Voters will weigh in on a $2.8 million Proposition 2 ½ property tax override June 10 that would add an additional $244 to the tax bill of the average household valued at $411,000, according to Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting. The Town Council voted to put the override question on the ballot at its April 30 meeting. If approved, the funds would prevent the loss of 15 teaching positions at the elementary schools, 12.5 teaching positions at the middle school, 17 teaching positions at the high school, a $100 increase in bus fees, and the end of late bus service for students who stay after school for clubs and other extracurricular activities. This is the second year in a row that Franklin residents have voted on a tax override; last year, voters approved a $2.7 million tax hike.
Local blog FranklinMatters has more here.
– Rachel Lebeaux
Franklin voters approved a $2.7 million override last night, the first "yes" vote in the half-dozen times that such a measure has been on the ballot.
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said the override vote will spare both the library and the schools from significant cuts. Without the override, the library faced laying off 8 staff members and having its hours scaled back dramatically.
The school department, which had requested a $6 million budget increase, was considering laying off 40 teachers if the override didn't pass. Even with the additional $2 million from the override, the schools will trim 15 teaching positions, School Committee chairman Jeffrey Roy said last week.
-- Alison O'Leary Murray
The Franklin Town Council weighed several possible Proposition 21/2 override amounts last night before voting by a slim margin to put the smallest number, $2.7 million, before voters next month.
If approved, the money will support the school department budget, which school committee chairman Jeffrey Roy told councilors is $6 million short of what's needed for a "great" district.
Councilors had also considered proposing a $4 million override, but several said Franklin residents would not approve a figure that large.
In Franklin, voters have approved overrides for new buildings like schools but never to supplement the operating budget, defeating several in the past decade, according to Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting.
School Superintendent Wayne Ogden outlined job cuts that would be made to balance the budget, saying that more than 20 elementary school-level teaching positions are likely to be eliminated and fees for bus transportation, sports and after-school programs will be increased.
-- Alison O'Leary Murray