.

One example where school committee did not demonstrate effective problem solving and planning was the process of closing Davis Thayer. It was a disaster. I feel bad for the families of the Davis Thayer and Helen Keller school communities. I believe that the School Committee failed all those children and their families, as well as, the teachers. They had no plan and ultimately just shoved them all in at Keller… To me that is completely inappropriate.

Being the spouse of a former Franklin teacher sets me apart from the other candidates. I have heard my wife discuss many of the districts’ strengths and those areas of growth that we as a school district can work to improve on. For example, there should be more support in the younger grades where the children have limited attention spans and there is a range in ability levels. If the teachers and students receive more support in kindergarten and first grade, they most likely won’t need as much support going forward. Also, I am sure that people aren’t aware of the fact that teachers are generally handed the materials and provided professional development for new programs the day before being expected to teach that new program…. That clearly doesn’t give teachers adequate time to prepare. I think we can do better.

FM = With the Franklin Public School District managing the largest portion of Franklin's budget, what are your ideas to help solve the structural deficit in the operating budget?

MB = My platform for the school committee is “Back to the basics Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic” so I believe we should do a full audit, with the town council, of the district’s spending and in doing so ensure all programs we have within the curriculum are effective. By putting the primary focus back on the fundamentals of education, we could see a real potential for savings. I find it disappointing that we wasted money on the Envisions math program about 5 years ago in the Elementary schools and are already onto a new math program. After the first year, many teachers were either not using the program or were heavily supplementing it with materials from other programs. This tells me that it wasn’t piloted properly or by enough teachers and spending money on this program was clearly a waste of our money.

I would look to create a subcommittee to review other districts that are having success while maintaining a healthy operating budget. This can help us identify best practices to emulate into our own district.

I would look to establish an intern program with Franklin’s own Dean College, and to continue to build on our relationship with Tri-county high school to bring in students to assist the teachers and students in the classroom. The utilization of interns in the private sector has been very beneficial in terms of staffing, reducing payroll cost, and providing an opportunity for invaluable real-world experience in the teaching/education profession to students.


  • For additional election information in preparation to vote on or before Nov 2, 2021

School Committee candidate Mark Bisson responds to questions
School Committee candidate Mark Bisson responds to questions

Monday, October 11, 2021

School Committee Candidate Al Charles - 10/07/21 (audio)

FM #628 = This is another Franklin Matters radio show, number 628 in the series. 


This shares my conversation with candidate for School Committee Al Charles  


This is one of a series of conversations with candidates for the Franklin Election on Nov 2, 2021. I do this to provide Franklin, MA voters with accurate and timely information that they can use to cast an informed vote.  Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of this or any candidate.


We cover the candidate questions as previously developed in conjunction with the community and shared with the candidates in advance. Five of the questions are ‘general’ in nature, the sixth is specific to the role of the candidate. In this case, for the School Committee


Our conversation runs about 40 minutes, so let’s listen to my interview with Al Charles.

Audio file => https://player.captivate.fm/episode/2c0267b0-aa3d-4525-aa81-c28d0b6aee84




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Candidate questions -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/election-2021-candidate-interview.html 


Candidate page -> https://www.alcharlesfsc.com/ 

Candidate page on Facebook ->  https://www.facebook.com/AlCharlesFSC 


Election Collection 2021 ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-election-collection-2021.html 


-------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 


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"

 

School  Committee Candidate Al Charles - 10/07/21 (audio)
School  Committee Candidate Al Charles - 10/07/21 (audio)

Town Council candidate Ted Cormier-Leger - 10/05/21 (audio)

FM #629 = This is another Franklin Matters radio show, number 629 in the series. 


This shares my conversation with candidate for Town Council Ted Cormier-Leger  


This is one of a series of conversations with candidates for the Franklin Election on Nov 2, 2021. I do this to provide Franklin, MA voters with accurate and timely information that they can use to cast an informed vote.  Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of this or any candidate.


We cover the candidate questions as previously developed in conjunction with the community and shared with the candidates in advance. Five of the questions are ‘general’ in nature, the sixth is specific to the role of the candidate. In this case, for the Town Council


Our conversation runs about 21 minutes, so let’s listen to my interview with Ted Cormier-Leger.  Audio file => https://player.captivate.fm/episode/40634286-b633-46d0-aa3a-d4e5e79024e3



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Candidate questions -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/election-2021-candidate-interview.html 


Candidate page ->  www.tedcormierleger.com  

Candidate page on Facebook ->  https://www.facebook.com/TedCormierLeger4TC 


Election Collection 2021 ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-election-collection-2021.html 



-------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 


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"

 

Town Council candidate Ted Cormier-Leger - 10/05/21 (audio)
Town Council candidate Ted Cormier-Leger - 10/05/21 (audio)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

School Committee candidate - Camille Bernstein - 09/30/21 (audio)

FM #620 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 620 in the series. 


This shares my conversation with candidate for School Committee Camille Bernstein. 


This is one of a series of conversations with candidates for the Franklin Election on Nov 2, 2021. I do this to provide Franklin, MA voters with accurate and timely information that they can use to cast an informed vote.  Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of this or any candidate.


We cover the candidate questions as previously developed in conjunction with the community and shared with the candidates in advance. Five of the questions are ‘general’ in nature, the sixth is specific to the role of the candidate. In this case, for the School Committee.


Our conversation runs about 23 minutes, so let’s listen to my interview with Camille Bernstein.  ** Audio file -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/477e396e-d7a2-42eb-b87c-c4c34b7e636f



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Candidate questions -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/election-2021-candidate-interview.html 


Facebook page -> https://www.facebook.com/camilleforFSC/  


Election Collection 2021 ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-election-collection-2021.html 


-------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 


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"

 

School Committee candidate - Camille Bernstein
School Committee candidate - Camille Bernstein (Facebook page photo)