Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election 2012 - Results by Precinct

Here are the official results from Franklin, MA for November 6, 2012.

17,500 voters cast their ballot for an 85% turnout!

Live reporting - Finance Committee - Nov 6, 2012

Present: Feldman, Goldsmith, Dufour, Quinn, Roche, Dewsnap, Smith
Absent: none

Motion to approve minutes for June meeting, tabled for next time

Leadership selection for new session
Nomination of Jim Roche by Chris Quinn, seconded
Passed unanimously

Nomination of Chris Quinn for Vice Chair, seconded
Passed unanimously

Nomination of Susan Dewsnap for Clerk, seconded
Passed unanimously

Jeff Nutting updates:
In middle of annual audit, should wrap up by end of yer

Dept heads working on budgets, lots of uncertainty
looking to keep flt as much as possible
(lost the use of my "a" key for some reason

tax rate hearing on Nov 28th to set the tax rate for next year

school building bids came in under estimates
public hearing next Weds, Nov 4th 7:00 PM

Library waiver request submitted, last year library budget discussion was different from other budgets
this year the budget increased but we still need a waiver, no decision until Feb 203
hopefully lots of discussions last year with the Commissioners will help this time round
still need to figure out what will efficiently and effectively operate the Library

given the uncertainty in the fiscal view, we do have about 800,000 in excess
state aid brought in about 300,000 more
new growth about 200,000 higher
local receipts coming in higher than anticipated
given the uncertainty, lets' create another stabilization account

60 folks in the School Dept turned over this year, usually around 25-30 could provide some relief but even so they'll have continued pressures

only limitation would be the 2/3 vote to take money via roll call as opposed to majority vote

stabilization account was at one point about 10M with about 6M from a legal settlement
2.5M was used when an override failed
had used a debt stabilization account to manage debt
used a debt overlay account to help balance, no longer available
did have an override of 2.7M but cut 20% of workforce between Town and Schools
reductions in service, 304 municipal now about 240
schools lost about 100 teachers, class sizes rose
can not balance increases on tax revenues, 2.5% increase does not provide enough leeway
no raises also helped saved money, along with increases in co-pay on health insurance

new homes are a loss leader, $5,000 in taxes does not cover the $20,000 expense to educate the two children

Nutting: "I don't ever not see us having a challenging budget"
"all came together for the first time in 5 years to not have to cut jobs"

Gagner: Free cash is a close out from last fiscal year

Roche: part of the urgency is to set the money aside legally or we don't get to touch it for another year.

Quinn: the general stabilization fund is good at about 4.5 to 5% of the operating budget?
Nutting: everyone wants to have some savings but can't have too much as it is the taxpayers money

Nutting: used $00K to repair the cornice that fell off Davis Thayer

Nutting: the addition of this account would modify our policies, we have just started talking about it so it is not set yet

Roche: it doesn't violate any of our fiscal policies but does help us set up for the future

Nutting: this is geared to avoiding having the taxpayer paying more
trust me, there is enough coming down the road for capital needs we will have some need of it

Quinn: we could use some of the extra for a snow budget
Nutting: that is why we keep back some of the free cash to help cover, you're never going to budget for the high, can budget for the average
Quinn: yes, budget for the average, and have something aside for the high

motion to raise and appropriate for the new budget stabilization fund, seconded
Passed unanimously

Nutting: lawsuit between Newton and utilities for how to tax the utility poles, law was changed to determine how to tax, the courts finally decided the suit, need to raise and appropriate the interest to pay the bill, money was set aside but the interest was not collected or set for this

interest rate set at 8% but set forever ago

discussion on overlay versus surplus, not released yet

motion to raise and appropriate $38,000 to pay the utilities
Passed unanimously

Dacey: when we borrowed money last April towards the high school project, received a premium, since this is a debt excluded project, whatever costs and interest are added to the tax levy but the premium is deducted, so this premium needs to be applied against an existing account to properly offset it

Gagner: this is housekeeping financially

motion to transfer from free cash, $1,405 to pay for the high school bands (bonds) (not musical instruments)
Passed unanimously

Deswnap - picked up good point from conference, points we can take offline and review what they mentioned versus what we do, always room to improve

Roche: held in Franklin, good breakout session, good info help every October

Nutting: spoke this year on merging facilities along with Lexington, interesting to see how some are having trouble doing something like what we did with facilities here switching from School to Town support

Nutting: Technology lost a staff person, might need some help sooner than later
Fire Dept with 5 folks out on injury, some new hires haven't been fully trained yet and class is not until next year, so overtime is going up; with reduction in staff, injuries hit you
2 firefighters are down in NJ called up by the federal government

Roche: mentioned to Jeff about getting a recording secretary, we don't have someone but it would be good to have; pretty hard to effectively do so and conduct the meeting; will try to advertise a 2 hour a month job once a month with summers off

A project, to develop a new member packet, what are the policies, phone number listing, mission statement, goals, etc. and a current budget

A project to review all the cash accounts, Jim remiss in sitting with Susan to review
Long range issues need to be picked up from the Long Range Planning Committee
it does happen but it is not formalized in Franklin, roads, sustainability of employment, etc.

Encourage the Chairman to appoint subcommittees to meet with the departments, Police, Fire, DPW and Schools makes a difference when it comes to the budget and decision making

motion to adjourn
Passed unanimously

Franklin votes at the high school

Voting for all of Franklin is at Franklin High School, 218 Oak St, Franklin, MA 02038.

View Larger Map

The polls will open at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.


To help summarize the information available to us on the candidates and their positions, I have the following to offer:

Another stabilization fund?

In the normal course of events, Town Council agenda items regarding money usually get to go before the Finance Committee (FinCom) for a vote. The vote becomes part of the record for the Town Council to consider the matter. How the FinCom votes can help determine what the Town Council will do.

Aside from the election as being the major event of today, the FinCom meeting tonight will get to decide on the possible creation of another stabilization account. We already have several accounts in this space. Per the FinCom agenda these are the accounts and current amounts held:
General stabilization:  $4,806,571
Public Works: $275,494
Traffic: $4,565
OPEB: $170,253
Senior Center: $150,579
Recreation fields:  $150,579
Fire Truck: $75,290
Free cash : $3,580,481

The General Stabilization is supposed to be around 5% of the Town budget as a good fiscal practice as well as Town Council policy.

The OPEB, Senior Center, Recreation Fields, and Fire Truck accounts are all holding money being put aside to accumulate for the time when we will need it. OPEB for the outstanding funding required. The Senior Center for the build out of the 2nd floor. The Recreation fields to re-do the artificial turf fields in a couple of years. The fire truck to purchase a replacement in a few years.

With some extra money over and above what was budgeted for FY 2013, there is now a proposal for an "Operating Budget Stabilization Fund".
The Town Council will vote on Wednesday these two items (among other actions on the agenda)
1. Resolution 12-72: Establishment of an Operating Budget Stabilization Fund
2. Resolution 12-73: Appropriation: Operating Budget Stabilization Fund

Money put aside in this new account would help to offset a future need for an operational override. Yet money from the general stabilization fund had been previously used for this purpose. Why create a separate account? Why not use the one that has been used?

The full FinCom agenda can be found here

The full Town Council agenda for Wednesday's meeting can be found here

Music Boosters Fund Raiser - Thu Nov 8

The Franklin Music Boosters will be holding a fund raiser on Thursday evening from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM at Five Guys. Five Guys will donate a percentage of the purchases during this time to the Music Boosters.

Have a burger and help the Music Boosters!

Additional information on the Franklin Music Boosters can be found on their webpage:

In the News: hurricane, ballot questions, election letters

Franklin, Mendon collecting items for hurricane victims

Many communities will see more than 3 ballot questions

Monday, November 5, 2012

FHS Girls Varsity game - Tues 6pm @ FHS

Ok Soccer Fans! 
Let's keep the momentum going...Franklin HS Girls Varsity game vs. Dartmouth - 6pm - Tues 11/6 at FHS.  Each game is getting tougher and this one will be no exception.  It's the quarterfinals as there are just 8 teams left in the tournament. 
Please come out to support the team...bring blankets, hot cocoa, mittens, and more to keep warm and cheer on the girls!  They GREATLY appreciate all the support over the last few games...it has really given them an extra boost during the games to hear and see all the fans!!


November is busy!

Why is it so busy in November? It helps that there are 'short' school weeks.

This week: 
No school on Tuesday Nov 6th to reduce traffic on Election Day. Teachers and staff have a professional day.

Next week:
No school on Monday, Nov 12th, Veterans Day.

The following week
Thanksgiving comes with no school Wed/Thu/Fri hence only three two days of school!

Election 2012: What's on the ballot?

While this article leaves out the two non-binding ballot questions, you can get ALL the candidate and ballot question information you need here

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Derek McLean/Daily News staff on 11/4/12

When local residents hit the ballot box on Tuesday, they will all be asked to vote for their choice of president and U.S. senator. Voters in the Massachusetts 4th Middlesex Congressional District will be asked to choose between Democrat Joe Kennedy, Republican Sean Bielat and independent David Rosa to take the U.S. representative seat that is currently being held by Barney Frank.

Things you can do from here:

"It’s been a great race"

The position statements have been touted frequently, now it is time to get out the vote. The Milford Daily News reports on a reflection of the campaigns for the 10th Norfolk District by the candidates:
Roy, of Franklin, and Eustis, of Medway, know the district well. Yet both acknowledged that because of the microscope put on it by campaigning, they have learned so much more about the towns and their residents. 
"I’ve been to neighborhoods I never knew existed," Roy said. "I’ve made new friends." 
This hyper-local election, they say, has been all about going door-to-door. The candidates each boast about having visited with thousands of their would-be constituents. And they have been humbled by the kindness and openness shown to them on the campaign trail. 
"It was amazing to me how freely people would share their personal stories and details of struggles they have had — me coming to their door as a stranger," Eustis said. "They were so welcoming and candid in our discussions. They left me more committed than ever to fight to help make their lives better, day to day."

Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1890071984/Roy-Eustis-look-back-on-months-of-campaigning#ixzz2BLLkuhGy

Democracy Amendment Massachusetts (Common Cause Ballot Initiative to overturn Citizens United)

A regular reader sent along this additional information on Ballot Question 4

The Democracy Amendment Ballot Question

Shall the state [senator or representative] from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the US Constitution affirming that 1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and 2) both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who supports a constitutional amendment?

83% of Democrats, 73% of Republicans, and 81% of Independents oppose Citizens United.

9 states – Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have called for Congress to propose a constitutional amendment.

Over 300 US municipalities have passed resolutions in favor of an amendment, including at least 70 in Massachusetts.

11 state attorneys general, led by Massachusetts's Martha Coakley, have written to Congress urging the passage of an amendment.

22 state attorneys general urged the Court to uphold a Montana law challenging Citizens United.

A dozen versions of an amendment have been introduced by US representatives and senators.

115+ citizens' organizations support a constitutional amendment.

More than 2 million people have signed petitions in support of an amendment.

Is a constitutional amendment really necessary?

Yes. Because Citizens United and other decisions are based on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution, only a constitutional amendment can undo them and ensure that government works for us—not just for corporations and wealthy interests that pay for political campaigns. Read more »

Isn't a corporation an association of people? Why shouldn't it have constitutional rights?

To claim that the Bill of Rights applies to "we the corporations" as well as "we the people" is contrary to its original intent and just plain wrong. Read more »

Unions, nonprofits, and news organizations are corporations too. Won't a constitutional amendment weaken their voice?

Absolutely not. Non-profit organizations could advocate for the rights of their members long before the courts gave corporations constitutional rights. The Supreme Court has recognized this repeatedly. If a constitutional amendment were passed, we would merely go back to this method of analyzing rights. Read more »

Didn't the Massachusetts state legislature already pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment?

Yes, in an overwhelming bipartisan victory, both chambers of the Massachusetts legislature passed resolutions calling on Congress for a constitutional amendment. This ballot question is an opportunity for the voters of Massachusetts to reinforce the state legislature's action. Read more »

What is the point if the ballot question is non-binding?

Using ballot questions, "We the People" can send a strong message to Congress and other elected officials that we want a constitutional amendment. Even though voter instructions are not legally binding, they have historically carried great force. Read more »

What is the process to pass a constitutional amendment?

All 27 amendments to today's US constitution were proposed by a 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress and then ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures. Alternatively, amendments can be proposed and ratified by a combination of national and state constitutional conventions.

What did the Court decide in the Citizens United ruling? How did the Court arrive at Citizens United?

In its 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010), the Supreme Court decided that corporate expenditures in elections constitute constitutionally protected free speech. Read more »

What are independent expenditures? How are they different from contributions?

An independent expenditure is spending on behalf of a candidate. A contribution is given directly to a candidate or a candidate's affiliates. Read more »

What are SuperPACs?

SuperPACs are political action committees that only make independent expenditures. They can legally accept and spend unlimited donations from individuals, corporations, and unions. Read more »

How has Citizens United affected political spending in elections?

The unprecedented special interest funds pumped into the 2010 elections revealed only the tip of the iceberg of campaign finance post-Citizens United. The 2012 election cycle is sure to break all spending records: overall spending in the 2012 election is predicted to reach new heights – more than $8 billion! Read more »

Who will be voting on the Democracy Amendment question?

About one-third of Massachusetts voters have a chance to vote on the question in November. Read more »

Why does the Democracy Amendment question have different numbers depending on where you vote?

Ballot questions are numbered in the order in which petition signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State. Also, all statewide binding questions, of which there are three in 2012, are numbered first. Read more »

Aside from voting "YES," how can I help and where can I get more information?

Tell your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers about the ballot question. Make sure they are registered to vote by Wednesday October 17 and vote "YES" on Tuesday November 6! Read more »

Want to know more? Check out our suggestions for reading and other resources »

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Nov 7, 2012


October 3, 2012 Regular Session, October 17 Executive Session

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting is also being recorded by Franklin Matters.

Citizenship Award


Franklin Community Cable Access Corp. – Board of Directors
(three candidates for two positions: Ken Norman, Rose Turco, Frank Falvey)

Finance Committee - Paul Aparo



Karen Alves, Director, Senior Center
Franklin TV, Ken Norman


1. Resolution 12-72: Establishment of an Operating Budget Stabilization Fund
2. Resolution 12-73: Appropriation: Operating Budget Stabilization Fund
3. Resolution 12-74: Appropriation: Interest – Property Tax
4. Resolution 12-75: Town of Franklin Net Metering Power Purchase Agreement
5. Bylaw Amendment 12-694:Amendment to Chapter 82, Appendix A, List of Service Fee
Rates – 2nd Reading
6. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-695: Amendment to Chapter 185 §31. Site Plan and Design
Review – Referral to Planning Board
7. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-696: Amendment to Chapter 185 §20 Signs. Sign Approvals
– Referral to Planning Board
8. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-697: Amendment to Chapter 185 §45 Administration &
Enforcement. Design Review Commission – Referral to Planning Board





Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The full set of documents released for this meeting can be found here

Hurricane Relief collection underway



The Town of Franklin Police, Fire and Schools are attempting to organize a disaster relief project to help our Fellow Americans impacted  by Hurricane Sandy.

Items needed include:

  • Bottled water
  • Nonperishable food- note expiration date
  • New Clothing- adults, children and babies
  • New Blankets
  • Personal hygiene items including baby items (diapers, baby wipes)
  • New household items

Please drop off items at one of our two fire stations (King Street or Downtown) between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Thank you for your support,

The Franklin School Department, 
the Franklin Police Department and 
the Franklin Fire Department.
This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at (508) 613-1777.

In the News: election related items

For Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren - a final sprint

November Programs at the Library

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Friends of Franklin Library"
Subject: November Programs at the Library

How to select eReaders

This program will look at the features of eReaders and help you decide which reader is right for you.  Also, included is a demonstration of using the Overdrive service provided by the Minuteman Network and the Franklin Public Library.  eBooks can be checked out and downloaded from Overdrive and then transferred to portable devices such as the Nook, Kindle, iPads, and smartphones.  The library has both Kindles and Nooks preloaded with books available for circulation.

Monday November 5th from 10:30 AM – Noon
Franklin Public Library Meeting Room

Monday December 3rd from 10:30 – Noon
Franklin Public Library Meeting Room

No registration required.

How to Make Holiday Memories with your Digital Photographs

Digital Photographs make it easy to share albums with family and friends and create cards, calendars, ornaments, and other gifts for the holidays.  In this program we will look at free software to edit photos, and sites to upload photos for sharing and ordering a wide array of products.  We will also look at transferring images from you camera to the computer and storage options for large file sizes.

Monday November 19th 10:30 AM to Noon
Franklin Public Library Meeting Room

No registration required.


Friends of the Franklin Library * P.O. Box 147 * Franklin, MA  02038 * fofl02038@gmail.com