Thursday, December 19, 2019

Keeping it real and keeping busy at St. John’s Church

There’s never a dull moment at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The active church is busy in the community. Mark your calendar for December and January.

December 24 – Christmas Eve church services at 5 pm and 9 pm.

The 5 pm service features the popular Christmas Pageant. The pageant is a musical performance telling the story of Jesus’s birth by the children and teens of St. John’s. It’s a joyful and entertaining service with Communion.

The 9 pm Festival Eucharist service is more formal service with music from the choir, organ, and viola.

January 5 – Feast of the Epiphany Family Service at St. John’s. This service is led by the church youth.

January 12 — Members of St. John’s will be serving lunch and worshipping with the people of common cathedral on Boston Common. Common cathedral serves Boston’s homeless community. If you are interested in helping, please contact the church.

January 18 — St. John’s will host One Family. One Family is a breakfast and community gathering with games and crafts for low-income families of Bristol County and is held at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Attleboro. Contact the church for more details.

For more information:

Keeping it real and keeping busy at St. John’s Church
Keeping it real and keeping busy at St. John’s Church

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Live reporting: TA Report through to Closing

24,000 pounds in two weeks with pink bags collected

Chrissy and Alicia both took the MA Municipal Assoc finance course and passed

transitional assistance/homeless
Senior Center partnership with St Vincent DePaul
any social services, hard time paying bills, etc.
if you know of folks with an issue, work through the Senior Center

thanks for your support, I love this job
happy holidays to everyone, we'll see you in 2020

discussion on sidewalk clearing for merchants for a future item

Senior Center update and discussion on the services available

Earls - happy holidays this year, 2020 will have good things in store for us
Kelly - merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, looking forward to next year
Hamvblen - farmers market on Saturday, La Cantina will be there; happy holidays, happy new year 
Pellegri - sidewalks for beaver St (Kelly to catch up off line)
Jones - merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy new year
Dellorco - also happy holidays, be safe, have a great time
Mercer - happy holidays to all, great safe and happy holiday season

- Purpose #6: to consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property (majority roll call vote)

motion to aDJOURN in executive session, not to return to public meeting

motion, seconded, passed 9-0

Live reporting: Town Administrator Evaluation

b. Town Administrator Annual Evaluation
draft provided to Councilors for review and comment
in position for 7 months, am happy with the performance (per Mercer)
the ease of the transition from Jeff to Jamie 
two and half years of training under Jeff per the success plan

Jones - you jumped in to the communication, quite feisty which is a good thing

Kelly - kudos to the transition going well, can't be loved by everyone
the number of transitions within the overall Town administration is amazing
new Fire Chief, HR Director, Board of Health Director, new folks elsewhere

Dellorco - only here 7 months but it feels like 7 years (and that is meant to be a compliment)

Chandler - being the newest person, I have asked Jamie a million things and he gets back to be right away, thanks to the rest of your team

Bissanti - thanks to my speed reading courses, I have read the document, I piggyback upon what Councilor Chandler said

Mercer - he shows up at everything, every meeting, he is as close to a Franklinite as you can get, it means a lot to us and to the people

motion to approve the written summary, seconded, passed 9-0

a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
meeting Jan 15, 6 PM
have been participating in the FinCom to review the capital

b. Budget Subcommittee
status quo

c. Economic Development Subcommittee
meeting Jan 8 5:30 - plot line clean up and residential zoning for solar

Resolution 19-89: Gift Acceptance - Franklin Veteran’s Services Department, $1,480 (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-89 - Majority Vote (5))

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

Live reporting: Plastic Bag Waste Reduction

a. Plastic Bag Waste Reduction
Ethan leading a group of approx 14 students lined up to present each section of the plastic waste reduction plan

year long transition period to allow for work out of existing stock
can also apply for an additional 3 month waiver if necessary (just once)
state bill imposes a mandatory 10 cent fee, this does not
the State bill was passed by the Senate, and not by the House, no way to know for sure if it will pass
other communities are passing similar legislation around us
26 of 29 businesses talked with approve
347 signatures on petition
multiple meetings to prepare for this

Mercer - thank you, we applaud your efforts in bringing this forward

Hamblen - this group has been before the EDC four times
What if the State passed and overturned this?

Jones reading part(?) of the proposed bylaw for "clarification sake"

Earls - statement on recycling, questioning the single stream due to other recycling issues
"bag ban problematic in several ways" 
study from Australian professor questions the textbook case of the CA example

Bissanti - I don't want to see them leave here, let's give them the chance
let's get this done in Franklin

Dellorco -my concern was for the small businesses, you have answered that with this proposal and the implementation plan

Hamblen - they have encouraged people to try different materials
plastic with wood fibers so it will dissolve, another from a root, some of the smaller packets being made from sea weed; it is a statement to get people thinking

Kelly - thanks for changing from a ban to reduction, it plays better

really three options:

  1. send a resolution
  2. start a bylaw
  3. wait for the state

looking for a sense of where we are for which direction

resolution (Earls)
(Mercer did not publicly declare)

hence bylaw is to be drafted, written then announced for two public hearings, and then voted on

it is possible that the State could get their act together and take it out of our hands

two minute recess

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

Live reporting: Alcohol Licenses - new, changes, and renewals

- 7:10 PM

a. La Cantina Winery Company, Farmer Winery, Farmers Market

to allow for samples at the winter farmers market
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

b. The Chateau Restaurant of Franklin, Change of Hours, 466 King Street.
a correction of the hours that should have been submitted originally with the initial application. An oversight missed in the original application; bar and food served through the hours indicated

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

c. Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant, License Modification, Change of Location, 371 Union Street
Bissanti recused himself

pending inspections as construction is not complete
similar process used for others in the past, will hold off submitting to State after inspection complete

motion to approve, seconded, passed 8-0-1 (Bissanti abstain)

d. GlenPharmer Distillery, LLC, New Farmer Series Pouring Permit for a Farmer-Distillery, 860 West Central Street

this is the pouring permit to accompany the already approved distillery operation

will be serving a full menu of food service during the service of alcohol
recipes being tested, 72 seats inside, some outdoor is seasonal

more complicated than imagined it would be, master distiller on site
test batches done, chef in place, looking for construction completion
it is highly regulated, looking to open Jan/Feb
a little behind schedule, but close to the light at the end of the tunnel
looking to provide a unique destination for Franklin

delays are weeks, not months, ready from a construction stand point but then the approvals are required; not looking forward to opening on Super Bowl weekend

open with tasting room on ground floor
looking for an other tenant for the 2nd floor

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

e. 2020 Annual Alcoholic Beverages License Renewals

the hold for La Cantani was removed with successful inspection yesterday
but the packet came out before, it is the nature of the business

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

Council Clerk read the licensee listing "after" the vote to include it per request of Town Attorney Mark Cerel

second vote to properly approve, seconded, passed 9-0

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

Live reporting: Town Council - December 18, 2019

Present: Chandler, Hamblen, Pellegri, Dellorco, Mercer, Jones, Kelly, Earls, Bissanti
Absent: none

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. October 2, 2019
motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
  • b. November 13, 2019
motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0

- None Scheduled

a. Historical Commission, Associate Member: Alan R Earls
Eamon Earls recused himself as Alan is father

discussion on appointment not being reviewed by commission itself
everybody is correct, not every appointment has gone through the review process, TA admits an end run on this one. Done in this case as it is an 'associate member', some were aware
it is what you want to do as a body

motion to approve, seconded, passes 8-0-1 (Earls abstain)

- None Scheduled

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

FM #188 - Finance Committee - Capital Plan for FY 2020 (audio)

FM #188

This internet radio show or podcast is number 188 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording shares Finance Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 at the Senior Center beginning at 6:30 PM.

This is the second of two sessions to review the Capital Plan for FY 2020. This session covers the DPW and the enterprise Water and Sewer accounts.

The documents for the meetings are available on the Town of Franklin page as well as Franklin Matters. The links are contained here so you can follow along.

Agenda doc - 12/17/19

The Finance Committee approved the three recommendations that the Town Council will take up at a January/February 2020 meeting
  • 20-01 Recommends Capital FY 2020 of $1,640,579 (as detailed on page 20 of the agenda document)
  • 20-02 Recommends transfer of $348,000 for the OPEB Trust Fund (page 22)
  • 20-03 Recommends transfer of $570,000 from Free Cash to the appropriate stabilization accounts (as detailed on page 24 of the agenda document)

The meeting runs about 50 minutes so without further ado here is the Finance Committee meeting of Dec 17.


Audio File - 12/10/19 meeting

FY 2020 Capital Budget document

FinCom Agenda doc

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
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 or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

sidewalks have been part of the plan but not this year
sidewalks have been part of the plan but not this year


ALERT: Support HS students' Plastic Bag Ban at Franklin Town Council vote WED DEC 18!

"Wednesday, Dec 18, the Franklin Town Council will be voting on a bylaw for Plastic Bag Reduction. The meeting starts at 7 pm at the Town Hall, 2nd floor.

The students from Franklin High School have been working with the subcommittee of the Town Council, the Economic Development Committee, for about a year trying to get this bylaw ready. The students will be presenting, the result of all their work, the bylaw, to the Town Council.

It would be wonderful to have as many residents of Franklin as possible to attend the meeting to support the high school students and to encourage the council members to finally pass this bylaw.

Can you please show support your support of the students' efforts by attending the meeting?"

Thank you!

Carolyn Barthel
350 Mass Greater Franklin Node
508-473-3305 H

image from the proposal presentation by the FHS students
image from the proposal presentation by the FHS students in Oct 2016
From 2016

Economic Development Meeting 12/4/19

Economic Development Meeting 10/23/19

Girls Hockey: Players to Watch - FHS' Gabby Colace and Amanda Lewandowski

FHS juniors Gabby Colace and Amanda Lewandowski were named to the list of the Girls Hockey: Ten Players to Watch in 2019-2020 by

Gabby Colace, Junior – Franklin

After missing time at the beginning of last season, Colace returned to solidify the goaltending position for the Panthers (after an admirable job filling in by Gianna Cornetta), helping to bring home the program’s first Hockomock League title. Colace finished the year with a 1.77 goals against average, which was second in the Hock, and stopped 91 percent of the shots that she faced. She made 242 saves and recorded a pair of shutouts for the Panthers, who went unbeaten (7-0-1) in the Hock and won 17 games overall. 

Athletic and quick, Colace covers a lot of ground in net and is capable of making highlight-reel stops, while rarely giving up soft goals. Her communication with the experienced defensive corps in front of her will also be crucial to Franklin’s attempt to repeat as Hock champs and make another run in the state tournament.
Amanda Lewandowski, Junior – Franklin

Lewandowski was part of a dynamic first line for the Panthers last season, but she will be counted on even more this winter after the graduation of top scorers Regan Paterson and Cassie Ronan. She scored eight goals and added 10 assists from the wing, but those numbers could take a jump this year as she will be one of the team’s primary puck handlers and will be expected to play a role in power play and penalty kill situations as well. A strong player with the puck on her stick, Lewandowski won’t shy away from contact in the corners to keep the puck moving and has the extra burst of speed to find space in the transition game. 

While Franklin has an experienced defensive group coming back, Lewandowski will also be expected to start defending from the front and provide cover through the center of the ice. It is always difficult to repeat as league champion and Franklin will be hoping that Lewandowski can provide the scoring punch to get the Panthers back on top this winter.

For the other players to watch in girls hockey

Franklin junior goalie Gabby Colace is back after an impressive sophomore season. (Ryan Lanigan/
Franklin junior goalie Gabby Colace is back after an impressive sophomore season. (Ryan Lanigan/

Boys Hockey : Players to Watch - FHS' Tom Tasker

FHS senior Tom Tasker was named one of the Boys Hockey: Ten Players to Watch in 2019-2020 by

Tom Tasker, Senior – Franklin

Tom Tasker ( photo)
Tom Tasker ( photo)
There is a lot of change around the Franklin program this season, with a new coaching staff taking over after the retirement of Chris Spillane. The Panthers have become one of the top public school programs in the state and Tasker will be one of the players that the new staff relies on to keep that consistency this season. The senior defenseman is a strong, aggressive player who is tough to beat in the corners but is also capable of stepping up into the attack and has one of the league’s hardest shots from the blue line. 

He scored three goals and had 10 assists last year and showed the ability to play different brands of hockey depending on the opponent. He can race up and down the ice or he can sit back in the defensive zone and be the physical presence that the Panthers needed. In a season where there is a lot of changes, Tasker’s return for a third year on varsity gives some much-needed stability to the defensive pairings.

For the nine other boys hockey players to watch Football awards for FHS' Gasbarro, Davis, Nally, Jordan, Wertz, Cheuvront

Here are the FHS athletes selected for the Awards for Football 2019.

HockomockSports Editor’s Note: The Awards are selected strictly by our staff and have no affiliation to the official Hockomock League all stars Hock 5 Quarterbacks
Thomas Gasbarro ( photo)
Thomas Gasbarro ( photo)
Thomas Gasbarro – Franklin – Senior
Franklin senior quarterback Thomas Gasbarro stepped in this fall and had a record-breaking season for the Panthers, helping them improve upon last year’s finish by reaching the Div. 1 South final. Gasbarro set school records for completions (180) and yards (2,236) this season, while completing 65 percent of his throws. He also led the league with 23 touchdown passes, including 12 to classmate Jake Davis. He was selected as an all-star by Hockomock League coaches. Franklin coach Eian Bain said, “Thomas proved to be one of the toughest quarterbacks we have had the privilege to coach. His leadership and execution in the big moment helped lead our team to the D1 South Sectional Final.” Hock 5 Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jake Davis ( photo)
Jake Davis ( photo)
Jake Davis – Franklin – Senior
Franklin senior Jake Davis had one of the top statistical seasons for any receiver in the league. The UMass-Lowell lacrosse commit led the Hockomock with 12 touchdown receptions, quickly becoming the favorite target for quarterback Thomas Gasbarro. Davis caught 53 passes this season, for 833 yards, and was a constant threat to go the distance on any completion. His talents extended to defense as well (see below), as he also became one of the top defensive backs in the league this year. He was selected as an all-star by the Hockomock League coaches. Franklin coach Eian Bain said, “At nearly 16 yards per receptions, Jake became an explosive playmaker for us and one of Tommy’s most trusted targets.” Hock 5 Athletes
Jack Nally ( photo)
Jack Nally ( photo)
Jack Nally – Franklin – Senior
Franklin senior Jack Nally was a major contributor in all three phases for the Panthers this season, helping Franklin reach the Div. 1 South final. He accumulated more than 1,000 all-purpose yards this fall, including 97 on the ground (with two scores), 676 as a receiver (with eight touchdowns), and 312 as a returner. He was also a standout at corner, recording 55 tackles, eight pass break-ups, and an interception. He was one of five Panthers to be selected as an all-star by Hockomock League coaches. Franklin coach Eian Bain said, “Jack contributed as an all-purpose athlete. Always a focal point of an opposing defense, his football IQ allowed the team to move him around to create the best match-up for our offense.” Hock 5 Defensive Line
Austin Jordan ( photo)
Austin Jordan ( photo)
Austin Jordan – Franklin – Senior
Franklin senior Austin Jordan emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the league this fall, pressuring opposing quarterbacks from his defensive end position and helping the Panthers make a run to the Div. 1 South final. Jordan led the team with an impressive 9-1/2 sacks and also had 14 tackles for loss, but he was also a solid player against the run, using his speed and athleticism to make plays across the line of scrimmage. He finished with 80 total tackles and was selected as an all-star by Hockomock League coaches for the first time. Franklin coach Eian Bain said, “Austin emerged as a disruptive influence on defense in 2019. Austin made his biggest impact on third down, pressuring opposing quarterbacks.” Hock 5 Linebackers
Evan Wertz ( photo)
Evan Wertz ( photo)
Evan Wertz – Franklin – Senior
Franklin senior Evan Wertz has been one of the program’s best ever linebackers, spending three years as one of the leading tacklers in the league and the leader of the Panthers defense. He made 129 tackles this fall, including 15 for loss, and was one of the reasons that the Panthers earned the No. 2 seed in Div. 1 and made a trip to the D1 South final this year. A quick, hard-hitting linebacker, who seemed to be in the middle of every play, Wertz was selected as an all-star by the Hockomock League coaches for the first time. Franklin coach Eian Bain said, “A three-year starter at Mike linebacker, Evan accumulated over 300 tackles as well as being our defensive leader on the gridiron.” Hock 5 Defensive Backs
Jake Davis – Franklin – Senior
Franklin senior Jake Davis was more than just one of the top receivers in the league (see above), but also one of the toughest defensive backs to try and throw against. Davis was a key to the Panthers’ defensive effort, picking off three passes this season, helping them make a run to the Div. 1 South final to face Catholic Memorial. Davis also stepped up to protect against the run, making 37 tackles from his corner position, breaking up seven passes, and making one tackle for loss. His athleticism in the secondary allowed the Panthers to be aggressive in the pass rush and made it difficult for teams to exploit Franklin with deep passes or with passes to either sideline. Hock 5 Special Teams
Parker Cheuvront ( photo)
Parker Cheuvront ( photo)
Parker Cheuvront – Franklin – Junior
Franklin junior kicker Parker Cheuvront has been one of the most consistent kickers in the league for the past two seasons, helping add a different dimension to the Franklin offense and ensuring that the Panthers get seven points for almost all touchdowns. Cheuvront made 28-of-30 extra points this season and also kicked a pair of field goals, with his longest kick coming from 34 yards against Mansfield. The lefty has plenty of power to kick from distance and showed remarkable accuracy as well, meaning the Panthers had a strong likelihood of getting something out of any drive inside the opposition 30. Franklin coach Eian Bain said, “Parker has been as reliable of a kicker as there has been in the league.”

For the complete listing of HockomockSports Football Awards

Franklin School Committee - Budget Workshop - Jan 14, 2020

Franklin School Committee 
Budget Workshop
Municipal Building 
3rd floor Training Room
6:00 PM

Agenda Document:

Franklin School Committee - Budget Workshop - Jan 14, 2020
Franklin School Committee - Budget Workshop - Jan 14, 2020

Most of Tuesday's FHS winter sports games rescheduled to Wednesday

The weather played havoc with the FHS winter sports schedule on Tuesday with 3 of the games rescheduled for Wednesday, Dec 18

  • Boys Basketball = Franklin @ King Philip – Postponed to Wednesday, 12/18/19 at 6:30.
  • Girls Basketball = King Philip @ Franklin – Postponed to Wednesday, 12/18/19 at 6:30.
  • Boys Hockey = Franklin vs. Malden Catholic – Postponed to TBD.
  • Swimming = Franklin @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Wednesday, 12/18/19 at 4:00.
For other schedules around the Hockomock League

Most of Tuesday's FHS winter sports games rescheduled to Wednesday
Most of Tuesday's FHS winter sports games rescheduled to Wednesday

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Franklin Public Schools: Accelerated Dismissal/No Afterschool & Evening Activities for Dec 17

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Accelerated Dismissal Called

Dear Franklin Families and Faculty/Staff,

We continue to monitor weather conditions and the forecast calls for some icing to continue in our area this afternoon and then a brief change to snow again between 6-8 PM.

As a result of the forecast, the Franklin Public Schools will begin releasing high school and middle school students in an accelerated fashion on Tuesday afternoon, December 17, 2019, but it will not be on an early release schedule.

Middle school and high school will dismiss 15 minutes early to get the buses on the road. Elementary schools will dismiss at normal times. The thought behind this is that any delays in travel caused by weather conditions may still allow for the elementary students to arrive at home on time and safely.

All afternoon and evening activities for Franklin Public Schools will be cancelled today, Tuesday, December 17, 2019. There will be no late bus service after school.

Solutions families – The Solutions Program will open as usual. Solutions staff are assessing the weather; if a decision is made to close Solutions early, a Solutions staff member will contact each family to advise them of the early closing time.


The Franklin Public Schools

Franklin Public Schools: Accelerated Dismissal/No Afterschool & Evening Activities for Dec 17
Franklin Public Schools: Accelerated Dismissal/No Afterschool & Evening Activities for Dec 17

FPAC brings Broadway Home to Franklin for the Holidays - Dec 20-22

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), Franklin TV, and The Woonsocket Museum of Broadcast Technology will team up this week to bring a special holiday show to THE BLACK BOX. 

Together, they will present the world premiere of Christopher Rice's The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE! based on Rice's viral #TAPPY video series which has been seen by more than 10 million people worldwide. THE BLACK BOX will be transformed into a classic soundstage where Broadway's Christopher Rice (Pretty Woman, Book of Mormon) will bring his Christmas variety show to life and whirl the audience away to a world filled with classic holiday songs, tap dancing feet, and special Broadway guests including Liz Byrne (Baby It’s You!), Clay Thomson (Newsies, Matilda, KING KONG), and Jennifer Johns (Founder of Broadway Artists Alliance).
Christopher Rice
Christopher Rice

The exciting artistic endeavor is sponsored by Dean Bank , Michael Dunsky of Fairway Mortgage Company, and the Kim Williams Team at Coldwell Banker. “Dean Bank is delighted to play a small role in bringing Christopher Rice’s work to THE BLACK BOX this Holiday Season,” says President and CEO, Kevin Goffe. “The varied elements of nostalgia alongside one of Broadway’s brightest lights makes for an exciting combination. We’re honored for the opportunity and thank the FPAC for their commitment to making the arts accessible to Franklin area residents through THE BLACK BOX.”

Christopher Rice’s The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE! Runs December 20-22 at THE BLACK BOX

Tickets are available at 508-528-3370 or