Monday, March 15, 2010

FM #60 - Week Ending 3/14/10

We close it out the week ending March 14, here in Franklin, MA and review the School Committee meeting, the Charter Revisions meeting and the Planning Board starting the review process for the Big Y Supermarket coming to RT 140.

Time: 10 minutes, 27 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 60 in the series for Franklin Matters.

A notable week this is as we close it out here in Franklin, MA on Sunday, March 14th
The mathematicians celebrated Pi

Monday, March 15th is the Ides of March

Wednesday, March 17th is St Patrick's Day for the wearing of the green, let the Irish luck be with us all!'s_Day

enough of the special days, in this session I’ll cover the

  • School Committee meeting March 9th 
  • Special Town Council Charter Revisions meeting on Wednesday, Mar 10. 
  • announcement about Big Y and the rumor about Price Chopper coming to town

Amongst the most note worthy events of the School Committee meeting on March 9th
the presentation of the budget, as previewed last week, it is not a level service budget as it adds back the late bus the full budget book can be found here

The bullying task force was proposed and accepted to proceed. I had sent in some minor modifications to their wording and was busy with reporting so I did not pursue during the meeting. As the Task Force begins work, I hope to report on some of the meetings and will share that effort here. If you do want to get involved, please contact either Maureen Sabolinksi or Jeff Roy.

The third item slipped by me during the meeting. Tucked away in the listing of the action items was the Franklin Arts Academy. The action item had been removed from the agenda of the 2/23 meeting to be brought for further discussion at a future meeting.

Well it appeared here, came up for vote, was not discussed and passed unanimously.

What occurred during the time between the meetings for the item to have moved from a discussion for future to no discussion? Anyone with insights on that? I haven't a clue.

Let's move along to the Special Town meeting to review the Charter Revisions.

For something as important as the Charter revisions, I was disappointed with the lack of notification for the meeting. As mentioned last time, it wasn't mentioned during the prior TC meeting when there was plenty of opportunity for a short meeting to do so. Nothing was posted to the Town website until Monday when after some prompting, the changes were posted.

The discussion during the meeting was enlightening as usual. Some councilors spoke carefully and thoughtfully about the issues, some were content to create soundbites with no sustenance. We'll get a chance to review the changes again at this week's Town Council meeting as the listing of changes is up for discussion. The Council should come to some consensus on which way to proceed on which items so the document can be drafted for approval and vote.

The process seems to be the following:

  • Council determines changes to be pursued 
  • Document drafted for review and approval by Council
  • Approved document submitted to State Legislature for approval
  • Assuming the Legislature approves, the document returns to the Franklin voters to decide at a future election (i.e. Nov 2010)

As this document defines our way of governing ourselves, I would approve of the following.

Moving the following elected official positions to appointments
Town Clerk, Treasurer/Collector
Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Constables

This would ensure the City of Franklin (while continuing to choose to call itself a Town) would at least be better prepared to handle the future. The future being a state of affairs where it is much more critical to operate as a business with the appropriately qualified people in the proper roles.

  • The Town Council (elected by the voters) would have an oversight on all appointments. 
  • The Town Administrator should be provided guidelines for determining the qualifications.
  • The job requirements for each position would be spelled out with appropriate success measures and periodic performance reviews.

The Planning Board heard the proposal for a new supermarket, The Big Y to come in to the Chinese Buffet restaurant location across from the Municipal Bldg. You can view the full session (approx 1 hour) via the video archive at this link

It was interesting to hear as the meeting goes into a recess, someone says “I heard Price Chopper and Middlesex Bank”

March 22, the hearing and process will continue at the Planning Board meeting that night. There are also Design Review meetings and Conservation Commission meetings on aspects of the proposal.

Stay tuned to the developments along RT 140.

In summary, this week, we talked about the School Committee meeting nd the FY 2011 budget, Charter revisions and the Planning Board review underway on the Big Y supermarket

Looking ahead, this week the Charter revisions continue at the Town Council meeting on Weds

For the full schedule of Franklin Meetings, check out the town website

As I close this session this week, let me remind you that

  • If you like what I am doing here, please tell your friends and 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
I hope you enjoy!