Thursday, September 30, 2010

Town Council - 09/29/10

The live reporting posts from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Sep 29 2010 can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Dean College hosts first program of business lecture series October 6

Dean College will host the first in a series of presentations by regional and national business leaders called "Leadership in Action, "  on October 6 at 4 p.m. in the College's Campus Center Atrium. 
The first speaker in this series is Irina Simmons, Senior Vice President and Treasurer of EMC Corporation on October 6, 2010 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in  the Campus Center Atrium.  
Ms. Simmons will discuss "Leadership & Career Services - A Personal Journey".  Immediately following the lecture, a Women's Networking Reception will be held from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in the Campus Center Atrium.  
The event is free and open to the public.

For other events on the Dean calendar visit

In the News - traffic flow, bake sale, Lincoln St

Franklin to make downtown roads two-way


St. Mary’s women’s club of Franklin sets bake sale

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Live reporting - Closing

work on the grant for green underway



Powderly - there was an authorization for money on traffic signals, it is not cash, the authorization was rescinded and it is not available

McGann - We should be looking at our own people first before hiring some person from outside

Nutting - you are not getting all the information, qualifications, past experience, etc. It is a personnel matter and we shouldn't be discussing it.

McGann - if we don't hire from within, it demoralizes the workers here.

Vallee - how long do we wait before a skim coat?
Nutting - every road we do , we let the trench sit at least a winter and then the top coat goes on so it gives the street more integrity

Pfeffer - Stella has a show on Franklin, a series on former selectmen and their decisions

Nutting - it was turned over to the Historical Commission for final painting

Mason - happy birthday to Catherine, who is 16 and I want to embarrass her sufficiently

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

motion to go into executive session, collective bargaining
passed 8-0 (via roll call)

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - traffic, continued

Nutting - the south bound RT 140 traffic will still be a backup, today and the future, everything else will be better

Jones - Safety is the number one issue for me

Vallee - nothing is perfect, the folks were against the change when we went from 2 way to 1 way in the 70's

2. Resolution 10-56: Endorsement of Plan for Two-Way Vehicular Traffic on Emmons, West Central and Main Streets as Element of Downtown Revitalization Project

motion to waive the reading, passed 8-0
motion to approve, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - presentation on traffic flow

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS – Downtown Franklin Enhancement Project Proposed Traffic Circulation – Westin & Sampson
Gene Bollinger, Bill Paley (spelling?)

We have been accumulating the grant money since it was awarded in 2004.
A public hearing for the 25% design position, then another for the 75% design, with the hope of getting a shovel in the ground for 2012.
Town Council would have to change the bylaws to change the traffic flow
Intent is to gain the Council endorsement for the traffic changes
This is less intensive than what was done previously
Some property taking is anticipated but nothing major, just strips here and there to enable the crossings and turnings

Interest is to come away with your comments and submit the 25% design to MassDOT
Continue to interact with the public, various department heads, Dean College, Downtown Partnership, etc.

The first board identifies the section of the various projects (HPP and PWED)
The PWED can go sooner as it does not require MassDOT approval.
Utility work already underway to try and compress the overall construction schedule and minimize disruption.
End of curb to end of curb, new or re-surfaced roadways, expanded sidewalks for ADA access.
Light pole, street furnishings, etc.

Traffic circulation would stay as is with the exception of the 1-way to 2-way change on Main St

Emmons, West Central - This intersection offers a level of service B, (A is the top, F is the bottom)
Triangle - This intersection offers a level of service C
all the traffic numbers are based upon the peak period.
Summer St is currently rated an F, it would improve to an A with the light and synchronized with the others
Main St/Emmons - Main would be free flow, Emmons would be stop signed

There are raised tables downtown and near Dean, an elongated speed bump to help the walkers

Signalizing the intersections creates gaps in the traffic where there are no gaps with no signals today

Multiple questions and answers.  This part of the meeting will definitely be better to listen/watch to

3 minute recess

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Public Hearing - underground utilities

F. HEARINGS - Public Hearing to Consider Removal of Utility Poles, Overhead Wires & Associated Overhead Wires and Associated Overhead Structures in Downtown Area – 7:10 PM

Due to the clerical error, this is part of the hearing. No council vote tonight. The council has another public hearing on Oct 20th and after that, then they will be in a position to vote.

They walked the property doing a sidewalk survey to estimate the potential electrical cost to re-do the feed from the street to the house. Most were in the range of 0-$4,000. 

Those numbers sound rather conservative, once you get inside, the electrical code and updates.
The Town Council has an option to pay none, some or all of it.
The Town should not absorb a penny of this . Why should the tax payers pay for an improvement to their building.

G Smith - 
Nutting - Verizon charge is only on the land line, Comcast is only on the cable bill not on the phone, so it is confusing but the statute was done many years ago. The amounts are projected for the customer base.
G Smith - If the customer has both Verizon and Comcast would pay about $112. If you only have electric, you only would pay $12. There is inequity in this fee schedule. Considering the results of the last override election, it would be a charge against the will of the people

McCarraher - consider that the overhead wires are a hazard to the firefighters. It is a small part, but please look at it from the firefighters safety perspective.

Piana - Downtown Partnership sent letter encouraging this being done now as it is the only opportunity to do so. It is important to the esthetics's of the downtown appearance.

Piana - the majority of the membership do agree, of course, not all do. 

Mason - we are trying to get a consensus. Is there anyone who would like to speak. Any thoughts from the Councilors?

Kelly - The voters did vote down the override, I don't think I would support it at this time.

Jones - the major issue I have with this is the unknown costs for the property owners for what I have counted as a dozen telephone poles.

Vallee - I have mixed feelings about this, I am concerned about the looks, I am concerned about passing the costs to the citizens

Powderly - I am usually for investing in the town but I have a number of concerns about the unknown costs. We have to look at this project in with the other capital needs, we have the high school coming down the road, a large operating deficit, so at this time I don't think I can support putting this on the citizens.

Pfeffer - It was many years ago the Boston Magazine said we were 'seedy'. Since then we have been voted top town to live and top to retire. I don't think we can do it for only a part of the downtown.

Mason - We are always seeking the help of the voters, since there was the vote expressed three months ago with the failed override, I can see how we can do so at this time.

Whalen - the likelihood of needing an overrider for operations next year is good. 

Motion to close the hearing - passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

Present: Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, McGann, Powderly
Absent:  Zollo

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September 8, 2010
motion to approve, passed 8-0

-Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded by Verizon, Comcast and Franklin Matters
Veterans Breakfast, Fri Nov 5th at Senior Center, thanks to the generous sponsorship to the Friends of Franklin Elders
Lincoln St detour on Sat Oct 2
Hazardous waste day at Town Hall, Sat Oct 2 (tickets required, call DPW)

- Thermo Environmental Scientific

Capt Gary McCarraher, open house at King St fire station from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM




1. Resolution 10-55: Order of Layout, Acceptance, and Taking of Hemlock Lane and Related Parcels and Easement -
motion to approve,  passed 8-0

3. Resolution 10-57: Scheduling of Public Hearing to Consider Removal of Utility Poles, Overhead Wires, and Associated Overhead Structures in Downtown Area - motion to approve,  passed 8-0

Yes, due to leaving out the section of Main St on the original map, the hearing needs to be formally re-done. An oversight on submission of the map, a mistake on Jeff Nutting's part. 

4. Resolution 10-58: Appropriation to Construct Opticom System on Traffic Signals -  motion to approve,  passed 8-0

using a donation to install the system on the Four Corners interchange
money originally designed for King/Union interchange but since the State is doing so, they are moving down to this interchange.

Franklin, MA

Downtown Traffic Survey says

The results from the survey conducted on the Franklin Downtown Partnership page are in:

Should the Main St traffic pattern be changed from 1-way to 2-way?

No - 99
Yes -  68
Grand Total 167

So 59% against, 41% for.

Only 167 so that is clearly a small sample of Franklin residents and voters.

Thanks to all for your contribution.

Franklin, MA

Franklin Downtown Partnership’s Letter on Underground Utilities

The Board of Directors of the Franklin Downtown Partnership have published a letter to the Town Council endorsing the proposal to put the utilities underground. You can read the full text of the letter here:

The Board also wrote to the Town Council to present their position on the overall Downtown Improvement Project. You can view the context of this letter here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - Franklin schools

Donations pay for several Franklin school programs


Franklin, MA

To get kids eating healthier, Jamie Oliver launches Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Blue Kitchen by Terry B on 9/28/10

Jamie Oliver is on a mission to get everyone to eat better. His new website, Jamie's Home Cooking Skills, is the subject of my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog. A recent study...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harmony from the Heart - Fri, Oct 1

Raising money for Platelet Research one concert at a time

Friday, October 1, 2010
6:30 PM Lake Pearl Luciano's Wrentham, MA

Cocktail Reception, Silent Auction, Raffles, Live Music, Dancing, Fun and Fundraising

Join us for a great night of entertainment by Peter Paulousky, Kai Olsson, Toby Olsson w/Jamie Barrett, PT 73, and the reunion show of classic 80's band 'The DRIVE'

Tickets are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the door (space permitting)
Tax deductable donations can be made online at
Your name will be added to the door guest list.

Proceeds benefit the Center for Platelet Research Studies at Children's Hospital Boston

Find additional information click on Harmony from the Heart at

Franklin, MA

No live reporting for School Committee meeting

There will be a Sherlock participating in the School Committee meeting this evening but it won't be me there to report on what is happening. Mrs Sherlock will be there as part of the group that worked to define Early Childhood School Readiness.

The readiness definition they will present and discuss can be viewed here:

Franklin (MA) Public Schools - Readiness Defined

Where will I be?
You may recall that I am now on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry. Our monthly meeting is this evening so that will take priority tonight. Given my schedule for the remaining week, I probably won't be able to get to review the School Committee meeting video until this weekend.

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to review the document.

Franklin, MA

"Every VA facility has an Agent Orange Registry"

George Ferguson wasn't surprised when he read about the newly recognized presumptive illnesses related to his time served in Vietnam.
The Franklin resident already collects benefits for type II diabetes, and now, like thousands of Vietnam veterans across the country, Ferguson is waiting to see if the Department of Veterans Affairs will officially recognize the heart disease he's been suffering from since 2005.
"Now I'm just waiting to find out if they will give me disability for my heart disease, and at what rate," he said.
Last year, the VA added three diseases to an existing list of conditions presumed to be the result of exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant used to destroy jungle foliage in Vietnam and expose the enemy.
B Cell leukemia, ischemic heart disease and Parkinson's disease were added to a list that includes type II diabetes, prostate and lung cancers, Hodgkin's disease and other conditions.
The conditions were officially published in the VA's Federal Registrar last month, and are subject to congressional review until Oct. 31.
Read more about the change in veterans benefits in the Milford Daily News here:

Franklin, MA