Monday, March 29, 2010

FM #62 - Week ending 3/28/10

This is #62 in the series for Franklin Matters. Let's take less than 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends 3/28/10.

Time: 7 minutes, 30 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 62 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Let's take about 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin as the week ends Sunday March 28th.

In this session I cover four meetings Planning Board, Finance Committee, the School Committee meeting and the Financial Planning Committee that occurred this past week.

The School committee meeting was viewed via the Town video archive. The other three I attended in person. The school committee meeting featured several recognitions and a discussion on the committees effort to continue appropriate use of technology to save the mounds of paper they used to generate. The detail listing of the recognitions is available on the agenda. The video archive is available on the town site so you can review the full meeting or specific sections.

I created a live video feed from the Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday March 23, 2010. It was held in the Training Room on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Bldg while the School Committee meeting was being held in the Council Chambers so there was no planned cable video production.

While I did manage to broadcast the video and record the whole session, the audio feed was silent. It doesn't do much good for folks to sit and watch about an hour of folks sitting around a table and not being able to hear what they are saying.

Fortunately, I did have a separate audio recording to capture the meeting and I drew on that to share the meeting here. For ease of listening, I split the meeting into four sections:

1 – covered the opening and the discussion around the first appropriation for the Board of Assessors
2 – covered the Parmenter Solar Panel project
3 – covered the capital budget which was split into two votes, for for 2,009,000 for the overall capital needs of the town and the second setting aside 100,000 into a fund to accrue for the eventual replacement purchase of a new fire engine.
4 – and then the final section covered the discussion on the overall FY 2011 budget schedule, additional questions from the committee members, and the closing of the meeting.

The capital budget will be scheduled for the Town Council meeting on Apr 7th. They'll have their chance to review the details, and have a vote to determine if this appropriation will be approved.

The Financial Planning Committee is the one chartered as a subcommittee of the Town Council to put together the long term or five year financial plan for Franklin. The committee prepared their first report last year. You can view that here.

The notes from the meeting Wed 3/24/10 can be found here:

With the election in November 2009, and some resignations, the membership on the committee changed. Deb Bartlett moved from a member representing the council to representing the citizens. Matt Kelly dropped off and was replaced by Scott Mason to have three council members. Sue Rohrbach joined to have 2 from the School Committee (joining Roberta Trahan). Gwynne Wilchek dropped off the committee and was replaced by Brendan Morrison. The paperwork to finalize membership on the committee will be completed at the Council meeting Apr 7th so the new members can be sworn in and take full part in the work.

The committee will focus on updating the numbers from the prior report for what is known now for the FY 2011 budget. The committee is scheduled to update the Council (and hence the Town) at the Council's meeting on Apr 28th.

The Planning Board meeting on March 22nd was an interesting one. It was good to see so many residents out for a cause. The application for the Big Y has a number of issues to be addressed by multiple parties. The Conservation Commission will be looking at the water and wetlands effects. The MASS Highway will be looking at the traffic and road conditions. The Board of Health has a position to take. The Design Review committee has work to do on the appearance and signs. The Planning Board gets the final say after all the items are addressed. Stay tuned. This may take some time to complete.

links to Town video meeting archives for those segments covering the Big Y application:

Planning Board
3/8 meeting (approx 1 hour)

3/22 meeting (approx 90 minutes)

Conservation Commission
3/25 meeting (approx 10 minutes)

3/11 meeting (approx 15 minutes)

2/25 meeting (approx 25 minutes)

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!

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If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
I hope you enjoy!