Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Live Reporting: Budget Hearing #1

F. Hearings
F. Hearings  - FY 2019 Budget Hearing - 7:10 PM
motion to open hearing 7:25 PM

budget process is long, starting with department budgets in December
$125M business
Fiscal 2019 starts July 1, and goes through June 30, 2019

reference to prior memos on budget process, potential stabilization funds, was seen coming, is here
budget stabilization account established in 2013
likely to be able to replenish the fund somewhat before tax rate set in December (with use of free cash)

stabilization account separate from the debt stabilization
(we do have more money in the bank than we have ever had)

statewide ballot questions
one to raise (millionaires tax) one to lower (reduce sales tax)
what will happen in November is unknown

no signficant changes to the overall budget
only one of 22 waivers for the library budget
increasing snow budget over time to get us closer to the 5 year rolling average

over the last years, increase in health plan only 4% as employees have been
accepting plan changes to reduce costs

high quality of life with low taxes

provides 9 months to prepare for next year's budget to see if we can live with what we have, or if we need to make some serious decisions

no vote tonight, just discussions

holds called for
Treasurer/Collector - Mercer
ovefrall the budget is down due to Dacey retirement at a higher salary

IT - Mercer
increased budget last year and this year by 25%
implementation of Google Suite platform
this year added more licenses and converted the Police Dept as well as the online processing

Facilities - Earls
how has this been reflected by leaks in the schools and other facilities?
flat roofs do leak, punctures do occur, spend about 25K per year
roofs in general are in good shape

Jones -Remington roof?
will need to do more there, it is on the long term capital plan
really should go in to replace more sections of the rook
the sections we did have been successful

electric cost increased from 8 cents to 10 cents and is reflected here in the increase

Dellorco - raised issue with jobs apparently not completed yet closed out in the system

Mercer - preventive maintenance plan to be presented some time before
will bring forward, we have it

Hellen - we do have the PM program up and being tweaked, we should have something to summary for you later this year

Mercer - we use School Dude for all the buildings, the reporting can be customized, we have asked for copies of maintenance repairs, it has been awhile since we got a report, so we can review the issues we have in our buildings

the cost increase in building amounts was the reflection of the 20% increase (8 to 10 cents) and just spread across the board

can we reduce costs by shutting off flood lights?
all classrooms are motion controled
they all have LEDs
projects are partially funded by NationalGrid as we move to more efficient lighting

300,000 square feet heated for 70,000 in natural gas
did have an energy audit report and there was almost no savings that the audit identified, we have already done anything on their listing

Station 2 roof was replaced in the Fall, new 50 year shingle on it
no leaks through the winter

Police - multiple
dispatcher transition in January with transfer to Regional Dispatch
there are more in the Police than Fire
trying to finalize staffing for post dispatchers at the Police Dept

tentative date in Jan 2019, could go a little either way depending upon the construction

Will be a big transition, do not want to go dark
are looking to staff at the station to figure out what will be there

Nutting on board, Gary Premo formerly of Franklin Police is Executive Director
folks will be offered, will they want to go there? 

study of 9 other communities, 57.6 3.5 civilian
46 and 2, significantly less than the 'average'

dispatchers: 6 full 4 parttimers, 4 full in Fire Dept

ammo budget, 36K not just ammo, tasers included, as well as training
go out to bid for the ammo and buy the least cost we can

safety equipment also includes the original issue for new hires

evidence room redone, reduced from about 6500 items to about 900
had not done a purge in some time

Fire - multiple
72% ambulance vs fire
22% increase in call volume over last year
the community is growing, the prior slow downs were due to the economy with business drop off, but people are coming

2 assisted living facilities were driving some of our call volumes

outlined three options for the lift calls
  1. don't accept the patient
  2. get lift assistance tools or hire those who can
  3. pay me $900+ when I come in the door
would need to hire about 16 people, about $1.5M for a 3rd ambulance

60% of our call volume are multiple calls at the same time

we have asked for a training officer, 35% of the personnel are less than 3 years on the job, try to do inhouse but they are mostly out on the calls, then fall to overtime, both an increase in cost and less effective training
we need more people to keep the folks fresher

Reg Dispatch - Mercer
formula for the four communities, represents six months of expense, eligible for a $500K grant once open

Inspection - Kelly
office closed Thu/Fri for renovations

Schools - multiple
Town Council votes the bottom line, then the Schools work the details of their budget, it is important to get an overview of the issues

digging into the reserves to provide level service, what will this do next year?
used $6M last year, planning to use $4.5M of revolving
will find ourselves in similar circumstances next year

special education is always a big unknown, can you fill us in where are 
it is a moving target and we try to communicate across the offices on the students that we need to serve. by law they need to receive a free and public education, they may stay within our district if possible, in some cases they need to be served out of district and that is an additional cost, always discussed as part of the plan; move in can also affect our forecast if new folks come in with special requirements
new program to be housed at Parmenter for autistic students, partnered with specialist, a strategic development for next year
increase in mental health concerns, stats showing 1 in 5 and how do we deal with them, increases needs in classroom support requirements

enrollment update?
high school currently 1800, about 450/grade likely to remain the same for next 3-4 years; decreases seen in K-8, more like 310-320 at elmentary levels
keeping in mind the building projects underway and what population they will bring to us

high school was built for 1650, and is clearly exceeding that currently

how much money comes in from the State for the Charter School reimbursement?
they take out 4.1 M and give us 450,000 (projected)

transportation services? increase where from?
funded in large part by revolving account, but not as much this year

49% of the Town total operating
FY 17 - 14,011 per pupil and state is higher and we have never met it
13-14% below

really enjoying the year, a delightful year, it is a really good fit for me as a leader; working on a strategy for improvement to be laid out for the coming years, 

Jones (rephrased the Zollo deficit), add stats later

$89M last year total for education last year

State doesn't fund the state mandates

chart of accounts changed at the state level
instructional coaches, job embedded development for teachers
math specialist, department heads would be counted in this in addition to stipend positions for support
actively new state frameworks for Math, ELA and Science
content area folks are critical for the classroom development
14.2 FTE for this

what is the per pupil cost for the students at the Charter School?
no one knows

DPW - Dellorco
disclosure of Casey's brother has a summer job with DPW

Grounds expenses?
high school had been off the budget due to the construction the last two years but now they are back on, did add more personnel to do the work and need the materials to do the work

Lights -Dellorco
LED conversion? where are we, what will that do to the budget
just complete the pilot project, no phone calls to complain 
Pond and Peck Sts
awaiting confirmation of the number required to go out to bid soon, looking to wrap up by end of year
electrical repair contract costs have increased, changed to a per diem
should have 5-10 year warranty, 10-15 year life expectancy

Health - Mercer
lost part-time health inspector, difficult to find someone trained to hit ground running; choosing to use a civil engineering firm to consult for those times we need it; should be able to cover it with the fees we generate
loosing admin help but will be provided in future by consolidated department

Library - Mercer
have come from about 60% to the current 90% and would need to make gradual increases each year. We have made a good faith effort to show our progress. At some point we'll need to take a bit and throw some money at it

Recreation - Mercer
expenses are up 10% but most programs are self supporting
over 100 programs, lean staff, just opened the new gym on Beaver St

Gus and Mike were instrumental in getting the building done (also the DPW) 

Cultural Council - Padula
increased by 5K to help with events like ArtWeek which have economic development

OPEB - Earls
increasing 50K based upon town policy

Health/Life - Earls
health insurance - town pays for all active and retired Town employees and all school retirees; all determined by life changes during the year too

a safety team has lead to a reduction in rate from 1 to .85

question on Debt Stabilization/budget stabilization
can save to avoid an override
would be using $1.4 to balance the budget

beyond taking the funds out would there be any other way?
only general options to eliminate positions
can put about 5-600,000 back into the account later this year

recalculated the cost of service for the fees in 2016 and changed the fees as well as eliminating some; comprehensive overview

budget total does not include the Tri-County put aside as a separate vote due to Councilor Jones employment there

"the day of reckoning means an override at some point"

Live Reporting: Town Council - May 16, 2018

Present: Hamblen, Casey, Dellorco, Mercer, Kelly, Jones, Padula, Pellegri, Earls
Absent: none

You can also find the full set of documents in one PDF

Agenda ItemSummary
A. Approval of Minutes
A. Approval of Minutes
B. Announcements
B. Announcements - This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may also be recorded by others.

volunteers still looked for the Downtown Beautification day
bricks for sale at the Library and the veteran's walkway

C. Proclamations/Recognitions
C. Proclamations/Recognitions

recognition for DPW, Water Dept
for outstanding performance for water conservation

lower per resident water usage in State
the whole water crew does a great job

D. Citizen Comments
D. Citizen CommentsCitizens 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.

Gary McCarragher - next week is national medical services
they delivered a baby and then attended someone who took their own life, they do a range of things on a daily basis

Monique Doyle for the support of the Library renovations

E. Appointments
E. Appointments
F. Hearings
F. Hearings  - FY 2019 Budget Hearing - 7:10 PM
G. License Transactions
G. License Transactions - La Cantina Winery Company

looking for a license to sell at the Town Common/Farmer's Market

Pellegri - question on police detail required?
Nutting - this is for samples and purchases, not consumption

This is third year participating in the market, we are cautious in our selling, we are building a community here in Franklin

Jones - appreciate your help with non-profits in the area, particularly the recent one for the FEF, it was well received

H. Presentations/Discussions
H. Presentations/Discussions - Franklin Farmer's Market

Cynthia Garbosci, market manager
starting in June

coordinating with groups/org to expand
working with Library for example to do a scavenger hunt 
anything for sale needs to be related to farm and farm produce
every Friday starting June 1, from 12-6
no market on July 6th (due to other events on the Common)

I. Subcommittee Reports
I. Subcommittee Reports
1. Capital

2. Budget

3. EDC
nothing tonight

J. Legislation for Action
J. Legislation for Action
1. Resolution 18-21Expenditure Limits for FY 2019 on Departmental Revolving Funds Established by Franklin Town Code Chapter 73, as Provided in G. L. Chapter 44 Section 53E 1/2, as Amended (Motion to Move Resolution 18-21 - Majority Vote (5))

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

annual requirement to be set
no comments, no questions from Council
J. Legislation for Action
J. Legislation for Action
2. Resolution 18-22Salary Schedule, Full Time Elected Official (Motion to Move Resolution 18-22 - Majority Vote (5))

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

this is the last year of the agreement

J. Legislation for Action
J. Legislation for Action
3. Resolution 18-23Compensation Plan, FY 2019 (Motion to Move Resolution 18-23 - Majorirty Vote (5))

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0
recommended increase of 3% in the ranges, separate and apart from individual salaries

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities (updated)

Job Opportunities

To apply for a vacant position, please submit a resume and cover letter to  Please put the job title in the subject line of your email.  
If you do not have a resume, you may send a completed Application for Employment instead.
To receive notifications of all job opportunities in the Town of Franklin, subscribe here

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities (updated)
Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities (updated)

Davis Thayer Special Report (video)

Stop and enjoy this brief and very special report!

Rock the Night Away for the Kids - May 26

A ‘Parent’s Night Out’ Fundraiser for Remington Middle School PCC

Rock cover band w/ a Remington parent drummer
Plays everything from 80’s music to 90’s punk, country, and today’s pop music.

Cole's Tavern
Saturday, May 26, 7 - 11 PM
$10 Cover/Donation

Find out more about the band here

Get the full flyer here

Persons of Interest
Persons of Interest

FHS softball loses to KP in weather shortened game

Via HockomockSports and Twitter we share the results of the FHS spring sports action on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Softball = King Philip, 4 @ Franklin, 0 – Final (5.5 inn.)
– King Philip got off to a strong start with three runs in the first inning. Sydney Phillips and Hailey McCasland each had two hits for King Philip while Elise Pereira gave up just one hit in five innings of work. Meg Caron had Franklin’s hit while Emily Valentino struck out two while scattering seven hits in six innings. The game was called after 5.5 innings due to lightning.

Boys Outdoor Track = King Philip @ Franklin, 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track = King Philip @ Franklin, 3:45

per Twitter, the meet was shortened due to the weather rolling through on Tuesday, so I suppose it will be continued sometime

For the other results around the Hockomock League

Civetti selected as Player of the Week; FHS baseball recap of game vs. Mansfield

"Franklin senior Eric Civetti has been selected as the Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for May 6 through May 12. Civetti is the 28th player selected for the 2017-18 school year and the fifth player chosen during the spring season. 
Civetti scored 15 goals and assisted on four others this week to lead Franklin to a marquee win against state power Longmeadow and an important league victory against and up-and-coming Oliver Ames team. The program’s all-time leading scorer added to his record-breaking career against the Lancers by scoring nine goals, which sets a new single-game mark for the Panthers. He had twice before scored eight in a game. 
Franklin coach Lou Verrochi said of Civetti after his record-breaking performance against Longmeadow, “He can create his own offense. He’s been able to do it for four years now. He’s just an outstanding player and to do it against them was huge because defensively I thought they were very good, he just had a great game. He gets up for big games like this.”
Continue reading the Player of the Week article

Franklin senior Eric Civetti has been selected as the Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance
Franklin senior Eric Civetti has been selected as the
Player of the Week, presented by 
Morse Insurance

Ryan Lanigan, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of,provides the write up for the FHS baseball game on Monday vs. Mansfield.

"With the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at the plate for the visiting Franklin Panthers, Mansfield head coach Joe Breen had no hesitation going to sophomore John Carney in the big moment. 
Carney needed just four pitches to get the third out — a ground ball to third — to help the Hornets escape from further damage. The sophomore right-hander was just one of many players that stepped up and delivered for the Hornets in a 10-3 victory. 
There was also senior Justin Pena, who had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored. 
And senior Mike Hargadon, who was pivotal in getting the Mansfield offense going from the nine-hole with the teams’ first two hits."
Continue reading the article online

For a photo gallery of the game follow this link

FHS Evan Wendell at bat ( photo)
FHS Evan Wendell at bat  ( photo)


Timeless CrossFit and Fitness



More about Timeless Crossfit at their webpage

THE BLACK BOX Local Artist Series presents The Peacheaters/The Daybreakers - May 25

THE BLACK BOX Local Artist Series presents The Peacheaters – An Allman Brothers Band Experience and The Daybreakers on Friday, May 25 at 8 p.m. THE BLACK BOX theater, music and event venue is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin.

Fueled by admiration and passion for the music of the Allman Brothers Band, The Peacheaters have been rocking audiences for more than 15 years, digging deep into the 40+-year catalog of Allman Brothers Band music. The Boston Globe, WZLX - Boston's Classic Rock Radio, and many other media outlets have raved about the authenticity of the band's performances, and the group has won multiple “Best Tribute Band” awards. From festivals to concert halls, the band's success has taken them all over the U.S., including performances at venues such as Showcase Live, The House of Blues, Daytona's Bike Week, The Big House in Macon, GA and B.B. Kings, NYC.

Blending folk-rock melodies with blues guitar muscle and rock ‘n’ roll grit, the DayBreakers have earned their stripes over four years of consistent gigging throughout New England. The band has played many of Boston and Cambridge's most revered rooms, sharing the stage with some of the region's best roots rockers, such as Entrain and the Silks. The group has also performed at Indian Ranch for three years running, opening for Three Dog Night, The Beach Boys and Bret Michaels. Combining rock ‘n’ roll, blues, country and funk, the band has worked tirelessly to craft a sound that is filled with hard riffs and soulful melodies. Their music tells timeless stories of happiness, heartbreak, rejection and redemption with rhythm that keeps audiences dancing.

Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance or $20 at the door. A cash bar is available. 

For tickets and more information, visit or call (508) 528-3370.

More about The Peacheaters

More about The Daybreakers
The Peacheaters/The Daybreakers - May 25
The Peacheaters/The Daybreakers - May 25

Charter School Expansion Update (video)

From the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School blog we share this update and video:

"We are incredibly excited to share a new update on the BFCCPS Expansion. Our construction manager CTA has made fantastic process with respect to the site-work. In particular there has been dramatic progress with respect to drainage, building the roadway and parking lot. The foundation forms are arriving and we anticipate that digging will begin towards the middle of this week!

We invite you to view the most recent drone footage from the site which was taken on May 10th:"

Find the full article here

Friendly reminder of the fund raising Community Yard Sale and Vendor Fair on June 2
Community Yard Sale and Vendor Fair - June 2
Community Yard Sale and Vendor Fair - June 2

"a more compatible space for several departments that normally work together anyway"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"In July, the Inspectional Services Department will merge with the Board of Health, and the renovation will make that transition easier, Hellen said. 
“We’re merging the permitting functions with the clerks in the inspectional department,” he said. “We’re making it all into one office-suite, opposed to the separate offices it is now.” 
The increase open space, he said, will not only allow for the immediate crossover of information between departments, but will also allow the Board of Health department to stay open on Fridays. The merger means there will be more hands on deck, Hellen said. 
“It’s a bit of reconstructing of those departments to bring a greater scale of efficiency, better customer service, and more online options,” Hellen said."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"a more compatible space for several departments that normally work together anyway"
"a more compatible space for several departments that normally work together anyway"

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Love Dogs Headline At THE BLACK BOX - May 19

THE BLACK BOX New England Artist Series presents The Love Dogs, featuring rockin’ rhythm and blues, on Saturday, May 19 at 8 PM at the downtown Franklin venue. With barrelhouse boogie-woogie piano, stinging Fender guitar, and a red-hot horn section of trombone and alto, tenor and baritone saxes, 

The Love Dogs also showcases a swinging rhythm section that Blues Review magazine called “the best in the business” and a charismatic front man with one of the biggest blues voices around. Based out of Boston, the septet recently celebrated its 20th year. Combining elements of jump blues, New Orleans RandB, and early rock ‘n’ roll, The Love Dogs have played juke joints, festivals, and concert halls across the U.S. and Canada and on both sides of the Atlantic. 

They’ve released four CDs. Many of the cuts have been blues radio favorites and several of the Dogs’ signature original songs have been used in feature films and on television. Voted “Best New England Band” by Blues Audience magazine, The Love Dogs is part Rat Pack party, part 20th century musical encyclopedia, and part revival meeting.

Tickets are $20. A cash bar is available. The home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company, THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street. 

For tickets and more information, visit or call (508) 528-3370.

For more about the Love Dogs

The Love Dogs Headline At THE BLACK BOX - May 19
The Love Dogs Headline At THE BLACK BOX - May 19