Town of Franklin Board Newsletter
The Franklin Flyer Our Town News - MARCH 2021
Derrick Martineau has been appointed 2021 Town of Franklin Code Enforcement Officer and will have office hours at the Franklin Town Hall on Wednesdays 4-7 and by appointment. He can be reached by calling 518-728-6100 or by email email@example.com
Kate Mt. Park - As part of a planning grant, our recreation committee has been working with ELAN, located in Sara-toga Springs. ELAN has designed a long range design for the park. The plan was paid for with grant funds. These funds do not include paying for the improvements and we are under no obligation to use the plans at all--but they ARE impressive and a VERY worthy goal. If you would like to see the plans and get involved in determining "next steps" email the Town Clerk's office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Does What Around Here
One of the most misunderstood dynamics is the relationship between the Town Supervisor, Town Board and other elected officials. The key word in all of this is “elected”. Here is a brief rundown of each office's required duties with respect to how/when/if/why each elected official interacts with another and with the Town Board as a whole.
The Supervisor is a member of the Town Board presides over board meetings and has a number of responsibilities regarding financial matters. The Supervisor may appoint committees of town board members to make studies and report back with recommendations. As a member of the Town Board, the Supervisor has no more authority than any other board member nor does the Supervisor's vote count as a tiebreaker. (In a town our size, the Supervisor does much more)
The Town Board is the executive and legislative branch of town government. General powers of the Town Board are managing and controlling town finances and town property, adopting budgets and fixing salaries of officers and employees. The board, as a group, is the executive head of the town and functions as one body. No individual member can unilaterally act on behalf of the town board.
Speaking about the Community Center, we have finished the planning phase and have begun the bidding process. I have sent out a number of CD’s with the plans to local contractors. If you haven’t gotten yours and are interested in bidding on the building, please give a shout and I will be sure to get one in the mail to you. We had a pre-bid meeting on Feb. 15th. I am hoping that we get a good response to our bid requests and we can proceed on schedule. We plan on breaking ground sometime in April, weather and soil conditions permitting. With some luck we should have a completed building by the Fall.
Also over at the park, after the snow is gone, you will see the construction of a 33 Kw solar array. 33 Kw is enough production to take care of our electrical supply for the Town Hall, Garage, and the Park and Community Center. This will save us quite a bit on our electrical supply. In relation to our Park and the State lands that adjoin it, here is a message from the Regional Waterfront Program:
Our elected Town Justice is a department head has jurisdiction in criminal and civil matters. The Town Justice functions as a separate branch of town government and is also not connected to the Town Board. The Town Board sets the salary for this office as well as for the Court Clerk and approves the Justice's annual budget.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector:
The Town Clerk/Collector has a number of statutory responsibilities one of which to attend meetings of the Town Board in order to create a permanent record of all board proceedings. The Town Clerk is a department head, therefore also autonomous and not directed by the Town Board. In fiscal matters, the Town Clerk is part of legally required checks and balances. Other than creating a record of meetings, the Clerk and Board have no connection.
As you can see, each office has little or no contact with the Town Board. Elected means you, the residents, gave us our jobs. We work for you. An elected official, by definition, cannot have supervisory power over another. We are charged with duties and responsibilities set out by the law for the offices you elected us to. There is one more category—Appointed Officials—They are under the direction of the Town Board but that's a story for another day!
Odds and Ends
by Lauren LeFebvre, Town Clerk
The 55+ Club is planning on resuming monthly meetings on April 13, at noon at the Franklin Town Hall. If you're over 50, fully vaccinated and ready to safely socialize, YOU ARE INVITED. Masks, social distancing and all other CDC guidelines will be in place—no exceptions. Have questions? Need a ride? Contact Phyllis King at 518-891-1995
IT'S DONE! On behalf of the entire Highway Department—Thank you to all the residents for their patience during the past year. It was a tough year on so many levels for our Town. An Open House is in the works for August 14. Everyone will be invited to tour the new facility.
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM
The summer program is not set in stone yet, as we are awaiting the updated guidelines from the NYS Department of Health. The last guidance was issued in June 2020 and new guidance is forthcoming. Kathy Drake and staff did a great job last year with the “Youth Program In-A-Bag”! While it was something, getting the kids out, active and socializing is important to their mental and physical health. It sure makes parent's and grandparent's lives easier, too. We'll keep you posted—the guidance may come very late in the spring but hang tight—it's at the top of our priority list. Keep an eye on our Facebook page (Town of Franklin, Franklin County, NY) for the latest info.
If you are having trouble scheduling your vaccine, contact Town Clerk, Lauren LeFebvre. Lauren can navigate the internet for you and get you set-up. 518-891-2189.
Do you have a home-based business in the Town of Franklin? If you do, we want to do a Special Edition of this newsletter with Businesses and Services listings. Send your info (Your Name, Business Name, Contact Information (including Website/Facebook info) and a brief description of the business to email@example.com The Town of Franklin will also include your business and link on our website www.townoffranklin.com. The deadline for submissions is June 1.
The Town of Franklin is hiring full-time seasonal help @ $12.50 per hour. Start date will be dependent upon our lovely weather. Job to include painting, mowing cemeteries/recreation park, brush removal, flagging for roadwork and assisting highway crew with a variety of tasks. Must have current Driver's License. Experience with machinery preferred. Approximate employment dates are May 10-October 1, 2021. Applications are available on the porch of the Town Hall or by calling the Town Clerk's office 518-891-2189. Interviews will be held in late April. Town residents are encouraged to apply.
The Town of Franklin has received $450,000 for housing rehab and/or repairs for income qualified residents. Friends of the North Country is administering this funding on our behalf. All questions, including income eligibility and application process, should be directed to FONC at 518-293-5045.
Regarding the HUD Grant, Friends of the North Country is always looking for contractors to bid on these and other projects available in Clinton/Essex/Franklin Counties. If you are interested in getting on the list, contact FONC at 518-293-5045.
TOWN HALL OFFICES
The Town Hall Offices will remain open by appointment until CDC COVID guidance allows us to fully open. Masks are required in all town facilities at this time.
The Town Board is working VERY hard with various service providers to bring service to unserved areas of our town.
The Town Board views fast, reliable, affordable internet as a “utility” not a luxury--everyone should have access. The Town Board is aware satellite service, the only option in many areas of the town, is not sufficient by a long stretch for both speed and affordability. As the Town continues dialog with various entities, we will keep you informed of the progress. Increasing cell coverage is also on the table. Stay tuned.
DAY OF MUSIC
There are still tentative plans for a music day at Kate Mountain Park on August 14, 2021. Pencil it in. If you're a musician and will play for free (yeah, yeah—my husband is a drummer—you hate “free”) contact the Town Clerk's Office.
The plan is the Town will provide the music, you bring chairs, coolers, grills, pop-up shade things, whatever and prepare to spend the day. Just a chill day for everyone to get together—it's been a loooooong time. (We'll do a pass-the-hat for the bands—yeah, yeah—bands hate that, too. I know)
St. Paul’s Food Pantry
The Pantry continues to be busy with our drive thru pick up after one full year. Believe it or not, we are still finding ways to improve the way we are doing things, always a work in progress.
We are sad to report that we lost a valuable member of our team. Mary Jo Rohe passed away from her battle with pancreatic cancer in February. She was a big part of our pantry and is greatly missed. She took over the job of Sue Muzzy when she passed from cancer also and now there is a hole to fill with her absence. Both of these ladies were daughters of the founders of the pantry, Pat and Mary Ellen Keith. Sara is still carrying on in their memory and will continue to do so.
There is so much more to pantry than just the day of give out. Our volunteers put in many hours each month getting ready for the one day by taking inventory of stock, ordering what we can from the Regional Food Bank in Albany, cleaning and stocking shelves, applying for grants to purchase food, sending out the order form and calling people to take the orders and packing the boxes to give out. You know what a trip to the grocery store is like, multiply that by 75 or more and you have an idea of what we do to prepare for the drive through pick up. On pantry day, we have to meet the delivery truck at the Civic Center in Saranac Lake and load our order into a trailer and or trucks to bring to the pantry. We then have to unload it, sort it and put it on the shelves to fill the boxes. We look like a busy beehive on that day, everyone buzzing around doing their jobs and getting things ready for the 3:30 pickup.
Carrying and loading food to cars is no easy task. Thankfully, we have some great men on board to do just that. They keep the traffic flowing and the boxes going out the door, no matter what the weather Mother Nature throws at us.
If you know of someone who could benefit from the Pantry and isn’t utilizing it, please have them contact us. We can be reached by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, we are on Facebook as St Paul’s Food Pantry, or have them call Sara 518-651-5757 or Shirley 518-891-3119. We know times are still tough and we are here to help. If you’d like to donate to the pantry, our mailing address is St Paul’s Food Pantry, 19 Tyler Road, Vermontville, NY 12989. We are very appreciative of any and all donations.
Stay Safe—Get Vaccinated!