Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"people cannot park any vehicle on a sidewalk"

Posted Jul 21, 2008 @ 11:28 PM


It appears town leaders no longer believe they have to officially forbid throwing missiles, frightening horses, driving cattle or swine on sidewalks in Franklin.

Instead, Town Council is considering adding a few new provisions to the Peace and Good Order Bylaw, such as the prohibition of window-peeping, intentionally exposing one's naked body, publicly urinating, spitting, or expelling bodily waste upon a public street, sidewalk, building or place. Nuisance pets which bite, bark, claw, howl, scratch, cry or otherwise disturb the peace or destroy property, would also be forbidden.

The council is taking a "proactive approach" by updating Franklin's bylaws, said Town Attorney Mark G. Cerel, who is recommending removing antiquated provisions and language and appending others to address current issues

Read the full story in the Milford Daily News

Where in Franklin? Answer #48 (better photo)

Where in Franklin? Answer #48

Another one of my phone camera photos; this is an office view of Bullukian Oil which was the subject of Where in Franklin? #48.

Water tagged drains

Franklin: water alert

I am finally getting to some photos taken with my new camera enabled phone. It was easy to take the photos. It was another thing to figure out how to get them off in bulk. Took a little time to think about it but then it dawned on me to try to put the card in the printer and see if it came up as a removable drive; it did. yahoo!

Anyway, the photo was taken back in May as Dolores and I walked one Saturday and found these stickers on the drain curbs all around the downtown area. Some are since gone, the glue apparently not enough to hold them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Town Council Meeting 7/23/08 - Agenda

1. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-616: Adult Entertainment Establishment Districts 7:10 PM
2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-625: Chapter 185-5, Town Code: Zoning Map - Business to Commercial II – 7:10 PM (To be opened and continued to August 20)
q Stormwater Management
1. Resolution 08-50: Authorization to Petition General Court for Special Legislation – Underground Utilities
2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-616: Adult Entertainment Establishment Districts-1st Reading
3. Bylaw Amendment 08-627: Chapter 4, Public Notice and Advertising of Public Hearings – 1st Reading
O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

Link to agenda on new Town website

school choice update

Posted Jul 20, 2008 @ 11:55 PM


The Franklin School Department is not accepting any new School Choice applications this year, or at least until administrators get "absolute clarity" on class sizes.

The School Committee made the decision to stop accepting applications at the recommendation of Superintendent Wayne Ogden on July 15.

The program allows students from Massachusetts towns outside of Franklin to attend public schools within the district.

As required by law, Franklin, like all districts, accepts School Choice students at random by lottery, though a district can choose to accept all applicants.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

The headline is deceiving. New applications are not being accepted. 39 students were accepted into the program for the 2007-2008 school year (that just ended) to being the total to 76 (as of October 1 2007). As I recall 10-12 left the program this year, 5 through graduation and the others for various reasons. There are still 60+ students to be served by this program which will still bring in revenue to the School Department. Due to failed override and the reduction of 42 teachers, the analysis on if and where some students could be added to the program remains to be completed. Pending that analysis, new applications may be considered.

This topic was posted here the night of the School Committee meeting.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where in Franklin? #51

Rainbow_Blue_80621 002, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Continuing a blue theme, can you identify where you would find this building in Franklin?

The guidelines to play Where in Franklin? can be found here .

originally posted 7/9/08 at 9:53 PM

"we're more interested in feeding people"

Posted Jul 16, 2008 @ 10:56 PM


As he grabbed a handmade deli sandwich at Anne's Market and reflected on the return of Anne Brunelli's clan, faithful customer Scott Resley had just one question: "Are you guys doing porketta again?"

Yes, Anne's porketta is back - as are the homemade meatballs, manicotti, hand-stuffed cannoli, and other Italian fare Franklin has been missing since she sold her locally famous store in 2003.

"It's excellent - the best porketta ever," pronounced Resley, who has missed Anne's recipes.

"I'm psyched. I'm really happy they're putting (the store) back in the family," said Resley, who estimated he has been a customer for up to 15 years.

Anne's Market will once again reflect the Brunellis' love of food - Italian in particular, said Mark Brunelli, patting his belly.

You can read the full story in the Milford Daily News here

School Committee Meeting 7/15/08

The collected postings for the School Committee meeting of Tuesday 7/15/08

School Committee meeting 7/15/08 - agenda

The meeting was also summarized in a podcast:
5 Things You Need to Know from this meeting

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"there's a huge appetite for busing"

Posted Jul 16, 2008 @ 12:17 AM


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

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

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

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

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

live update - subcomittee reports

Kelly and Trahan reported on their participation in the Financial Planning committee. They heard the presentation on the Arlington plan last week.


Armenio - any update on the State EdReform programs?
Ogden - the Governor will be at the Superintendent's meeting

live update - Supt Report

EDNets - glitches with MAC computers which are incompatible with the software, Attorney says the schools could be liable if parent information was exposed. Trying to work with EDNets to provide school what they are looking for, have not yet heard back from EDNets.

Roy - talked with Tim about the cost to the schools, the only cost was a hosting fee. This goes away as there is already work underway to move from the current hosting provider to an in-house system


School choice - historical numbers provided. Program has grown from 14 in 2004 to 76 in 2007-2008. School choice has been approved for this year but no adds are proposed at this time until we are absolutely sure what the numbers will be. Some employees are pending but under the blind draw, we could not guarantee any one in particular.

Sabolinski - The place we would have some slots are in kindergarten but we have not moved at this time.
Mullen - When would you know?
Ogden - I would hold off until mid-August. 50% of the school choice who come in for kindergarten, leave after kindergarten. But if they don't leave, we are committed to keep them. Given the other class size issues we have, accepting additional would only put pressure on the upper grades. If we wait until mid-August, it gives us a little more confidence in the numbers.
Mullen - Can people still apply?
Ogden - We have pulled the application from the web site. We would have to re-open the applications before running the lottery. We would want to put it on and let folks know about it for a couple of weeks.


Annual report
Drafted a template to solicit input from the building principals.

Cafasso - the annual report available from the Town has varied dependent upon participation, timing, etc. This is attempting to be more consistent and informative.


Live update - action items

  • I recommend budget transfers as detailed on the attached memo. Approved
  • I recommend acceptance of Action Plan to implement FY07 audit recommendations. Approved
  • I recommend acceptance of the donation of paperback books from Rose Cafasso for the Oak Street Elementary School. Approved
  • I recommend acceptance of six checks totaling $4,800.00 from the Horace Mann PCC for the HM In-house Enrichment program. The PCC gift to HMMS for in house enrichment was for teacher stipends and therefore was removed from the agenda, due to the fact that it was not inline with the targeted gift policy. As covered in the comments by Asst Supt Sabolinski reported earlier.
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,000.00 from the Parmenter PCC for supplies for the Parmenter Elementary School. This was tabled due to the fact that a description regarding supplies were not provided on the donation form.
  • Based on School Committee policy IJOAB/ Extended Field Trips, the revised proposal for the band trip to Disney World in April 2009 is not in compliance with district policy so I am unable to recommend approval. Would have missed one period (via plane), now would miss a full day (via bus) - Roy and Armenio recuse themselves from the vote as they have students involved. Discussion on approving anyway, tending not to. The policy is to not miss school, saving money is not an alternative, someone else down the road may also push the envelop. Big increase was seen in the cost of transporting the muscial instruments. Issue with public schools and equity. Roy has made reservations that are non-refundable. Motion failed to pass 0-5, 2 recused.
  • I recommend declaring the Remington Middle School inventory list as surplus. Approved

live update - superintendent review process

Cafasso - like last year's overall process, just would like them sooner

Ogden - would also like them sooner than January as last year.

consensus to proceed

live update - building use policy

First reading of the building use policy KF.

Fee schedule will looked at quarterly to see and ensure that the fund breaks even.

Kelly - question on need of inspector to check the connections?
Trahan - will check on, don't believe so

Kelly - does fee schedule cover the custodial services?
Sabolinski - yes, that is built into the fee structure. The building coordinator was not previously part of the fee structure, it is now.

Looking to cover our costs and to provide the buildings for the community to use in a fair way.

Mullen - finds a number of minor typos and inconsistency all minor and no real issue of policy just looking to make the document read well. This is a nice document and well done.

Folks have already been told that the new building use fee schedule will be coming as of July 1.

Rohrbach - have prohibition against alcohol and smoking, what about adding drugs?

Motion to move to second reading

live update - pay to ride/late bus

Supt Ogden reviewing what has been done in these areas.

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

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

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

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

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

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