Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Annual Report for the Franklin Technology Department: FY 2023 Report

The 2023 Annual Report for the Town of Franklin's Technology Department highlights a year of significant accomplishments and progress in advancing the technological infrastructure and services within the town and school district. Despite the challenges posed by the rapidly evolving technology landscape, the department has been able to maintain excellent customer support metrics and make progress on some key initiatives

Department Overview

The Technology Department oversees all technology related functions of the Town of Franklin and the Franklin Public School District. The Technology Department remains committed to empowering the town and school district with innovative solutions, efficient processes, and robust infrastructure. The department's dedicated team works collaboratively to support the town's operations, ensure data security, and drive digital transformation to increase productivity and create efficiencies wherever and whenever opportunities may arise.

Key Initiatives and Achievements

The fiscal year 2023 saw the successful implementation of several technology projects for both the school and town technology systems. We have upgraded hardware and software across various departments, leading to improved efficiency and productivity. Some of those initiatives are listed here 

Upgrade to wifi at the police department
DPW Autocad® computer upgrade.
Installed new projection systems in all gymnasiums.
Purchased a new large format scanner for the Health department.
Replaced all non-functioning video displays at the Franklin High School.
Upgraded the MediaCAST® video distribution system at the Franklin High School.
Upgrades to 100 town and school desktop workstations.
 
Upgrades to the town's network infrastructure have enhanced connectivity, allowing for seamless communication and data sharing.

Infrastructure , Network, and Security

Upgraded the school's internet access to 10GB fiber from Cogent Communications.
Extended the town's fiber optic network to the new forge hill water department and transfer station.

The department invested in server upgrades to ensure optimal performance and reliability of critical systems.

Replaced all Domain Controllers throughout town and school buildings.
Upgraded all servers throughout town and school to Windows Server 2019.

Additional cybersecurity measures have been implemented to safeguard sensitive information and protect against cyber threats.

Multi-Factor Authentication has been implemented for all town employee accounts and all non-union school accounts. The remaining accounts are in progress and will be completed first quarter FY 24.
DUO® Multi-factor authentication for high risk. users' Windows® accounts and VPN users.
Sophos® Managed Detection and Response service monitoring has been implemented throughout the town and school network and computer systems. This system greatly reduces our risk exposure and the potential for a costly ransomware attack.
DOS Arrest® service has also been purchased and implemented to guard against Denial of Service attacks against the school district which would be catastrophic if such attacks occurred during MCAS online testing.

Remote Work Solutions

The Technology Department plays a pivotal role in enabling remote work capabilities, ensuring business continuity during challenging times.

Challenges

Despite the achievements listed above the Technology Department continues to work through the following persistent challenges.

Budget constraints to replace aging hardware and infrastructure within a reasonable technology life-cycle timeframe
Cybersecurity is a moving target and is a constant concern
Employee recruitment and retention is always challenging due to limited budgets and competition with the private sector salaries

Mitigation strategies have been employed to attempt to address these challenges and we strive to ensure the smooth functioning of technology initiatives.

Budget Allocation and Expenditure

As can be seen in the town budget documents available online, the lion's share of the technology budget (95%) is licensing fees for the myriad software we utilize throughout the town. Similarly 96% of the non-salary school budget is also licensing and support fees. Very little is left over for discretionary spending such as hardware repair and maintenance.

Future Roadmap

Technology goals for the upcoming year include the following:

Replacement of 400 Student Chromebooks and consideration of a possible leasing model to create a sustainable funding source for these replacements over the next 4 years.
Replacement of 300 Teacher Laptops.
Plan for replacing 130 10-year-old ceiling mounted projectors at the Franklin High School with TouchView® interactive panels (as we have these already throughout all K-8 classrooms)
Continuous improvements in technology security (wherever that road may lead) including restoration of a Technology Security Specialist full time position.
Implement an employee tracking system for Human Resources Department.
Implement an electronic file storage system and onboarding software for the Human Resources Department.
Work with the Facilities Department to replace the 10-year-old security camera system at the Franklin High School.

Of course this is not a definitive list as the Technology Department is often called on to provide creative solutions to time-sensitive day-to-day challenges that arise within the organization.

Acknowledgments

The Technology Department could never be as successful as we have been without the dedication and commitment to excellence of the amazing team of professional staff that we are so fortunate to employ. Just as I am aware of the lucrative financial draw of the technology private sector, so are the rest of the team, yet, they (and I) choose to work in Franklin. Why?

Because Franklin is a great place to work! The friendly, respectful environment that permeates throughout all departments promotes a sense of purpose and duty that is rare in the workplace today.

I conclude with a gesture of gratitude to all Franklin employees, committee members, partners, vendors and stakeholders that have contributed to the Technology Department's success and Franklin's success!

For more information, please visit the Technology Department website located at: 

Thank you.

Sincerely, 

Timothy Rapoza
Director of Technology Services
Town of Franklin, Franklin Public Schools

The Technology Dept report can also be found in one PDF ->

The full Town of Franklin FY 2023 Annual Report can be found online

Annual Report Of The Franklin Health Department: FY 2023 Report

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Attention Seniors in Franklin: Please complete this Technology Survey!

The Franklin Senior Center was awarded a grant for $34,800 to enhance digital literacy for older adults. This grant will help replace outdated equipment, purchase additional equipment, and develop and offer a full technology curriculum specific to seniors. 

Can you help complete the technology survey? This will help the Senior Center create the curriculum based on the input from you! The seniors who use or could use the Center.  

There are also paper surveys available at the Senior Center and available at the library. 

Respond to the Online Survey:  https://forms.gle/LwHSHK2GymoeatTf8

Download a copy of the flyer as a reminder or to share ->   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p0fVksx6deYv_H1vA3vHDpCpO7J5vA3o/view?usp=drive_link


Attention Seniors in Franklin: Please complete this Technology Survey
Attention Seniors in Franklin: Please complete this Technology Survey

Friday, August 11, 2023

Technology upgrades coming to the Franklin Senior Center

"We are so excited to announce we were awarded a $34,800 grant from the EOEA to Enhance Digital Literacy specifically for Older Adults! 
This will include replacing our outdated equipment, purchasing additional equipment, and developing and offering a full technology curriculum specific to seniors!"

Technology upgrades coming to the Franklin Senior Center
Technology upgrades coming to the Franklin Senior Center

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Boston Globe: "Massachusetts is building a green economy, but does it have the workers to do so?"

"It’s going to take 38,100 workers to help Massachusetts transition to a clean energy state.

That’s according to a report published Wednesday by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a quasi-public agency that supports the state’s green energy industry. The paper forecasts thousands of new jobs by 2030 in order to meet the state’s decarbonization goals. And as of now, we’re not ready to fill them.

The report classifies a worker as a “clean energy worker” if they are working in renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, or other decarbonization efforts. These jobs include electricians who install electric panels, insulation workers who help maximize the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, or construction workers who help install electric vehicle charging stations.

According to the center’s analysis, Massachusetts needs its clean energy workforce to expand by 37 percent from its current size of 104,000. However, the report also reflects the current challenges of filling those positions today. For example, 88 percent of companies that responded to MassCEC surveys said they have difficulty hiring workers for clean energy jobs."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/07/19/business/massachusetts-is-building-green-economy-does-it-have-workers-do-so/

A new report highlights the need for more electricians and other workers skilled in clean energy-related trades to fill an expected 38,000 jobs in Massachusetts by 2030.DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF
A new report highlights the need for more electricians and other workers skilled in clean energy-related trades to fill an expected 38,000 jobs in Massachusetts by 2030.DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

Get your own copy of the MassCEC report here ->    https://www.masscec.com/sites/default/files/documents/Powering%20the%20Future_A%20Massachusetts%20Clean%20Energy%20Workforce%20Needs%20Assessment_Final.pdf

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Talking with Rich Frongillo about Downtown Preschool (opening 2023), economic development, soccer, etc. (audio)

FM #927 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 927 in the series. 


This session shares my conversation with Rich Frongillo. Rich is the owner of Tinetrix, founder of the Franklin Soccer School, Inc., Downtown Sports, and the forthcoming Downtown Preschool (new in 2023!). Our conversation was recorded in the Franklin TV & Radio studios on Tuesday, Dec 20, 2022.


Rich and I had another winding conversation. We start with the World Cup, talk soccer, and then catch up on business in this ‘new normal’ time. We get into economic development, housing, and other topics catching up from our prior conversation recorded in September 2020.


Downtown Preschool is the most recent small business venture and it is scheduled to open this year.


Our conversation runs 67 mins. Let’s listen to Rich and I talk about small business life here in Franklin. Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-927-rich-frongillo-downtown-sports-expanding-12-20-23



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


Rich’s LinkedIn profile = https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-frongillo-4860a96/ 

Tinetrix, Inc. =  https://www.tinetrix.com/ 

Franklin Soccer School, Inc. = https://www.franklinsoccerschool.com/ 

Downtown Sports =  https://www.downtownsports.net/ 

Registration for all activities =  https://www.downtownsports.net/registration


Downtown Preschool -> https://www.downtownpreschool.org 


Our prior conversation (Sep 2020)  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/09/fm-353-rich-frongillo-growing.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"


Downtown Preschool scheduled to open in 2023
Downtown Preschool scheduled to open in 2023


Friday, September 23, 2022

“Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel (audio)

Sharing from a Mark Hurst email:

"A quick note today: I wanted to share with you a song that I helped put together with friends from WFMU, the amazing radio station that broadcasts Techtonic. A few weeks back, I was speaking with Scott Williams (himself a DJ on Thursday afternoons) about an idea we’ve batted around for a few years, of changing a well-known song into a tech-themed dystopian version. Almost immediately Scott said he knew just what song to work with: “It practically writes itself!” And thus was born “Sounds of Surveillance.”

Once Scott and I worked the lyrics into shape, he put the band together: Greg Harrison on drums, Matt Fiveash on bass, Lily Wen as audio engineer, and Scott himself on guitar and organ. Soon after the live recording session with the band, he and I went into the studio to sing the vocals, after which he added some more post-production magic to make the track shine.

If you like the song, you can pitch in to WFMU, which is about to start its annual October fundraiser. (New t-shirts are available for the fall, and WFMU has the best t-shirts.)

And now, the track."

- - -

Listen to “Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel

LYRICS:
Sounds of Surveillance
by Si-mark and Scott-funkel

Hello Siri, my old friend
You’ve come to spy on me again
Because the websites that I’ve been browsing
Give you insight into my thinking
Paranoia that you planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sounds of surveillance

And in the metaverse I saw
Three billion people, maybe more
People texting without speaking
People swiping without reading
People monitored by devices that never cared
No one dared
Disturb the sounds of surveillance

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the screen flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the screen said, “The billions in profits are written in the smartphone apps
Like Google Maps”
And whispered in the sounds of surveillance

- - -

Here’s the link again: Listen to “Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel.

“Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel
“Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel


Friday, July 1, 2022

The Hill: "No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it"

"The world is experiencing unprecedented fuel price increases, energy blackmail between countries, up to 7 million air pollution deaths per year worldwide and one climate-related disaster after another. Critics contend that a switch to renewable energy to solve these problems will create unstable electricity grids and drive prices up further. However, a new study from my research group at Stanford University concludes that these problems can be solved in each of the 145 countries we examined — without blackouts and at low cost using almost all existing technologies."
Continue reading the article on the report released

From the Opening of the report:

"Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the greatest problems facing humanity. Roadmaps are developed and grid analyses are performed here for 145 countries to address these problems. The roadmaps call for a 100% transition of all-purpose business-as-usual (BAU) energy to wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage, ideally by 2035, but by no later than 2050, with at least 80% by 2030. Grid stability analyses find that the countries, grouped into 24 regions, can exactly match demand with 100% WWS supply and storage, from 2050–2052. Worldwide, WWS reduces enduse energy by 56.4%, private annual energy costs by 62.7% (from $17.8 to $6.6 trillion per year), and social (private plus health plus climate) annual energy costs by 92.0% (from $83.2 to $6.6 trillion per year) at a present-value cost of B$61.5 trillion. The mean payback times of the capital cost due to energy- and social-cost savings are 5.5 and 0.8 years, respectively. "
Download and read the full report ->

No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it
No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it

Monday, May 9, 2022

One Last Try – Registry of Deeds IT staff

Dear Registry users and citizens,

We recently posted on our website www.norfolkdeeds.org  a video of a recent April interview outlining why the Norfolk Registry of Deeds should keep its 2 person on-site direct report Registry IT Department.  Sometimes “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” given all that has been written about this matter.  State Law has provided funds to pay for all Registry IT positions in an IT Department that has been in existence for over 35 years at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  The on-site Registry IT staff must be kept.

 

On May 4, 2022 Commissioners Peter Collins and Joseph Shea in a 2 to 1 vote eliminated all Registry IT positions out of the Registry Budget.  This is reckless.  It is unprecedented not to have on-site Registry IT services.  The Registry, its staff and those that the Registry serves are being targeted by a full scale dismantling of the Registry of Deeds on-site direct report IT support.

 

You can help stop the reckless and poor decisions with too many possible bad outcomes by contacting the Norfolk County Advisory Board members. A list of the members is also posted on our website. Please let these representatives know to keep the direct report Registry IT staff when they vote on May 11, 2022.  Also, please contact members of the Finance Committee of the Advisory Board from Avon, Plainville, Randolph, Milton and Brookline who will be voting a recommendation to the whole Advisory Board.

 

Professional Registry staff, Registry users and citizens who have supported the need for on-site Registry IT professionals are NOT being listened to by County Commissioners Collins and Shea.  Why would these Norfolk County Commissioners oppose their paid consultant Mark Abrahams answering deposition questions and their attorney write as one of the reasons that is could cause “embarrassment”?  For who?  The two county commissioners – Collins and Shea – who voted as they did?  For all county decision makers who influenced the IT review, actions and reports with the goal to dismantle the direct report Registry IT Department?  This is what you Registry supporters are up against but we all must keep “fighting the fight.”

 

You will also find posted on our website a letter from Attorney James McKenzie that says it all. It is just a sample of the support the Registry of Deeds has received since the 2 to 1 Norfolk County Commissioner vote going back nearly a year to June 30, 2021 to not have a Registry CIO. Was this the plan all along to not have any Registry IT professionals in the Registry IT Budget? On behalf of myself, the Registry staff and all who depend on the Registry of Deeds including homeowners I want to thank you for your kind words and support that has been given throughout this whole unfortunate matter.

Sincerely yours,

 

William P. O’Donnell,

Register of Deeds

 


To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham.  The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information.  All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org.  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.



One Last Try – Registry of Deeds IT staff
One Last Try – Registry of Deeds IT staff

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

For Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Dept

I am writing to you today as you are a member of the Norfolk County Advisory Board and there will soon be a vote by the Advisory Board concerning the County budget to keep or abandon a Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Department and its Chief Information Officer.

I have been a practicing attorney in Brookline since 1973 with a concentration in real estate, and have seen great advances in Information Technology at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds from a time when the only way to find out what documents were recorded there was to go there, to instant access from any computer. The most recent technological advance has been the ability to record documents from the office where the closing took place. This is a great advance that needs to be maintained. There has been a system of sequential closings that allowed a seller of a piece of real estate to use their sale proceeds to buy their next home that day, and allowing the seller of the second piece of real estate to buy their new property that same day, and sometimes to a third sequential transaction on that day This, as you would expect, would require a lot of coordination between the Buyers, Sellers, real estate brokers and the attorneys for all the parties. Like I said, you could stack these closings in a row when well coordinated. Sellers can not use the proceeds from their sale until the necessary documents were recorded, which until recently required delivery of the documents to the Registry of Deeds. With the ability to record documents electronically these progressive closings can be extended to four because physically delivering the documents to the Registry is no longer required, and verification of recording is instantly available to all. This is only allowed by the well maintained information technology presently in place at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

In addition to the Recorded documents section of the Registry of Deeds there is the Registered Land, or Land Court, Section of the Registry of Deeds in which property that may have some sticky issue or issues relating to its title goes through the Land Court to have it resolved. Access to the often technical and complicated Registered Land Section documents is also instantaneous because of the advanced system of information technology, including security, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds employs.

Just this past year I had an unusual problem with access to some documents concerning my office condominium unit. I called the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and received a prompt call back. The entire issue was resolved in twenty minutes.

That type of service for all the various users of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds is invaluable, and can not be abandoned. Failure of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds to function as it does would result in personal and/or financial chaos for your Norfolk County neighbors who are coming, going, or relocating within the county.

I sincerely urge you to vote to keep the funding for a Chief Information Officer and Registry IT  Technology Department in the budget. Thank you. 

Very truly yours,

Ludwig Alban


For Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Dept
For Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Dept

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Letter from Register O'Donnell: Appealing for Commonsense Action on Registry IT

April 25, 2022

Dear Registry Stakeholders and Citizens,

AN APPEAL FOR COMMONSENSE ACTION ON REGISTRY IT

Please listen to the professional staff that runs the Norfolk Registry of Deeds as to why the Registry needs its Information (IT) Technology Department. (click here to listen to the Registry staff at a Norfolk County Commissioners Meeting). The Registry staff who did a compelling job in arguing on behalf of all Registry users in this video have over 149 years of legal and land document recording experience.  Shouldn't the words of a professional Registry staff that takes care of the land records to your house count more than some consultant who come in like "a hired gun" to say whatever they get paid to say?  Doesn't the words in this video of staff that has given reliable service mean something when assessed against consultants who have never visited a Registry of Deeds or knew anything about Registry operations until they got paid as a consultant?

On May 4, 2022 there will be a vote by the Finance Committee of the Norfolk County Advisory Board made up of Avon, Randolph, Plainville, Brookline and Milton from the attached list of Advisory Board members (click here for a list of members). Please tell these Finance Committee representatives and the Advisory Board representative from your community who will be voting on May 11, 2022 to vote to keep the on-site direct report high level Registry IT staff in place.

Commonsense in this day and age would mean the Norfolk Registry of Deeds would keep its on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry IT staff.  This Registry IT Department has been in existence at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds for well over 35 years paid for by the Registry of Deeds.

Commonsense would say why jeopardize the land records that authenticate the legal title to your home.  Commonsense would take note of all the fraud and cybersecurity risks in today's world and keep the Registry IT Department as is.  Commonsense would say we use the Registry of Deeds dedicated revenues to pay for this IT technology staff which has played a key role in the modernization initiatives implemented at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. 

The Norfolk County Commissioners chose Plymouth and Bristol counties as the "benchmarks" to compare Norfolk County.  The Registries of Deeds in these counties do have on-site direct report IT Departments.  This should logically mean that Norfolk Registry should keep its on-site direct report IT Department. It did not.  Why not?  If this was a fair and impartial process the fact that the Registries in Plymouth and Bristol have on-site Registry IT staff should have ended all debate about the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds not keeping its on-site IT Department.  Why should residents and taxpayers of Norfolk County get less service than what the people of Plymouth County and Bristol County get?

Thank you for your attention to this very important issue.  Any action you take is appreciated by all who use and rely on the operations and services of your Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

Sincerely yours,

William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk Register of Deeds

Appealing for Commonsense Action on Registry IT
Appealing for Commonsense Action on Registry IT

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

"a village is going to help them stay in their homes"

"For many older Americans and their families, the devastating COVID-19 outbreak — which caused more than 200,000 deaths in nursing homes nationally — was a persuasive argument for living at home as long as possible.

Now, as the pandemic grinds into its third year, a loose-knit band of tech gurus, gerontology researchers, and volunteer-powered elder support groups, called “villages,” is seeking to overcome the obstacles to aging in place. Among the toughest: a worsening shortage of home care workers, who can assist the oldest residents with walking, dressing, or showering.

Coronavirus sped up the deployment of “age-tech,” technology that helps older people age in place, by seven to 10 years, said Joe Coughlin, director of MIT AgeLab in Cambridge. "

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)

Dale Orzalli, a Seaglass Village volunteer, arrived at Maureen Neumann's front door to take her to a doctors appointment at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody.MATTHEW J LEE/GLOBE STAFF
Dale Orzalli, a Seaglass Village volunteer, arrived at Maureen Neumann's front door to take her to a doctors appointment at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody.MATTHEW J LEE/GLOBE STAFF

Monday, April 18, 2022

Good Deeds: Top 20 Reasons for an on-site Registry IT Department

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been a soundly managed agency that delivers quality services to the residents of Norfolk County.  This quality delivery of services to homeowners and registry users has been a team approach that utilizes an on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry Information (IT) Technology Department.  Two Norfolk County Commissioners, Peter Collins and Joseph Shea, voted to not appoint the Registry Chief Information Officer (CIO) designee who was replacing the retiring Registry CIO on June 30, 2021.

Now the Registry of Deeds and those that use the Registry of Deeds services are fighting to keep the two person on-site funded Registry Department.  The Registry CIO position still has not been filled due to votes by the Norfolk County Commissioners the most recent one being another vote earlier this month.  These decisions are reckless given the possible bad outcomes that could take place from cybersecurity breaches and ransomware. 

The college basketball tournaments just ended so with that in mind let’s look at the top 20 reasons you should want the Norfolk Registry of Deeds to keep its Registry IT Department as it has had for over 35 years.  If after reading these reasons and you agree with them please contact the Norfolk County Advisory Board members (click here) who will be voting on this in the budget process. Ask these representatives to support the Norfolk Registry of Deeds by keeping its on-site Registry IT staff under the leadership of a high level direct report Registry Technology expert.

REASON 1
The legal title to your home is authenticated by the land records recorded at the Registry of Deeds.  When you go to sell your home and for that matter when you as buyers purchase a home do you want title issues on that property?

REASON 2
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) says that the fastest growing white collar crime is property and deed fraud.  Do you think that property records that affect your home or business are not an inviting target for hackers and cybersecurity incidents?

REASON 3
The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts which represents thousands of attorneys wrote “Technology has been the foundation of the modernization initiatives that have been implemented over the years at the Norfolk Registry.  Technology overseen by the Registry CIO is essential and critical for services to the users and stakeholders of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.”

REASON 4
The White House has issued documentation that outlines several ways to protect against cyberattacks including checking with your IT professionals.  Does it make sense not to have an on-site Information Technology (IT) professional staff at the Registry of Deeds in this day and age?

REASON 5
An arm of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from its Information Technology Division wrote in March of this year “In light of the ongoing geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine, attempted cyberattacks towards state and municipal IT systems are expected to increase over the coming weeks and months.”

REASON 6
Over 205,000 land records were recorded between January 1 and December 31, 2021 at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  Technology allows those recordings to take place and protects the over 45 million pages of images in the Registry internet land recording library.

REASON 7
There is internet land record research at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds via its website www.norfolkdeeds.org.  There are land records on line that can be viewed and researched back to 1793 available to any and everyone who has access to a computer, tablet or mobile device.

REASON 8
Modernization Initiatives driven by technology have allowed real estate professionals as well as those interested in historical and genealogical research to use indexes and documents dating back to 1793 at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

REASON 9
This on-site direct report 2 person IT Department at the Registry has developed a disaster recovery office to keep the Registry operational should there be a fire, flood or some other business continuity interruption.

REASON 10
Besides a dedicated staff it was the tremendous work of the Registry IT Department that kept the Norfolk Registry of Deeds open and operational every work day since Governor Baker declared a COVID-19 emergency on March 10, 2020.

REASON 11
As the Town of Millis Selectboard wrote to the Norfolk County Commissioners “We stand with the Register of Deeds in his fervent request that the Registry be able to maintain professional, expert and full-time oversight over the county’s land records system.  The funds collected by the Registry provide vital revenues to the county as well as the many municipalities that participate in the Community Preservation Act program.”

REASON 12
Over 82 million dollars of revenues were collected by the Norfolk Registry of Deeds between January 1 to December 31, 2021.  Isn’t this a target for hackers, cybersecurity incidents and ransomware? 

REASON 13
The Norfolk Registry of Deeds works with your community’s Board of Assessors and Assessor Departments to transmit critical records and data.  Don Clarke Chief Assessor of the Town of Norfolk wrote to the Norfolk County Commissioners “The coordination between the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT and our IT personnel has been outstanding in regards to the safe and secure e-delivery of deeds and plans which has allowed this office to stay current in its ownership date and therefore in compliance with DOR regulations.”

REASON 14
The on-site direct report Registry IT staff with its acquired knowledge of Registry operations and technology gives timely responses to the needs and requests of the Registry staff, Registry users and stakeholders as well as the general public.
 
REASON 15
In Norfolk County you can sign up for the Consumer Notification Service for free.  Through the efforts of the Registry IT staff you get notified of any transactions in your name.  This will allow you to detect any fraudulent activity involving your property.

REASON 16
The work of the Registry IT staff has allowed the Registry of Deeds to bring the Registry land records out into the community as part of the Registry of Deeds outreach program.

REASON 17
There is a remote electronic recording of land records. A real estate closing that takes place in any location can transmit the required land records to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds via electronic recording.  The Norfolk Registry can conduct remote recording for Recorded Land as well as Land Court (registered) land.  Not all registries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can do this.

REASON 18
The Customer Service Center at the Registry of Deeds where you can walk in for help or call the staff for help at (781) 461-6101 depend on the technology as well as the work of the on-site 2 person IT Department.

REASON 19
Krysta Hendrix of Reliable Research Solutions, a title examination company, wrote to the Norfolk County Commissioners “I have experience working in every Registry of Deeds in Massachusetts and can say without hesitation that Norfolk County is the gold standard, most certainly in the Technology Department.”

REASON 20
There are too many possible bad out comes that can happen not allowing the Registry of Deeds to keep its on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry IT staff.  In addition, the Registry of Deeds has dedicated revenues from state law to pay for the positions.

You may have come up with some of your own reasons.  Please forward these to me at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org. In any event sometimes those in government make decisions and you just can not help but wonder why.  Through your efforts we can work to have a transformative effect with a positive impact on this technology decision. 

Good Deeds: Top 20 Reasons for an on-site Registry IT Department
Good Deeds: Top 20 Reasons for an on-site Registry IT Department

Monday, March 7, 2022

Capital Budget Subcmte Mtg: completes review, approves to refer to Town Council

FM #746 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 746 in the series. 

This shares the Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting that was held on Thursday, March 3, 2022.


The meeting was held in the 3rd floor training room. It started late as they were waiting for a quorum (their 3rd member to arrive); the fourth subcommittee member arrived shortly after the third. 


Links to the meeting agenda and my notes are in the show notes. 


This recording runs about 1 hour 17 minutes.  Let’s listen to the Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting for Mar 3, 2022. Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-746-capital-budget-subcommittee-mtg-03-03-22



-----------


Meeting agenda 

https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/agendas/3-3-22_cap_budget_agenda.pdf 


My notes captured via Twitter and shared here in summary form

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-q6EIGdJW0yAddrzh0AFsAn7b8FJcLzS/view?usp=sharing 


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

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 www.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"


Capital Budget Subcmte Mtg: completes review, approves to refer to Town Council
Capital Budget Subcmte Mtg: completes review, approves to refer to Town Council