Showing posts with label strategic plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strategic plan. Show all posts

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Joint Budget Subcommittee hears the Town is faced with resolving a $5.7M budget deficit (audio)

FM #956 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 956 in the series.

This session shares the Town of Franklin (MA) Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting held on Wednesday, Mar 8, 2023. The meeting was conducted in the Council Chambers. Remote participation was enabled for the public for this session. 

The Joint Budget Subcommittee is composed of the budget subcommittee of the Town Council, the Finance Committee and the School Committee.

  • Chair - Tom Mercer, Brian Chandler, Cobi Frongillo and Melanie Hamblen of the Town Council
  • George Conley, John Grace, Michael Hamilton, and Natalie Riley of the Finance Committee
  • David McNeill, David Callaghan and Meghan Whitmore (absent) of the School Committee

Quick recap

  • The Joint Budget Subcommittee met for almost 2 hours on Wednesday and has the task now of resolving the  $5.7M deficit between projected revenues and projected expenses for the FY 2024 budget. 

  • The recognition of the issue and some of the school budget cost drivers was where most of the time was spent. The next steps and strategy to resolve the deficit were not mentioned. 

  • Chair Mercer urged all present for this and future discussions to refrain from talking about 'sides'. We are one Franklin, we are all in this together. We can talk about the 'town part' or the 'school part' but it is our budget and needs to be worked collaboratively.

  • Councilor Frongillo did reference his rationale for increasing density with smart growth as one way to increase revenue without further burdening the expenses. The 'standard' option mentioned was reducing expenses (meaning reducing services) and since 70% of the budget is people would mean reductions somewhere.  There was also mention of 'finding other sources of revenue.' 

  • For those listening who have been through this before, there is no 'other source' of revenue to resolve such a deficit. There can be increases within the existing revenue streams and the key question is whether anyone is ready to have that discussion.

  • There was no 'next meeting' mentioned during the session to develop the strategy that is needed for the Town to have a sustainable budget.

The show notes contain a link to the agenda and to my notes.

The recording runs about 2 hours, so let’s listen to the Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting of Mar 8, 2023.

Audio file ->


Town Administrator Jamie Hellen highlights the expected revenue and expense items and summarizes them in the budget narrative. The budget narrative can be found here -> 

The full agenda document and supporting docs can be found here -> 

Franklin TV/YouTube Video link -> 

My notes captured via Twitter are combined in one PDF -> 

Joint Budget Subcommittee page -> 


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Joint Budget Subcommittee hears the Town is faced with resolving a $5.7M budget deficit (audio)
Joint Budget Subcommittee hears the Town is faced with resolving a $5.7M budget deficit (audio)

Saturday, March 5, 2022

MetroWest Partnership Reveals Strategic Plan for 2022-2027

Strategicmetro Plan 2022-2027 (

At its meeting of March 2nd, 2022, the 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a five-year strategic plan for the organization:

The plan was developed with the guidance of Ann Budner of ABudner Strategy Consulting, with assistance from Jay Vogt of Peoplesworth in facilitating stakeholder engagement. The process began in the Spring, with the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee.

Find the full plan and related materials ->

MetroWest Partnership Reveals Strategic Plan for 2022-2027
MetroWest Partnership Reveals Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Strategies for Affordable Housing Production ** 2021 Town of Franklin - Housing Production Plan - Public Review Draft **

Strategies for Affordable Housing Production
Section 3 of this Housing Production Plan (HPP) includes a substantial number of Implementation Strategies, which for the most part are ways to incentivize the creation of affordable housing. The Implementation Strategies section provides an explanation of the specific strategies the Town will achieve its housing production goals. In addition, Section 3 provides a description of Regulatory and Funding Incentives that can be used to stimulate affordable housing or other desired development projects.
Strategies include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Amendment of zoning regulations in order to increase the likelihood of creating Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) eligible housing developments
  • Use an incentivized Inclusive Zoning bylaw to attract SHI unit developments.
  • Utilize Workforce Housing Special Tax Assessments (WH-STA’s), multi-year property tax exemption, as incentive to create middle-income housing.
  • Perform an extensive assessment of the Town of Franklin Zoning Bylaw, Chapter 185 of Franklin Town Code. Specific attention will be shown to housing density, creating zoning related development incentives, assessing parking requirements, and other Zoning best practices.
  • Advance projects under the Local Initiative Program to create the type and level of affordable housing best for the community.
  • Consider creating a density bonus incentive program that allow more units of housing to be built than would be allowed under current zoning regulations, in exchange for a developer’s provision of affordable housing units or other public good.
  • Actively engage with developers to further incentivize SHI development.
Plan Implementation
The HPP’s implementation will require the commitment of a variety of organizations and individuals, including non-profit organizations, state agencies, resident volunteers, and Town departments, boards, commissions, and committees. Through the combined efforts of all parties mentioned above the Town will implement the goals outlined in Section over a five-year implementation period. Department of Planning and Community Development  (DPCD) will provide an update the HPP implementation on a biennial basis, or as requested by the Town Administrator.


Friday, April 9, 2021

Recap-Economic Development SubComm-Mtg - 04/07/21 - Ladybug trail being planned, business guide released

Quick Recap:
  • Meeting opens with a presentation on the Ladybug Trail being planned for downtown Franklin. Slides included in notes below. Photos captured during the presentation shared as well
  • The Business Guide is now released. A flowchart to follow for starting a business and what approvals are required is a key development since the draft was shared earlier.
  • Discussion o the overall marketing strategy and key branding elements is desired but the meeting ran out of time to get into.
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  #edc0407

  • Real time reporting underway for the Economic Development subcommittee meeting  #edc0407
  • Ladybug trail up first, Lisa Piana of the Downtown Partnership #edc0407 to present after brief intro by Chair Melanie Hamblen
  • The ladybug trail will reappear in downtown Franklin #edc0407
  • The ladybugs first appeared in 2014. #edc0407
  • Slides to be shared later but some key ones are captured here #edc0407
  • Concept of trail and sidewalk marking still in development. Would use the map and QR codes to trigger the audio with information #edc0407
  • Consensus among EDC members to proceed; mural design being worked with the artists and building owners, they will be family friendly and non controversial. #edc0407
  • Next up, business guide close to 'final' #edc0407 reviewing changes since the draft was shared in this meeting previously now includes a flow chart to follow
  • Also updated to include the food truck as well as the farmers market #edc0407 should help the jumping around town hall that occurs today and should be alleviated using this going forward.
  • Can add a zoning map link to the guide so they would have the info available. Development is separate and much more detailed, this is for the more frequent use if opening a business, building a development would require more and much is on the Town pages #edc0407
  • Discussion on a marketing strategy to include brand elements, logo, fonts, tag line to use as a common and consistent presentation if the town to the world up for future
  • #edc0407 motion to adjourn, second, passes 4-0 via roll call
  • Town Council meeting coming up at 7

FDP Ladybug Trail presentation doc:

Business Guide ->


Ladybug trail being planned
Ladybug trail being planned

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Franklin Public Library February 2019 Newsletter - Links to Surveys!

Franklin Public Library to Update Strategic Plan in 2019

A lot has been accomplished since our last Strategic Plan five years ago culminating in a magnificent renovation/addition, and the restoration of the library's budget.

Now, we need your help in charting the future of library services. Please give us your feedback about the Library by completing the surveys below. 

We'll use your input to craft a new 5 year Strategic Plan that will be used to set priorities and guide our decisions about library services to the community. 

Thank you!

Adult Collections & Technology

Adult Programming

Youth Services—Children's Department

Youth Services—Teens

Franklin Public Library Visioning Questions

The newsletter can be found on the Town of Franklin page

Franklin Public Library February 2019 Newsletter - Links to Surveys!
Franklin Public Library February 2019 Newsletter - Links to Surveys!

Friday, January 4, 2019

“It’s about how we can form our goals over the next five years”

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

Franklin Library looking for survey responses

"The library is ready to release its newest trio of surveys to aid in a new strategic plan for the next five years. 
“We’re going to be rolling out a whole series of surveys and questions to our patrons to sort of help us shape the strategic plan,” said Children’s Librarian Caliegh Keating. 
The survey touches on suggestions on collections, programming, services,
Keating said that the kind of information they’re looking for is focused on areas that the library is succeeding as well as areas that may need improvement."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Answer the first three questions of the new Strategic Plan Survey here

Franklin Library looking for survey responses

Franklin Library looking for survey responses

Friday, November 24, 2017

“A big part of the forums is for me to do less talking and more listening”

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

"As part of her entry plan, newly hired superintendent Sara Ahern will hold a community forum to both introduce herself to the community and to gather perspectives on the school system. 
The forum will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 on the third floor of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Main St. 
Part of her entry plan is to listen to residents and others across the district to understand their perspectives about the schools. Ahern already met with parent groups and will be meeting with students and faculty as well, she said. 
“Really what I’m trying to understand is what do they perceive to be the strengths and what opportunities for growth do they see,” she said. “I think it’s important for me to understand the district from many different perspectives as I come in new to Franklin Schools.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Superintendent Ahern's Entry Plan was published here earlier

Community Forum with Superintendent Sara Ahern - Nov 30 - 6:30 PM
Community Forum with Superintendent Sara Ahern - Nov 30 - 6:30 PM

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blackstone Heritage Corridor - Strategic Plan Now Available for Public Comment

BHC's Strategic Plan Now Available for Public Comment

Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) has developed a ten-year strategic plan and is inviting the public to review and comment on it. To develop the Plan, subcommittees of the BHC Board of Directors were formed to lead the work in specific areas of the BHC mission:  Environment, Historical & Cultural Resources, and Economic Development & Community Revitalization.  Nearly 50 people participated on those subcommittees, representing Board of Director members, partners, residents, businesses, corporations, municipalities, nonprofits, state agencies and federal agencies.  Participants applied their extensive knowledge base to contemplate challenges and opportunities that BHC and the National Heritage Corridor are likely to face during the ten-year period of the plan.  Each subcommittee gave birth to an overall vision for the resource category and developed a list of strategies that would achieve their vision. Those visions and strategies were then compiled into this strategic plan.

To review the strategic plan, click here. Comments should be directed to Charlene Perkins Cutler by email at and should be sent by September 1, 2016. 
Volunteer Show & Tell

Are you interested in volunteering in your community? Have you been looking for an opportunity to get connected to the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor? We would love to show you how through the Volunteers-in-Parks program. Join us  for a Volunteer Open House. RSVP to Suzanne Buchanan at or call (508 ) 234-4242.

When: Monday, September 10, 2016 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA 01588

Get ready to GO! Explore in September

Enjoy the rest of summer but know that the best is yet to come! BHC is proud to bring GO! back for another exciting September, featuring 75 different experiences throughout the National Heritage Corridor. This year's program features new events, offering at least one adventure in each of the 25 National Heritage Corridor communities.

The program begins on  Thursday, September 1st at 1:30 p.m. with a kickoff celebration at BHC headquarters at 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA, and includes a tour of the historic Linwood Mill. Immediately after the building tour, enjoy a Ranger Walking Tour of the historic village of Whitinsville, beginning at 3:00 p.m.

For a full copy of the GO! program, click HERE, or pick up a brochure at any of the BHC's Visitor Centers, at one of the brochure kiosks throughout the National Heritage Corridor or at the BHC office at 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA. Follow Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. on Facebook for news and updates on GO! and more.

NOTE: A reminder to GO! experience leaders: there is a volunteer training meeting on Wednesday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m. at BHC headquarters at 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA. Please come to pick up your 2016 t-shirt and signs.

Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. | | 508-234-4242|
See what's happening on our social sites:
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA 01588

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MassBudget: What works in education

New infographic with links to research

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

MassBudget and the Rennie Center's Roadmap to Expanding Opportunity project examines specific strategies that have a clear track record of helping students learn and develop into productive members of their communities.

These strategies include: smaller class sizes; early education; support for new teachers; wraparound services; additional learning time; community based learning opportunities; multiple pathways to graduation; and dual enrollment in college courses during high school. 

When implemented successfully, these strategies can ensure that students receive both the highest quality education possible inside the classroom and additional supports they need to succeed at school and in life.

The infographic shows the supports that, if done right, can help at different ages. 

For an interactive version with links to research on how each strategy can make a real difference, click here.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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