Monday, February 28, 2011

FM #87 - Week ending 2/27/11

Let's take about 10 minutes to get up to speed on what matters in Franklin, MA as the week comes to a close Sunday, Feb 27, 2011

Time: 10 minutes, 1 second

MP3 File

Show Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 87 in the series for Franklin Matters.

We'll look back at the past two weeks as school vacation comes to a close Sunday Feb 27. Then we will look at what is scheduled for the week ahead.

The School Committee meeting on the 15th before school vacation was a full meeting.
Rep Vallee and Sen Spilka attended to provide an update on the overall budget outlook.
They did arrive in time to see the Franklin Arts Academy presentation which was quite impressive.
The school budget was reviewed and with minor discussion, approved.

While I can understand from the SchCom point of view that they have almost lived with the budget, some on the budget subcommittee more so than the others, and they had spent most of Saturday morning Jan 29th in the budget workshop. But as on that Saturday, the reporter from the MDN and I were the only members of the public, you would think that they would take some time to showcase the budget in this real public forum complete with live video which would be available later in the video on demand archive. But no, they went through it summarily and that is that. Shame on those in Franklin who did not come out to the meeting in person, that was your chance to step up and say something.

I do have links to the budget presentation and to the entire budget book available in the show notes

Kudos to Jim Roche, Finance Committee chair, who did participate in the meeting for the budget discussion.

The notes from the full meeting can be found here

The Town Council had a short and relatively uneventful meeting. The meeting notes can be found here:

The only meeting of significance during the school break was the Long Range Financial Planning Committee which did meet on Wednesday, Feb 23. It was a smaller group than normal but they met the quorum requirements (4 of 7). The lower attendance was likely due to the school vacation. There was a special guest, Town councilor Steve Whalen. Steve reviewed his worksheets which had just been updated with Census Data for 2010. The updated data did not change the overall results, Franklin by all measures does get a great deal of quality services for what little it puts out of its own pocket.

Side note – as the documents Steve shared were legal size, I do not have the ready capability to copy them and share them.

My notes from the meeting including highlights from the Whalen updates can be found here:

The other significant item that came from the meeting was the revelation that both Whalen and Zollo will not be running for re-election. I have heard this before but there was still plenty of time for them to change their minds. I guess that is not about to happen. So there will be opportunity for folks to run for the Council. It would be good to see some real competition.

And while we are at it, I have no intentions of running. My approach to this situation has not changed, nor is likely to, so you won't have to worry about it. I'll continue reporting on what matters in Franklin. You can review my disclosure statement for the additional details.

Looking ahead:

The Community Garden Committee meets Monday evening at Stop and Shop. 7:00 7:30 PM in the community room.

The Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday. February's meeting you may recall was canceled. The Franklin website does not have an agenda posted but it may be on the Municipal Bldg window and I did not have time to go by and check. The Town Council meeting does not have any financial action items which FinCom would have approved first so not sure what's up. We'll find out Tuesday and not be too surprised if the meeting does get canceled.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet Wed March 2. A new liquor license for a Japanese-themed restaurant opening in the former Piccadilly Pub location is on the agenda for approval.

The Town Council agenda is posted here

The Franklin Cafe & Grill scheduled to open soon in the former KFC building on 140 has generated some conversation on the Facebook page. In particular about the sign requirements.

March 2 is also significant for two birthdays – Franklin's own birthday and that of Dr Seuss!
Franklin will hold a party on Sunday March 20th at the Museum to celebrate Mar 2 also with some of the 76 Franklin residents who share the March 2 birthday!

The Commonwealth released data by community for 2001 through 2009 on the senior circuit breaker tax advantages available to them. Franklin does quite well in that there has been an increase each year in the number of filers and in the average credit received. To paint a complete picture, I'd like to know how many are eligible and don't apply?

The Franklin chapter of the Teenangels were in the news

So as we close this week, welcome back. The snow hasn't gone yet. The budget cycle is getting into high gear in March. The time to be involved is now.

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This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin. I can use your help.

How can you help, you ask?

If you have an interest in covering the Planning Board, Conservation Commission and or the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings in Franklin, please let me know.

And as always -
If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors
If you don't like this, 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 and Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

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