Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Live reporting - Tom Morris, Parmenter Principal

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Tom Morris - New Principal of Parmenter Elementary

I am thrilled to be coming to the Franklin Public Schools. I am very excited, some of the same work I have been doing in my schools in Newton are being done here. I will learn a lot and be able to contribute here. I am a music teacher in elementary and middle schools. I love teaching music. Has a masters in music education.

I am becoming familiar with the Parmenter community and I am looking forward to getting started July 1.

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - School Committee

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

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments - none
Review of Agenda - noneMinutes: I recommend approval of the open session and executive session minutes from the June 8, 2010 School Committee Meeting.  motion to approve minutes, passed 7-0
Payment of Bills Mr. Glynn  motion to approve bills (2 weeks worth), passed 7-0Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives (none at this time)
1. Packet of 19 letters from Jefferson parents regarding class sizes.

Franklin, MA

Office Hours

Want to talk about Franklin Matters? About what matters to you? About blogging, about social media tools?

Assuming the weather is good, I'll be available on Friday June 25, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM.

I'll be on the Town Common near the bandstand.

Just me, my notepad, and a willingness to listen and talk about what matters.

Bring a chair and join me.

If the weather is bad, I'll update here where the alternate location will be; most likely Cafe Dolce.

Franklin, MA

What gets you going?

There are plenty of choices to get involved this evening. Be active!

Join the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail subcommittee meeting to plan for a fund raising road race.
Meeting at the Y at 7:30 PM

The EPA will hold an information session and immediately following a public hearing to solicit feedback on their new storm water regulations.
Meeting at 6:30 PM at Tri-County Regional Voc Tech

The School Committee holds their second scheduled meeting for June this evening.
Meeting at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Bldg

Franklin, MA

"forced to eliminate Spanish"

"The elimination of Spanish at the elementary school means that one of our signature programs is now lost, and probably for good. We have resisted eliminating the program in its entirety, because once it is gone, it will be very difficult to bring back. But the budget realities simply could support this effort any longer," Roy said.
The Spanish teachers will move to the middle schools in August, when Spanish will become the only foreign language offered as Latin will be eliminated.
 Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

The newspaper article is incorrect in that the "School administrators last week announced" when in fact the announcement and discussion occurred during the June 8th School Committee meeting.  The article was likely written earlier and only published now which caused the "last week" inaccuracy.


Franklin, MA

In the News - Price Chopper starts over, EPA Stormwater

Neighbors not happy with continuance of Price Chopper hearing

EPA stormwater mandate to be discussed tonight

Franklin, MA

Mendon to re-do the vote on override

A two-member Board of Selectmen agreed last night to hold a special Town Meeting July 12 and a special election July 27 to vote again on the town's Proposition 2 1/2 tax override, but at a lower number.
The original override sought $594,000 with $100,000 targeted for town services. The new override eliminates the town portion.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin, MA

Can social networking help grow my business?

What is digital marketing?

Can social networking help grow my business?

Berry Insurance 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

Recycle your old recycle bins

Need to get rid of your old trash and recycling bins?

Now through Labor Day 2010 you can bring your clean trash and recycling bins to the Beaver Street Recycling center for recycling for free.

There is no permit required for recycling only these items until Labor Day. A permit is required for any other materials.

Please no trash in the barrels and must be clean.

Tuesday: Noon - 3:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Subscribe to the Recycling News (and other Franklin, MA newsletters) here

Monday, June 21, 2010

Planning Board 06/21/10

The real-time reporting (via the cable feed) of the Planning Board meeting on Monday June 21, 2010 can be found here:

Franklin, MA: Planning Board - 06/21/10 - Agenda

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - 485 E Central St

Continued Public Hearing 
485 East Central St - Franklin Market
Site Plan and Special Permit

Halligan recused himself
closed public hearing, motion to allow withdrawal of plans without prejudice
motion approved

Initial Public Hearing 
485 East Central St - Franklin Market (Price Chopper)
Site Plan and Special Permit

motion to continue to Aug 9th at 7:15 PM
motion to waive reading

due to a glitch in the assessors information, not all abutters were notified properly
initial public hearing will be held on Aug 9th
a brand new hearing, no information from prior will carry forward
all abutters have been notified this time

motion to adjourn, passed 4-0

The agenda document for this meeting can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Planning Board - general business

Present:  John Carroll, Mark Denommee, Ronald Calabrese, Tony Padula, Joseph Halligan,
Bill Yadsernia, Beth Dahlstrom

A - 81-P for 41 South St, discussion on request for continuance, not signed by attorney
motion to deny continuation, seconded, approved 3-1

B - request for one year extension Greystone Road Subdivision
Motion to accept, seconded, approved 4-0

C - Form G - Valentine Village
apparently certificate of deed not recorded although it was released by the Planning Board
Registrar requires an original copy with signatures, original apparently lost by developed
easier to get new original than to find old, Planning Dept does not keep copy until after it is recorded
motion to approve, seconded, approved 4-0

The agenda document for this meeting can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Town committee openings

Franklin has a number of open committee positions. These positions are all volunteer and non-pay. Someone must care about Franklin and should know something about the area that the committee covers.

Regular Member
Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Franklin Cultural Council
Franklin Disability Commission
Library Board of Directors
Public Land Use Committee
Recreation Advisory Board
Zoning Board of Appeals

The form to apply for one of these positions is available via the Town Clerk web page here:

Franklin, MA

FM #70 - Week Ending 6/20/10

This is #70 in the series on what matters in Franklin, MA. As the week closes, Father's Day, June 20th, let's take about ten minutes to review the week behind and look ahead.

Time: 8 minutes, 50 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast, number 70 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Let's take about ten minutes to review what matters this week as it comes to a close with Father's Day here in Franklin, MA on June 20th.

Last week instead of doing a new session, I re-published the analysis I had done on the split versus single tax rate in December 2009. The topic had come up again during the override discussion. With so many new readers/listening I thought it would be appropriate to bring that piece forward.


The Town Council held their two budget hearings (Jun 9 and 10) after the override results were finalized. The budget with all the cuts as discussed was accepted.

Weds 6/9
Thur 6/10

The Town Council met on the 16th and approved a transfer of $100,000 from free cash was approved to cover for the additional unemployment expenses the town will encounter due to the layoffs of 15 teachers and 3 police dispatchers. The other personnel cuts were from positions that opened due to retirements or folks leaving and while the positions went unfilled, they have now been removed from the roster.


Of interest was the analysis on the Open Meeting law changes that are scheduled to take effect July 1. Some of the details remain to be determined so it will be interesting to see which way the state proceeds. The intent is to make the town business meetings more accessible and open.

The document Mark Cerel shared with the Town Council can be found here:

A great deal of misinformation is still prevalent in the conversations particularly in the comment stream for the Franklin articles in the Milford Daily News.

The task remains to continue to share accurate information and encourage its spread. The PEW Internet and American Life Project published a study that showed:

In a poll conducted at the end of last year, we asked about online connections to communities and neighbors and found that in the twelve months preceding our survey:
  • 22% of all adults (representing 28% of internet users) signed up to receive alerts about local issues (such as traffic, school events, weather warnings or crime alerts) via email or text messaging.
  • 20% of all adults (27% of internet users) used digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.
What becomes relevant for our actions here is their finding that the largest single source of local information was obtained by talking face-to-face.

Overall, physical personal encounters remain the primary way people stay informed about community issues. In the twelve months preceding our survey:
  • 46% of Americans talked face-to-face with neighbors about community issues
  • 21% discussed community issues over the telephone
  • 11% read a blog dealing with community issues
  • 9% exchanged emails with neighbors about community issues and 5% say they belong to a community email listserv
  • 4% communicated with neighbors by text messaging on cell phones
  • 4% joined a social network site group connected to community issues
  • 2% followed neighbors using Twitter

The full study document can be found here:

Given the majority of information is shared in personal conversations, the opportunity is to continue to share accurate information on what matters in Franklin and encourage you to talk with your neighbors.

The battle of accurate information versus misinformation will be won, one conversation at a time.

What does the week look like?

The distribution of the new trash and recycle bins is scheduled to complete this week. As I ran down Chestnut st Sunday morning, I saw a few houses where they had been delivered but not yet pulled into the yard from street side.

The Planning Board meets on Monday, June 21. Of interest is the continuation of the hearing on the special permit for the Price Chopper proposal as well as opening a new hearing for the same property. I anticipate that what is happening is the original plans are being changed so they will close that hearing (and proposal) and open a new one. We'll find out if this analysis is correct.

The School Committee meets on Tuesday. They will formally accept their budget which will require the reduction in 15 teachers and then approve the increase in sports and activity fees as presented during the override discussion.

The EPA will hold a brief information session on Tuesday at Tri-County regarding the storm water treatment regulation changes they are proposing and then immediately following open a public hearing to take comments on the proposed changes.

The Financial Planning Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday. No agenda is available for this meeting at this time.

A friendly reminder also that there is a poll question open until June 25th. It arose from the discussions amongst the comments on the Milford Daily News. The question can be found on the front page of FM. The story behind the question can be found here

As I close the 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

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 and Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to listen to the audio podcast.

Downtown Consignment

Updated 5/17/11 - sometime in the past couple of months, Downtown Consignment moved to an unknown location in Plainville. The Franklin Art Association now has a gallery in this location.

Downtown Consignment is open for business. Conveniently located in the Berry Building, the mother/daughter operation provides brand name items for 60-70% less than the original price tag.

They accept the items on consignment for 60 days. Each item must be a brand name and either still new with the tag or gently used.

Sections of the store cover women's, men's children's clothing. They also have shoes, jewelry and designer bags.

Stop it sometime. I found them open during the Strawberry Festival last week and returned to talk with Maureen Parkinson, (the mother) co-owner with Jennifer Connolly (the daughter).

Downtown Consignment are new members of the Franklin Downtown Partnership.

Franklin, MA