Monday, January 25, 2010

FM #55 - Review of Week ending 1/24/10

This is #55 in the series on what matters in Frankin, MA. In this session, I cover the Town Council meeting of 1/20/10 and take a look ahead at the FY 2011 budget preparations.

Time: 8 minutes, 20 seconds

MP3 File

Session notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 55 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Take about ten minutes to keep current with what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends January 24, 2010

In this session I’ll cover the Town Council meeting of Wednesday, January 20, 2010
  1. proposed Charter revision
  2. Downtown improvement project
  3. New trash/recycle bins to lower cost of solid waste by $24

1 – The proposed charter revisions were brought back before this Council by Councilors Whalen and Zollo, no additional changes were made to the discussions held last Sep.
There will be open forum and public hearings to solicit input from the citizens before the final package is assembled for Legislative review. Assuming the changes proposed are accepted, then they would still come back to be voted on by the Franklin voters before being effective.

2 – The latest update on the Downtown Improvement project was presented to the Town Council on Weds and to the Downtown Partnership on Thursday morning. Additional sessions will be scheduled to allow for input from Franklin residents.

A copy of the presentation is available on Franklin MAtters

3 – The DPW presented a proposed rate change, actually a reduction from 244 per year to 220 per year. The change is dependent upon approval of a new contract to implement a “single stream” collection system. Single stream is still a misnomer in that there would be separate trash and recycle bins. The recycled items can all be mingled in the one barrel. We'd no longer need to separate the cardboard from the cans, bottles, etc.

A picture of the new bins is available on Franklin MAtters

Looking ahead to this week, there are two meetings of note:

1 - This Monday evening is a special meeting of the Town Council. The purpose of the meeting will be a  budget workshop to review terminology and process steps for the 2011 budget. The workshop is intended to bring the new members of  the Town Council, Finance Committee, and School Committee up to speed.  It is also open to the public and this will be a great time to get in on the ground floor of the budget discussion.

Note the actual 2011 budget is not scheduled for discussion. Gov Patrick is scheduled to release his budget later this week. The House and Senate will release theirs some time and then all three will be reconciled or negotiated to produce one budget sometime before June 30th. That budget is key to what Franklin does. Currently 30% of our revenue comes from State Aid. Separately the Franklin departments will be coming up with their budget, review it with Jeff Nutting who makes his recommendation and brings both to the Finance Committee for review and approval be for the Town Council gets their final review and approval.

2 - The School committee starts their budget process on Tuesday the 26th. We'll get the first look at what a level service and level funded budget for 2011 could look like with options on what programs would be on the table for discussion. The teacher contract is up for renewal this year (as are all the other Franklin municipal employee contracts) what those will look like when an agreement is reached is open for speculation at this time.

In summary, the next several months can be very interactive. Franklin citizens can provide their input to the charter, the downtown project, and ultimately the Franklin budget. If you were waiting for a good time to get involved, the time is now.

As I close this session this week, let me remind you that
  • If you like what I am doing, please tell your neighbors
  • If you don’t like something, please tell me
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!

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to the website to listen to the audio version.

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