Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Live reporting: School Committee - Jan 12, 2016

Present: Bilello, Scofield, Douglas, O'Malley, Schultz, Jewel
Absent:  Bergan

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
- no changes

Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the December 8, 2015 School Committee Meeting.
- Motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-0

Payment of Bills Dr. O’Malley
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
- discussion on lanyard policy, lack of pencil sharpeners in the classrooms is also an issue

Correspondence: Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Jefferson Elementary School Update
(doc to be added)

Reminder: Franklin Dog Park Committee forming Weds, Jan 13

Haley is looking to start a Franklin Dog Park Committee. 
My name is Haley and I am starting up the Franklin Dog Park committee, I was wondering if you would be able to help me promote it by posting about it? 
The first meeting is January 13, 7:00 PM at the New England Chapel - any and all are welcome. If you have any questions or are thinking about attending yourself, my email is franklin.dogpark@gmail.com


There is a signup sheet available for those looking to attend the formation of the Franklin Dog Park Committee meeting on Wednesday, Jan 13.

dog park at Dacey Field on a sunny summer day
dog park at Dacey Field on a sunny summer day

You can find the signup sheet online here -> https://t.co/9COXkE55Id

Franklin Library: Knitting Circle - Tues, Jan 12 - 6:30 - 8:30 PM

"Whether you knit, crochet or spin, all fiber enthusiasts are welcome to share their craft at the Franklin Library Knitting Circle. Open to all skill levels. Meetings will take place on the second Tuesday of the month"

For adults

Franklin Library - 2nd Tuesday of the month
This was shared from the Franklin Library page

Hurry, Your Hatha Yoga class starts before you know it!


Hatha Yoga Classes begin soon!

The Center for Adult Education and Community Learning has Hatha yoga classes starting on Wednesday, January 20. 

AND there's still time to register.

 Just click here

» View all classes
Stay Connected
Franklin Public Schools   Lifelong Learning Institute 
Center for Adult Education and Community Learning
218 Oak Street, Franklin, MA 02038
Forward this email

FPS- Life Long Learning | 355 East Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

"how substance-abuse issues derailed his life"

A substance-abuse coalition will host two events in February in an effort to better inform the public about the factors that lead to opioid abuse. 
The Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment (SAFE) group will be hosting a talk by Harvard University Professor Robert Putnam on Feb. 2 and a program by former Boston Celtic Chris Herren on Feb. 29. 
State Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, said the Putnam talk - scheduled for 7 p.m. at Franklin High School - is not solely about drugs. 
"It's going to be more about the sociological background and context of the opioid crisis," he said. "Dr. Putnam has done a lot of research - not on opioids specifically - and he does paint a good picture of what is happening in America at the same time this epidemic has exploded."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

S.A.F.E. Coalition

For more info about the SAFE Coalition and the services they offer

Monday, January 11, 2016

Franklin Public Schools: January 2016 concert calendar

Are you ready for some musical entertainment this January? 

The concert calendar for the Franklin Public Schools is available. The January date for each concert is shown followed by the school/grade and time of concert. Snow dates are also shown in case that white stuff makes an appearance.


11 - Keller 3rd and 4th Grade Winter Concert 9:00 a.m. (snow date 1/25)

12 - Parmenter 5th Grade Concert 9:00 a.m. (snow date 1/19)

13 - Parmenter 3rd and 4th Grade Winter Concert 8:45 a.m. (snow date 1/20)

13 - Keller 5th Grade Winter Concert 9:00 a.m. (snow date 1/20)

14 - Davis Thayer 3rd Grade Winter Concert 2:00 p.m. (snow date 1/21)

15 - Oak Street 3rd, 4th and 5th Winter Concert 9:00 a.m. Horace Mann Auditorium (snow date 1/22)

21 - Kennedy 4th Grade Concert 9:00 a.m. (snow date 1/27)

22 - Kennedy 3rd Grade Concert 9:00 a.m. (snow date 1/29)

27 - Franklin High School Jazz Concert 7:00 p.m. FHS Auditorium (snow date 1/28)

Franklin High School in the rain
Franklin High School in the rain

The Franklin Public Schools website can be found here

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds: Register O'Donnell Discusses 2015 Norfolk County Real Estate Activity

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Discusses 2015 Norfolk County Real Estate Activity

Despite significant challenges resulting from last year's brutal winter, Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported the Norfolk County real estate market showed mostly positive and sunny results in 2015.

Register O'Donnell noted, "When it came to the Norfolk County real estate market in 2015, the sun was shining brightly over most indicators. Last year, we saw healthy increases in the number of commercial and residential properties sold. A total of 17,819 properties were purchased in 2015 compared to 16,718 in 2014, resulting in a solid 7% growth rate."

There were also some warm smiles when it came to the total dollar volume of commercial and residential real estate sold in 2015 which was $8.1 billion, a 10% jump from last year. Additionally, the average sale price of commercial and residential sales in Norfolk County was $719,679, a 2% increase from 2014.

Also, another telltale sign regarding the improved real estate performance in Norfolk County was the 157,817 land documents recorded during 2015, a 12% increase from the previous year. "These numbers clearly indicate that despite a rough beginning, the Norfolk County real estate market weathered the storm and rebounded nicely, particularly in the summer and fall months," noted Register O'Donnell.

There were a few mixed results, however, in 2015. Despite a significant 21% increase in the number of mortgages recorded, the overall amount of mortgage financing actually fell 9%, closing at $18.4 billion. This decrease is partly explained by a large mortgage that was recorded on commercial properties in Dedham, Canton and Medfield during the 3rd quarter of 2014.

Last year, property owners were also active on the consumer front, signing up for protections accorded to them under the Homestead Act. A total of 12,077 Homesteads were recorded in 2015, an 8% increase from the previous year. O'Donnell stated, "A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge homeowners who have not recorded a Homestead against their primary residence to consider this valuable consumer protection tool."

In a continuing sign that some of our neighbors have not benefited from the robust economy in eastern Massachusetts, 2015 saw 250 foreclosure deed recordings, a 22% increase from 2014. Furthermore, the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings - the first step in the foreclosure process - rose by 36%. "The increases in foreclosure activity," stated Register O'Donnell, "can be explained in part by lending institutions working to resolve foreclosure issues that in many cases date back to the height of the economic slowdown in 2008."

The Registry has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option for consumers is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General's HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.

Register O'Donnell concluded, "Despite a stormy start, 2015 turned out to be a solid year for Norfolk County real estate. For the most part, I believe the positive trends seen in 2015 can continue into the new year. Clearly, Norfolk County remains a destination location for individuals and families to live and work.

"However, the lingering concerns I have are that real estate inventory will remain low, potentially chocking off increased activity and also that any upticks in interest rates could put a chill on mortgage financing. Additionally, we need to watch for potential disruptions in the housing market as real estate professionals continue to get used to new federal disclosure rules for mortgages introduced this past October."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336

Forward email

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds | 649 High Street | Dedham, | MA | 02026-1831

screen grab of Norfolk Deeds webpage
screen grab of Norfolk Deeds webpage

Town Council approves help for seniors, hears from anti-pipeline group

The Town Council meeting on Wednesday featured the presentation by local citizens against the Spectra pipeline.

With the new year, there are some changes that are noteworthy.

1 - Citizen Comments

When the agenda was published it included the citizen comment policy. This Council Chair Matt Kelly also read out load as the meeting opened.

D. CITIZEN COMMENTS – Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the Agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.
This helps to better set the expectations of those who come and comment. Many were not aware of the process and clearly disturbed by needing to wait until the end of the meeting to get the matter addressed. That issue is not resolved. If the Council will not address the matter directly but will have the Town Administrator look into it, why wait? Be courteous and provide a more timely response.

2 - Anti-Spectra Pipeline presentation

The Anti-Spectra Pipeline presentation can be viewed here

Spectra will make an appearance at the Town Council meeting on Feb 24 to present their side of the story.

3 - Council Subcommittee reports

The one subcommittee report was from Councilor Bissanti who had just chaired the Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting held also on Wednesday that ended just prior to the Council meeting. 

The notes from the EDC meeting can be found here

4 - Legislation

The Council approved an increase in the tax exemption amount allowed for the senior work off program. In 2010, the Council increased from 500 to 700; this approval increased from 700 to $1000. Per Jeff Nutting about 30 residents meet the requirements.

The key discussion was around how many seniors are taking advantage of this. While authorized for up to 100, Franklin has never approached the limit. 88 people took advantage of the program last year. While some councilors were advocating for more to take advantage of the program (a worthy goal), there is also an issue on the Town side of being able to handle an increase. 

The work needs to be allocated by each department, some departments are more likely (Library, DPW, Senior Center, Schools, and Recreation) to have an appropriate kind of work for the people to do. Some qualifications are required. Some planning (including budgeting) within the departments are also required. 

Karen Alves, Director of the Senior Center, is reported to be working on expanding the program capabilities. This is also something we can keep an eye on during the upcoming budget cycle.

The Council in a related item also increased the minimum wage for such work to the state minimum of $10/hour.

The Council also approved an easement for NationalGrid to extend the proper power connection to the newly renovated Recreation Building on Beaver St. 

5- Fiscal Forecast

The annual update to the 5- year fiscal forecast was provided by Jeff Nutting. The doc is available in the agenda documents as released for the meeting and also published to the Town website as promised during the meeting. This will be referenced again during the upcoming budget cycle.

5 year fiscal forecast (PDF)

Other notes from the meeting captured live during the meeting can be found in the links below:

The agenda for this meeting was published here

the pole on the left in this photo appears to be the new on added as a result of the easement approved
the pole on the left in this photo appears to be the new on added as a result of the easement approved

Of note: there was also a special publication called "Town Council Actions Taken January 6, 2016" made available on the Town webpage on Friday (after the meeting).  The actions referred only to the specific legislated items but it is a good first start. Now if the Town can also enable real automated notifications for when something is updated on the webpage, we will really be making progress.

Reminder: Christmas Tree Collection Days - week of January 11

The snow has been washed away by the rain but the Christmas trees are still around and scheduled for pick up with your normal trash pick up day this week.


Christmas Tree Collection Days

Week of January 11, 2016

On Your Regular Trash Day

put tree out with the trash on your day during the week of Jan 11
put tree out with the trash on your day during the week of Jan 11

This was shared from the notice on the Town of Franklin page

Winter Bear Zentangle Fundraiser - Jan 14th

Thursday, January 14th, the Franklin Art Center is doing a fundraiser for the International Arts Foundation for Kids (IAFK).  IAFK is a new 501(c)3 organization based in Franklin to help art education.

IAFK zen bear poster
IAFK zen bear poster

 "The mission of the International Arts Foundation for Kids a registered 501(c)(3), is to collect new art supplies, new and gently used music and dance equipment, lessons, studio time, tickets to museums, shows and concerts and distribute these items to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted."

From 7-9:30 pm, the class will feature Zentangle. Each participant will leave with an 8" x 10" framed Winter Bear and a gift tag. The class will be lead by by Sarah Del Mastro.

The cost for the class is $45.00. This includes the zentangle starter kit and a portion of the cost goes to the IAFK foundation.

Call the Franklin Art Center to register and for more information.

In the News: contractor chosen for Senior Center project, Franklin's fiscal prospects good

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

"After a process that drew lower-than-expected bids, a local committee voted Friday to award a contract for a renovation of the Franklin Senior Center. 
The Senior Center Building Committee opted to hire general contractor GTC Construction Management of Haverhill. The company bid just more than $1 million on a project that had been estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $1.6 million. 
Committee chairman and Town Council member Tom Mercer said the project had garnered nine bidders - a higher total than expected. 
Fellow committee members noted that there was not much variance among the bids, which was another surprise."
Franklin Senior Center in the rain
Franklin Senior Center in the rain

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The town should be in good financial shape for the next couple of years, but may face challenges in the future, according to a recently-released fiscal forecast. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting put forward his five-year forecast during the most recent Town Council meeting. During a brief oral summary, he spoke about its basic conclusions. 
"It hasn't changed dramatically from last year," he said. "The town is in good shape in the short run, but there continue to be concerns about the future, as fixed costs continue to rise."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

You can find the five year fiscal forecast referred to here

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Jan 12, 2016

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.

"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."

Franklin Public Schools - 'the key to learning'
Franklin Public Schools - 'the key to learning'

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the December 8, 2015 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Dr. O’Malley
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Jefferson Elementary School Update
b. FHS Substance Abuse Task Force
c. FHS Program of Studies Update
d. FHS Proposal for New Sports Teams
e. Update on Hiring of Football Coach

3. Discussion Only Items

2016-2017 School Calendar – 2 Draft options
BiCounty Collaborative Update
ACCEPT Collaborative Update

4. Action Items

a. I recommend acceptance of four checks totaling $3,350.00 for FHS as detailed:

  • 1. Raytheon $1,000.00
  • 2. Franklin Music boosters $1,800.00
  • 3. Maura Schaeffer $250.00 (scholarship)
  • 4. Anonymous $300.00

b. I recommend acceptance of three checks totaling $12,496.00 from Franklin Music Parents from the Middle and High Schools.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $50.00 from Lueder’s for Davis Thayer Elementary School.
d. I recommend approval of the addition of Girls/Boys Freshman Lacrosse and Girls Gymnastics as outlined by FHS Principal.

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. Adjourn

There were no documents released as part of this agenda preventing any preparation for the meeting.

Representative Roy Announces January & February Office Hours

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) announced today that constituent office hours will be held for the Months of January and February on the following days:

  • Friday, January 29th, 10:00-11:00AM, Elizabeth's Bagels, 456 W Central St. Franklin, MA

  • Thursday, February 18th, 8:30-9:30AM, Franklin Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill St. Franklin MA
  • Saturday, February 27th, 9:00-10:00AM, Medway Muffin House, 116 Main St. Medway, MA

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) 722-2020, stop by Room 527A in the State House, or email him at Jeffrey.Roy@MAhouse.gov.

FHS wrestling win 4 matches, boys hockey tops Foxboro

The FHS boys hockey team cruised against Foxboro winning 9-0. The girls hockey team dropped a close 2-0 match to Medfield. The FHS wrestling team won four matches in the event at Franklin County Tech out in Western MA. All results via Hockomock Sports.

Boys Hockey

  • Franklin, 9 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final 

– Luke Downie, Ryan Hohman, Joe Lizotte and Zac Falvey all scored their first varsity goals in the win for the Panthers.
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Girls Hockey

  • Franklin, 0 @ Medfield, 2 – Final


  • Franklin @ Franklin County Tech 

– Franklin went 4-0 with wins over Maher (64-9), Holliston (38-12), Pioneer (24-6) and Athol (24-9).

For all the results on Saturday around the Hockomock League

"we respect those concerns, they're legitimate concerns"

"Affordable housing: Not everyone’s favorite topic. It means constant juggling for local municipalities - balancing the needs of current residents with future residents, deciding what is best for the town and attempting to attract younger people and more taxpayers. And making sure at least 10 percent of their housing stock is deemed "affordable" as required by state law. 
Nowhere is this more evident than in a recent study done by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). The council recently released a study projecting house needs and demands for MetroWest and the Milford area for 2030. 
The study calls for at least 20,752 housing units to be added by 2030 to meet projected population and households changes. 
One trend among these projections includes a shift of those 55 and older into more rental units instead of owning their homes. Likewise, there is an increased demand in rental units for those younger than 35 and an increase in demand for single-family homes for those aged 35 to 54."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Additional info on Chapter 40b can be found here

More about the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) can be found here

280 units coming to West Central St via 40b
280 units coming to West Central St via 40b

Related affordable housing posts

  • 280 unit apartment housing coming to Franklin via 40b


  • Franklin offers affordable housing for 55+


  • Lottery for affordable housing in 2014