Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Harvest Festival Registration is Open

If you are a Franklin Downtown Partnership member and have paid your 2021 membership, you can receive a free booth space. Non-members of the FDP will pay $125, with the exception of food vendors. Non-member food vendors will incur a separate fee and need to contact the FDP office prior to registering. 

Booth spaces are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and we expect to sell out of booth spaces this year.

Businesses on Main Street need to contact the FDP office if they plan to participate so committee members can reserve their space. Remember: ALL businesses and restaurants need to register online in order to secure a space.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you would like to volunteer to help with this event, please contact the FDP office (

SPONSORS NEEDED: If you would like to be a sponsor of the Harvest Festival, please contact the FDP office (

Scott Martin is the Harvest Festival Chair. Chris Peterson is the Harvest Festival Vendor Relations Coordinator. If you have questions, contact Chris at

Registration ->


Announcing Re-Election Bid, Cobi Frongillo Energized and Focused on Franklin's Bright Future

In Just 8 Months, Frongillo Has Provided A Spark To The Town Council

Early Tuesday morning, Cobi Frongillo - a lifelong Maple Street resident and 2015 graduate of Franklin High School - pulled nomination papers for reelection to the Franklin Town Council. Following a vibrant campaign and landslide victory in December’s Special Election, Frongillo quickly established himself as a man of action.

“I am proud to see the Council take increasingly proactive steps toward building a brighter future for Franklin,” said Cobi Frongillo. “The public's strong support for investing in education, open space, and affordable housing over the past year is inspiring.”

Frongillo identifies the significance of the coming election in shaping Franklin’s future. “While we have made substantial progress over the past year, the next two years will be critical in ensuring Franklin remains a prosperous and vibrant community,” explained Frongillo. “The once-in-a-decade implementation of a Housing Production, Complete Streets, Downtown Zoning, and Master Plan are all on the immediate agenda. We need leadership with both the care for what Franklin has been and a vision for what Franklin can be in a changing world.”

Throughout his early tenure, Cobi Frongillo, 24, has prioritized education, open space & recreation, community engagement, and economic development. He cites intentions to follow through on the progress that has been made - including pushing to revisit education funding, reshape zoning in key districts, and place renewed attention on the cultural and environmental amenities that make Franklin home.

A member of the Economic Development Committee, Cobi has worked to publish a New Business guide, expand food trucks, remove taproom limits, reduce parking minimums, launch a Downtown Zoning study, fund Pop-Up Shops and Shared Streets, host new cultural events, and increase public art.

To help promote natural areas and healthy living, Cobi pushed to purchase the Maple Hill property, adopt a Complete Streets framework, and find a home for recreational cricket.

Central to Cobi’s December campaign was engaging a larger bloc of Town residents in regular conversation around local priorities. To this end, Cobi has published frequent infographic-laden updates via social media and newsletter, hosted four Community Conversations around race in town, attended a wide variety of Franklin events, and helped launch the Franklin Freedom Team - a coalition of Town leaders prepared to field and respond to issues of hate or bias. 

In a poignant moment during this year’s budget hearings, Cobi spoke out against further education budget cuts. His advocacy this year helped ensure the majority of new Town revenue went toward schools and led to the launch of Franklin Public Schools’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with student involvement.

A third-generation Franklin resident, Cobi is a graduate of UMass Amherst, where he earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s degree in Public Policy. He recently accepted a research role with the state legislature’s Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee - currently Chaired by Franklin Representative Jeffrey Roy. Around town, Frongillo has been actively involved with the Franklin-Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, Franklin Downtown Partnership, Franklin Freedom Team, Franklin Youth Soccer, Franklin Area Against Racism, SAFE Coalition, Neighbor Brigade, Franklin Gardening Club, 350, and Random Smile Project.

You can learn more about Cobi Frongillo’s progress and vision on his website ( and Facebook page (

Cobi Frongillo Energized and Focused on Franklin's Bright Future
Cobi Frongillo Energized and Focused on Franklin's Bright Future

Heath Nisbett to perform at the Franklin Farmers Market

Via Franklin Farmers Market: 

"We are excited to have Heath Nisbett with us this week performing from 2-4 PM. Sponsored by Ted Cormier-Leger, Realtor" (
Shared from Facebook:

visit Franklin Farmers Market on Facebook to find out what is happening each week of the market season

Heath Nisbett to perform at the Franklin Farmers Market
Heath Nisbett to perform at the Franklin Farmers Market

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: OPEB Board of Trustees

The OPEB Trust was established to help meet the town’s obligation of funding current and future retiree’s health Insurance. The town provides health Insurance for both active and retired employees by generally paying 68 percent of the active and retiree health insurance plan while the employee pays 32 percent of the cost. There are a few employees and retirees that share the cost of a 50/50 split and some retired teachers that are “grandfathered” that the town pays 85 or 90 percent of the cost.

When a retiree reaches age 65 they enroll in Medicare and town provides a supplement plan at the same ratio as mentioned above.

Every two years we have an actuarial study to determine our unfunded obligation
As of 6/30/19 the unfunded liability was $68.55 million dollars. As of 6/30/19 the amount of funds set aside in the trust is $5,706,986. Currently the town appropriates approximately 10% of its annual Free Cash plus as an annual appropriation in the budget of $600,000. We have asked the Town Council to increase the annual appropriation by $50,000 per year.

These efforts are a good faith attempt to meet our obligations without compromising all the other services provided to the citizens of Franklin. Once our unfunded pension obligation is paid off in 2032 we should be able to commit several million dollars a year to meet our underfunded OPEB obligation.

Respectfully submitted, 

Jamie Hellen
Chair OPEB trust 

OPEB = Other Post Employment Benefits

For additional information on OPEB visit the Trustees page on the ToF web

For the full Annual Report for 2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  OPEB Board of Trustees
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  OPEB Board of Trustees

COVID-19 Mobile Vaccination Clinic - Aug 25 - Register now

COVID-19 Mobile Vaccination Clinic

August 25, 2021 - Davis Thayer Parking Lot, 137 W. Central St.

The Town of Franklin will hold a mobile vaccination clinic on August 25, 2021 from 10:00am-3:00pm at the Davis Thayer Parking Lot (137 W. Central Street)

To Register for this clinic please click HERE 

Hey Franklin, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Aug 25
Hey Franklin, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Aug 25 More Perfect Union - 024 - Reparations and Evanston

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss the recent passing of legislation in Evanston, Illinois, the positive impact it will have for POC, and the importance of reparations for African Americans"
Direct link -> More Perfect Union - 024 - Reparations and Evanston More Perfect Union - 024 - Reparations and Evanston


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.) Releases Position Statement on K-12 Curriculum and Critical Race Theory

The Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.) Releases Position Statement on K-12 Curriculum and Critical Race Theory

Across our Commonwealth, the issue of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been discussed, debated, and questioned. CRT has become the new, “challenge” in education, threatening to distract and derail racial equity, diversity, and inclusion work that is fundamental to strengthening and improving the future of our public schools for all students and families across our State. In the following position statement, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.) seeks to clarify What CRT is, and What it isn’t; we seek to state definitively WHAT we actually do teach, and WHY we teach it. Ultimately, M.A.S.S. seeks through this position statement to open a broader conversation with all– around race, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

What is Critical Race Theory? Do we teach it?

 The simple answer is, “no,” we do not teach CRT.  CRT is an analytical framework and process that had its beginnings in the 1970s. It is used in higher education to examine structures in society. It is not a curriculum for PreK-12 and we do not teach it in Massachusetts. Rather, we teach the MA Curriculum Frameworks for History and Social Science. But there is a more complex answer to this question and it involves the character of who we are as a society and who do we want to be.
Continue reading the full statement

Download the statement in PDF format

Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.)
Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.)

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"

The Insurrection of January 6th was an attempted coup, a brazen assault intended to interrupt the functioning of the American democracy. But the coup attempt did not end on January 6th. In fact it is ongoing. The GOP is even now laying the legal foundation for a second coup attempt, this one conducted under a pretense of respectability.
Voter suppression laws are being passed in states across the country. Those laws not only selectively suppress voting by people the GOP dislikes, but they also provide means to reject the result of an election in favor of one the GOP legislatures like better. For example, the state of Georgia is attempting to take responsibility for the certification of election results in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta's largely black population.
If these state level  laws are not preempted by Federal legislation, the GOP will have two different paths for a new coup attempt, this time under the cover of law. The first path is through the impeachment of Joe Biden. If the GOP retakes the House and Senate in 2022, they could elect Donald Trump Speaker of the House. While according to tradition, the Speaker is always a Member of Congress, the Constitution does not forbid Trump's selection. Given the cult like devotion already accorded the former guy, it is not implausible to think the GOP would make this choice. Once Trump is Speaker, he is third in line to the Presidency. The House could impeach both Biden and Harris- truth and evidence be damned- and make Trump President.
The second pathway for the GOP's 'legal' coup is through the Electoral College. The Supreme Court, in the infamous 'Bush v Gore' decision of 2000, said that- unless there is a Federal law preventing it- the state legislatures hold the power to determine the Electoral College members. This is a nightmare scenario, since legislators are right now giving themselves the authority to challenge election results on flimsy grounds and then override the voter’s choice by installing electors they prefer. Does anyone think, if given the opportunity in 2020, that the legislatures of GA, PA, WI and AZ would not have chosen Trump electors for  the Electoral College? In 2024, those state legislatures will have granted themselves that opportunity.
We should not think that the GOP is too high minded or patriotic to do these things. Five years ago, who would have thought that Trump's  contempt of norms  and open corruption would be accepted? The recent testimony of Trump’s complicit DOJ employees is chilling. Who would have thought the GOP could install a Supreme Court Justice just before an election? Who would have thought Members of Congress would support a violent assault on the Capitol? The scenarios outlined above are shocking and nearly unthinkable. But the time had come to think about the unthinkable. The GOP has forfeited its status as a legitimate participant in a democratic process, and now represents an authoritarian power grab threatening our very democracy. There is no bottom, no ‘bridge too far’ for them in pursuit of power.
It is essential that the Senate, now under Democratic control, passes the For The People Act to protect the election process from the GOP plans. Time is of the essence. If the bill does not pass this summer, there will not be enough time to implement its protective measures before the 2022 election. What can be done to get the For the People Act through the Senate? There are many ways to help, but the simplest is to call your US Senator. Here in Massachusetts, both Senators Warren and Markey are outspoken in support of the bill.  They need to know that you support passing the bill and that you encourage them to do whatever it takes to get it passed. It is easy to reach the Senators. A brief phone call to 202-224-3121 will suffice. Simply leave a message saying "My name is ___ and I live in Franklin. Please do everything you can to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act.  I think Joe Biden should speak forcefully. The Senate should cancel its August recess.  The Senate must pass these bills.”

The time to act is now.

Ted McIntyre
Franklin resident

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"

Town of Franklin, MA: COVID-19 Vaccine and the Delta Variant (video)

Here is some useful information on the COVID-19 Vaccine and the Delta Variant:

Video link on YouTube -> 

Shared from Town of Franklin Twitter:

Zucchini races return on September 10

Here are details on the Zucchini Races, sponsored by Franklin Agricultural Commission, scheduled for September 10, 2021 at the Farmers Market. 

Zucchini races return on September 10
Zucchini races return on September 10

Senate President Spilka: State Budget, Childcare, the American Rescue Plan & more!

Updates from Beacon Hill & MetroWest
Looking Forward to Fall
Thanks to your advocacy and the collective work of the Legislature, Massachusetts has continued to respond to the COVID pandemic and accomplished major victories on climate change, economic development, transportation infrastructure, relief for essential workers, expanded voting access and most recently, passed a balanced state budget
As we approach the fall and the new school year, we must continue to use every tool at our disposal to keep residents safe from the coronavirus. Public health experts have noted that the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox, and breakthrough infections are occurring even among vaccinated individuals.

In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC recommends wearing a mask if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease. If someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.

I have called on the Baker Administration to require masks in schools this fall, and I will continue to do so. Our children deserve to learn, grow and thrive in a safe and healthy environment.

As always, my office is available if you need assistance. You can email me at or call 617-722-1500. Hope you enjoy the final month of summer!

Warm regards,

The newsletter was shortened for publication here. For the full content find this PDF version 

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Human Resources

Fiscal year 2020 was a busy and challenging year, which included contract negotiations, reorganizations, hiring, benefits administration and of course, dealing with a pandemic!

I worked closely with the Town Administrator and our department heads and managers to wrap up collective bargaining agreements for seven (7) different groups. We started meeting with union leadership back in March of 2019 and were able to reach agreements with all unions by the end of June 2020. It was a long year of countless meetings and conversations, but I believe we came to fair agreements for both sides for all our groups. Once the agreements were signed and both sides moved forward, the Human Resources and Payroll Departments worked tirelessly to make sure that all the data was updated in the payroll system correctly and appropriate changes were made.

This year, we helped recruit, interview and onboard 4 new members of the Fire Department, including Chief McLaughlin. It’s hard to believe that the Chief just joined us at the start of the fiscal year in July 2019! He had some pretty unbelievable accomplishments in one year. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read the Fire Department report for more information. Fiscal Year 2020 was a year of planning and change as the Department left the Civil Service system and prepared for a major reorganization, which officially took place in July 2020, or the start of fiscal year 2021.

In what could be deemed as a “slow” year, the Human Resources Department was involved in hiring 22 new full-time employees as well as a number of part-time employees and seasonal staff members. The new hires beyond the Fire Department included Public Health Director Cathy Liberty, who was just getting used to her new job when the pandemic hit, and Marketing and Communications Specialist Anne Marie Tracey, who helped communicate the every changing state of the Town and Schools in times of COVID! We also hired new staff for the Senior Center (1), Assessors Office (1), Department of Public Works (7), Building/Health/Planning Suite (2), Police Patrol Officers (3), and Custodians (2). We got used to a new way of interviewing this year, which included interview panels spread out across a full conference room with masks on. HR Administrator Sandy Golebiewski was a regular at the picnic tables outside of the Municipal Building as she met employees outside to walk them through their new hire packets and paperwork!

We also managed to work closely with the Insurance Advisory Committee to negotiate additional changes to our health insurance in the midst of the stay at home orders in March and April. The IAC met virtually to discuss the ever-changing landscape of health insurance. When we started talking to Harvard Pilgrim back in February 2020, we were facing an almost 20% increase in
Health Insurance, which would have had a crippling effect on the Town’s budget. We were able to make some small design changes, including increasing the deductible to bring this increase down to just about 9%. Of course, we wish that this increase did not have to happen, but it seems as if an increase of 5-10% each plan year is almost inevitable at this point. We were able to work together to ensure that the increase was somewhat manageable for both the Town and our employees.

Our Department worked very closely with the Town Administrator, Public Health Director, and the Emergency Management team to help ensure that our employees and residents stayed safe through COVID. This included tracking all COVID related absences and coaching employees through the relevant quarantine guidelines to ensure that they did not come to work and potentially infect other employees. Fortunately, for the period of March to July, we had very few employees test positive for COVID. The positive cases were not transmitted through work and could be traced to employees’ private lives.

In spite of working from home for a good portion of the year, I had some great opportunities to meet and get to know more employees. It was great to sit with so many of you through contract negotiations, on hiring committees/interview teams, and even have an opportunity to chat to some of you on the phone more as we worked out COVID exposure issues and quarantine timelines! It was a challenging year, but I continue to love my job and this Town and continue to learn something new every day. I look forward to another year, hopefully one where COVID becomes a distant memory!

Respectfully submitted, 

Karen M. Bratt
Human Resources Director 

For more about the Human Resources Dept, visit them at the ToF page

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

National Purple Heart Day Celebrated on August 7th!

National Purple Heart Day Celebrated on August 7th!

Quilts of Valor also Awarded

Franklin celebrated its second Purple Heart Day as a Purple Heart Community on Saturday, August 7 with a ceremony and luncheon hosted by the Elks Lodge on Pond Street. 

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving in the U.S. military on or after April 5, 1917. The Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members.

Along with recognizing 18 Purple Heart recipients from Franklin, the Quilts of Valor Foundation awarded Quilts of Valor to eight Franklin veterans. The personalized quilts were presented by Theresa Perreault, Quilts of Valor Massachusetts State Coordinator. 

Shared from ->

National Purple Heart Day Celebrated on August 7th!
National Purple Heart Day Celebrated on August 7th!

"Evolutionary Origins of SARS-CoV-2" video

An excellent explanation video of the lineage of viruses - and the fact that SARS-CoV-2 has a common ancestor that's over 40 years old. More Perfect Union - 023 - Mother's Influence

"In this special Mother's Day episode, the group discuss the influence their mother's and mother figures have had in their lives, sharing stories and lessons from their upbringing."

Direct Link -> More Perfect Union - 023 - Mother's Influence More Perfect Union - 023 - Mother's Influence