Wednesday, June 9, 2010

School Committee - Retirees

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Retirees

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

Franklin, MA

School Committee - routine business

Present: Douglas, Cafasso, Rohrbach, Mullen, Roy, Trahan
Absent: Glynn

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments - none
Review of Agenda - noneMinutes: 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.
motion to approve, passed 6-0

Payment of Bills - Mr. Glynn (next time)
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

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Budget Hearing 6/9/10

The Town Council meets on Wednesday (6/9/10) and Thursday (6/10/10) to finalize the budget for fiscal year 2011. The Finance Committee has already held their budget hearings to prepare for these meetings. The decision to hold an override vote to help balance the budget given the shortfall projected and real had been made. The vote was held on June 8th and there won't be additional tax revenue from the residents to work with for FY 2011.

The budget hearings will finalize the budget cutting personnel and services.

The budget hearing document for Wednesday can be found here (PDF)

The Budget hearing document for Thursday can be found here (PDF)

For reference the Finance Committee budget hearings can be found here:
May 4th
May 6th
May 10th

The Budget Workshop held on January 25, 2010 can be found here

Franklin, MA

Now what?

Good question.

The numbers are in, the majority has ruled and as a result town services will continue to deteriorate.

For those that voted "No', this appears to be just fine for them. Calling for an emergency may get you an answering machine. One less ambulance will be available for that life critical support. Children in school will get challenged by higher class sizes and less teacher attention to prepare for the MCAS tests that will make or break their future.

For those that voted "Yes", the same results will apply equally.

40% turnout is the issue for me. With over 19,000 voters, only 7,966 bothered to vote (297 by absentee ballot).

Where were the other 11,000?

These are the folks for whom the issues (town services) apparently don't matter.

What's in it for me? is the major question most folks ask. From the comments on the Milford Daily News, there is an angry anti-tax group. That is no surprise given the override history in Franklin. The "Invest in Franklin" message did gain some traction in that there was an increase in overall votes from 2008 and mostly amongst the "Yes" crowd, but it wasn't enough.

The 11,000 must go about their life without any significant town services. They may not have children in schools (otherwise they should care). The conditions of the roads they travel on don't matter to them. They may see the quarterly tax bill (or maybe their mortgage company pays it for them) and it doesn't matter much. They get their trash picked up on the curbside weekly and that may be about the only town service they directly get on a regular basis. (Which is paid for from the solid waste/'trash' enterprise account and not the operational budget.)

How do I reach out to the 11,000? That is my challenge.

How do I get to their attention?
How do I let them know that trend of deteriorating services in Franklin should matter?

Maybe that is the answer.

Maybe the real and continued deterioration of services will eventually strike them enough so that they'll get informed to take action and vote.

Franklin, MA

In the Globe - election results

"Our option is to carry out the mandate of the voters, which was to preserve the lowest possible tax rate and accept eroding services," said Stephen Whalen, vice chairman of Franklin's Town Council, of the 4143 to 3820 vote defeating the tax hike. About 40 percent of local voters turned out to cast ballots, he said.
Whalen said, among other cuts, his town would likely slash teaching jobs, be reduced to a single ambulance crew, and be forced to raise high school athletic fees "significantly," a move that worried him.
" I think the mark of a great community is that every kid has access to top-notch public education, and raising fees like that turns us into a town of haves and have-nots," he said.

Read the full article in the Boston Globe here

Franklin, MA

In the News - election results

"I'm surprised it didn't pass, and I'm surprised the turnout wasn't higher," Feeley said. "... There is no waste, and cuts will be made."
He said claims that children of override opponents were mistreated at school are false and insulting to teachers.
"If it (were true), someone needs to step forward," Feeley said.

Read the full article here:

Franklin, MA

Creative Commons explained

This neat little video explains copyright and the creative commons license.

My work here is for non-commercial use, share-alike, modification with attribution.

Thanks to FreeTech4Teachers for the pointer to this video.

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More 'Yes' than 2008, but not enough

In comparison to the 2008 failed override, there was a gain in Yes votes and less No votes as the margin narrowed.

In 2008, the override failed by a vote of 4290 to 3382.
In 2010, the override failed by a vote of 4143 to 3820.

Precinct Yes Chg No Chg
1 103 -26
2 22 -27
3 74 -22
4 42 -23
5 58 -7
6 52 -33
7 60 -29
8 7 20

418 -147

A comparison of the 2010 to 2007 and 2010 to 2008 is shown below:

Franklin, MA

Override fails by 323

7966 voters cast their ballots, 4143 against and only 3820 for the override hence failing by 323 votes. (Yes, 3 people went to vote but their ballot did not count. Either they did not fill in the circle one way or another or they filled in both circles.)

Precinct Yes No Blank Totals
1 491 512 0 1003
2 402 505 2 909
3 300 631 1 932
4 610 538 0 1148
5 413 464 0 877
6 395 520 0 915
7 697 431 0 1128
8 512 542 0 1054

3820 4143 3 7966

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: special election ballot

This is what the ballot looks like. I hope all registered Franklin voters get to see one of these today.

One question, requires a circle on the 'yes' or 'no'

Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to assess an additional $3,000,000.00 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of the operating budget for which monies from this assessment will be used for the fiscal year beginning July 1, two thousand and ten?

If you haven't yet, please go VOTE!

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
May 6th
May 10th

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 (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:

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