Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Town Council Recap -Sep 18, 2019

Due to a work commitment for a 9 PM meeting, I did 'real time' reporting for the Town Council meeting of Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019. From the comfort of my home office, I reported on the meeting capturing notes and photos from the broadcast on my laptop. Fortunately, the meeting ended just before 9 and I was able to swivel my seat to my 'work from home desk' and dial into the conference call on schedule.

  • Franklin Police Department had two new hires sworn in: John Godino and David Ricci. Nick Palmieri was recognized with a promotion to Detective. Daniel McGlynn was recognized for his 27 years of service on the force. 
  • Franklin Fire Department EMS Lieutenant William Blanchard was sworn in.
John Godino and David Ricci being sworn in
John Godino and David Ricci being sworn in
Nick Palmieri congratulated by Capt Lynch on promotion
Nick Palmieri congratulated by Capt Lynch on promotion
Daniel McGlynn presented with a plaque in recognition of his 27 years of service
Daniel McGlynn presented with a plaque in recognition of his 27 years of service

William Blanchard being sworn in as a new Lieutenant
William Blanchard being sworn in as a new Lieutenant

The often rescheduled public hearing for the Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-837: Zoning Map Changes From General Residential V to Single Family Residential IV an Area on or Near West Central Street was closed at this meeting.It appeared that the Council simply wanted to close the public hearing without doing anything. A couple of people did speak on the record. Including the individual with the proposal currently involved in a law suit over his proposal for this location with the Planning Board. 

One of the draw backs of being remote for the meeting was that I could not talk with anyone to really find out what was going on. So there will likely be more to come on this item.

A set of presentations on the Historical Museum (document shared) and on the DPW 'tree warden' as well as the new textile recycling program beginning in November were shared. The presentation documents are included in the links below. 

I'll create an audio file of the tree warden presentation to share soon. In the meantime, the Franklin TV recording is available for replay.

The Town of Franklin "Actions Taken" document

Additional details can be found in my notes captured during the 'real time reporting' session for this meeting
  • Real-time Reporting: Legislation for action through Closing
  • Real-time Reporting: DPW Presentation
  • Real-time reporting: Historical Museum presentation .
  • Real-time Reporting: Public Hearing - Zoning Bylaw...
  • Real-time Reporting: Town Council - Sep 18, 2019

"The Gift of Music": Don't Forget to Save the Date - Nov 10

"The Gift of Music": Don't Forget to Save the Date - Nov 10
Mark your calendars and join us once more for an unforgettable evening!
"The Gift of Music": Don't Forget to Save the Date - Nov 10
The Encore Music Education Foundation presents "The Gift of Music", a fundraising gala this Fall on Sunday, November 10th at the Milford DoubleTree Hotel from 5:00-10:00 PM.

Tickets will be on sale soon so watch your email for the purchase link!
Copyright © *2019* *Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios
3 Bent St
Franklin, MA 02038

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In the News: Paychecks get smaller; wind power growth threatened

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

"Paychecks are about to get a little smaller in Massachusetts.

Employer and employee contributions to the state Department of Family and Medical Leave Employment Security Trust Fund begin coming out of paychecks on Tuesday. That’s the funding source for the new paid family and medical leave benefit signed into law last year."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The winds are blowing fair for America’s wind power industry, making it one of the fastest-growing U.S. energy sources.

Land-based turbines are rising by the thousands across America, from the remote Texas plains to farm towns of Iowa. And the U.S. wind boom now is expanding offshore, with big corporations planning $70 billion in investment for the country’s first utility-scale offshore wind farms.

“We have been blessed to have it,” says Polly McMahon, a 13th-generation resident of Block Island, where a pioneering offshore wind farm replaced the island’s dirty and erratic diesel-fired power plant in 2016. “I hope other people are blessed too.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Monday, September 30, 2019

FM #172 - How Your Town Government Works (audio)

FM #172

This internet radio show or podcast is number 172 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording shares the “How Your Town Government Works” event. This was a non-partisan event sponsored by the Franklin Democratic Town Committee at THE BLACK BOX. It was held on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

Current members of Franklin’s town government spoke about their areas of expertise:
  • Tom Mercer, chair of the Town Council, provided an overview of the town government — its parts, their interrelationships, their purposes and personalities. He also moderated the forum.
  • Jamie Hellen, Franklin Town Administrator, explained how his office oversees the day-to-day implementation of town government and works together with the School Dept on matters of mutual interest
  • Anne Bergen, chair of Franklin’s School Committee, and Sara Ahern, Superintendent of Schools, will discuss education, the largest single part of the town budget.
  • Joe Halligan and Tony Padula, sit on the Planning Board. They spoke on the Board's role in the town's development and administering the zoning bylaws.
  • Melanie Hamblen, a member of the Town Council, spoke from her point of view completing her first two year term. She shared stories highlighting citizen initiatives that brought changes to Franklin.

Without further ado, here is the audio recording including the Q&A session following the presentations (approx 1hour and 45 minutes).

Note: there was no presentation document used. Several members of the panel did highlight sections of the Town of Franklin web pages which was shown on the large screen and viewed by the audience. Questions were repeated to ensure all could hear. The event was recorded via microphones but the microphones did not serve as PA’s for the session. You shouldn’t have trouble hearing the recording.


This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • 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.

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements.
Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes = search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

The full " How Your Town Government Works" panel being introduced
The full " How Your Town Government Works" panel being introduced

subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes
subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes

Post announcing the event 

Meet the Franklin Candidates - Election 2019 - Oct 3

Via Facebook, hosted by Glenn Jones:
"Wondering who the candidates are running for all of the elected positions in the Town of Franklin?

You are invited to a meet and greet at La Cantina Winery this Thursday, October 3 from 7 PM till 8:30 PM,  357 Union St

This event is open to the public!

All Candidates are welcome to attend and meet the constituency of the Great Town of Franklin.

As part of the Meet and Greet, La Cantina Winery is donating a portion of all sales to the Franklin Food Pantry.
Come on down!
Thank you to the Vozzella Family for hosting this event!"

Meet the Franklin Candidates - Election 2019 - Oct 3
Meet the Franklin Candidates - Election 2019 - Oct 3

Follow the Facebook event for updates

Understanding the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) programs (4 part series)

Via the Mass Consumers Affairs blog:
"If you are a home improvement contractor or homeowner in Massachusetts, we’ve got you covered with our introductory guide to understanding the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) programs – from both perspectives, the homeowner’s and contractor’s.

This introduction to HIC programs is the first of our four part “HIC—Easy as 1-2-3!” blog series dedicated to providing resources and information concerning HIC law, contractors, homeowners, complaints and enforcement hearings, arbitration, and the Guaranty Fund. Keep reading to educate yourself or brush up on your knowledge about HIC programs in Massachusetts."

Continue reading Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
Part 4

Understanding the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) programs (4 part series)
Understanding the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) programs (4 part series)

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds: Register O'Donnell Discusses How to Record a Land Document

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Discusses How to Record a Land Document
Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell today reminded residents that the Registry process to record land documents is designed to make it easy and as convenient as possible. "Whether the document being recorded is a deed, mortgage, homestead, mortgage discharge or any other type of land document, we are here to make the experience a positive and productive one for the customer," noted O'Donnell.

Register O'Donnell further noted, "As the depository of over 8 million land documents, there are certain basic steps that need to be followed when submitting a land document for recording. First and foremost, the document needs to be associated with one of the twenty-eight communities comprising Norfolk County. In addition, the document must be an original; we will not record photo copies or documents submitted via fax. Please note in many cases, land documents require signatures be notarized before they are recorded.

"It should also be noted that the Registry does not draft land documents. The Registry of Deeds is in the business of recording land documents only. If an individual is unsure if a drafted land document is in proper order, it may be prudent to have a lawyer familiar with real estate law review the document for its accuracy. For example, a simple mistake on a deed could lead to a major problem."

Another important point to note is that there are various fees set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts associated with the recording of land documents at the Registry. Recording fees vary depending on the specific land document type. The Registry's website www.norfolkdeeds.org has a fee schedule that can be consulted for specific recording fee amount. The Registry accepts checks made out to the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds as well as cash payment.

"Once you have a land document ready for recording and know the fee and type of payment," stated O'Donnell, "you can then choose how to actually get the document delivered to the Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026. These options include submittal via regular mail, Federal Express or UPS. In addition, residents and institutional users can have their land documents recorded in person at the Registry of Deeds. Our recording hours are from 9:00AM to 4:00PM Monday through Friday."
O'Donnell concluded by saying, "Our trained recording staff is glad to take your land documents for recording, as well as answer any basic questions you may have on the subject. The document is recorded on the same day it arrives here at the Registry. It should also be noted that institutional users such as lending institutions and law firms have the additional option to submit documents electronically via our two e-file vendors, Simplifile and ePN. Finally, if you have any questions about land documents in general, please call our Customer Service Center at 781-461-6101."

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 and/or Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

email: registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org
phone: 781-234-3336
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham,, MA 02026-1831

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Register O'Donnell Discusses How to Record a Land Document
Register O'Donnell Discusses How to Record a Land Document

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Oct 2, 2019

The published agenda and documents for the Franklin Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

You can also find the full set of documents in one PDF
(Note: where there are active links in the agenda item, it will take you to the associated document)

This was shared from the Town of Franklin pagehttps://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/october-2-town-council-agenda

Agenda ItemSummary
Agenda Meeting Date October 2, 2019
1. ANNOUNCEMENTSa. 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.
2. CITIZEN COMMENTSa. 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. VFW Check Presentation

5. APPOINTMENTSa. Town Clerk, Election Worker Appointments: Dawn Sprague and Gail Potter
b. Franklin Cultural Council: Jon C. Mitchell

6. HEARINGS- None Scheduled
9. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee
10a. LEGISLATION FOR ACTIONa. Resolution 19-64: Appropriation of Cable Funds in Support of PEG Service and Programming per M.G.L Ch.44, §53F3/4 (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-64: Majority Vote (5))
10b. LEGISLATION FOR ACTIONResolution 19-65: Ratification of AFSCME Local 1298 Custodians Contract (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-65: Majority Vote (5))
10c. LEGISLATION FOR ACTIONResolution 19-66: Salary Schedule Full-Time Elected Official (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-66: Majority Vote (5))


14. EXECUTIVE SESSION a. Collective Bargaining
i. I request a motion that the Board vote to convene in Executive Session for the purpose of discussing strategy with respect to collective bargaining, because an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Board. 

Franklin TV and wfpr.fm studio
Franklin TV and wfpr.fm studio

Walpole tops FHS field hockey 2-1

Via HockomockSports.com, we share the results of the FHS fall sports action on Saturday, Sep 28, 2019

Field Hockey = Franklin, 1 @ Walpole, 2 – Final
– In a battle of two of the top teams in the state, Walpole scored the lone goal of the second half to earn the win. The Rebels opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the game but Hanna Richardson, on an assist from Kaitlyn Carney, scored in the 11th minute to make it 1-1. The Panthers’ defense played strong, limiting Walpole to one goal on 19 corners while Neilee Hess made 13 saves in goal.

For other results around the Hockomock League

Walpole tops FHS field hockey 2-1
Walpole tops FHS field hockey 2-1

MassBudget: FY 2020 budget provides education funding increase, includes some revenue

  MassBudget: FY 2020 budget provides education funding increase, includes some revenue     

September 27, 2019

FY 2020 budget provides education funding increase, includes some revenue
As lawmakers finalize the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget, here is a look at the key stories from this budget cycle. Throughout the FY 2020 budget debate, two questions rose to the top:
  • Will the FY 2020 budget adequately fix the state's outdated school funding formula?
  • Will the FY 2020 budget include adequate revenue to pay for important investments?
For K-12 school funding, the FY 2020 budget gets closer to what it actually takes to provide a high quality education to all Massachusetts students. However, it does not include a multi-year plan to update the education funding formula. In the coming weeks, the Legislature will debate a recently released multi-year plan to update the formula for our K-12 schools starting in FY 2021, which could increase state funding for schools by $1.5 billion in 7 years when fully implemented.
(For a detailed look at just the FY 2020 budget for school funding, see the K-12 Education section of the analysis.)
The FY 2020 budget does include some anticipated revenue from recently enacted policy changes and from expected growth of existing revenue sources. These tax and non-tax revenue sources are expected to deliver $504.4 million in additional revenue in FY 2020. A number of already-scheduled tax cuts and other revenue losses, however, will eliminate most of this half billion in anticipated and proposed gains (see the Revenue section of the report for details).
The big revenue story in the FY 2020 budget, however, came not from the revenue proposals in the budget itself, but from the surprisingly strong tax collections through FY 2019 and how these affected the FY 2020 budget. Collections in FY 2019 exceeded earlier projections by more than a billion dollars, which allowed lawmakers to boost the funding for many programs and services, while also adding to the state's Stabilization Fund. Yet there is a real question of whether these strong tax collections will continue into FY 2020 and beyond.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02109

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1 State Street, Suite 1250, Boston, MA 02109
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Funding for early education and care in the FY 2020 budget
Funding for early education and care in the FY 2020 budget

Register for the Ladybug 5K - Oct 6

Ladybug 5K 2019
Sunday October 6, 2019 10:00 AM

John F Kennedy School School
551 Pond Street - Franklin MA

USATF Sanctioned Event
Professional Timing 3C Race Productions

Cash Prize for the Top Male and Female finisher
Raffle (Tickets: 1 for $1 OR 12 for $10)
  • Kids Fun Run begins at 9:30 AM
  • 5K begins at 10 AM
  • Bib number pick up begins at 8:30 AM

Register online

The start of the Ladybug 5K in 2015
The start of the Ladybug 5K in 2015

"we’re trying to both build some strategies and add some new strategies"

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

"State environmental officials on Friday rolled out a draft plan that calls for Massachusetts to reduce its solid waste disposal by 1.7 million tons by 2030, in part by targeting food waste, textiles and construction materials.

The Department of Environmental Protection will accept public comment on its draft 2020-2030 Solid Waste Master Plan through Dec. 6, and has a series of hearings on it planned throughout the fall.

With the state on track to fall short of its 2020 waste reduction goal - the current master plan called for a 30% reduction from 6.55 million tons in 2008 to 4.55 million tons in 2020 - the new draft sets “some very aggressive goals” backed up by a “really robust and multi-pronged strategy,” said deputy DEP commissioner Stephanie Cooper.

“We are redoubling our efforts,” Cooper said. “Part of what has affected the progress to date has been a strong economy, which sort of cuts against waste reduction generally.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

  • More info on the MassDEP Solid Waste Master Plan

  • The draft 2020-2030 Solid Waste Master Plan

  • The Presentation document for the draft Master Plan

MassDEP has scheduled the following public hearings:
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the MassDEP Central Regional Office, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester;
  • Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the MassDEP Northeast Regional Office, 205B Lowell Street, Wilmington;
  • Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the MassDEP Headquarters Office, 1 Winter Street, Boston;
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the Springfield City Library, Sixteen Acres Branch, 1187 Parker Street, Springfield; and
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the MassDEP Southeast Regional Office, 20 Riverside Drive, Lakeville.
MassDEP Solid Waste Master Plan
MassDEP Solid Waste Master Plan

In the News: aggressive mosquitoes being fought; "525 million probes a day from foreign soil"

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

"About two years ago, Todd Duval got a call from a New Bedford homeowner. The woman’s children were being attacked by relentlessly aggressive mosquitoes in her yard. The kids had sustained so many bites that the woman took them to the doctor to make sure they’d be OK.

Duval, an entomologist with the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project, visited the home. He found plastic toys scattered throughout the yard, corrugated downspout extensions on the home’s gutters and buckets for collecting rainwater that the woman used to water her tomatoes.

The containers were an ideal breeding ground for a species of mosquito that has been threatening to colonize Massachusetts for a few years: the Aedes albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito.

The first Asian tiger mosquito in Massachusetts was found in New Bedford in 2009. Over the next few years, Duval and other mosquito trackers found the tiny day-biters buzzing around traps in increasing numbers, mostly in New Bedford, Fairhaven and, in some years, a neighborhood in Dartmouth."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Every day, the state’s computer network is “probed” more than half a billion times by entities outside the United States looking for a weak spot in the state’s cyber protections that could allow bad actors to infiltrate the state’s information technology infrastructure.

The Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) and others maintain defenses against those probes, but some programs are expected to run out of funding in January when the Legislature’s last IT bond bill runs dry, EOTSS Secretary Curt Wood told lawmakers Thursday.

“We have major initiatives ongoing right now, if the money expires in January, which we anticipate, we will be stopped without any traction,” he said. “So the urgency from a funding perspective is critical.”

Wood, Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan and Public Safety Secretary Thomas Turco pressed the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets to advance a $1.15 billion bill authorizing funds for information technology, public safety equipment and cybersecurity projects."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)