Monday, February 14, 2011

FM #86 - Week Ending Feb 13, 2011

Let's take less than 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week comes to a close on Sunday Feb 13, 2011.

Time: 7 minutes, 44 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes

This internet radio show or podcast is number 86 in the series for Franklin Matters.

We'll look back at the week that was as it ends Sunday Feb 13th before looking ahead to the School Committee and Town Council meetings scheduled.

The Finance Committee meeting was canceled on Tuesday, Feb 8th.

The Long Range Financial Planning Committee did meet on Wednesday, Feb 9th.

The Committee added Sue Rohrbach to serve as a liaison to the School Committee and school budget. Sue joins Tina Powderly representing the Town Council and Jeff Nutting representing the Administration.

The committee settled on their individual assignments which were intended to reflect their individual interests and specialties. The assignments are as follows:

1 - Capital expenditures and debt service - John Hogan
2 - Benchmarking and pensions - Graydon Smith
3 - Salary and benefits (excluding pensions) - Orrin Bean
4 - National trends in municipal finance (includes regionalization) - Craig DiMarzio
5 - Schools - Deb Bartlett
6 - Town revenue, public safety, and other - Ken Harvey
7 - Committee communications and deliverables - Doug Hardesty

The bulk of the meeting was spent continuing to review the prior committee's report and much of the discussion involved clarification or background on the numbers or issues reflected in the report. The meeting ended before the committee had finished reviewing the report so some of the time at the next session will continue this effort.

The full set of my notes from the meeting can be found here:

The budget workshop held one year ago is still a great source of detailed information directly from Jeff Nutting, Susan Gagner and Jim Dacey on the Town side of the budget and Maureen Sabilonski, Miriam Goodman on the School side of the budget. The full workshop was recorded, the audio and worksheets to accompany the recording are all available online here:

Yes, this was a year ago. The numbers may have changed a little but the overall issues for the Town have not and hence this still has great relevance for today.

The other non-meeting major item in the news was the report theft of the historic bell from the Museum. Apparently someone has made off with it, likely to melt it down for the valuable metal.

I don't spend much time doing analysis on the traffic volume for what I publish here. I did want to bring to your attention some of the numbers now that three full years have passed and four January's have been completed. I will continue to focus on bringing as much good content on what matters with the Franklin budget as possible.

Looking to the week ahead:

School Committee is scheduled to meet Tues Feb 15. As their meeting on the 1st was canceled, I am assuming their budget discussion will be the focus for this meeting. I have included the budget links I previously posted to make it easier to find them.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet Wed Feb 16. Their agenda is posted here

The budget info for Fiscal Year 2012 can be found here

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Thank you for listening.

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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!

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