Thursday, January 3, 2019

St Mary's: Women's Faith Formation Group - Jan 19

All women are invited to join the St Mary's Women's Faith Formation Group on Saturday, January 19 from 9 – 10 AM in the lower church hall at St. Mary Church in Franklin. We will be viewing a segment of Bishop Barron's "Catholicism" series, with small group discussion to follow.

Since segments are on independent topics, we encourage you to attend even if you missed previous sessions. Light refreshments will be served. Feel free to bring a friend!

We have future sessions scheduled on February 16 and March 16 - same time and location.

St Mary's: Women's Faith Formation Group - Jan 19
St Mary's: Women's Faith Formation Group - Jan 19

Lifelong Community Learning: Exercise & Wellness Classes Begin January 6 - Register today

Exercise & Wellness 
Classes Begin January 6

Mindfulness - A Four-Week Series
Curious about starting a meditation practice or struggling to stick with it? 

Then this series is for you!  Find deeper relaxation and combat heightened levels of anxiety and stress.  Through this series, participants will learn what meditation is, experience the benefits of a meditation practice and explore several meditation techniques.  


Exercise For Active Agers
It's never too late to feel great! 

This class is for active agers - men and women in their mid-40's, baby boomers and beyond! It is designed for those interested in developing a happy, healthy lifestyle. Each one-hour class combines strength training, flexibility and cardio-conditioning.  


Yoga, Yoga, YogaYoga
Yoga is back and better than ever! 

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays you can take advantage of different types of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, & Yoga For Anyone. We know one is just right for you!   


Teen Yoga For Girls
This class will empower teenagers to become more self-aware and confident.

The girls will gain a sense of well-being while developing strength and flexibility. They will also learn breathing and relaxation techniques.  


Join the fun! 

Zumba uses the principles of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning, and total body toning. You don't have to know how to dance to Zumba. Zumba creates a party-like atmosphere that is less intimidating and it is fun!

"slowdown in natural revenue growth"

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

FY 2020 Budget Revenue Assumption Set

"State budget writers agreed this week to build their fiscal 2020 budget plans on the assumption that state tax revenues will grow by 2.7 percent over the current fiscal year. 
Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget chief and leaders of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees detailed a finalized accord on how much tax revenue the state expects to collect in fiscal 2020, which begins July 1. Budget watchers also upgraded their expectations for tax revenue in fiscal 2019, upping the projected total revenue by $200 million, to $28.529 billion. 
The estimate of $29.299 billion in tax revenues for fiscal 2020 amounts to $770 million more in revenue than the updated projection for the current fiscal year. The projected growth rate will serve as the basis for Baker’s budget, which is due on Jan. 23, and budget-building exercises this spring and summer in the House and Senate."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin depends upon State funding for its budget. Funding for schools, local aid and roads account for approx 30% of the total Franklin budget. Getting a reasonable estimate of this funding from the State enables Franklin to start its own budget cycle for FY 2020.

The State budget cycle for FY 2019 (the current budget) is shown here. The steps are the same for the new budget cycle for FY 2020.

State budget cycle for FY 2019
State budget cycle for FY 2019

The Franklin budget cycle is shown here

Franklin budget cycle
Franklin budget cycle
For more info on the Franklin budget cycle or process

Studio Two is Back! Fund Raising Concert for HMEA - Feb 15

February 15, 2019

The Black Box
15 West Central Street, Franklin, MA

Doors open at 6:00 pm / Concert at 7:00 pm
Sponsored by Lippolis Plumbing and Heating, Walpole
All proceeds will benefit HMEA's programs that teach, support, and empower people with disabilities.
HMEA | 8 Forge Park East, Franklin, MA 02038

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Link for tickets

In the News: Gov Baker to accept raise; Sen Spilka is Senate President; Rep DeLeo returns to lead House

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Gov. Charlie Baker plans to accept his $34,000 pay raise and a new $65,000 housing stipend. 
The housing allowance is a first for a Massachusetts governor after the Legislature, in its first act of the two-year session in 2017, voted through a package of pay raises for public officials, including the governor, that included a stipend for housing. 
The law states that a governor “shall receive $65,000 annually for expenses related to housing,” and the allowance was intended by lawmakers to make the office of governor a more attractive position and to eliminate any barriers to running, such as finances or geography."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For more about Governor Baker, visit his page

The Governor starts the MA Budget cycle by delivering his budget Jan 25
The Governor starts the MA Budget cycle by delivering his budget Jan 25

"Senate President Karen Spilka presented a “bold” and “urgent” agenda for her first full two-year term Wednesday, saying the Legislature keenly needs new ideas on how to tackle the state’s crumbling infrastructure, adequately fund education and expand affordable housing. 
“We need to be bold and look out of the box for ways to fix these problems. It’s been left unaddressed for too long,” said Spilka, D-Ashland, outside the chambers. “Massachusetts has a chance to be a leader in all these areas." 
Spilka, who turns 66 on Jan. 11, was formally re-elected as Senate president, as the historic body began its 191st session. On a roll call vote, Spilka received 33 votes to Gloucester Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr’s six. When voting was completed, Tarr moved that it be the “sense of the Senate” that Spilka’s election as Senate president be declared unanimous."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"For the sixth time, the Massachusetts House picked Winthrop Democrat Robert DeLeo, already the longest continuously serving speaker in state history, to lead the chamber for the new two-year session that began Wednesday. 
DeLeo, who was elected on a 119-31 party line vote with House Republicans instead backing Minority Leader Bradley Jones, said in his remarks to his colleagues that it’s important to have fresh voices in the House and new ideas will be welcomed as lawmakers get to work to address the needs facing the state. 
“No one’s rights will be infringed upon here in Massachusetts,” he said. 
Eight Democrats, including four new lawmakers who took their seats for the first time Wednesday, broke with their colleagues by voting “present” instead of supporting either DeLeo or Jones for speaker."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2013 Master Plan - time to review

One of the items being carried on the Economic Development Subcommittee agenda and gradually moving its way up the topic listing is a discussion on the Master Plan. I would assume that the group would be looking to the current plan (see link below) to see what has been accomplished in the 5 years since the plan was approved, and what remains to be done. Of those items that remain to be done, there would likely be a discussion on what of those items to prioritize.

To help prepare for this discussion, an overview of the 2103 Master Plan is provided as well as links to the full document itself.

Happy reading!


"What is a Master Plan?
According to Chapter 41 Section 81D of the General Laws of Massachusetts a Master Plan is:
“A statement through text, maps, illustrations or other forms of communication, that is designed to provide a basis for decision making regarding the long-term physical development of the municipality…”
A Master Plan consists of the following elements as defined by the M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 81D.

  • Land Use
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Circulation
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources
  • Community Services and Facilities
  • Goals and Policies
  • Implementation

The Planning and Community Development Master Plan page

The 2013 Master Plan doc and sections

The abridged version of the 2013 Master Plan

In a document dated Dec 2016, Bryan Taberner provided an updated to the Town Council on recent accomplishments for the Master Plan for the Jan 4, 2017 meeting

2013 Master Plan - time to review
2013 Master Plan - time to review

Electric Youth Announces 2019 Debut at THE BLACK BOX - Jan 5

Electric Youth 2019 will debut at THE BLACK BOX on January 5 with two shows at 6:30 and 8:30 PM. The 2019 group of talented young singers and dancers includes Laney Dragsbaek, Hayley Driscoll, Tatiana McAlpine, Kelly McCormick, Emma Nicholson, Hannah Rezendes, Madison Rezendes, and Lindsey Wyner of Franklin, Susauna Wickstrom of Wrentham, Griffin Wilkins and Caroline Wilkins of Walpole, and Cassidy Baratta and Kelsey Breslin of Hopkinton.

Electric Youth delivers high-energy, fully choreographed performances of classic rock, contemporary pop, Broadway, and country hits for audiences of all ages. The American touring ensemble of talented singer-dancers, ages 14-18, is backed by the eight-piece Boston Show Band — world class musicians who’ve worked with music legends Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Van Morrison and more. Electric Youth is trained at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts. 

Electric Youth 2019
Electric Youth 2019

The group has toured Europe 15 times, performing in such renowned venues as Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Musikverein and Schonbrunn Palace; Sanremo’s Ariston Theatre; England’s Arundel Festival; Disneyland Paris; and professional theatres in Bristol, London and Windsor. EY has also headlined Fourth of July shows for U.S. troops stationed in Italy at Camp Ederle, Camp Darby, and Aviano Air Force Base. The ensemble has performed on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, on Fox-TV and WBZ Radio, and at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, the Smithsonian Museum Theater, the United Nations and the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. Electric Youth has released six albums, including 2014’s Power Chord, available on iTunes. This summer, they will tour France, Italy, the U.K., and Switzerland.

Collectively, the members of Electric Youth 2019 have performed with Broadway stars, sung the National Anthem for Boston sports teams, been selected to perform at “Broadway Sessions” in NYC, won national gymnastics titles, worked with choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance, performed on televised dance specials, and more. Alumni of Electric Youth have gone on to appear on Broadway, in national and international tours, television, regional theater, feature film, professional dance companies, cruise ships, and more.

Tickets for the January 5 Debut shows are available at or by calling the box office at 508-528-3370.

Conservation Commission - Meeting - Jan 3, 2018

Three new Notices of Intent (NOI) were filed recently in advance of Public Hearings scheduled for the Conservation Commission. Their next meeting is Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers.

The full agenda can be found online

The new Notice of Intent filings are as follows:
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Act) a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, December 20, 2018, January 3, 2019 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA on a Notice of Intent filed by Eversource Energy of Westwood, MA for a geotechnical boring program in the buffer zone of bordering vegetated wetlands. 
This project is located along the existing Right-of-Way.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Act) a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2019, at 7:05 PM in the Council Chambers of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA on a Notice of Intent filed by Spring Street Renewables, LLC of Boston, MA for construction of a large scale ground mounted solar energy system in the buffer zone of bordering vegetated wetlands. 
This project is located on Spring Street.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Act) a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2019, at 7:10 PM in the Council Chambers of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA on a Notice of Intent filed by PIDC Construction of Milford, MA for construction of a new parking area with 84+/- spaces on the westerly side of the existing building in the buffer zone of bordering vegetated wetlands. 
This project is located at 27 Forge Parkway.

Spruce Pond on a sunny day in November 2018
Spruce Pond on a sunny day in November 2018

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, January 9

Trade all your holiday stress for laughter on Wednesday, January 9 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin. 

Come and enjoy this unique exercise of guided laughter exercises combined with gentle breathing that brings more oxygen to the body's cells. This oxygen boost gives enhanced vitality, energy and a feeling of real well-being. Any age and any level of physical ability can participate in this uplifting experience! 

New laughers are always welcomed! $5 donation to the church, $10 maximum per family. Please bring your water bottle because laughing can be dehydrating. 

Led by Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers, Linda and Bill Hamaker.  

If you have any questions, just call them at 508-660-2223 or e-mail

MA Senate Ends 2017-2018 Session

Senate passes initiatives to increase financial literacy, shore up pipeline safety, and provide increased funding for line of duty benefits

The Massachusetts State Senate closed out the 2017–2018 legislative session today with action on a number of bills, spanning issues such as public safety, education, and consumer data protection, among other things. The Senate also passed a supplemental budget designed to address time-sensitive funding needs.

"I am proud of the work the Senate has done this session, and its commitment to working on important issues up to very last day," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka. "I would like to thank each and everyone in the Senate for their insight, willingness to collaborate, and dedication to the people of the Commonwealth as we continue to move Massachusetts forward."

In response to public safety concerns raised by the Merrimack Valley gas fires, the Senate enacted legislation that requires all utilities to engage a professional engineer to review utility work plans. This follows a bill, signed by the Governor yesterday, that extends unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for workers locked out by National Grid for 26 weeks, or until the lockout ends, whichever comes first.

The Senate approved final passage of a consumer data protection bill, known as the 'Equifax' bill, that helps consumers protect their private information through free security freezes, free credit monitoring when a credit reporting agency is breached, and requiring prior consent from an agency to access a consumer's report, as well an explanation for the disclosure.

To better serve the needs of our students, the Senate passed a bill that allows for the establishment of standards for students in kindergarten through grade 12 on personal financial literacy. The bill also permits educational institutions to incorporate personal financial literacy standards into existing mathematics, social science, technology, business, or other curricula. The Senate also passed an initiative that improves governance and oversight of educational collaboratives and allows them to provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities over the age of 22 in certain circumstances.

The Senate acted to end gender discrimination in disability insurance, bringing it into line with insurance provided by employers and subject to federal nondiscrimination law. It also passed a supplemental budget to provide sufficient funding to cover line of duty benefits for the year.

The end-of-session activity follows the recent passage of a new law designed to regulate and tax short-term rentals, while creating a framework in which this innovative industry segment can grow.

Bills passed by both the House and Senate will be sent to the Governor, who has ten days to sign them into law. The next legislative session begins tomorrow, January 2, 2018

The MA Senate End of Session Report

For more information on the MA Senate

For more information on the MA House of Representatives

MA Senate Ends 2017-2018 Session
MA Senate Ends 2017-2018 Session

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2019

If you want to stay informed on what matters in Franklin, MA, you have found the right place. Franklin has a whole lot going on. 

The budget cycle is just beginning. This sets the priorities for how our tax dollars are spent. 

This is also an election year for town offices. We operate with the "strong mayor" form of city government. Yes, technically we are a city. One of several in the Commonwealth that still choose to call ourselves a town. 

The Town Council is our major governing body. They hire the Town Administrator and approve all the management level municipal appointments. Jeff Nutting will be retiring sometime before July 2019. Jamie Hellen, the current Deputy Town Administrator was just hired by the Town Council to replace Jeff.

The School Committee is the governing body for the schools and school budget. They are responsible to hire the Superintendent and approve other school appointments. The school budget is developed within town guidelines and becomes a line item for approval by the Town Council.

Other elected Board and Commission positions will also be up for election in November. More information on the election process will be shared as it is released by Town Clerk, Teresa Burr.

Stay informed so you can be part of the meetings and conversations to provide your input on what Franklin will do/should do.

1 - The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to receive a daily dose of what matters via email (yes, only one email daily. It is scheduled to arrive in your Inbox between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM each day.)

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2 - The second best way is to follow us on Twitter. Everything posted to this web page and sent in the daily email is also shared via Twitter.

3 - The third way, and least successful in catching all the information, is via Facebook. It is the least successful in that Facebook filters the posts so even though you may be a follower, you may not get to see all that is posted.

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like this, please let me know

I thank you all for reading, sharing your feedback, and sending me information to share with our neighbors and friends. Let's stay informed together with what is happening in Franklin.

Welcome to 2019

Steve Sherlock
(voluntary) Community Information Director

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019

Draft Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan - available for public comment

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that the Draft Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan is now available for public comment. You can review the plan and provide feedback by clicking the link below.

2018 Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan

To realize the potential for everyday biking in Massachusetts and underscore MassDOT’s commitment to safety, MassDOT is releasing a new Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan to make biking in Massachusetts a safe, comfortable, and convenient option for everyday travel.

As part of the Bike Plan, MassDOT developed the Municipal Resource Guide for Bikeability in recognition of the important role the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts will play. Created for municipal staff, elected officials, community members, and anyone interested in biking, the Resource Guide introduces core concepts to enhance community bikeability and directs readers to additional resources for more detailed information. 
The public comment period for the draft Bicycle Plan is open until January 31, 2019.

This was shared from the page

Draft Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan - available for public comment
The bike lane markings painted as part of the Downtown Improvement
project that returned Main St to 2-way travel

"parents are also dealing with some of the same stresses"

"On Wednesday evening, November 14th, a group of 85 students and parents gathered to enjoy a meal together at Medway High School, after which The Well-Balanced Student, a Stanford University Challenge-Success film, was screened. The event, aimed at student mental health among the middle school crowd, was the first of a two-part collaboration of Medway Schools’ Director of Wellness, Ryan Sherman, and Franklin Schools’ Director of Health and Education, Kristin Letendre. The second film event, geared toward educating high school families, will take place at Franklin High School on January 8th. 
“Communities in general, especially here in the Metrowest region, are seeing great increases in student mental health concerns and overall stress,” says Sherman. Schools, he says, address the issue in many different ways, including educating about it in health class and incorporating social emotional learning, which teaches students techniques to cope with mental health concerns and self-management from Kindergarten through 12th grade. "
"Medway, says Sherman, has invested a lot in streamlining the process for students who need mental health counseling. Now, he says, in addition to responding to students who present with mental health concerns, “We’re looking for a next layer, of prevention, working with families and looking at what they can do to support what we do in school – how they can create a balanced life for students. How do we focus on prevention, lifestyle that hopefully will prevent students from exhaustion, high levels of stress or mental health concerns?
That was the impetus what got Franklin and Medway thinking about this.”

Continue reading the article about the first part of this program

The January 8th event at Franklin High School, 218 Oak Street in Franklin, will include a dinner, from 5:30-6 p.m., followed by the film for families of students in grades 9-12 at 6-7:30 p.m. 
Daycare for younger siblings will be provided by members of Franklin High’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). 
In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held the following evening.

Register for the second part of the program here

Register for January 8 event at Franklin High School
Register for January 8 event at Franklin High School

For more information on the Challenge Success program, visit

Shared via reminder of event 

"so often wrongly told their service is worthless and they can’t get any benefits"

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:
"Three Massachusetts combat veterans have won a court challenge against the state government, which denied them their Welcome Home Bonus money after deployments in Afghanistan because they received “other than honorable” discharges from the military. 
Lawyers in the case estimate the Suffolk Superior Court judge’s decision could affect about 4,000 veterans in Massachusetts, while two of the plaintiffs said they hope it will also draw more attention to the plight of former service members, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder, who struggle with resuming their lives after returning home. 
“When we enlist, we put our lives on the line to protect our country. But when we get out, we’re thrown in the back of the line,” said Washington Santos, an Army veteran in Revere who served in Afghanistan and is one of the plaintiffs in the case. “There isn’t that love or that care for a veteran as there should be.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Information on the Welcome Home Veterans Bonus Program

Or contact Franklin's Veterans Service Agent, Dale Kurtz

contact Franklin's Veterans Service Agent, Dale Kurtz
contact Franklin's Veterans Service Agent, Dale Kurtz

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities for Custodian, Electrician, Firefighter/Paramedics

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.  
  • Junior Building Custodian - Davis Thayer Elementary School
  • Town Electrician
  • Part-Time Custodian
  • Firefighter/Paramedics - The Town of Franklin's Fire Department is in the Massachusetts Civil Service system. 
    • If you are currently a Firefighter/Paramedic in a Civil Service community and are interested in working for Franklin, send a resume and cover letter to
    • Please note: new hires must have and maintain a paramedic certification and complete an Associate's Degree within 5 years of the date they are hired.   
If you do not have a resume, you may send a completed Application for Employment form instead

To receive notifications of all job opportunities in the Town of Franklin, subscribe here

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities for Custodian, Electrician, Firefighter/Paramedics
Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities for Custodian, Electrician, Firefighter/Paramedics