Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Live reporting - Finance Committee - 2/5/13

Present: Smith, Goldsmith, Dufur, Quinn, Roche, Dewsnap, Feldman, Aparo, Huempfner
Absent: none

Citizens Comments - none

Approval of minutes from Jan 8th, motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

Action item:
Town Clerk advertising $1,000
proposed to move from free cash

motion to approve from free cash, seconded, passed 9-0

DPW Road Capital Plan
Mike Maglio, Asst Town Engineer

roadway inventory conducted and road ratings created
update the database yearly
determines the capital plan based upon the ratings

206 total miles, approx. 30 miles are unaccepted roadways

approx 23 miles are private roads, with another 18 miles  that are State roads

avg rating for roads is currently 76, would like to get up to about 80. That number tends to be a good one for communities of our size

if we attempted to upgrade all the roads at once, it would cost about $48M

$1.2 M per year would keep us just holding steady
$2.0 M would get us gradually to an 80 rating by 2022

The town is doing a lot of planning that folks don't always see
The Long Range Planning Committee reported that roads were one of the major issues to be addressed.

The DPW does work with the gas company to coordinate road work
There is a bylaw passed a few years ago that once a road was re-built, it is not to be touched (unless an emergency) for five years. 

Trying to narrow the width of the roads to reduce the storm water handling

What has been the average road budget?
Not sure, let me check and get back to you. I have been here year and a half and just gettign into the budget business

Can you explain the accepted road process?
Has to do with the final as-built reports and acceptance by the Town Council
Working to get some of those identified and accepted into the process
We would be plowing and doing that kind of maintenance but not physical road repair work

Most of the paving is through contracts
we'll do some of the smaller tasks but the larger roads are better done by contractors

Q - how did the sidewalks account for so much/
A - can't repair them, mostly replace. Hadn't done this particular slide so not sure exactly what the calculation was

Tabling the OPEB valuation discussion (J Nutting not here)

Susan Gagner - not much to add just yet, the Governor's budget is out and we are scheduled for more local aid, if that holds it is very open to discussion

Intending to get budget at end of March

Per Jeff Roy, there will not be a local aid cut for this fiscal year.

Tri-County assessment is up, we have more kids enrolled there

Special election cost
There will be a primary and election, whether the state picks up the cost is open

Jim Dacey
we may come back to you for an increase in the processing of the parking tickets
have written only $20K of tickets, had budgeted only $3K for the processing
will be looking to see what it will be before year end and may come back in Apr/May with a number that should be good

Excise tax bills will be going out next Monday

Annual report will be reviewed at the Town Council meeting
Management letter to be addressed regarding action items
esp. a policy for fund balances

May be a requirement to put the unfunded pension liability on the balance sheet
The county has not presented that number to us
it will be interesting to see, all net assets will go down when it is added

Clarification on the asset versus liability and the balance sheet
we are funding the liability but not booking it (pension)
we are not funding the liability (OPEB) but booking

motion to adjourn

Franklin Historical Museum: All Aboard!


The Franklin Historical Museum will host a talk on the history of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail, SNETT.

Guest Speaker Ron Clough of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will give a presentation and discuss the history of SNETT which was designated as part of the National Recreation Trail in 1994.

Franklin Station

Join us for an informative look at the Southern New England Railway and trains in Franklin’s history, and learn about the ‘Ghost Train’.

Sunday February 17 @ 1:00pm, 80 West Central Street, Franklin

The science of NFL Football

The Library at Dean College has started publishing a blog. Their most recent post shares a series of videos produced by NBC on the "Science of NFL Football". Just because the Super Bowl has officially ended the season doesn't mean there is no more football!

Queue the videos!

You can find the series of 10 short (about 3-4 minute) videos here:

They don't provide a way to embed the video so you will need to follow the link. For school teachers to leverage this for their classes, there is a way to login via Blackboard and download the videos for free.


The Dean College Library blog:  http://deancultureconnect.wordpress.com/

The Dean College Library post on the football videos

The Science of NFL Football series

These videos and more are also available at http://science360.gov/files/ (search for "football"). Note I did not have success in actually viewing the videos on this site. They seemed to take forever 'loading'.

Rep Jeffrey Roy - Office Hours

State Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) announced today that constituent office hours will be held as follows:

Medway – Tuesday Feb 5th = 8:00 AM at the Medway Municipal Building, 155 Village Street, Sanford Hall, 2nd floor, Medway, MA

Franklin – Saturday 16th = 9:00 AM at the Cake Bar, 17 East Central Street, Franklin, MA (Parking on street & in the rear)

Medway – Wednesday 27th = 6:00 PM at Starbucks, 67 Main Street, Medway, MA 02053

Christopher Yancich, his legislative aide, will be accompanying him.

Representative Roy stated that all office hours are open to any residents of Franklin and Medway who may have questions or concerns that they wish to bring to his attention. Walk-ins are welcome, no appointment necessary. He looks forward to hearing from you.

He also invites all constituents to call him at his State House office at (617) 722-2425, stop by Room 437 in the State House, or email him at Jeffrey.Roy@MAhouse.gov.

House rejects governor's call for local aid cut

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 2/4/13

The House today rejected Gov. Deval Patrick's request for the power to make a 1 percent local aid cut and advanced legislation aimed at snapping this year's budget back into balance.

Things you can do from here:

Registry of Motor Vehicles Unveils MassRMV.com

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 2/4/13

MassRMV ScreenshotMassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles Division has transitioned to a new website making it the first motor vehicle administration in the nation poised to accept advertising in order to generate new revenue.

With more than 16 million website visits per year, the switch to www.massrmv.com offers limited advertising opportunities, and allows the RMV to develop clearer navigation to let customers perform their transactions with renewed confidence.

"This is a great example of MassDOT's continued emphasis on making our services more user-friendly," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "MassRMV.com makes online transactions simpler for the customer and gives us additional revenue opportunities."

During 2012, Registry customers performed more than 3.4 million transactions online, up from 2.9 million transactions in 2011, ranging from license and registration renewals to citation payments to signing up to become organ donors. Advertisements will be limited to select informational pages and are not on customer transaction pages.

"MassRMV.com is now the official website of the Registry of Motor Vehicles where customers may perform 35 different transactions safely and securely," said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian. "We work hard to drive customer traffic to the web, so we recognize our obligation to make this mode of service delivery as convenient as possible."

In September, MassDOT conducted usability testing on the new website design with customers at its Chinatown Branch. Based on customer reviews, navigation bars were redesigned, terminology was changed and special alerts affecting branch operations have been pushed to the forefront at MassRMV.com.

MassRMV.com customers will initially see promotional ads for MassDOT and RMV services while a contract with the advertising vendor, Municipal Media Solutions is finalized. In its first year of operation, the advertisements are expected to generate about $65,000 in new revenue.
Online advertising supplements current advertising partnerships, including those used in RMV mailers to defray mailing and productions costs. A closed-circuit RMV TV network, MVN, targets ads to those likely to be conducting business in Registry Branches and offers PSA time for relevant RMV news and updates.

Things you can do from here:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Big fund raising day for Franklin non-profits!

This Saturday, Feb 9th, will see two major fund raisers for Franklin based non-profit organizations.

1 - The Random Smile Project holds their 6th Annual Gala from 6:00 PM to midnight at the RI Convention Center, Providence RI.

Random Smile 6th Annual Gala Event
Additional details and tickets can be purchased online  http://www.randomsmile.org/events

2 - The Franklin Food Pantry will be conducting its 3rd Annual Phone-a-thon using the facilities at Dean College.

Franklin Food Pantry - new logo

Additional details can be found on the Food Pantry webpage  http://www.franklinfoodpantry.org/2013/02/calling-for-pantry.html

New roof on King St

The fire damage from September 2012 is getting repaired. Robert Catalano's residence at 12-14 King St.

14 King St under repair

and a second view

14 King St under repair - 2nd view

The Sep 2012 story

Franklin Library: Teen Advisory Board


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 2/2/13


Things you can do from here:


“It’s a game and a history lesson all wrapped up in one”

Mark Brady, a teacher at Horace Mann Middle School, uses a board game to help with teaching history.
“We can’t bring them back to Mesopotamia, Egypt or Greece, but this (Catan) brings it alive,” Brady said. “One student was so frustrated because he was winning at one point, and the other kids froze him out and wouldn’t trade with him. He said flat out, ‘I now understand why people go to war." 
Brady pitched the idea to administrators with help from Tricia Metrick, a science teacher. A grant from the Franklin Education Foundation, a community group that raises money for teachers, purchased the games for classes in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. 
Mark the experiment as a success, says Robert Vacca, who teaches eighth-grade world history. Vacca observed one of Brady’s classes and saw immediately that Catan was connecting with students in a way that a textbook never could. 
“The kids don’t even realize they’re learning,” he said. “It brings the curriculum to life and, in the process, brings their learning to a higher level. They have to analyze and interpret situations, and, really, that’s what history is all about."

Read more: Franklin educator uses board game to teach historical lessons - Franklin, MA - Wicked Local Franklin http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/education/x1433777900/Franklin-educator-uses-board-game-to-teach-historical-lessons#ixzz2JvNo4Kna

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Jim Dacey makes the case for Treasurer-Collector as an appointed position

This internet radio show or podcast is number 102 in the series for Franklin Matters.

In this session, we synchronize the audio and presentation document on the major arguments for moving the Treasure/Collector position to an appointed rather than elected position.

You may recall that there were Home Rule charter changes on the ballot for the Nov 2010 election. The technical changes to the charter were passed by better than a 3-1 margin while the question to move the Treasurer/Collection position to an appointed one failed by almost a 2-1 margin.
Question 4 - technical changes to the charter
Yes - 8443
No - 2596
Blanks - 1790
Question 5 - switch to appointment of Treasurer/Collector
Yes - 4339
No - 7421
Blanks - 1069
The full set of results from Nov 2010 can be found here

Now that sufficient time has passed, Jim Dacey the current Treasurer/Collector is bringing the discussion forward again. His presentation to the Town Council on Jan 23, 2013 laid out the arguments to have the next Treasure/Collector appointed by the Town Administrator and voted on the by Town Council rather than determined by the Franklin voters.

I have taken the recording of Jim's presentation and synchronized it with the presentation document so you can follow along. I also included the question and answer period that was part of the meeting.

So without further ado, here is Town Council Chair Bob Vallee introducing Jim Dacey:

The reporting from the Town Council meeting on Jan 23 can be found here

Notes of the full Town Council meeting can be found 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 like this, please tell a neighbor.
If you don't like this, please let me know.

Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/
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!

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Feb 6, 2013

November 28,2013, December 19, 2013, Executive Session

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






Jim Dacey, Treasurer-Collector
Melanson Heath & Co., 2012 Audit


1. Resolution 13-05: Hoffmann Farms, A Private Definitive Subdivision Acceptance of Covenant with Owner
2. Resolution 13-06: Appropriation: Town Clerk - Advertising
3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-695:Changes to § 185-31. Site Plan and Design Review – 2nd Reading
4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-696:Changes to § 185-20. H. Signs. Sign Approvals - 2nd Reading
5. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-697:Changes to § 185-45. N. Administration and Enforcement. Design Review Commission - 2nd Reading





Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The full set of documents released with the agenda can be found on the Franklin Town Council webpage

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - Feb 5, 2013

The Finance Committee (FinCom) is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. The meeting provides good insight into the budget and any expenditures that will come before the Town Council. With some exceptions for timing, any monetary expenses usually appear before this group for their approval  before going to the Town Council.

For Tuesday, the transfer of funds to the Town Clerk's advertising budget ($1,000) is up for discussion and approval. Due to the public hearings on the proposed bylaw changes (which require published notifications in the Milford Daily News), what had been forecasted for the Clerk's budget has already been drawn down. With only $1,000 being asked for, this is not a great deal but indicates the level of attention and awareness to the budget and expenses that can be found in this meeting.

The road repair budget is also up for discussion. Road repair has been a topic of conversation for several years as Franklin does recognize that it is behind on repairing roads. What dollars are available have been used effectively to rebuild the road infrastructure (water and sewer lines) and then do the repaving at the same time. This places a great deal of prioritization on what gets done when. If the water and sewer lines are in deed of repair, then it is easier to schedule to do both at the same time. If a road is in poor condition but the water and sewer lines are good, when does the road surface get done?

The published agenda for the FinCom meeting can be seen here

The FinCom agenda is also posted to the Franklin Finance Committee webpage here

Franklin LIbrary: Krafty Mondays


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 2/2/13


Things you can do from here:


Franklin Public Schools: School Events



Please join the School Committee and administration on a tour of Davis Thayer Elementary on February 7 at 6:00 p.m in the lobby. Our tour will be led by Principal Evemarie McNeil and School Committee members, Roberta Trahan and Sue Rohrbach.

Stop by the Jazz Cafe at Franklin HS featuring the HS Jazz Ensembles along with performances by all three middle school jazz bands. Concert will be held at Remington Middle School on February 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Have a a great weekend
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