Wednesday, November 28, 2018

In the News: Hellen proposed to replace Nutting; Bob's Store in Franklin to close

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

"The Town Council will discuss on Wednesday the possibility of Deputy Town Administrator Jaime Hellen taking over for Town Administrator Jeff Nutting once Nutting retires next year. 
A letter sent to town officials in September indicated that Nutting would be retiring no later than June 30. Nutting’s suggestion is to bring Hellen into the captain’s chair. 
A search committee was organized earlier this year to decide how the town would go about choosing a new town administrator, but the group decided it would best for Hellen to take over the top job. 
“After some discussion, they (the search committee) openly decided that he should be the next TA (town administrator),” Nutting said."
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The Search Committee meeting at which the discussion and recommendation was made, was recorded and is available for replay

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subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes

"The Bob’s Stores location at the Horace Mann Plaza will soon be closing, although it’s not clear exactly when. 
A large red banner reading “Store Closing - This Location Only” appeared on the Bob’s Stores facade at 303 East Central St., shortly before Black Friday. Store employees referred requests for comment to Bob’s corporate offices in Meriden, Connecticut, but calls placed there by The Daily News were not returned. 
Town officials from Franklin did not have information as to why the store is closing."

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Pine Street road work starts Dec 3, please seek alternate routes

"The DPW will be replacing a drainage culvert on Pine St beginning the week of December 3rd. 

Due to the nature of the work, Pine Street will be closed to thru traffic between Stanwood Drive and the Bellingham Town Line. 

Work is expected to last for 3 weeks, please seek alternate routes. Thank you for your patience."

This was shared from the Town of Franklin page

Pine Street Road Work
Pine Street Road Work

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What drives the tax rate? How stable is our budgeting process?

The tax rate will be voted on during Wednesday's Town Council meeting. It is expected to be set at 14.66/thousand, an increase of .01 over the tax rate for FY 2018 (14.65).

The tax rate increase is minor due to the increase in our overall property valuation and new growth. A larger pie is available to divide the levy by. When valuations go up, the rate flattens. It can also go down as shown in the 2000-2007 years. We are still in the recovery phase from the great recession that started in 2008.

Franklin, MA - Net Change in Valuation (Million) vs. Tax Rate (Percent)
Franklin, MA - Net Change in Valuation (Million) vs. Tax Rate (Percent)

How stable is our budgeting process can be shown in the slight variation of our free cash as a percent of total budget. Free cash is neither free nor cash. It arises from two budget factors: (1) when revenues to the town exceed that forecast and (2) when expenses budgeted are less than forecast. Both of these amounts add up to what is called 'free cash'.

Certified Free Cash as Percent of Franklin, MA Budget
Certified Free Cash as Percent of Franklin, MA Budget

Both charts were created from Town of Franklin Board of Assessors data combined with MA Dept of Revenue, Division of Local Services data. The Division of Local Services has a variety of data and reporting available

The Town Council agenda can be found on the Town of Franklin page

Specifically the tax rate info can be found here

Franklin High School Winter Concert - Dec 5, 2018

Franklin High School is pleased to invite you to celebrate over 200 student musicians as they perform their annual Winter Concert. Performing ensembles include the Franklin High School Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, and Chorus

The event will take place at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at the Franklin High School auditorium. 

We will once again present our commissioned piece composed by David Maslanka for the opening of Franklin High School in 2014. 

Come enjoy classics by Robert W. Smith, Grainger and Mackey and start your holiday season off with selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite performed by the Franklin High School Symphony Orchestra! 

A $5 donation is requested at the door, but is not required.

Franklin High School Winter Concert - Dec 5, 2018
Franklin High School Winter Concert - Dec 5, 2018

In the News: Franklin looking for snow contractors; cause of house fire not found yet

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Snow and ice is on the way and Franklin needs help getting rid of it. 
During the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, members will be discussing the lack of contractors available to help plow streets during winter storms. 
Without proper help, according to Deputy Town Administrator Jaime Hellen, there could be more school delays, unplowed sidewalks and icier roads.
“The impacts that people need to know about the expectation of the roads is going to be really important to know,” Hellen said.
The town had 71 signed contractors to plow snow last winter. So far this year, only 32 have signed up. Hellen said that with more than a 50-percent decline in helping hands, there could be trouble."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

You can find the full set of documents for the Town Council meeting agenda in one PDF

Municipal Building, 355 East Central St, Franklin, MA
Municipal Building, 355 East Central St, Franklin, MA

"The fire chief said smoke detectors likely limited a Saturday-morning blaze on Hawthorne Drive to the basement, allowing the occupants to escape unharmed. 
The fire started about 11:44 a.m. at 19 Hawthorne Drive and was fought by outfits in Wrentham, Plainville, Norfolk, Bellingham and Milford. There were two adults in the house at the time, both of which made it out safely. 
“We arrived and we found smoke coming from the front door,” Franklin Police Fire Chief Gary McCarraher said. “We searched the building and the fire ended up being a sort of sub-basement area.” 
Though the house did suffer smoke damage, the fire was contained to the basement. McCarraher emphasized that due to working smoke detectors, the fire was contained before anyone was harmed.

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Recycling Center: Closed Tuesday, re-opens Friday

Unfortunately due to the continued repairs at the Recycling Center, the facility will be closed until Friday, November 30, 2018. 

The Recycling Center will reopen for regular business hours on Friday.

Recycling Center Closed until Friday, November 30
Recycling Center Closed until Friday, November 30

Monday, November 26, 2018

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Meeting - Nov 28, 2018

The published agenda and documents for the Franklin Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 28, 2018. This meeting sets the tax rate for the fiscal year 2019, effectively completing the budget cycle that started a year ago and officially funds the Town's operation for July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. 

(Note: where there are active links in the agenda item, it will take you to the associated document)

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

Agenda ItemSummary
Town Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting of November 28, 2018 - 7:00PM
a. This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast Channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by others.
a. 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.
a. Swearing in of Firefighters
Tax Classification Hearing
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-821: Zoning Map Changes On Or Near Plain Street, Pond Street, and Palomino Drive
a. Snow Update
a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee
d. Town Administrator Search Committee
Resolution 18-65: Conditional Offer of Town Administartor Position to Current Deputy Town Administartor (Motion to Approve Resolution 18-65- Majority Vote (5))
Resolution 18-66: Classification Tax Allocation - Residential Factor (Motion to Approve Resolution 18-66 - Majority Vote (5))
Resolution 18-67: Classification Tax Allocation- Open Space Exemption (Motion To Approve Resolution 18-67- Majority Vote (5))
Resolution 18-68: Classification Tax Allocation- Small Business Exemption (Motion to Approve Resolution 18-68 - Majority Vote (5))
Resolution 18-69: Classification Tax Allocation- Residential Property Exemption (Motion to Approve Resolution 18-69 - Majority Vote (5))
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-821: Zoning Map Changes On Or Near Plain Street, Pond Street, and Palomino Drive - 1st Reading (Motion to Move Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-821 to a 2nd Reading-Majority Vote (5))
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-822: Changes to §185-20. Signs - Referral to the Planning Board (Motion to Refer Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-822 to the Planning Board - Majority Vote (5))
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-823: Changes To Sign District Regulations - Referral to the Planning Board (Motion to Refer Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-823 to the Planning Board- Majority Vote (5))
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-824: Changes to Sign District Overlay Map- Referral to the Planning Board (Motion to Refer Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-824 to the Planning Board- Majority Vote (5))

Bylaw Amendment 18-825: Chapter 47, Alcoholic Beveralges- 1st Reading (Motion to Move Bylaw Amendment 18-825 to a 2nd Reading - Majority Vote (5))
Bylaw Amendment 18-828: Fees Bylaw Changes- 1st Reading (Motion to Move Bylaw Amendment 18-828 to a 2nd Reading- Majority Vote (5))
None Scheduled

Municipal Building, 355 East Central St, Franklin, MA
Municipal Building, 355 East Central St, Franklin, MA

Franklin Newcomers: Yankee Swap and Holiday Party - Dec 12

Come join your Franklin friends and neighbors at the Franklin Newcomers and Friends annual Yankee Swap and Holiday Party. Meet us upstairs at "3" Restaurant on Wednesday, December 12th at 7:30. 

To participate in the swap, bring a wrapped gift ($20 limit) and get one in return during the swap - you never know what you'll get! No need to RSVP, just join us!

We invite any resident of Franklin, or a surrounding town that doesn't have a Newcomers Club, to join us at "3" Restaurant, 461 West Central Street, Franklin. Complimentary appetizers and beverages are provided and a cash bar is available. 

We meet upstairs at 7:30 PM on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. We run our meetings September through May. Additionally, we hold many fun and varied events to stay connected throughout the year.

For more information, please visit our website or our Facebook page, Franklin Newcomers and Friends Club.

Franklin Newcomers: Yankee Swap and Holiday Party - Dec 12
Franklin Newcomers: Yankee Swap and Holiday Party - Dec 12

FHS Baseball 2018 MIAA Division 1A ‘Super 8” State Champions - Champ Rings Video

"Final Video with Highlights from Championship Game, Fenway Park and Ring Ceremony Pictures. Extra Post-Championship clips included"

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In the News: civics education bill signed; teenagers don't see doctors alone

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Massachusetts lawmakers are hopeful civics-based education will improve civic engagement among young people. 
The challenge for administration, schools and teachers, however, will be whether they can check politics at the door when encouraging young people to participate in American democracy. 
“The last thing we need in a school or district is to create something that seems partisan-based,” said Thomas Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents in Lexington. 
Civics education, the study of the rights and duties of citizenship, was once an integral facet of American education. But it started disappearing from schools in the 1960s, and the trend accelerated when more standardized testing was required under the No Child Left Behind Act, according to the National Education Association."

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Governor Baker's press release on the bill signing

"About half of American teenagers have never visited doctors without a parent or guardian present, despite recommendations that such visits begin about age 13, a study led by a Chicago researcher shows. 
Dr. Jon Klein wanted find whether the American Medical Association’s 1992 recommendation had any effect on teenagers taking an active role in their health care. The study showed that little has changed in 25 years. 
“When we launched, we really were going back to that question of has it gotten any better,” said Klein, head of pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. “It’s still only about half who have had private one-on-ones with a clinician.” 
The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, surveyed adolescents and their parents, exploring at what age they think children and teenagers should begin to meet privately with doctors. He realized early on that key to a parent’s understanding of why doctors want to speak with teenagers alone is explaining that it’s so teenagers can take some ownership of their health."

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Nov 27, 2018

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.”

1. Routine Business
a. Review of Agenda
b. Citizen’s Comments
i. In the spirit of open communication, “the School Committee will hear public comment not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee Meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment” – from Policy BEDH
c. FHS Student Representative Comments
d. Superintendent’s Report

2. Guests / Presentations
a. MCAS Presentation – Dr. Joyce Edwards

3. Discussion / Action Items
a. Superintendent’s Goals
I recommend approval of the Superintendent’s Goals as discussed.

b. Policy – First Read
I recommend moving Policy INJDD – Social Media Policy to a second reading as

c. Capital FY19 Approval
I recommend approval of the FY19 Capital as discussed.

4. Discussion Only Items
a. FEA – Donna Grady, President

b. Class Size Information – FHS and Middle Schools

5. Information Matters
a. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Budget; Community Relations;
Policy; Transportation; Public Schools Advocacy; Ad Hoc Superintendent’s
b. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC; Substance Abuse Task
Force; School Wellness Advisory Council [SWAC]; School Start Times Advisory
Committee [SSTAC], MASC)

6. New Business
a. To discuss any future agenda items

7. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes of your November 13, 2018 School Committee meeting as detailed.
b. Music Department Surplus
I recommend the request of Diane Plouffe to declare the attached list of antiquated or broken music equipment as surplus.
c. Athletic Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $960.75 from All American Publishing for the FHS Athletic Dept. in-house enrichment as detailed.
d. FHS Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $37.48 from Ohiopyle Prints for in-house enrichment at FHS as detailed.
e. Davis Thayer Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $968.32 from O’Connor Studios for inhouse enrichment at Davis Thayer as detailed.
f. FHS Donation
I recommend acceptance of the donation of a synthesizer/controller/workstation with powered speakers and a studio worktable valued at approximately $2,500.00 from Alan and Donna Adams for the Franklin High School as detailed.
g. Oak Street Gift
I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1,300.00 from the Oak St. PCC for field trips as detailed.
h. HMMS Music Dept. Donation
I recommend acceptance of the donation of a flute from Sharon Whalen for the HMMS Music Department.
i. RMS Trip
I recommend approval of the recurring request of the Remington Adventure Club to travel to Rock Spot in Lincoln, RI on December 13, 2018 as detailed
j. DECA Trip
I recommend approval of the request of Miguel Carmo to take the FHS DECA Club to Boston from March 7, 2019 to March 9, 2019 for the DECA State Competition as detailed.

8. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

9. Payroll Mrs. Douglas

10. Correspondence

11. Executive Session
a. Strategy with respect to collective bargaining.

12. Adjournment

new sign at Parmenter School
new sign at Parmenter School

Franklin Downtown Partnership: Getting Ready for Holiday Happenings!

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is celebrating the holidays in a new way this year! The Partnership is organizing a multiple-day celebration called Holiday Happenings, Dec. 6 through Dec. 9. The event will offer a variety of children and family activities, while affording businesses more opportunities to participate. 

In addition to new events, the most popular and traditional holiday events will continue to be offered during Holiday Happenings, including the Christmas Tree Lighting, gingerbread cookies at Dean Bank, Santa at Simon’s Furniture, Mrs. Claus at the Franklin Historical Museum, and Touch-a-Truck at the Franklin Fire Department.

“It's exciting to see more than 25 Holiday Happening events taking place throughout the town of Franklin,” said Pandora Carlucci, co-chair of Holiday Happenings. “The new four-day format is focused on providing scheduling flexibility making it possible for more people and businesses to participate.”

Families can enjoy visiting businesses throughout Franklin. Jamie Barrett will be doing a sing-along, there will be plenty of hot cocoa, gift shopping, wine tasting, and opportunities to meet Clara from Nutcracker, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, and everyone’s favorite jolly old elf, Santa Claus. 

"Holiday Happenings will take on a different format this year,” said Roberta Trahan, co-chair of Holiday Happenings. “Extending from Small Business Saturday through New Year’s Eve, we are focusing on a calendar which will include many offerings at local businesses for residents to enjoy.”

In addition to the signature events Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, the FDP will have an online calendar featuring events at local businesses taking place throughout the holiday season. Participating businesses are located in downtown Franklin, as well as in the larger Franklin community.

"The FDP has over 250 business members and many of them are outside the downtown area so we wanted to organize an event that included them,” said FDP Executive Director Lisa Piana. “This event will offer residents even more opportunities to shop local.”

View the schedule of events in brochure format or list format.

This was shared from the Franklin Downtown Partnership page

FHS hockey teams get recognized for community service

"Just wanted to give a huge THANK YOU to the ladies hockey team at Franklin High School Franklin High School (Massachusetts) for their efforts today.  
It was so much more to my family than clearing leaves from the yard. It was a gesture that will not be forgotten and we want everyone to know how appreciative we are. 
My sister-in-law lost her beloved husband to cancer recently and the team showed up today and cleaned her entire yard. What an amazing act of kindness to a local family going through a tough chapter in life. Be proud that your timely help brought some light to an otherwise dark time. 
Your biggest new fans are the O’Neill family and when you step onto the ice this hockey season, know you have a new guardian angel, his name is Kevin! On behalf of Beth and her family, Thanks!"
Via Tom O'Neill

"Concerts on the Common would like to thank the Franklin boys hockey team and their parents for helping to decorate the Common for Santa’s arrival tomorrow at 4 PM."
Via Michelle Miller

In the News: marijuana not on campus; digital drivers licenses coming

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Marijuana is a big part of campus life, but it’s still not welcome. 
Massachusetts colleges and universities prohibit marijuana on campus across the state, despite voters approving recreational marijuana more than two years ago.
The reasons to ban it vary, but schools by and large invoke federal law and landlord status to make sure the drug – ever popular among college students – is not allowed.
“Colleges have landlord privilege and Massachusetts law says any landlord can ban marijuana from its facilities,” explained Jim Borghesani, who worked on the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana."
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"Millions of people may be able to show their smartphones rather than a plastic card to prove they’re legit to drive, vote or buy a beer in coming years. 
Louisiana in July became the first state to make digital licenses available to anyone who wants them, and at least 14 other states either have developed a program, run a pilot or are studying the possibility, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. 
Seventy-seven percent of American adults already own a smartphone, including 94 percent of adults under 30, and many state motor vehicle officials think residents will appreciate the convenience of having their driver’s license available in an app."

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