MMA meeting Friday & Saturday

I am attending the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting for the next two days, which has the following schedule.  I am cheap enough that I just drive home at night and I am not willing to pay go to the dinners.  Let me know if there are programs that you think I should make sure to attend, especially for the concurrent workshops:

Friday, January 23, 2015
8 a.m.-5 p.m Conference Registration
9:30-11 a.m.
Hynes, Hall C foyer, 2nd floor
Opening Session
Keynote Speaker: Mike Walsh Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Municipal Trade Show
Hynes, Hall C & Auditorium
Noon-1 :30 p.m.
WEMO Luncheon (preregistration required)
Speaker: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito Hynes, Ballroom C, 3rd floor
2-3:30 p.m.
• Emergency Planning for People, Pets and Property
• Executing the Business of Towns Through Board Collaboration: A Case Example
•Going Green: Getting Energy Efficiency Right
•Labor Law Update
• Lessons and Landmines: Navigating Interviews and Internal Investigations
• Roofs, Roads, Runoffs and Regulations: New Standards for Treating Stormwater and Drinking
• Select Developments and Initiatives in Municipal Finance Law and Administration
• Seven Minutes with a Highly Effective Manager
• The CPA: What Makes It Great
•The Value of Creativity: Cultural Assets as Economic Drivers
Hynes, 2nd floor meeting rooms
3:45-5: 15 p.m.
•Driving Economic Development: What Matters to the Private Sector
•Modernizing Personnel Benefits: Sustainability and Flexibility for Cities and Towns
• Understanding the Opioid Crisis in Our Communities
Hynes, 3rd floor meeting rooms
6-7 p.m.
Opening Reception
Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom foyer, 2nd floor
7-9 p.m.
Banquet Dinner, MMA President’s Address
Special guest: Peter Sagal
(Preregistration required) Sheraton, Grand Ballroom, 2nd floor
Saturday, January 24, 2015
8 a.m.-3:30 p.m Conference Registration
7:30-8:30 a.m.
Member Associations Breakfast
Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
Hynes, Hall C foyer, 2nd floor
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association Hynes, room 306
8:30-10 a.m. •Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association Hynes, Ballroom C, 3rd floor
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Mayors’ Association Hynes, room 300
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Municipal Management Association Hynes, room 304
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Municipal Trade Show
Hynes, Hall C & Auditorium
I 0: 15-11 :50 a.m. MMA Annual Business Meeting
(incl. President’s Address) Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
11 :50 a.m.-noon
MMA Board of Directors Meeting: Election of Officers
Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
noon-I :30 p.m.
MIIA Luncheon and Business Meeting (by reservation only)
Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
2-3:30 p.m.
• Best Practices for Interacting With the Mentally Ill
•Everything You Want to Know About STIP
• Financial Trend Monitoring and Revenue Forecasting
• Housing that Fits: Meeting the Needs of Your Community
• Infrastructure Financing Programs: How to Pay for Improvements and Innovation
•How to Be Successful at the Joint Labor-Management Committee
• Municipal and Open Meeting Law Update
•New Rules for Improving Veterans’ Services
• Underwater: Financing New Regulations
•Unfunded Mandates
Hynes, 2nd floor meeting rooms
3:45-5 p.m. Closing Session Speaker:
Michael Beschloss Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
6-7:15 p.m.
Presentation oflnnovation, Municipal Website and Town Report Awards; President’s Reception
Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom, 2nd floor
7: 15-9: 15 p.m.
Annual Banquet (preregistration required)
Entertainment: Under the Streetlamp
Sheraton, Grand Ballroom, 2nd floor

3 responses to “MMA meeting Friday & Saturday

  1. Pete-

    I find it absolutely stunning that there is no coverage of school budgets, in particular the relationship of cost to rising and falling student populations. School spending represents, far and away, the largest item in any town or city budget, yet no one seems to want to deal with the issue. Also, I see nothing on the agenda that addresses the massive shortfall in the funding of employee benefits. I note that there’s a session on “Lessons and land mines”. Is this a tutorial to help public officials avoid facing the really important fiscal issues? Very disappointing.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Not to jump too deeply into the fray,–and I know this is not a selectmen issue– but it is also frustrating that only a PowerPoint presentation is posted on the school site right now discussing the budget and it is simply summarized information and bullet points. With a 5.4% increase being requested, the full proposed budget should be posted for the community to review and understand.

      I actually think there are some critical items being asked for that deserve support. But without seeing the full budget, the concern on openness and transparency may cause the good to be cut with the items needing greater scrutiny. I fully support our schools, but the dollars are too high not to have complete transparency in the process. It would be ideal to have the full proposed budget available to all before the meeting on Monday. As of today, it is not online.


  2. Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson

    Thanks for your comments. i am catching up,so please excuse my delay.

    First, town officials have absolutely no say or control over school budgets, so I would guess that is the reason that there are no MMA seminars on school budgets. The town as a whole can only approve or not the total school budget at the town meeting, but once a budget amount is approved by the town meeting it is then up to the superintendent as to how those monies get spent. While I am exceedingly interested in the school budget issues you raise, please know that i already probably spend about 20 hours a week already just trying to do my volunteer job as a selectman (and i also have a full time job as an attorney), so I have yet to find the extra time to study the school budget issues. Also, those issues really are the purview of the school committee, not the selectmen, despite my interest.

    I see that the school committee meeting to discuss the budget got postponed by the storm, and so i encourage you to go to the re-scheduled meeting to raise your school budget issues with them.

    Second, I certainly did hear about OPEB liabilities again this year at tej MMA annual meeting, although I did hear more about it last year. The MMA is seeking to be part of the solution, crafting legislation to improve the OPEB situation. Governor Patrick’s commission on the OPEB issue made recommendations over a year ago, but the MMA opposed them on the basis that they both did not do enough and also what id did do would make things worse for towns. Look at the MMA’s website and you should find the action item that the membership voted on this past Saturday morning to ask the legislature to enact OPEB reforms.


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