Saturday, February 10, 2024

Annual Report of the Franklin Fire Department: FY 2023 Report

The Department
The Franklin Fire Department administration is led by a Fire Chief who is assisted by an Executive Assistant. The department is divided into two divisions, operations and administration, which are each under the direction of the two Deputy Chiefs. The operations division is responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. The administration division is responsible for personnel, budget, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town's emergency preparedness.

Our Mission
The Franklin Fire Department offers the highest level of public safety services for our community. We safely protect lives and property of all hazards through fire suppression, training, emergency medical and transportation services, disaster and crisis management, fire prevention and public education.

Operational Objectives
Initiating advanced life support to patients within 10 minutes of notification of the emergency.
To access, extricate, treat and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 10 minutes of open flame ignition.
Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE) initiative of the Commonwealth.
Provide continued valuable services to the senior population with home safety inspections and smoke/carbon monoxide battery replacement.
Provide educational opportunities for department members to ensure optimal performance and safety.
To develop and maintain "best practice" to insure personnel and citizen safety.
Ensure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
Obtain grants to fund equipment and training.
Provide CPR training for the community in conjunction with the town nurse.
Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.


Message from the Fire Chief

Fiscal Year 2023 was another active and rewarding year for the Franklin Fire Department. In fiscal year 2023, the Department responded to 5056 incidents which is an increase of 68 calls from fiscal year 2022.
 
This is the first time in the history of the Department that there were over 5,000 emergency responses recorded in a fiscal year. Although we are very proud of attaining an ISO 1 designation on July 1, 2022, we are committed to continue to strive to be even better and further develop our professional emergency services to the community, through our training and education programs, to meet future challenges. In addition to Fire/EMS training, the Department participated in Active Shooter Hostile Event Response (ASHER) training with the Franklin Police Department in May 2023 that will continue in the future.

Since  July  2019,  the  Department  has  received $1,839,964 in grants and generous local donations. A Grant Committee, composed of department members who volunteer their time, pursue and apply for funding opportunities that can help offset department costs to the taxpayers. The Department during FY23 received grants including $632,269.18 to replace all of our portable radios, $38,964.28 for a fire prevention/investigation camera and fire extinguisher training props, and $301,279.62 for training and equipment to better respond to Hazardous Materials incidents and those requiring advanced Rapid Intervention Training (RIT) for firefighter rescue.

Ambulance transport revenue this fiscal year was $2,223,200 which was an increase of $347,988 from the previous year. In addition to revenue generated from ambulance transport billing, the Department collected an additional $212,048 from the voluntary Certified Public Expenditure (CPE) program that allows ambulance providers the opportunity to receive additional Medicaid reimbursement for services delivered to MassHealth members. The Town Council has agreed during the May 2023 budget hearings to allow the Department to staff a third ambulance during business hours in FY24 to help offset the amount of mutual aid calls into Town which will benefit the level of service in town as well as increase the ambulance transport revenue. The Department took delivery of a new ambulance in August 2022 which will allow the opportunity to have two reserve ambulances as well. The reserve ambulance at Headquarters is fully equipped and ready to respond, if the need arises, for the added approved coverage during peak hours.

On February 1, 2023 the Town Council unanimously approved the purchase of a new 100 foot Tower Ladder expected to be delivered in the spring/summer of 2025. Two new staff cars were delivered this summer for the two Deputy Chiefs. The Department is especially appreciative of the Town Council and Finance Committee for their support for the purchase of these new vehicles to maintain a reliable fleet. Additionally, the Department has an internal Health & Wellness Committee that is composed of members of the Department dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our greatest asset - our firefighters.

The Department hired four firefighter/paramedics to the Department in FY23 which maintains department staffing at 56 firefighter/paramedics which will increase to 58 firefighter/paramedics on July 1, 2023 with the approval of the Town Administrator and Town Council. The new Firefighter/Paramedics that were hired during FY23 are Victor DaCosta, Nicholas Brosseau, Kristin Krauss and Jack Lennon. All of these new firefighters have been great additions to the Department that bring along a lot of experience and we wish them a healthy and productive career. We also want to wish the best in retirement to Firefighter/Paramedic David Morris who was a 36 year veteran of the Department and retired on October 1, 2022.

The Department consistently provides community outreach throughout the Town through various programs and events including our SAFE program for our students and Senior SAFE for our seniors, high school senior project program, public fire prevention awareness/training, CPR training, fire station open houses and our very popular annual corned beef and cabbage dinner at the Franklin Senior Center.

In our budget narrative we consistently reference the three important components of an effective fire department which are well staffed, well trained and well equipped personnel. This Department once again was able to make significant strides in all three categories due to the support of the Town Administrator and his staff, Town Council, Finance Committee, business community and most importantly the general public. On behalf of the members of the Franklin Fire Department I want to thank everyone for your support. It is an honor and privilege for us to serve this community.

Respectfully Submitted,

James G, McLaughlin, 
Fire Chief/EMA Director


The full Fire Dept Annual Report section is contained in this PDF.

The complete Town of Franklin FY 2023 Annual Report can be found online
Annual Report of the Franklin Fire Department:  FY 2023 Report
Annual Report of the Franklin Fire Department:  FY 2023 Report

Tax preparation help available at Library

VITA at the Franklin Public Library offers help preparing to file your income taxes. Stop by each Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Volunteers will help assess your needs and either schedule an appointment to process your taxes or maybe do them on the spot.






Shared from -> 

Friday, February 9, 2024

Franklin's Event Outlook: February 9, 2023 to February 15, 2024

Why have multiple calendars?
There is a Cultural events calendar upon which other community events are layered to create the Community calendar. The Library and Senior Center calendars are too full of events to include all their events so we tend to focus on the major events. Town and School meetings are also kept separate. Links for all the calendars are shared here:

The Cultural calendar displays only the cultural events      https://www.franklinculture.org/things-do/pages/calendar

Find the full Community event calendar  https://www.franklinmatters.org/p/blog-page.html

If you have an event to add to the calendar, you can use the form to submit it for publication:  https://forms.gle/oPdi8X3ZbHHyrHzo6

The Library calendar of events ->    calendar link

The Senior Center calendar of events ->   https://www.franklinma.gov/node/39/events/month/39/2023-12

The Town meeting calendar is found  https://www.franklinma.gov/calendar
The School district calendar is found  https://www.franklinps.net/calendar-by-event-type/26 

Franklin's Event Outlook: February 9, 2023 to February 15, 2024
Franklin's Event Outlook: February 9, 2023 to February 15, 2024

Annual Report Of The Finance Committee: FY 2023 Report

I hereby submit the Annual Report of the Franklin Finance Committee for FY2023.

During the year we had some turnover in the membership of the committee. We lost Mike Kasberg, Dave Weich and Tyrel Hansen. On behalf of the Town of Franklin I thank them for their service and wish them well in their next chapter. We subsequently welcomed Mike Hamilton, William Batchelor, and Lauren Nagel. We look forward to having these new inquiring minds on the committee.

Over the last few years, we have worked to change the focus of the committee from basically a very informed approval body to a more proactive approach to understanding the information at a much deeper level. My predecessor as Chairman started what has become a series of "Deep Dives" into each department. This year we reviewed the Assessing Department, the Franklin Public Schools, the compensation plan for the town and the planning and building departments. Each gave us and those watching a much better understanding of what happens every day in those important departments.

In the coming year we will again perform "Deep Dives" on the larger departments with an eye toward determining what they need to properly serve the town for the next several years. It is important that we let them articulate what they need to provide the high-quality service we have come to enjoy and expect.

Perhaps our most important function occurs each May when the annual budget is presented to the committee. Each and every line of the budget is subjected to review with the appropriate department head present to answer questions. We are the only committee to perform this level of review for the public so it is important that we ask the questions that the public may have. All of our meetings and agendas are posted on the town's website and can be viewed both in person and are available on the Zoom platform as well as viewable on Franklin TV and YouTube.

As we approach the challenges of FY25 it is very important that we fully understand what will be needed to support the services that each department provides.

It is important that I acknowledge the quality of the information we receive from the Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and the Finance Director Chris Sandini. The data is always in the most readable and understandable format that we could ever ask for. Also thank you to the department heads for putting up with some questions from "out of left field" but that's how we and the residents learn.

It is very important that I acknowledge and thank my fellow committee members for their participation and focus during our meetings.

Respectfully submitted,

George Conley, Chairman 
Natalie Riley, Vice Chairman 
Nicole Corbosiero, Clerk 
John Grace
Chuna Keophannga 
Stephanie Koke 
William Batchelor 
Michael Hamilton 
Lauren Nagel


The full Town of Franklin FY 2023 Annual Report can be found online

Annual Report Of The Finance Committee: FY 2023 Report
Annual Report Of The Finance Committee: FY 2023 Report

Franklin Police share sources for Internet safety with children

The Franklin Police Dept have two detectives assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force created the SMART Tips for Parents guide to promote Internet safety.


Visit for the resources available


Veterans Coffee Social at the Franklin Senior Center

Save the date!!!

March 6 at 10 AM.

State Rep Jeff Roy, State Senator Becca Rausch and Secretary of Veterans Service, Jon Santiago



Shared from -> 

Girl Scout Cookies for sale this weekend


Where will the cookies be in Franklin?
Saturday, Feb 10
  • Shaw's 9 am - 2 pm 
  • Dean Bank 8:30 am - 12 pm
  • Stop & Shop 10 am - 2 pm
Sunday, Feb 11
  • Shaw's 9 am - 2 pm
  • Stop & Shop 10 am - 2 pm

Check out the Facebook page for updates on specific locations

Girl Scout Cookies for sale this weekend
Girl Scout Cookies for sale this weekend

Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) schedule for Friday, Feb 9, 2023

  • wfpr.fm or 102.9 on the FM dial = Friday

9:00a/12:00p /6:00p Chapters – Jim Derick  Insightful, life-affirming stories and interviews


10:00a/1:00p/7:00p Music to Lift the Spirit - Jim Derick & Frank Falvey


11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm Senior Story Hour – Senior Center Scribblers Group


  • Franklin All Access TV - Our Public Access Channel         (Comcast 6, Verizon 26) = FRIDAY


  • Franklin Pride TV - Our Educational Channel        (Comcast 8, Verizon 28) = FRIDAY


  • Franklin Town Hall TV - Our Government Channel (Comcast 9, Verizon 29) =  FRIDAY


Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) online  http://franklin.tv/programguide.pdf   


Thursday, February 8, 2024

Save the Date! Empty Bowls Fund Raiser - May 23

Save the Date!


Franklin High School Empty Bowls Fundraiser to Support the Franklin Food Pantry scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2024, from 6-8 PM, Franklin High School Cafeteria, 218 Oak St, Franklin, MA.


Join Franklin High School’s Empty Bowls Club for a simple meal of soup and bread and bid on silent auction items including ceramic pieces made by club members. Each attendee will receive a handmade bowl as a reminder that “somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty”.  All proceeds from the event will support the Franklin Food Pantry.


Tickets go on sale on Monday, April 1, 2024.


Sponsorship opportunities are available: https://bit.ly/47P0MWk


For more information, please email Jen Johnson at jjohnson@franklinfoodpantry.org


Save the Date! Empty Bowls Fund Raiser - May 23
Save the Date! Empty Bowls Fund Raiser - May 23

Franklin's Three Middle Schools Receive Grant to Support STEM Career Learning

 

Superintendent Lucas Giguere is pleased to announce that the Remington Middle School, Horace Mann Middle School and Annie Sullivan Middle School recently received grant funds from the One8 Foundation to offer an expanded curricular program from Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to support STEM career learning.

The One8 Foundation collaborates with partners to identify, support and scale high impact programs, like PLTW, to help schools and teachers prepare students for success.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers through coursework in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Franklin's three middle schools join more than 12,000 schools across the country offering PLTW programs to millions of students.

“Receiving these grants gives us the opportunity to realize what we imagine for our students," said Director of Curriculum STEM Eric Stark. "By expanding our partnership with the One8 Foundation, our computer science and STEM teachers will join a nationwide community of educators, and our students will gain access to an engaging and rigorous curriculum and high-quality instructional materials."

The grant funds will be used to implement three PLTW Gateway units for the first time in Franklin Public Schools. In the first unit offered, Design and Modeling, students will discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They will be challenged to use and apply what they have learned throughout the unit to design a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy.

"We are so excited to be a part of this partnership with Project Lead the Way for the first time,” Superintendent Giguere said. "We are looking forward to seeing our students participate in these programs and how they can apply their skills across the computer sciences, shaping them for real-world experiences."
The second unit that will be offered is Computer Science for Innovators and Makers. Students will discover computer science concepts and skills by creating personally relevant, tangible and shareable projects. Throughout the unit, students will learn about programming for the physical world by blending hardware design and software development. They will design and develop a physical computing device, interactive art installation or wearable, and plan and develop code for microcontrollers that bring their physical designs to life.

The third unit that will be offered is called App Creators. This unit will expose students to computer science by computationally analyzing and developing solutions to authentic problems through mobile app development, and will convey the positive impact of the application of computer science to other disciplines and to society. Students will customize their experience by choosing a problem that interests them in the areas of health, environment, emergency preparedness, education, community service and school culture.

Funds from the grant will also support teacher professional development and the purchase of materials and equipment that will be used in PLTW courses. In addition, as a school with PLTW programming in Massachusetts, each school will have access to a regular set of teacher professional learning opportunities, student project showcases, and connections to industry professionals offered by the Mass Learning Project and the One8 Applied Learning Hub.

“Students are hungry for experiences that allow them to apply what they are learning to solve real-world, meaningful problems," said One8 Foundation President Joanna Jacobson. "Providing equitable access to hands-on applied learning programs that deliver academic gains while building critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills ensures students are engaged and interested in school and prepared for success in this ever-changing world."


About Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a mission-driven organization that is transforming the learning experience for millions of PreK-12 students and thousands of teachers across the country. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW's teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning.


Annual Report Of The Board Of Assessors: FY 2023 Report

Revaluation
The revaluation of all real and personal property in the Town of Franklin was completed Autumn 2022 in preparation for Actual Fiscal Year 2023 3rd quarter tax bills. Following is a brief review of that achievement.

Data Collection
Twenty-one years have now passed since we installed the Assesspro real estate valuation and assessment administration software developed by Patriot Properties, Inc. Because our start-up data was from a different form of valuation system and most of our data had not been refreshed in nearly ten years, it was necessary to complete a town-wide data recollection program prior to finalizing the FY 2005 valuations. Patriot Properties was hired for this task. Over the past 18 years, our appraisal staff has performed the on-going property exterior measuring and interior inspecting for all real estate classes.
Such reviews are done for the Department of Revenue (DOR) required cyclical program, as well as for building permitted changes, pre- appraisals, abatements and sales verifications.

Field Review
In addition to individual property on-site review, field reviews are required periodically to check for observed data accuracy and consistency.

This drive-by review provides another level of assurance that when valuation schedules are applied, the results will be "Fair and Equitable".

Commercial/Industrial/Apartment Valuations Annually there are analyses of sales data as well as income & expense market data. The Board contracted Patriot to work with our Director to establish an income approach to value for each property. All requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue were met through final approval of the FY 2023 valuations.

Sales Analysis
The majority of the sales analysis was completed by September 2022, and the interpretation of sales continued through the next two stages of valuation. The town-wide program resulted in a valuation system that was applied uniformly throughout the town, while reflecting all the adjustments warranted individually and by neighborhood, to arrive at "Full and Fair Cash Values" as per Massachusetts General Law.

Value Generation
A system of valuation was established based on valid property sales and where applicable the income approach to value. These schedules were developed from the market and then uniformly applied to all taxable and exempt real property.

Final Value Review
Final reviews were completed in preparation for the DOR review. These include studies of various computer-generated reports to check for value consistency, final field checks required, and for DOR documentation and its analyses.

DOR Review & Final Approval
The on-site and statistical reviews by the DOR took place from April to October 2022. The appraisal staff provided files, generated property records, answered questions and addressed any concerns. At the conclusion of the DOR review, we were granted Preliminary Certification authorizing public disclosure.

Public Disclosure
The DOR approved valuations were available for disclosure to the property owners. While all staff provided property record cards and general data reviews, the Director and the appraisers conducted informal hearings on valuations.

Personal Property Business assets and those of utilities are reviewed for valuation as taxable Personal Property. For twenty-two fiscal years we have engaged the specialized services of Real Estate Research Consultants (RRC) in the discovery and valuation of these accounts. These services have served us well, resulting in DOR approval and consistently defendable valuations. Also, considerable new growth has been certified annually. Additionally, the RRC Personal Property Software installed in our office has benefited us. The personal property valuation formulas are very straightforward, and the administrative capabilities have met our needs.

Classification Hearing & Tax Commitment Following some discussion and a few presentations relative to single versus split tax rates, the Council approved a single tax rate at $12.58 per $1,000 of taxable value as calculated by the Board for all property classes. The tax commitment and mailing were timely for an Actual 3rd Quarter tax bill.

Abatement Reviews
Upon mailing of the tax bills and on or before the due date of the first Actual bill, property owners have an opportunity to file an Abatement Application on the basis of overvaluation or misclassification. 49 abatements applications were filed of 11,753 taxable accounts, or just over 215th of 1%. Generally those with merit were resolved through our conducting a complete on-site exterior measuring and interior inspection. Usually a valuation discrepancy is the result of a data error or as a result of an inspection appointment not arranged and thus the property data used was estimated vs. actual.

Technology Improvements
In addition to our state-of-the-art software for the valuation and administration of both real and personal property, Cartographic Associates, now CAI Technologies of Littleton, NH has continued to maintain the digital1GIS-mapping program it first completed for us for FY 2005.

Following aerial photography and planimetric (physical features) mapping, CAI constructed cadastral tax maps (depicting parcels) through the use of over 5,000 plans and over 15,000 deeds. This new mapping program is annually updated and reconciled with our property records for consistency in both parcel inventory and land area. With the support of the Town Administrator, the Finance Director and the Town Council, we have capacity in our Patriot software to link and utilize the maps with our assessment data file and any other available location-based data. In addition, for the past eighteen years we have provided our parcels and more on the web as AxisGIS for the benefit of both the Town staff and the general public.

Appraisal & Administrative Staffing
The use of automation has minimized the former heavy burden of traditional data processing. Due to this and numerous other office improvements, the Town approved our Staff Restructuring Plan. We have adjusted our administrative support to be shared among the Appraisers who are responsible for continuing to improve our service to the public at the counter and by phone. They have focused these efforts on providing and reviewing public records, Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Commitments and Abatements, Exemption Applications, posting Building Permits and Sales and any other assignments as required. They have continued to train in rotation in various administrative duties and computer applications. The Appraisers have made special efforts in the development and implementation of usable written instructions for the assessing office procedures and for MUNIS financial software applications. These instructions were developed consistent with all Mass. General Law and DOR requirements and are subject to frequent change due to legal changes and software enhancements.
 
Appraisers
We thank Kevin W. Doyle, Director of Assessing for his diligence especially as Director beginning following his first two years here. He has overseen the completion of all our work these past twenty-two fiscal years, seven full revaluations and fifteen interim years of market adjustments. We also acknowledge the support work of Appraiser David Ruberti since July 2005, Appraiser Peter Mooney since August 2004, and Appraiser Susan Reagan since September 2019. Our Director received his Massachusetts Accredited Assessor (MAA) in 1990 and the MAAO Wilson Award in June 2013. Within the past sixteen years all three Appraisers completed their designation required education and experience, being granted their MAA designations and maintaining their periodic recertification.

Town Revenue Enhancements
In addition to meeting all state requirements as well as daily office oversight, the Director and Appraisers have achieved many additional improvements to benefit the Town taxpayers. One such is the efficiencies built into the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Commitment and Abatement processes in conjunction with the newest MUNIS tax software installation. These excise taxes represent about 5.28 million dollars in locally raised annual revenue, or about 5.5 % of locally raised tax revenue. We assure the citizens that like real and personal property, taxes on these are assessed and abated appropriately and uniformly for the maximum benefit of all. Registry of Motor Vehicles' automation aided the Director and Appraisers to further enhance revenue in assessing dealer and repair plate registrations. As well, with the ongoing automation improvements of the Environmental Police, this professional staff successfully developed a new potential annual revenue stream in the identification and assessment of excise taxes on boats principally situated in Franklin.

On-site Periodic Property Reviews Because we have initiated the cyclical property re-measurement and re-inspection program as prescribed by the Massachusetts DOR, we continue to make various public information efforts to assure property owners have advance information about this on-going program.
Briefly, please note that the purpose of these property visits is to verify that the correct data is being used in the determination of valuations to achieve "full and fair cash value" in accordance with Mass. General Law Chapter 59. The Board appreciates the general public's cooperation in its efforts to serve all property owners of all property types to assure fair and uniform values.

Your Elected Board of Assessors Before entering the performance of his/her duties, each Assessor upon election has taken the oath of office specific to assessors and assistant assessors. Massachusetts General Law has provided that because the DOR Commissioner of Revenue has regulatory oversight over assessing in every city and town, the Commissioner likewise determines the training requirements for the assessors and any assistants. At this time, the Commissioner has determined Course 101, including the Classification Training Workshop, meets the minimum requirements. The full Board of Assessors and all four staff have completed these and have been certified as such by the Mass. Commissioner of Revenue.

The Board looks forward to continuing education opportunities offered by the MA DOR and the professional associations, the Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO), the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), the Mass. Chapter of the IAAO, the Northeast Regional Association of Assessing Officers and the Norfolk & Suffolk Counties Assessors Association. The assessors have attended seminars and workshops to broaden and reinforce their understanding of property tax law.

In particular, the Board has focused on current and possible future tax relief and deferral options for our disabled and elder citizens. To that goal, following meetings of the Town Senior Outreach Committee, the Board, its Staff and the Office of the Council on Aging continued its broad-based efforts to reach seniors. This has resulted in successfully providing tax relief (exemption) information to additional seniors who owned and occupied their homes.

Also, with the valued assistance of the Town's Veterans' Agent Shannon Nisbett, special efforts are continuously made to identify veterans and their surviving spouses entitled to exemptions, much of it State reimbursable to the Town. We look forward to continuing to work with Shannon and all the Senior Center staff.

All these efforts are consistent with the Board of Assessors commitment to meet its challenges as key Town Financial Team members to the benefit of all the citizens of the Town of Franklin. The Assessing Department is officially a part of the Franklin Finance Division headed by Finance Director Christopher Sandini who also serves as Comptroller. We and especially our staff have been successfully coordinating efforts with Treasurer-Collector Kerri Bertone and look forward to continuing this cooperative and productive work with Chris and Kerri into the Town of Franklin's future.

The close of Fiscal Year 2023 coincided with the first year anniversary of hiring of Council on Aging Director Danielle Hopkins who has been very helpful in this Board's efforts to reach out to Franklin's Seniors assisting in preparing Property Tax Exemption Applications. The Board and the Staff express appreciation for Danielle's contributions and efforts throughout the fiscal year.

Considering the unexpected pandemic, important and valuable office restructuring was done. The three Appraisers are meeting the challenges of our industry, the restructuring and the needs of all the Town of Franklin's citizens, property owners, their agents, Town Officials and Employees, and the Public at large.

As we write, the Board of Assessors and its Staff are preparing to finalize the Real and Personal Property Appraisal files for the Fiscal Year 2024 Interim Year subject to DOR review and final approval. The FY 2022 Revaluation was Franklin's first since the State modified the cycle from three to five years, thus it followed four Interim Year Updates. These next three years will be Interim Year Updates and FY 2027 will be the next Revaluation. Meanwhile, with the cooperation of property owners, the property descriptive information on file will be continuously improved and maintained and we will achieve market-based valuation adjustments that are both Fair & Equitable.

Assessor Ken Norman has announced he is not seeking reelection to the Board in November. We are very grateful for the years of service he has provided to this Board and in many other Town areas both during and previously.

Respectfully submitted, 

Christopher K. Feeley, Chairman 
Daniel Ballinger, Clerk, Assessor
W. Ken Norman, Member, Assessor 
Franklin Board of Assessors

Visit the Board of Assessors page on the Town website ->

The full Town of Franklin FY 2023 Annual Report can be found online

Annual Report Of The Board Of Assessors: FY 2023 Report
Annual Report Of The Board Of Assessors: FY 2023 Report

Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) schedule for Thursday, Feb 8, 2023

  • wfpr.fm or 102.9 on the FM dial = Thursday

9:00a/12:00p/6:00p   A Priest, A Minister, and a Rabbi


10:00a/1:00p/7:00p   Frank’s Music – Frank Falvey and Jim Derick

11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm   Frank Presents – Frank Falvey Presents


  • Franklin All Access TV - Our Public Access Channel (Comcast 6, Verizon 26) = Thursday


  • Franklin Pride TV - Our Educational Channel        (Comcast 8, Verizon 28) = Thursday


  • Franklin Town Hall TV - Our Government Channel (Comcast 9, Verizon 29) = Thursday


Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) online  http://franklin.tv/programguide.pdf  


Watch Listen Read all things that matter in Franklin MA
Watch Listen Read all things that matter in Franklin MA

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Master Plan Update Cmte: Public Outreach


Public Outreach Master Plan

Read more

Congressman Auchincloss; An Update From Your Congressman for the past 2 weeks


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LAST 2 WEEKS IN REVIEW

I'm your representative in Congress and I write to keep you informed.

  • Updates from the Select Committee on China
  • Bipartisan border deal
  • Celebrating science and scientists
  • Bipartisan tax package
  • Advocating for "Complete Streets"

          —

  • Social Services roundtable 
  • Learning alongside the next generation at Southeastern Regional VoTech High School
  • Supporting families living with Alzheimer's
  • New Hope groundbreaking for domestic violence survivors
  • Brookline Muslim Friends and Congregation Beth El-Atereth Israel 

On the Hill

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Updates from the Select Committee on China: I asked former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who described January 6th as a "peaceful transfer of power," to testify that President Biden was duly elected in a free and fair election. While under oath, Secretary Pompeo refused to assert that the 2020 election was "free and fair". The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party should not take a lecture on democracy from an election denier. 

America cannot defend democracy overseas if we do not protect it at home.

I joined Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi in introducing the BIOSECURE Act, a bill to ensure foreign adversary biotech companies of U.S. national security concern do not gain access to U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Innovation must be guided by values. The Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated biomedical corporations are operating unethically in the collection of genetic information without consent, and U.S. taxpayers should not be helping to fund those or other nefarious practices. American tax dollars should instead be directed towards basic research that unlocks more cures.

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Bipartisan Border Deal: I joined CNN to discuss the bipartisan national security proposal that offers tough and fair policy on the border – improving due process, upgrading security and curtailing the surge of fentanyl – while providing necessary aid to our allies in Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The Senate's comprehensive national security bill is the right way to defend our allies and to strengthen our border security. Speaker Johnson should put this bill on the floor after Senate passage instead of handing Putin and the drug cartels a win by calling it "dead on arrival." I would vote "Yes" on the current version. 

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Celebrating science and scientists: I joined Dr. Monica Bertagnolli to celebrate her confirmation as Director of the National Institutes of Health. I look forward to working with Director Bertagnolli to advance biomedical research through federal engagement. The NIH is in good hands with an MA-04 resident at the helm!  

Bipartisan Tax Package: I voted to pass the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, bipartisan legislation that would expand the Child Tax Credit, making the credit available to an additional 15,000 children in MA-04 and 182,000 across Massachusetts. This tax package will increase the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) by 12.5% from 2023-2025, an expansion I advocated for in a recent letter to the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee. Expanding the successful LIHTC Program will allow Massachusetts to allocate more credits for affordable housing projects. Additionally, the bill restores preferential tax treatment for corporate R&D, which especially helps biotech companies. 

I spoke to the Boston Globe about the impact this tax deal would have on Massachusetts, which may be the state in the union that would most benefit if this bill passed the Senate and became law. Support for families, more affordable housing, and more biotech R&D are three big wins for the Bay State.

Advocating for "Complete Streets": With Representative Cohen and Senator Markey, I introduced an improved version of our Complete Streets Act, which would make roads safer and more accessible by ensuring states direct a portion of their federal highway funding towards the creation of a Complete Streets Program. A "complete street" provides safe and accessible transportation options for children, seniors, and people with disabilities by prioritizing infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users. Under the Complete Streets Act, eligible local and regional entities can use funds from their state's Complete Streets Program for technical assistance and capital funding to build safe street projects such as sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, and bus stops.

Walking shouldn't be dangerous. Pedestrian deaths are surging in the United States, and Congress must respond. Promoting Complete Streets helps ensure that pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists operate safely. And the design and infrastructure of Complete Streets is not just safer – it's also better for ambience, the environment, and retail.

Make your voice heard → I want to hear from you. 

Do you support federal engagement to move away from car-centric infrastructure?

 

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Around the Fourth

Social Services roundtable: I hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with social service providers and non profit organizations in Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, and Needham. I provided an update on expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit passed by the House, shared resources for constituents to engage with federal agencies, and engaged in a dialogue about the needs of residents who face the steepest economic challenges. 

Longtime Newton affordable housing advocate and Executive Director of CAN-DO, Josephine McNeil, provided information about the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax preparation services for qualifying taxpayers. The VITA program has operated for over 50 years and offers free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, including:
  • People who generally make $64,000 or less
  • Persons with disabilities; and
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers

There are five VITA locations in our district: CAN-DO in Newton, Citizens for Citizens in Fall River, Franklin Public Library in Franklin, and High Street Veterans Family Learning Center and Trustman Family Learning Center in Brookline. You can find the one nearest to you using the IRS locator tool: Find a Location for Free Tax Prep | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov).

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Learning alongside the next generation: Students from the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, in Easton, took me on a tour of their school and moderated a Q&A session with their classmates. I watched medical assistants-in-training conduct clinical tests while I peppered them and their teacher with questions about the curriculum and their career goals. A repeated refrain was their desire to help people by working in health care.

In my conversation with students, I spoke about gun violence prevention legislation, social media regulation, and – my favorite point with students – the importance of taking smart risks early on to pursue your passion, even when you're afraid to fail.

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Living with the effects of Alzheimer's: Adelaide of Newton Centre hosted a conversation on Alzheimer's with caregivers. I listened to their stories and learned more about bed shortages, training for first responders, and caregiver burnout. We also discussed how Americans need to better insure for long-term care, and my commitment to supporting biomedical research and – when the cures do come – patient access to therapies without risk of medical debt.

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New Hope groundbreaking: I joined New Hope to break ground on their new confidential shelter project, House of Hope, which will expand New Hope's mission to serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing the capacity to support an additional 20 families per year. Survivors of sexual and domestic violence deserve a place in our community where they can go for protection, care, and safety. People looking to flee bad situations, whether by themselves or with family, shouldn't have to worry about finding a safe place to stay as they begin to rebuild their lives.

When I first visited New Hope, I listened to stories from survivors about fleeing sexual and domestic violence with no money and no idea where to go next. New Hope is that 'next' – and with support from a federal earmark I designated, it will soon have a facility worthy of its mission. Despite this local win, we are not doing enough at the federal level. Right now, Congress is debating the 2024 federal appropriations. The Crime Victims Fund, created by the Victim of Crimes Act, which helps fund emergency shelters facing cuts. Protecting survivors of domestic and sexual violence should not be a partisan issue, and we should not be cutting funds that are designated to help the most vulnerable.

Brookline Muslim Friends and Congregation Beth El-Atereth Israel: I met with members of Brookline Muslim Friends, a group of MA-04 residents who have lived and raised their families in Brookline for decades. We spoke about the need to protect civilians in the midst of the Israel-Hamas war, while making sure that our neighbors feel safe in their communities here at home. On the same day, I met with members of an Orthodox temple in Newton where we discussed the hostages held by Hamas, the Biden Administration's response to aggression by Iranian-backed proxy groups, and the prospects of a two-state solution. 

As I continue to have important and difficult conversations across the district with Muslim and Jewish constituents, I am encouraged by the commonality of our desire and our work for welcoming, pluralist communities where everyone can raise their children to believe in the promise of America for equal dignity and justice for all.

Onwards,

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Jake

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WASHINGTON
15 Independence Avenue SE
1524 Longworth HOB

Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5931

NEWTON
29 Crafts Street
Suite 375
Newton, MA 02458
Phone: (617) 332-3333

ATTLEBORO
8 North Main Steet
Suite 200

Attleboro, MA 02703
Phone: (508) 431-1110


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