Monday, May 3, 2010

FM #66 - Week Ending 5/2/10

Let's take about 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends May 2, 2010.

Time: 10:02

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast
Number 66 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Let's take about 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as this week comes to a close on Sunday May 2nd.

In this session I'll the School Committee meeting as they presented their budget Tuesday, and the Town Council meeting on Wednesday where they got an update on the overall budget and voted to put an override question to the voters on June 8th – and a brief outlook at the week ahead

The School Committee meeting discussed options on bringing the budget into balance with a number of measures:
  • cutting 7 elementary teachers
  • cutting 8 middle school
  • an increase athletic fees
  • doubling extra curricular activity fees
  • cutting 3 buses
  • an early release of elementary schools one day to reduce another 4 positions

The School Committee meeting can be viewed on the Franklin website here:

The committee also spent time discussing full vs half day, free vs pay kindergarten
The arguments have already summarized in a post that I worked with Maureen Sabolinski, Karen Seyfried, and Miriam Goodman to prepare. You can find that report here:

From the The Town council meeting on Wednesday:
Financial Planing Committee report, summary review of forecast and updates to the outlook
no questions from the Council

You can and should spent some time to review the meeting via the video on demand link on the Franklin website. You can go directly to the discussion here:

Jeff Nutting provided the update on the overall budget, before he did so, we did get some good news on the High School Renovation project
  • 50 percent reimbursement expected from the State
  • vote likely required in Nov 2011
  • construction to begin in 2013
  • which would put the main portion of the debt increase into the tax bills for FY 2015

Overall shortage 3M
1.1 M from Town side of budget
1.8 M from School side of budget

You can and should spent some time to review the meeting via the video on demand link on the Franklin website. You can go directly to the discussion here:

and to include the Finance Committee, Jim Roche took a couple of minutes to add their endorsement of the override

The Council voted unanimously to set the date for the override election to be held on June 8th

The Council then got into a lengthy discussion on the amount and ended up amending the original motion for 2.1 M to increase the amount to 3 M.

Closing out some old business from the last meeting, the sewer extension on Washington St that was controversial in the last meeting was resolved before coming to this meeting.

Opening some new business was a proposal for a modification to the bylaw on Junk, 2nd Hand and Antique dealers which came up for a first reading.

I'd normally send you to the Franklin website to view the link but for some reason the link is not available today. I have posted a copy of the Town Council agenda document to Drop.IO and you can view beginning on Pages 28-31 the bylaw itself. Exactly what it changed from is not shown in this document but if this reading is okay with your understanding, then it should be okay. If not, please reach out to Jeff Nutting, Maxine Kinheart and get your questions answered soon.

Separate from the major discussion on override, the Conservation Commission heard the proposals for securing the dams on the DelCarte property along Pleasant St. I need to do more to understand the proposals and implications but be aware that something with dollars associated is being discussed. You can view the meeting and proposal options here

and here

To summarize:

The school and town budget problems will lead to an override vote on June 8th. There will be a town forum on May 24th and likely other opportunities for discussion on the numbers, pros/cons, etc.

The good news on the high school renovation is the state will reimburse 50%, a vote won't come until Nov 2011, construction won't begin until 2013 and the tax implications of these wouldn't hit out pockets until 2015

The DelCarte property dam remediation will become part of the active discussion.

The Big Y and Dr Van Roon proposals are both scheduled before the planning board on  Monday, the 3rd
The Town Council meets again on weds the 5th,
There is another walk to school morning on Wednesday

So there is a whole lot happening in and around Franklin, let's keep a positive and respectful discussion going and we can all work our way through this.

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

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 listen to the audio recording