Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Live reporting - School Committee

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

1. Routine Business
• Citizen’s Comments - none
• Review of Agenda - none
• Minutes: I recommend approval of the Open and Executive Session minutes from the February 15, 2011 School Committee Meeting, motion to approve, passed 7-0

and the Budget Workshop minutes from January 29, 2011. motion to approve, passed 7-0

• Payment of Bills - Mr. Glynn   motion to approve, passed 7-0
• Payroll - Mrs. Douglas
• FHS Student Representatives
• Correspondence
1. Budget to Actual

Franklin, MA

Proposed Taco Bell / Wendy’s needs more solid traffic plan

5 days after being approved by the Conservation Commission, James Daddario and his consultants hoped to move the project along further at the Town Planning Board meeting last night.   The Taco Bell/ Wendy's is slated to occupy the old Knights of Columbus site at 505 West Central Street.   While the Board was in favor of having the site redeveloped, the proposal has raised a lot of concern regarding traffic turning left into as well as turning out of the site onto 140, especially since that strip of West Central is notorious as a high traffic accident area. 

The town and the developers both did a traffic measurement of the site, but the reports are conflicting, causing a temporary stall in the project.  Questions over the different methods used to measure the gaps in traffic on 140 (which would determine how easily a turn into the site could be made), as well as the time of year traffic was measured and a lack of future traffic projections were not agreed upon.

The Planning Board suggested that Mr. Daddario’s traffic consultants meet with the town’s traffic consultant along with MA Highway to jointly devise a more solid plan on how to alleviate traffic concerns at the entrance to the site-whether it be restructuring the lanes or having some sort of traffic light.  If they can ensure that public safety won’t be an issue, the project is likely to move forward.

Contributor - Diane Field
Franklin, MA

Welcome Diane Field!

Let's welcome Diane Field as a contributor to Franklin Matters! Diane will be doing reporting on the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals to provide some coverage for us in the planning and development area. She'll attend some meetings in person and report on others from the video broadcast.

Who is Diane?
Diane first fell in love with the town after taking a job with Putnam Investments 13 years ago. After several years of city living, she began looking for a town in which to start a family with her new husband. She was drawn back to Franklin, which was close enough to family in Rhode Island while being commutable to Boston for work. A resident since 2005, she loves the family friendly atmosphere and rich history of the town, and is interested in being more active in the community. Of special interest is land conservation and keeping the town beautiful. Diane has since left her corporate marketing background behind and is a stay at home Mom to her 3-year old son, Elijah. Other interests include gardening, food and wine, and animal welfare - most notably retired racing greyhound rescue and adoption

Look for Diane's first post reporting on the Taco Bell/Wendy's proposal for 505 W Central St.

If you have an interest in writing about something that matters in Franklin, please let me know. There is plenty happening here in Franklin. If you have something of interest to share, please let me know.

Franklin, MA

Workshop: eReaders and eBooks

The Library will be holding a workshop on how to use ereaders and ebooks on Wednesday, March 23. You can register at the Circulation Desk.

Visit the Library blog for additional posts here

Franklin, MA

In the News - traffic mitigation, zoning changes

Franklin officials want developer to mitigate traffic


New contributor Diane Field report on the Planning Board meeting here

Franklin officials want to hear objections to downtown zoning changes

Franklin, MA

In the News - 4th July, Dean dance team

Franklin Fourth of July Committee seeks volunteers, donations

The website for the 4th of July Committee can be found here   http://july4thfranklinma.com/

Dean College Dance Team to perform Friday

Franklin, MA

Healthy Futures in Action!

From the Franklin Community Health Council:

We have some GREAT news to share. A few months back a number of Bellingham Memorial Middle School Students, in conjunction with our YMCA and Whole Foods Market Bellingham, entered the Let's Move! and USDA Recipe for Healthy Kids ChallengeThe winners of the challenge receive $3000 and have an opportunity to visit the White House and prepare their recipes along side White House chefs! Amazingly, out of the 15 recipes chosen as finalists, BMMS was the only school with TWO recipes chosen as finalists.  

We are asking you to get online and support the BMMS students! Please vote for your favorite BMMS recipe!  

The link to vote is as follows: http://www.recipesforkidschallenge.com/submissions 

Please help spread the word!

The official government press release is as follows:


Monday, March 14, 2011

How mobile devices are changing community information environments

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

47% of American adults use their cellphones and tablet computers to get local news and information

Things you can do from here:

FM #89 - Week ending Mar 13, 2011

Let's spend about ten minutes to find out what matters in Franklin, MA as the week comes to a close March 13, 2011.

Time: 10 minutes 6 seconds

MP3 File

Show Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 89 in the series for Franklin Matters.

We'll look back at the week that was as it comes to a close Sunday March 13. Then we will look at what is scheduled for the week ahead.

The Financial Planning Committee met on Wednesday. They completed their review of the prior report and are now busy working on the list of questions that they think should be answered.

The Town Council is one of two stakeholders for this committee. They will reach out to the Council to get their input on the questions to answer to help the Council make their decisions during the budget cycle.

The citizens (and voters) of Franklin are the second of two key stakeholders for the committee. Respectfully, there are some who don't care and there are some who have already made up their minds. Those two groups should not be a primary concern for the committee. The committee should address the needs of those who are looking for information. Those who are looking for accurate information have the interest to listen and make a decision. Providing information that is accurate and reasonably understood is the goal of the committee.

My notes from the meeting can be found here

I wrote about these three type of audience in what I called my “fire circle story” back in 2005. You have a choice to listen to the audio recording here http://steves2cents.blogspot.com/2006/10/fire-circle-story.html

or read the text here http://steves2cents.blogspot.com/2005/11/fire-circle-story.html

The week ahead of is Sunshine Week. a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Coinciding with sunshine week and building upon the PEW Internet study reported on here last week, I have begun a couple of new avenues.

One – There is a form for you to ask a question about the Franklin budget. Frequent commenters on the Milford Daily News articles about Franklin reference reading the Annual Report and suffering from a heart ache or some other physical malady. They rarely provide specifics as to what in the report is what cased this reaction.

If you have a similar question, you can ask it, and I'll get an answer. If you provide your email address, I'll be able to follow up to ask any clarifying questions as well as provide a direct answer. It is your choice. If you do provide your email, you get the response. If you don't, I can't guarantee a response.


Two – Many of you have a voice on the budget or any number of topics that matter to Franklin. You may not have the time to create your own blog. If you do have time to write a couple of paragraphs, and access to email, your voice can be published on Franklin Matters in a new “Voices of Franklin” section. Your written submission will need to abide by the editorial guidelines found below. You'll also need to be aware that anything published on Franklin Matters is subject to the Creative Commons License 3.0 for USA. Specifically, what is published can be shared with attribution but not for profit. More information about the editorial guidelines and creative commons license are found in the links below. If you would like to clarify something before sending your writing in, you can reach out to me (shersteve at gmail dot com).

Email address to send to franklinmatters.ma.myvoice@blogger.com

Editorial guidelines http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2007/12/comment-policy.html

Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

Three – This is an election year. November 2011 will see an election of the the Town Council, School Committee, and other town positions. I will make the offer now to all candidates for election to have an interview published in Franklin Matters. I did this in 2007 and 2009. The format of the interview preferably would be in text or audio. If you want to do video, I'll consider it as well. Let me know if and when you are interested and we can schedule a mutually convenient time.

2009 offer http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2009/08/open-offer-to-franklins-candidates-for.html

2007 offer http://steves2cents.blogspot.com/2007/09/franklin-open-invitation-to-franklins.html

As for town meetings this week

The School Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. Amongst the agenda items are presentations on the FHS visioning process, program of study, and summer reading. There is also the first reading on the bullying policy.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet on Weds. Amongst the agenda items they have are an action item to put the four utility poles on Main St located between Depot and the Triangle underground.

Coincidentally, on Monday, Mar 21 is a workshop to discuss the proposed zoning bylaw changes for the signs and other building restrictions in the downtown area. This is an outcome of the proposals brought before the Council on Oct/Nov that were not well received. There was too much to cover and it was not clearly presented. The Dept of Planning and Community Development has gone back to the 'drawing board' so to speak, and this workshop should help address some of the issues around the proposals before they are brought forward once more.

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

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin. I can use your help.

How can you help, you ask?
If you have an interest in writing about something that matters in Franklin, please let me know.

We have gradually been expanding the input here to include other contributors in Franklin and will have another announcement soon. There is still room for more, if you have something of interest to share, 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.

This feedback loop is important. 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!

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 3/15/11

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.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

1. Routine Business
• Citizen’s Comments
• Review of Agenda
• Minutes: I recommend approval of the Open and Executive Session minutes from the February 15, 2011 School Committee Meeting, and the Budget Workshop minutes from January 29, 2011.
• Payment of Bills - Mr. Glynn
• Payroll - Mrs. Douglas
• FHS Student Representatives
• Correspondence
1. Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. FHS Visioning Committee – Peter Light, Team
b. FHS Program of Study – Peter Light
c. FHS Summer Reading – Peter Light, Chris Schmidt

3. Discussion Only Items
• Policy – First Reading: JICFB - Bullying

4. Action Items
a. I recommend approval of the RMS trip to the Providence Place Mall IMAX Theater on April 15, 2011 as detailed.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2666.00 from the Parmenter PCC for Field Trips.

5. Information Matters
• Superintendent’s Report
• 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

Franklin, MA


Meeting # 26
Proposed Agenda for March 15, 2011
Location: Franklin YMCA 45 Forge Hill Road
Start Time: 7:30PM

I. Call to Order
A. Ask for volunteer to keep minutes of meeting
B. Introduction of new attendees
C. Review & approve minutes of previous meeting

II. Report from our representative from DCR
A. Need for signage disallowing motorized vehicles on trail
B. History of railroad for kiosk in progress

III. Membership Committee Report
A. Committee to report on membership activity

IV. Report from Finance Committee
A. Report from Treasurer

V. Report of Fund Raising Committee
A. Report of progress on the Road Race
B. Fundraising Activity
C. Ken to report on EMC connection
D. General preparations for the Road Race

VI. Report from Grant Writing Committee

VII. Engineering Requirements of this project
A. Updates

VIII. Unfinished Business
A. Business plan status?
B. Bellingham connection – progress with the Lions Club – follow up needed
C. Kiosk possibility at Center St

IX. New Business

X. Set Date and place for Next Meeting and Adjourn

The website for the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee can be found here http://franklinrailtrail.org/

Franklin, MA

"something that puts Franklin on the map"

"The vision that the Conservation Commission has for the property is that it becomes a public place for passive recreation and hiking trails," Livingstone said. "Fixing the dams and stabilizing water levels is the first step." 
Resident Ernest DelCarte donated the 130-acre property on Pleasant Street to the town after he died seven years ago. There are seven dams on the property, which was once used as a fish hatchery. 
Some of the smaller dams, where water sometimes flows over and around the structures, will probably be removed. They were built to create small ponds for the fish hatchery that is no longer operating, Livingstone said. 
The commission initially feared the project would cost several million dollars, but they have received proposals for as low as $1.2 million, Livingstone said, adding he hopes the commission will discuss plans with the Town Council in the coming months.
Read more: Franklin commission may seek grants to fix dams

Prior posts on the DelCarte property

Photo tour of the property

Where is it located?

Town Council discussion in October 2010

Franklin, MA

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"most can be reimbursed by the mile when driving for town business"

Some towns reuse retired police cruisers and other vehicles as take-home cars, but others, such as Ashland and Franklin, said repair bills and the cost of converting cars for civilian use can be high. 
"They're just not cost-efficient," Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting said.
Towns otherwise often buy vehicles through a state bidding process or at auction, including at Adesa in Framingham.
In Franklin, Nutting said he has phased out several take-home vehicles as employees with that benefit retired or otherwise left the town payroll. 
"Some of those jobs we never filled, or as (new) people come in, they have to bring their own vehicle back and forth for work," Nutting said. 
The town plans to cut two more next fiscal year, when the town engineer and deputy public works director are expected to retire. 
But there are few cases left where take-home vehicles could be eliminated, Nutting said, echoing many managers who saw most arrangements as necessary. 
"I'm running out of folks to scale back on at this point," he said.
Read more: How many public employees take their work car home?

More about Sunshine Week - a national initiative to highlight open government, freedom of information, and transparency can be found here.

Franklin's vehicle listing as of June 2010 can be found here. (I'll get an update this week.)

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Mar 16, 2011

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - February 16, 2011




E. APPOINTMENTS - Conservation Commission


Longhorn Steakhouse – Alteration of Premises
Joe’s American Bar & Grill – Transfer of License



1. Resolution 11-08: Report of Franklin Town Council, Re: Advisability of Requiring Removal of Poles and Overhead Structures Along Main Street From its Intersection with East Central Street to Its Intersection with Depot Street





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


Franklin, MA

Let the sun shine!

We have one entry thus far with multiple questions around substitute pay:
How much total pay is made to substitute techers. I was surprised to see the number of substitue people and some of the amounts are pretty high. Are teachers paid straight salary? How is leave handled? Is excessive teachers absence accounted for?

This query was sent to School Administration late Friday. With the School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, I would expect to have an answer posted no later than Wednesday.

If you have a question on how Franklin spends its money, ask and we'll find out. The form to ask your question can be found at the top of the center column or by following this link.

More about Sunshine Week - a national initiative to highlight open government, freedom of information, and transparency can be found here.

Franklin, MA