Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Franklin, MA: Vote June 8th

All the discussion on the pros and cons has lead to this day

It is time to vote

Go to the high school field house between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM

to cast your ballot

Leenhouts at Northeastern

From the Boston Globe Sports section I find:

The sophomore left-hander from Franklin struck out 88 batters in 71.2 innings and earned Colonial Athletic Association first-team honors.
A three-sport athlete at Franklin High, Leenhouts was 3-4 in 11 starts with three of the losses coming in games decided by two runs or fewer.
His 11.05 strikeouts per nine innings was best among conference starters, and ranked 14th among NCAA Division 1 pitchers. His strikeout total was the fifth best in program history.

Read the full article here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - Big Y, Van Roon

Franklin planners OK Big Y

Franklin, MA

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee Meeting - Agenda

Proposed Agenda for June 8, 2010
Location: Franklin YMCA 45 Forge Hill Road
Start Time: 7:30PM

I. Call to Order / Introductions of New Attendees
A. Introduction of new attendees
B. Review of minutes of previous meeting
C. Approve previous meeting minutes

II. Report from our representative from DCR
A. Eagle Scout Kiosk Project
B. Gates & Grading

III. Membership Committee Report (Denison, McKeown, Sawyer)
A. Committee to report on membership activity

IV. Report from Finance Committee (Rossetti)
A. Report from Treasurer

V. Report of Fund Raising Committee (Sawyer)
A. Report on fund raising activities
a. Report Road Race Committee by Dave Labonte

VI. Report from Grant Writing Committee (if any)
A. Extend committee with more members & participation

VII. Unfinished Business

VIII. New Business
A. Need volunteers to work on the 2nd edition brochure

IX. Set Date and place for Next Meeting and Adjourn

Franklin, MA

Monday, June 7, 2010

Budget - Override Collection - FY 2011

The following links provide access to information on the budget for Fiscal Year 2011

Additional items will be added here as they are found/prepared.
If you are looking for something in particular regarding the budget and don't find it, please let me know.

Now what?

Letter from Ed Cafasso

Joint Statement on Override - June 8th

Scott Mason Interview on the whole gamut of topics around the vote on June 8th

Town Fiscal Year 2011 Budget document and cover letter

Budget Workshop (held Jan 25, 2010) to prepare for the budget

Finance Committee budget hearings
May 4th http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/05/finance-committee-050410.html
May 6th http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/05/finance-committee-050610.html
May 10th  http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/05/finance-committee-051010.html

Town Forum at Horace Mann School Auditorium (video)

Town Council budget hearings
June 9th - meeting notes can be found here
June 10th

Franklin budget for FY 2010

Franklin budget documents for years prior to 2010

Financial audit reports for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009

School Department/School Committee budget book
http://www.franklin.k12.ma.us/co/supt/budget/FY2011Budgetbook.pdf (PDF)

School Department proposed cuts to the level service budget (assuming override does not pass)

School Committee override page

Schools presentation on budget and need for override

Financial Planning Committee report (long term plan) and documents

A series of posts on State Education Mandates (unfunded mandates)

Invest in Franklin: http://investinfranklin.weebly.com/

The June 8th Special Election Flyer can be found here

The forums and events calendar to hear and discuss information on the Special Election June 8th can be found here

Franklin's override and debt exclusion history

Frequently Asked Questions

Significant comment discussion is also found in these articles on the Milford Daily News website










Franklin, MA

VanRoon is out, the Big Y is in

From the Planning Board meeting on Monday, June 7, 2010 the quick summary is that the special permit for VanRoon is out and the one for the Big Y is in.

Van Roon Chiropractic
After closing the hearing on the site plan and the special permit, the Planning Board reviewed the facts for the special permit. Following Robert's Rules of Order they offered a motion to approve, and when there was none, offered a motion to deny, which was acknowledged and then seconded.

As they completed process, they needed to approve the special permit overall with a roll call vote. The original motion was to approve, there was no acknowledgement, the motion was to deny, it was acknowledged and seconded, then each voted 'no'. The attorney for Van Roon asked to clarify what he had just heard.

The tape was replayed and the board realized that they had voted against the motion to deny, creating a double negative.

The board voted to rescind their vote on the special permit and the second time around got it done properly.

So the residents win and Dr Van Roon will need to find another location.

348 East Central (Big Y)
After closing the hearing on the site permit and the special permit, the votes proceeded in an orderly manner to approve the site plan and special permit.

The interesting moment occurred during the last of the public comments when a carpenter union representative from Norwood spoke against the Big Y construction history of using non-union labor. Paul Cheli raised a Robert's point of order against slander by a non-resident. The comments and documentation provided were beyond the planning board realm.

So the Big Y has up to 2 years to build unless they come back before the Planning Board to ask for an extension.

It should create about 200 temporary jobs during construction, about 50-60 full-time positions and about 100-120 part-time positions.

Franklin, MA

Letter from Ed Cafasso

Hi everyone,

Over the past few weeks, many of my friends and neighbors have asked good questions about this Tuesday’s override vote. I wanted to share some of those with you in the hopes that it will help you to vote “Yes” when the polls open at the Field House on Tuesday.

But before I do I want to address two items that appeared in the local newspaper recently. In one letter to the editor, a resident said he said was tired of supporting “assistants to assistants” in the schools. There is no such thing. This belief represents baseless ignorance. Franklin spends far below the state average on administration in our schools. In fact, we spend below the state average in every category of school investment.

Another prominent resident claimed that citizens are afraid to express their views about the override for fear that their children would be punished in the schools. This is either an outrageous lie or a convenient rationalization. I have been active in the schools since 1998, and I have been involved in every override since. I have never ever heard of a single such incident. I have never even heard a rumor of such an incident. The resident who made this statement owes our schools either the proof to support the claim or a candid apology.

And now for some of the thoughtful questions that I have heard in my travels…

What is the relationship between the override vote and the planned renovation of Franklin High? There is none. The override would deliver an additional $3 million to the town’s operating budget, including $1.8 million for the schools. The override is designed to close a revenue shortfall. The FHS renovation is a capital project. Later in 2011, voters will be asked to give the town permission to borrow money for the work, like a mortgage. The state will reimburse approximately half the cost for the FHS project, and the cost of the borrowing will not show up on tax bills for three or four years.

Where’s the proof that the schools need these funds? Things seem fine? The Franklin schools are indeed high performing and tremendously efficient. That’s exactly why you should support the override as an investment. The lack of financial support for the schools is like termites living undetected in a house. The truth is that we have eliminated 100 teachers and seven administrators in the past five years. Class sizes have gone up. Kids with learning challenges are getting less personal attention. Teachers are getting less professional development. New fees have been created and existing fees have gone up. Our hardworking school employees are doing their best to hold back the tide, but the odds are against them over time unless we help now.

I am senior citizen on a fixed income. I can’t afford this, and why should I support the schools? My kids are grown and gone. The number one investment for any citizen of Franklin, young or old, is their home. And the best way to protect and strengthen the value of your home is to protect the quality of services in your community – police, fire, schools, public works, etc. If you are a senior, think about how the community helped pay for the public education your children received. Think about what will happen to the value of your home if the quality of services here continues to suffer from lack of investment.

Is there any guarantee that the Town Council will deliver $1.8 million from the override amount to the schools? Yes, their word. The council is publicly committed to that amount for the next two years. As you know, many councilors are actively campaigning for the override. There is no legal way to guarantee what happens when a new council takes office in two years, but history shows that the schools have received tremendous support from the Council. With the exception of one year when state aid was delivered late, well into the fiscal year, the schools have always received all of the state funds designated for education, as well as substantial revenues from property taxes..

Why should I add to my property taxes? Doesn’t it just make more sense to pay more in fees? Your property taxes are tax deductible. Fees are not. On a pre-tax basis, the proposed override will cost the average taxpayer $254 per year, about 70 cents per day, based on the average property assessment of $368,000 in Franklin. Passage of the ballot question would add 69 cents to the tax rate, or $.69 per $1,000 of the assessed value of your home. If the override fails, some athletic fees will increase more than the average annual tax cost of the override!

Where can I get more information about the override?

An excellent brochure has been developed that attempts to answer common questions and provides a chart of what services will be affected by the outcome of the override vote. You can view and download the brochure at: http://franklinschoolcommittee.wordpress.com/override-brochure/

Up-to-date information and links on financial and academic issues, particularly from a school perspective, are available at: http://franklinschoolcommittee.wordpress.com/override-page/

Concerned citizens who support passage of the override have formed a group called “Invest in Franklin.” You can visit the Invest in Franklin web site for additional information at: http://investinfranklin.weebly.com.

You can visit and join the Invest in Franklin group page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2265200218&ref=ts

A Facebook event page has been created as a reminder about the June 8 vote. You can view it here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=118040221563289

My personal view is that Tuesday offers you a modest opportunity to invest in your community. No one agrees with every decision the town makes, but I am convinced, based on my years of involvement in town government and the schools, that Franklin is exceptionally well run, well intentioned and very efficient. Franklin lives within its means, provides a great quality of life, and does what it needs to maintain public property.

The outcome of this override has implications for all the essential services on which you and your family rely. In my mind, a “Yes” vote represents a well-deserved, very modest investment in the schools, police, fire, public works and library services that support my family, my friends and neighbors, and my property value.

Your town and schools need your help. I hope you will join me in supporting the override. Every vote is needed. Passage is by no means certain. Please do your civic duty on Tuesday and encourage all of your fellow citizens to do the same.

This e-mail reflects my opinion alone and is provided as a constituent service. Be on the look-out for an update soon on the great progress being made around the FHS renovation project.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.

Thank you!

Ed Cafasso, Member
Franklin School Committee

Franklin, MA

Digital marketing - social networking

What is digital marketing?

Can social networking help grow my business?

Berry Ins and the United Regional Chamber of Commerce have joined together to hold a session on June 29th to provide information on how these tools can help. Most of the social media tools are free, hence the ROI on free becomes something to look at.

Details on the event including registration information can be found in the flyer below:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

The Berry Ins website can be found here:

and the Chamber website here:

and you can register here:

Franklin, MA

Parmenter sign for Week of June 7 - 11

The Pandas at the Parmenter Elementary School will be happy this week with an ice cream social to look forward to on Wednesday evening.

The PCC will meet on Friday at 11:00 AM

Franklin, MA

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In the Globe - override

At a budget forum late last month, Town Councilor Joseph McGann said that he would not be supporting the override proposal, and that he would support raising taxes only “when I feel as though every dollar is being accounted for efficiently.
“I’m not saying ‘waste,’ ’’ he said, but “I continue to say there is some fat in some of the budgets.’’
Read the full article in the Boston Globe West section of the Sunday edition:

Franklin, MA

Frequently asked questions: the full listing

Frequently Asked Questions: (each line is a link to the question and answer)

If there is another question you would like answered, please ask.

Franklin, MA

Frequently asked questions: "Is it true that we have too many overpaid administrators?"

People tell me that our schools cost too much money, and that we have too many overpaid administrators. Is that true?

Based on statistics maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Franklin pays less than half of the state average for administrative and labor costs. The statistics for all 11 categories of education spending are included below:


According to Massachusetts Department of Education, more than 85 percent of the K-12 districts in the state spend more per pupil than Franklin. Franklin’s per pupil spending is the third lowest among its 30 peer communities. The per pupil expenditure for children in Franklin’s “regular day” school programs (which excludes Special Education) has lagged well behind the state average for the last 5 years, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In fiscal 2008, Franklin spent $9,751 per pupil in these programs -- $2,702 less per pupil than the statewide average of $12,453.

One of a series to address frequently asked questions


The special election on June 8th gives Franklin voters the choice:

Increase taxes to continue to provide the services we have this year (and that does not restore any of the services already cut)


Continue to cut municipal services for all and cut educational opportunities for our children

I'll help to provide the information. You need to do two things:
  1. Make your choice
  2. Vote on June 8th

You get bonus points if you talk with your neighbors about this and get them to vote!

Additional information on the override can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Frequently asked questions: "Why have my taxes gone up so much in the last four years?"

If Proposition 2½ says my property taxes can’t go up more than 2.5% per year, why have they gone up so much in the last four years?

Proposition 2½ does not say that your taxes cannot go up more than 2.5% each year. It says that the total amount of money the town raises from property taxes cannot increase by more than 2.5% a year plus new growth.

The reason some residential tax bills have increased significantly over the few years is because the market value of some homes– probably your family’s most important investment – has increased. This is due in part because Franklin is perceived to have good municipal services, strong public safety, convenient businesses and top quality schools, and, hence, Franklin is considered a great place to live. Our assessed and fair market property values reflect that market perception.

Notwithstanding the appreciated values referenced above, some residential property owners have, in fact, experienced a flattening or even a decrease in the assessed value of their homes in recent years due to the macroeconomic environment. And, keep in mind that commercial and industrial property is assessed based on income, so the value of those assessments has been stagnant due to the economic downturn that affected the business community.

While the total amount of revenue the town can raise from property taxes can only increase by law, by 2.5% each year, how much money each property in the town contributes to the total amount can change based on changes in its respective assessed and/or fair market value.

One of a series to address frequently asked questions


The special election on June 8th gives Franklin voters the choice:

Increase taxes to continue to provide the services we have this year (and that does not restore any of the services already cut)


Continue to cut municipal services for all and cut educational opportunities for our children

I'll help to provide the information. You need to do two things:
  1. Make your choice
  2. Vote on June 8th

You get bonus points if you talk with your neighbors about this and get them to vote!

Additional information on the override can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 6/08/10

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 May 25, 2010 School Committee Meeting and the Executive Session minutes from the June 1, 2010 Negotiations Strategy Session.
Payment of Bills Mr. Glynn
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives

1. Letter from Mary Fallon
2. Letter from Mrs. Hildman
3. Budget to Actual
4. Letter from Mrs. Mitchell

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Retirees

  • Anne Bergen, HMMS Principal
  • Judi Bassignani, Parmenter Elementary Principal
  • Joyce Bardol – ASMS Teacher
  • Elizabeth LaPlaca – Oak St. Elementary Teacher
  • Unable to attend: Linda Chelman, Jane Sveden

b. ASMS Communiteen Club – Pennies for Patients

c. Maggie Streeter (ASMS) John F. Kennedy Make A Difference Award

d. FHS Building Update – Tom Mercer

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Facilities MOU
  • Foreign Language
  • Data Assessment & Resource Tool (DART)
  • MSBA Architect Selection Representative

4. Action Items

a. I recommend adoption of the Facilities MOU as detailed.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
a. Foreign Language
b. Enrollment Comparison

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

Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

banner ads move outdoors

It was announced recently that the pilot to raise revenue for the athletic teams with banners in the Franklin High School field house has been expanded to include banner ads on the outdoor fields.

A sample of the field house banners (from October 2009)

A new banner at the entrance to the track and multipurpose field (June 2010):

The banners were first approved in 2008:

Franklin, MA