Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Live reporting - Bully Task Force

Anti-Bullying Task Force

Recognition that the State is likely doing something in this arena.

Trahan - The Community Health Council has been working on this matter and I will be reporting later on some of the specific items

Rohrbach - I would second what Roberta mentioned about the Community Health Council's activities. I would recommend that they be part of this activity.

Peer mediation at the high school.

Cafasso - from my time on the committee, I recall a number of presentations from principals on various actions and initiatives taken. It is not a surprise, we should be prepared. We can only do what we can do. We need to engage the community, especially the parents. Modeling the appropriate behavior for their children. This starts at home.

Sabolinski - The middle school principals are out in front of this. There is a lot of interest in this.

Roy  we will get this started and get back to the committee by June 15th.

Live reporting - policies

3. Discussion Only Items
Policy – Second Readings:
1. EB – Safety Program
2. EEA – Student Transportation Policy – Services and Eligibility
3. EEB – Student Transportation Policy – Services and Eligibility

no discussion on these items

Live reporting - Budget Q & A

Q - Cafasso - please with layout, may come back with some suggestions on showing the numbers

Q - Rohrbach - Can you speak to the late bus?
A - We are looking at it. The ridership and routes are being re-evaluated. Cutting the late bus presented an inequity to the district leaving after school activities for only those students whose parents could help to provide transportation.

Q - Glynn - could you share the spirit of the recommendation on the State Report?
A - Sabolinski - yes, we are under-serving the ELL students. There was some growth recently. We are looking at how to address them. They really need to be addressed as special education.

Q - Roy - I appreciate the fact that this is not being overdone. This covers all the bases we need. One of the questions I have is on the per pupil expenditures.
A - Goodman - this is the amount of money allocated to the school principal for use to serve the school population for no-teacher, facility costs. This is for supplies, copies, etc.

Q - Cafasso  can you share what you are hearing from the Town
A - Roy - I think at the last joint budget discussion putting this together with the Town budget we would be short 2-3 Million. It was an encouraging meeting.
A - Sabolinski - There was a recognition on how much the schools have been cut and a willingness to work with us.

Q - Glynn - with the late bus coming back, were there any other items being brought back?
A - no

Q - Glynn - were there any programs cut?
A  - no

Live reporting - FY 2011 Budget

2. Guests/Presentations
a. FY11 Budget

Miriam Goodman, Maureen Sabolinski, Sally Winslow

The budget document can be found here (for now)

The full budget booklet can be also found on the Schools website here (PDF)
(Note - the full book is 75 pages and full of good details.)

Live reporting - Franklin, MA: School Committee

Present: Douglas, Cafasso, Rohrbach, Mullen, Roy, Trahan, Glynn
Absent: none

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments - none
Review of Agenda - none
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the Open and Executive Sessions of the February 23, 2010 School Committee Meeting.  motion to approve - passed 7-0
Payment of Bills                    Mr. Glynn   motion to approve - passed 7-0
Payroll                            Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence:  Budget to Actual

In the News - charter proposals

"Any time you make changes to your charter, even if it's minor, it's important because that charter is what governs the town," Mason said.

Franklin residents urged to attend charter change hearing

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 


The United Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its first Franklin networking event of 2010 at Dean College Thursday night.
The Business After Hours event invites area chamber members and nonmembers to socialize and talk business from 5-7 p.m. at the Library Learning Commons.

Chamber holds Franklin networking event

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Gov 2.0 Camp - great discussions started

Gov 2.0 Camp was held at the Sorenstein Center at Harvard on Saturday, March 6th. In an unconference format, it brought together a diverse group of folks all interested in improving government.

As part of the unconference, each attendee introduced themselves and provided three words. Someone was quick enough to capture all the three words and produced the following Wordle:

Wordle: Gov 2.0 Camp New England (#gov20ne)

Note: if you click on the image, it will take you to the original and a larger version

My three words were: conversation, content, community.

More about the Gov 2.0 event can be found on the wiki page here

Invitation from Roger at Shades In Place

Spring is just around the corner and my plan is to get you in the mood and welcome back the sun and the warm weather again (especially if you are from the New England area). Also, I love  the idea of making this an annual event....starting this year!

Shades In Place is hosting a  Gold Party where you can sell all of your unwanted , broken, ex-boyfriend's, ex-husband's gold, and make some money to kick off the Spring season. If you bring gold in you could possibly walk away with a big check.

To make it even more interesting, I will have Silpada Jewelry and Mary Kay representatives to show and demonstrate the latest products for you.

Gold Party New England - Mitzi Davidson

Mary Kay -Tina Marie Davern

Cheryl Reed “ Silpada Designs Independent Representative”

Where? At Shades IN Place Studio: 76 Grove Street in Franklin MA 01748

When? Thursday, April 1st  - Don't be a "Fool"! Come between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Why? Because I love networking and making my clients feel special.

I will be providing refreshments, music and reasons for you to laugh and have a great time.

The bottom line is: I want to introduce you to my Studio and show you ways to pamper your home (with our beautiful window treatments) and provide you with a great opportunity to pamper yourself.

Please R.S.V.P.  by March 20th  since seating is limited.

Hope to see you there. Oh, you are welcome to bring a friend or two with you...

P.S. If you are a guy, bring or send your wife or girlfriend.

Roger Magalhaes

I had the honor of participating in the ribbon cutting event with the United Regional Chamber of Commerce last year when Roger opened his showroom. If you missed that event, you can view the recap here. Come on to the showroom, Roger will welcome you!

Rock the 80's Party

There is a "Rock the 80's Party coming up this month.


Get out your leg warmers, lace bra, IZOD shirt, and don't forget your mullet & can of hairspray as you get ready for the PARTY OF THE SPRING!!

For a minimum donation of $15 (you can certainly donate more!) come dance, laugh, and have a great time while raising money for a great cause!

DJ, h'dourves, desert, cash bar, and lots of raffles & gift baskets!

When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 8:00pm

Where: Cole's Tavern, Washington St., Franklin MA

More info on Facebook here


The next meeting of the FCRTC will be held at the Franklin YMCA, Forge Hill Rd. Franklin.
The meeting on March 9th, will commence at 7:30 PM and conclude NLT 9:30 PM.
Attached is the proposed agenda as well as the updated promotional flyer for our spring raffle.
Please bring in the stubs & payments for the sold ticket.


Agenda for March 9, 2010                                  

I. Call to Order / Introductions of New Faces
A. Volunteer to write minutes of the meeting
B. Introduction of new attendees
C. Motion to accept previous meeting minutes

II. Report from our representative from DCR

III. Membership Committee Report
A. Membership activity
B. Corporate Membership?  Can we add at $100 amount?
C. Questions to R. Frongillo about adding a “New” button on site

IV. Report from Finance Committee
A. Treasurer

V. Report of Fund Raising Committee
A. Report on fund raising activities
1) Raffle Ticket Sales
a) Members: Status of raffle ticket sales
b) Earth Day Needs:  Tent/Shelter, Raffle Drum, FCRTC Banner

2) Road Race Committee
a) Need Volunteers

VI. Report from our Grant Writing Committee
A. What kind of assistance does the sub-committee require?

VII. Open Discussion on Restructuring FCRTC
A. Nomination of Officers
1. Chairman
2. Co-Chairman
3. Treasurer
4. Secretary

VIII. Unfinished Business:

IX. New Business:

X. Set Date for Next Meeting and Adjourn

Monday, March 8, 2010

Parmenter School - sign with upcoming events

Franklin, MA:

The Parmenter School sign has a current listing of events being held:


I don't get to around to all the schools in my travels but if you happen to see a good sign update, please send it along and we can share it here or on Facebook.

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 3/09/10

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the Open and Executive Sessions of the February 23, 2010 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills                    Mr. Glynn
Payroll                            Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence:  Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations

a. FY11 Budget

3. Discussion Only Items
Policy – Second Readings:
1. EB – Safety Program
2. EEA – Student Transportation Policy – Services and Eligibility
3. EEB – Student Transportation Policy – Services and Eligibility

Anti-Bullying Task Force

4. Action Items
a. I recommend adoption of Policy EB – Safety Program.
b. I recommend adoption of Policy EEA -  – Student Transportation Policy – Services and Eligibility
c. I recommend adoption of Policy EEB -  – Student Transportation Policy – Services and Eligibility
d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $100.00 from Charron & Michael Holtzman in memory of Barbara Esterly, FHS cafeteria worker for the FHS gift account.
e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2920.00 from the Parmenter PCC for field trips and buses.
f. I recommend approval of the request of Judi Bassignani for the Parmenter 4th Grade field trip to the VMA Art & Cultural Center in Providence, RI on June 5, 2010.
g. I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from the JF Kennedy PCC for a 1st grade field trip and buses to Drumlin Farm.
h. I recommend approval of the 7th Grade RMS field trip to Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, RI to see the play “Eureka!”.
i. I recommend approval to establish the Franklin Arts Academy (FAA) using the small learning community model, at FHS for the 2010-2011 school year.
j. I recommend acceptance of a check for $7000.00 from the Keller PCC for 2 field trips & buses to the Museum of Science and Roger Williams Zoo.
k. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1170.75 from Lifetouch for the Annie Sullivan MS student activity fund.
l. I recommend acceptance of the donation of 25 Laptop computers from Boston Scientific C/O (Christine Tattrie) to the Franklin Public Schools Technology Department.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
a. Enrollment Comparisons

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session


8. Adjourn

FM #59 - Week ending 3/7/10

This internet radio show or podcast is number 59 in the series for Franklin Matters.

The Oscars are underway, on the West Coast as I record this session. Let's just take about ten minutes to keep current with what matters here in Franklin, MA as the week ends March 7, 2010

Time: 9 minutes, 59 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 59 in the series for Franklin Matters.

The Oscar's are about to begin on the West Coast as I record this weekly review. Let's take about ten minutes to keep current with what matters here in Franklin, MA as the week ends March 7, 2010. As a reward for paying attention to this session you can give yourself an Oscar for civic engagement!

In this session I’ll cover the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Mar 3. The meeting lasted only one hour and is available for review via video on demand on the Town website here.

During this quick and effective meeting, three major items occurred that you should be aware of.

1 – for senior citizens, there were four changes made to four items that should help cash flow
  • Property Tax Deferrals For Seniors – Gross Receipts Limit is now indexed to the State/Federal Cost of living calculations.
  • Exemption amount for those who are blind, is raised from 437 to $500
  • Property Tax Exemption is increased from $500 to 750
  • Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Abatement Program, the hourly wage is raised to equal the minimum wage at $8. 

If you are a senior citizen, you can check with Karen Alves, Bob Fahey, or the Board of Assessors for further details on how you may qualify for these changes.



2 – The bio-tech changes
to the zoning bylaws were reviewed in a formal hearing and moved to a second reading. Assuming passage at the second reading, which is likely during the meeting March 17th, they will go into effective and help improve Franklin's ability to attract bio-tech business to our two industrial parks.

3 – the third major item covered was the audit report for Fiscal Year 2009. The audit was clean, there were a couple of minor items recommended, they did not rise to a level of significant or of any serious nature. This is very good for Franklin, The process and procedures put into place with the new accounting system, and especially since the School Dept problem that occurred in FY 2005/2006, the town audits have been clean. It will still take some time for some folks to truly believe that the Town is operating fiscally responsibly but for the rest of us, we can rest easier.

So that was the week that was!

Looking ahead
Two major meetings will happen this week that you should be actively involved with.

First up, the School Committee meeting on Tuesday. Aside from the normal school business, a lot of good does happen in these meetings, the single major item to be concerned with is the first look at the FY 2011 school budget.

The proposal is for $1.9 million more than last year (which is the current operating school year) or a 3.9% increase. Amongst the many details is only a 2.5% increase for salaries which is what they are already obligated to based upon the teacher contract deferral for the current year. You may recall that the teachers, administration and other school district employees did defer their scheduled cost of living increase this year. Does it really mean the Sch Com is going to negotiate with the teachers for no increase for FY 2011 and beyond as part of the new contract? This should be interesting to see.
Another item that caught my eye is why you won't hear the budget called a “level service” budget. There is a proposal to restore the late bus. Now you should be well aware that while this made it into the 2008-2009 calendar year at the last minute, it fell out of the current 2009-2010 budget. For now, it is proposed to return for next September.

The final item that caught my eye was the lack of a starting point tying this budget to last year. They mention the Town funded amount as a starting point to calculate the basis for the 3.9% increase. You may recall, the School Budget for this year was referred to as “level funded plus”. Plus because the influx of Federal and State stimulus funds were all added to the budget that those of us in the Town funded. This created the disconnect last year where they were going to be cutting up to 60 teaching positions and ultimately ended up cutting 23. Now don't miss-read that this was not a good thing for the school system, the teachers and students. It did significantly cut into the trust factor that the School Committee has worked hard to build.  

They did commit to providing a single page summary sheet to keep track of the budget changes as the budget season progresses, I was hoping they would start with a reconciliation from last time which we did not get.

You can review the budget document details on the School Committee blog:

2 – the second meeting of importance this week is a new one on the calendar. It was apparently added after the Town Council meeting last Wednesday which is why they missed an opportunity to advertise it. There  is a special meeting on Wednesday March 10th in the Council Chambers to review and discuss the proposed charter changes. Exactly what the charter changes are remains to be seen. There is not yet a document posted and hopefully there will be something to review before arriving at the meeting.

Why is the Charter so important? Let me read the preamble:
We, the people of the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts, in order to form a more
perfect community, reaffirm the customary and traditional liberties of the people
with respect to the conduct of our local government and take fullest advantage of
the Home Rule Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, do ordain
and adopt this Home Rule Charter for our Town.

Please participate in this meeting, this is how we decide to do business.
If we don't like it, our time to change it is now.

We talked about the Town Council meeting of 3/3
Tax relief for seniors, bio-tech zoning changes move along the process and the audit came out clean.

All reasons for Franklin voters to celebrate!

And we talked about the two important meetings this week, the School Committee meeting on Tues, the  Charter review meeting on Weds

I look forward to your active participation in both meetings

As I close this session this week, let me remind you that
If you like what I am doing here, please tell your friends and neighbors
If you don’t like something, please tell me
Thank you for listening!

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
I hope you enjoy!

Volunteers Needed – Saturday, March 27th

The Historical Commission is happy to announce that the new museum will be opening May 15th to the public.  The commission is very excited!

Your assistance is requested in moving some of the materials from the “Old” museum to the “New” museum on March 27th (Saturday) beginning at 10:00am.  Packing has already been completed and now we need help to remove boxes and items.

If you have a van or truck “WE NEED YOU”.  We also need volunteers to transfer items into trucks and vans from the “Old” to the “New”.  You will be directed by Commission members during the move.

Please email dpellegri@franklin.ma.us  Let me know if you will be driving a truck or van/or if you plan to volunteer yourself with the moving of the items. 

Thank you in advance for your continued support of the Franklin Historic Museum.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In the News - snow removal budgets

Last year's budget total was a daunting task for Franklin as well, coming in $600,000 over its $700,000 budget.

But with a budget increase to $744,000, less snowfall and some money-saving tactics, DPW Director Robert Cantoreggi said he is looking at only a $113,000 deficit so far this winter.

"It's been a pretty average winter, which is nice for a change," Cantoreggi said. "We dodged a lot of bullets with the storms going south."
 You can read the full article here:

Snow removal sending areas town DPWs deep into the red

from The Milford Daily News News RSS