Monday, December 27, 2010

The plan for Franklin Center - 2003

The plan for Franklin Center was developed and published in 2003. You can view the presentation document here:

Franklin, MA: Center Plan - 2003

Additional information from the Franklin Dept of Planning and Community Development will be highlighted here over the course of the week to help prepare for the Public Meeting Monday, Jan 10th.

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

Franklin, MA


The United Regional Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting event at Ten Key Inc., a Franklin-based accounting and bookkeeping firm, on Dec. 21. Owned by Stephanie Robl, Ten Key celebrated its relocation to a new office in the Hayward Mill Complex at 31 Hayward St., unit 2A - Room 205.

Ten Key, Inc. provides financial services, including accounting and bookkeeping, to both individuals as well as small and large businesses. For more information about Ten Key, visit

Members of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce and local officials welcomed Ten Key to its new Franklin office space. Pictured from left to right are: Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, The United Regional Chamber of Commerce President Jack Lank, Ed McDonough of Executive Coaching, Thomaz DeMoura of Digital Federal Credit Union, Carl Scheinman of Dean Bank, Danielle Grueter of Ten Key, Nancy Quigley of Century 21 Commonwealth, Owner of Ten Key Stephanie Robl, Bob Arena of Personalized Computer Care, Chris Pintarich of Berry Insurance, Allison Delaney of Ten Key, Donna Goulart of William Palumbo Insurance Agency and Faith Macia of Ten Key. Photo courtesy of Jen Osojnicki, Professional Photographer.

Franklin, MA

In the News - Tri-County, toddlers

Franklin member retiring from Tri-County school board


Franklin class designed for toddlers, parents

Franklin, MA

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Parking Ban Activation

Section 170-62 Effect of Parking Ban. The parking of any motor vehicle within the layout or right-of-way of any public street or any roadway open to the public is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. while a winter storm parking ban is in effect.

You can subscribe to receive your own news via email

FM #81 - Second Half 2010 Summary

This internet radio show or podcast is number 81 in the series for Franklin Matters.

MP3 File

In this session, you give me about ten minutes and I'll fill you in on what matters in Franklin as the 2010 calendar year draws to a close. This segment will review the major events that occurred each month from July through December. The notes that go along with this segment will contain links rich with the details.


The introduction of the new trash/recycling process

Third Thursday occurred on July 15th

The Affordable Housing Strategy and Plan was out for review

The Native Plants of Franklin series by Michelle Clay was introduced


opened with Bill Glynn of the School Committee holding a “Sit and Chat” on the Town Common

Town Council meeting on the 4th
Affordable Housing Strategy approved
Economic Development Areas established along Grove St
DelCarte house purchased on Prospect St
The Spanish War Memorial gun was removed

School Committee meeting of the 10th covered the District Improvement Plan amongst other items

The Franklin Matters survey on the trash/recycle process results were published

Town Council meeting on the 18th
Underground utilities for downtown were discussed

Third Thursday occurred Aug 19th

School Committee meeting on the 24th
Middle School Improvement Plan was reviewed amongst other items

The survey results to pay for the underground utilities were published

The School Committee added a meeting on Aug 31 due to late word on the receipt of additional stimulus funding which they chose to spend part of reserving part for next years budget cycle..


Finance Committee and Town Council initially looked at a proposal for funding the design and permitting for repairs of the dams on the DelCarte property

School Committee on Sep 14th
Elementary school Improvement Plans amongst other items

Town Council meeting of Sep 29, 2010

Executive summary for the Traffic Changes

Project presentation from May 2010

Downtown Partnership letter in underground utilities


Town Council meeting of 10/6/10

DelCarte - Town Council discussion

Where is the DelCarte property?

Photo tour of the DelCarte property in May 2010

Economic Development Summit fostered by Councilors Jones and Powderly along with the Dept. of Planning and Community Development

The School Committee met on Tuesday 10/12

Most of the night was spent on the high school reviewing
The school improvement plan
The senior project
The school discipline process and statistics showing the improvements

Copies of the presentations are posted to Franklin Matters.

Town Council meeting 10/20
a bunch of presentations from the DPW on their operations (water, sewer, and snow/ice storm preparations.)
The Council also completed the public hearing on the underground utilities, determining not to pursue putting them underground due to the expense

On the weekend prior to Election Day, November 2 I spent time on the weekly podcast providing information on the ballot questions, in particular the two charter questions


The election of Nov 2 resulted in one of the two charter changes passing. The technical changes passed, the proposal to move the Treasurer/Collector to an appointed position failed.

Town Council Nov 3, Senator Richard Ross came to visit and speak with the Council, Jeff Nutting spoke to provide an extensive outlook on the FY 2012 budget

School Committee meeting on Nov 9th
heard the capital budget as well as the DPW presentation on snow storms

School Committee meeting on 11/16 - Mostly about MCAS

Town Council 11/17 - heard about the proposal to form a cable access non-profit to run the cable TV operations on behalf of the Town. The second major item on the agenda was the initial presentation on the proposal for a new zoning district downtown along with a host of changes to bylaws and signs, etc.

I took the opportunity to provide feedback to both the SchCom and TC on back-to-back nights encouraging their outreach efforts and also reviewing their attendance records which I have been updating and publishing with each meeting.


Town Council met three times this month
on the 1st to approve funding to continue the water and sewer repairs

On the 8th, the tax rate hearing was formally held to set the tax rate for 2011 at $12.95/thousand and keep a single rate

I had updated my numbers and analysis on the tax information prior to the hearing

and on the 15th the third and final meeting to renew the liquor licenses for 2011
and hear a revision of the downtown zoning proposal

The School Committee met only once, on the 14th
The anti-bullying plan was reviewed and approved

So we bring a close to 2010, this will be the last of the weekly summaries this year. There will be more in 2011.

The year ahead looks to be a challenging one. The budget situation will likely result in an override vote sometime in May or June. The high school renovation project is also on schedule to come before the voters late next year. The Town Council, School Committee and other Franklin elected positions will be up for vote in November. Whether the high school project will make it to the same ballot remains to be seen.

So fasten your seat belt, the information train here at Franklin Matters and Franklin Matters Weekly will continue.

In case you missed the mid-year (Jan to Jun) review, you can find that here

---- ---- ----

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can use your help.

How can you help?

If you have an interest in covering the Planning Board and or the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings, please let me know.

As always - If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors
If you don't like this, please tell me.

Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
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 & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

"We need some serious money"

"It's a wooded environment and it's nature," said David Labonte, chairman of the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee. "We need to do a little sweat equity in paying for this thing upfront to have something for generations of people of all ages."
But, it could cost $2.8 million to improve and pave the 1.4 miles of trail in Franklin, which needs drainage work, grading and signs. A tunnel must also be designed and built under Prospect Street, Labonte said. Costs could be reduced with volunteer labor.
The path, which goes from Grove Street to Prospect Street before entering Bellingham, is mostly on state Department of Conservation and Recreation land and is open to the public. But many sections are overgrown, filled with ruts and otherwise unsuitable for bicycling, he said. 
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News or visit the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee website here.

Franklin, MA

"Public safety is usually at the top of the list"

In Franklin, the minimal staffing level is 10, which allows the department to staff two rescue engines and two ambulances, McCarraher said. The department has lost three firefighters and three administrative positions in the last several years, and the chief said federal stimulus grant money has allowed it to keep the staffing where it is the last two years.
McCarraher said Franklin's town government has worked hard to spread budget cuts fairly, and knows they are in a difficult position trying to decide where to save money.
"We're in the worst economy of our lives, and there are many competing interests," he said. "They heard the message, and they hired more people (when needed). They understand what's going on, and I think they have a very difficult job."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Franklin, MA

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas - 2010

Merry Christmas!

In the spirit of all that is good around us, I hope you enjoy your holiday with family and friends!

Franklin, MA

Friday, December 24, 2010

Public Meeting regarding the PWED Project Draft Plan - Jan 10, 2011

Important Downtown Franklin Project in Need of Input
Public Meeting regarding PWED Project Draft Plan

The Town of Franklin is holding a public meeting in order to obtain comments and suggestions on the Public Works Economic Development (PWED) grant funded portion of the Downtown Franklin Roadway and Streetscape Improvement Project. The meeting will be held on Monday January 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Dean College’s Alden Center (S11) located in the Arthur W. Pierce Center for Science and Technology.

Parking will be available in the Dean Hall Lot located off Emmons Street behind Dean Hall.

The focus of the meeting is to obtain input from the general public, government officials, Downtown business owners, property owners, and other individuals and organizations on draft plans for the PWED project area, which includes the following:
  • Emmons Street between Main Street and Hillside Road
  • Dean Avenue between Main and Ray Streets
  • Ray Street
  • Depot Street
  • The Town of Franklin’s Depot Street Parking Lot

The goals of this project are to improve the deteriorated conditions of these secondary roadways, create a safer pedestrian friendly environment, stimulate private sector investment, and improve the overall appearance of Downtown Franklin.

The meeting will be a hands-on workshop, where meeting attendees will have the opportunity to review draft plans, ask questions, exchange ideas, and provide suggestions. If unable to attend the public meeting, draft plans are available for review in the Town of Franklin’s Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD).

To make it easy for individuals to submit comments and suggestions, the Department of Planning and Community Development has created the Downtown Improvement Project webpage on the Town’s website:

Please utilize the website to provide input and look for other ways to participate in this important project. DPCD asks that the public utilize the website whenever possible to provide input, however input in any format (direct mail; email; telephone; fax) is welcome.

Feel free to contact Franklin’s Director of Planning and Community Development, Bryan W. Taberner, at 508-520-4907 or if you have questions or require additional information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Note: There are two projects that have been funded for Downtown - This is funded separately from the Downtown Improvement Project. The two projects are related in that they cover adjoining sections of Franklin and will be worked on a similar schedule.

Franklin, MA

"It's as clear as mud, as it always has been"

As public employees, teachers fall under the state's ethics reform law that was created in July 2009. That law prohibits public workers from accepting gifts valued at more than $50, and requires written notification of any gift that might lend an appearance of impropriety, according to the Ethics Commission.
"Most of the gifts that the teachers receive wouldn't fall into the category where they need a disclosure form," said David Giannotti, an Ethics Commission spokesman. "They're baked goods, or they're homemade holiday cards, or something small like that. You have to look all the facts, and whether a reasonable person would think the teacher could be influenced by the gift. Nobody is going to conclude that a teacher is going to go into the tank for someone for less than $10."
Earlier this month, the Ethics Commission revised the regulations to allow teachers to receive a gift from the entire class up to $150, so long as the gift amounts of each student or parent remained anonymous.

Ethics law means teachers must disclose gifts over $10

Franklin, MA

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Make your partner a real partner" (video)

From this 15 minute TED Talk, we gain insights from Sheryl Sandberg on women in the work force. She has three messages: one, sit at the table; two, make your partner a real partner; and three, don't leave before you leave.


Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the video.

Franklin, MA

"It's the really mundane things that you miss most"

Staff Sgt. Johnny Saldana, a Franklin resident whose 11- and 5-year-old sons attend the school, donated the flag while he was home on leave after spending much of the fall in Afghanistan serving with the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
"This school was founded on the principle that serving other people does matter," Head of School Kevin O'Malley told the students before the flag was raised. "Sgt. Saldana has given us a flag we can all be proud of."

U.S. soldier donates flag that flew in Afghanistan to Franklin school

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Individual mandate penalties proposed for tax year 2011

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 12/21/10

The Department of Revenue has posted the proposed 2011 penalty schedule for those who are able to afford the purchase of health insurance but fail to do so. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act of 2006 requires most adults 18 and over with access to affordable insurance to obtain it, and requires DOR to announce a penalty schedule for individuals who do not comply with the law.

The penalties for individuals between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are equal to half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Care enrollee premium as of Jan. 1, 2011.

For those between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL (up to $32,496 for an individual or $66,156 for a family of four) the annual proposed penalty is unchanged from last year. For example, an individual who is between 250.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL paid a maximum penalty of $58 a month ($696 annually) in tax year 2010 and is proposed to pay the same penalty in tax year 2011. The same penalty is proposed for a family of four with earnings not in excess of $66,156; however, the penalty is multiplied by two if both parents are uninsured.
Individuals with incomes up to 150 percent of FPL (or less than $16,248) are not subject to the penalty and are not required to pay an enrollee premium for Commonwealth Care health insurance. Neither is a family of four whose income does not exceed $33,084.

For those ages 18-26 whose income exceeds $32,496 or 300 percent of FPL, the penalty for tax year 2011 is proposed to equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Young Adult Plan premium without drug coverage or $72 per month ($864 annually), up from $66 per month ($792 annually) in tax year 2010.

For those ages 27 and older whose income exceeds 300 percent of FPL, the proposed penalty is equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Bronze premium with drug coverage or $101 per month ($1,212 annually), up from $93 per month ($1,116 annually) in tax year 2010. Again, this penalty is multiplied by two if two parents are in the family.

Things you can do from here:

Franklin Food Pantry - receives grant

The Massachusetts Bankers Association (MBA) Charitable Foundation has announced the recipients of its annual community grants for 2010. The 32 grants are a record number and total $128,500, also a record amount for the foundation, which now has provided gifts totaling $1.3 million over its 14-year history.
The foundation, supported by the nearly 200 member banks of the MBA throughout Massachusetts and New England, is distributing the grants over eight geographic regions in Massachusetts, giving awards to deserving social service agencies.
“There is terrific need all across the region,” said Norman S. Seppala, chairman of the MBA Charitable Foundation and president of Granite Savings Bank, Rockport, “and there are so many deserving social service agencies. We’re pleased to be able to help support the work of so many individuals and organizations in their time of need.”
The Franklin Food Pantry is blessed to be amongst the grant recipients.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I'd like to thank the Massachusetts Bankers Association for this grant. It will help the Pantry continue its work.

The full announcement of the Massachusetts Bankers Association can be found here

Franklin, MA

In the News - dancers, schedule, art

Dancers from Franklin center to open for Rockettes

Franklin High looks to change class schedule

Franklin Art Association meets

Franklin, MA