Category Archives: Massachusetts Municipal Association

The Beacon – September 2021

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

https://www.mma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/MMA-Beacon-September-2021.pdf

Hello Members!  

Here’s the September 2021 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest news affecting local government plus details about many upcoming MMA member group meetings — both remote and in-person.  

Here are a few highlights:
Governor proposes year-end supplemental budget
How to spend ARPA funds with an equity lens
Census data show differing trends for cities and suburbs, while concerns remain about data quality
State agencies to update environmental justice protocols
Massachusetts Municipal Cybersecurity Summit set for Oct. 7
Report highlights leading clean energy communities
MassDOT releases new Chapter 90 informational resources
Mass. communities join Cities Race to Zero climate campaign

Plus, a very important update about the 2022 MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show  

Link to the September 2021 issue of The Beacon (no login required)  

By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.)  

Best regards,   John Ouellette Manager of Publications and Digital Communications   Jennifer Kavanaugh Associate Editor   Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator

MMA’s weekly update

Emailed from the Massachusetts Municipal Association this morning –

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MMA Website Weekly Review
A digest of all the latest updates we’ve posted this week on MMA.org


   
State officials explain ARPA reporting requirements for metropolitan cities
On Aug. 11
The MMA today hosted a Zoom webinar, featuring officials from the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, presenting information regarding the American Rescue Plan Act’s reporting requirements for Metropolitan Cities. …  
DPH launches new online Environmental Justice Tool
On Aug. 12
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Environmental Health announced the launch of its new online Environmental Justice (EJ) Tool in late July. …  

Registration opens for DLS’s “What’s New in Municipal Law” seminar
On Aug. 9
The Division of Local Services will offer its annual “What’s New in Municipal Law” seminar for local officials on Sept. 23 at The Lantana in Randolph and on Sept. 30 at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke. …


 

Lunenburg, Sudbury and Wellesley police take part in empathy training program
On Aug. 9
After a chance conversation between a police chief and a community member, several police departments across the state are participating in a new empathy training program adapted from a program for medical professionals. …  


Newton restricts zoning for firearms businesses
On Aug. 9
The city of Newton last month adopted zoning changes that limit locations and restrict operations for firearms businesses that want to open within city limits. …    



In Case You Missed It  



MMA relaunches MassTown Careers campaign to promote municipal jobs
As we emerge from the pandemic and many people are reassessing their career paths, the MMA is relaunching its MassTown Careers campaign, an initiative aimed at attracting a new generation of workers to rewarding careers in the state’s 351 cities and towns. …  

Let us know about your local news
Every day across the Commonwealth, municipal leaders are figuring out ways to deliver services more efficiently, save taxpayers money, engage more citizens in the vital work of local government, or generally improve the effectiveness of the layer of government that has the most direct impact on people’s lives. …    


ARPA, CARES and FEMA  





Federal Funds Resource Area
The MMA has gathered a wide range of resources related to the three key federal pandemic-related funding streams: ARPA, CARES and FEMA. This page will be continuously updated with all the resources local government needs to make use of these funding streams.    


New in COVID-19 Guidance Memorandum: ARPA Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund – County Reallocations

Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Allocations by Municipality (updated to include county reallocations)

Federal Funds Resource page

COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report

See our entire COVID-19 resource center    



Upcoming MMA Events

Management Association summer meeting – August 19

Councillors’ Association webinar – September 9

Select Board Association webinar – September 10

Management Association meeting – September 17

MMHR Fall Conference – September 23

View our entire event calendar    


New this week in Municipal Job Listings

We’ve added 65 new listings to our municipal job board this week, including openings for Payroll Manager, Director of Public Works, Recruitment Manager, ARPA Director, Deputy Town Clerk, Town Treasurer, Staff Librarian and Planner. View these listings, and more, on our job board.

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MMA Weekly Review

The email below is from the Massachusetts Municipal Association (NB – its graphics mainly did not copy -click to view in browser for those).

I attended the Massachusetts Select Board Association’s program on July 28, and afterwards suggested to our Town Administrators that Medfield should buy some of the featured Owl meeting cameras, given how impressive they are at broadcasting meetings: 360 degree view, tracks speakers when moving, and contains a contemporaneous transcript (for the hard of hearing and to solve poor quality audio).

See the Owl at

View this email in your browser
MMA Website Weekly Review
A digest of all the latest updates we’ve posted this week on MMA.org

 Gov. signs law extending voting provisions through Dec. 15
On July 29
Gov. Charlie Baker today signed a $261.6 million supplemental budget for fiscal 2021 that includes provisions to extend early voting through Dec. 15, 2021. …MMA relaunches MassTown Careers campaign to promote municipal jobs
On July 25
As we emerge from the pandemic and many people are reassessing their career paths, the MMA is relaunching its MassTown Careers campaign, an initiative aimed at attracting a new generation of workers to rewarding careers in the state’s 351 cities and towns. …Select board group discusses the future of public meetings
On July 28
The future of public meetings was the topic of the fourth and final webinar in the Massachusetts Select Board Association’s Leadership Conference series today. …MMA HSC discusses ARPA funding for human services
On July 29
The MMA Human Services Council’s Annual Business Meeting on July 29 featured a discussion about American Rescue Plan Act funding for human services. …Management Association awards 4 Galkowski scholarships
On July 25
The Massachusetts Municipal Management Association in June awarded scholarships from the Nancy Galkowski Legacy Fund to four local officials. …Maintaining HVAC systems will reduce health, equipment risks
On July 28
As students return to classrooms and employees return to their offices, it’s vital that communities make sure their HVAC systems are operating efficiently and effectively. Doing so will reduce the risk of equipment failure and provide a safer, healthier environment. …In Case You Missed ItLet us know about your local news
Every day across the Commonwealth, municipal leaders are figuring out ways to deliver services more efficiently, save taxpayers money, engage more citizens in the vital work of local government, or generally improve the effectiveness of the layer of government that has the most direct impact on people’s lives. …New in Advocacy

Lacking analysis of costs and implications, MMA urges Public Service Committee to reject COVID presumption and benefit extension bills
On July 27, Testimony

MMA outlines municipal priorities for state’s use of ARPA funds
On July 27, Testimony

MMA provides comments on MassDEP’s proposed regulatory changes under Water Management Act
On July 26, Testimony

MMA outlines municipal positions on a number of bills before the Revenue Committee
On July 22, Testimony

MMA urges House Committee on Federal Stimulus to support use of ARPA funds for key municipal priorities
On July 20, Testimony
 ARPA, CARES and FEMAFederal Funds Resource Area
The MMA has gathered a wide range of resources related to the three key federal pandemic-related funding streams: ARPA, CARES and FEMA. This page will be continuously updated with all the resources local government needs to make use of these funding streams.New in COVID-19 GuidanceWhen You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated – How to Protect Yourself and Others, updated July 27 (CDC)

COVID Data Tracker: COVID-19 Integrated County View (CDC)

Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Vaccine Boosters, July 8 (CDC, FDA)

Federal Funds Resource page

COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report

See our entire COVID-19 resource centerUpcoming MMA Events

Management Association summer meeting – August 19

Councillors’ Association webinar – September 9

Select Board Association webinar – September 10

Management Association meeting – September 17

MMHR Fall Conference – September 23

View our entire event calendarNew this week in Municipal Job Listings

We’ve added 65 new listings to our municipal job board this week, including openings for HR Director, Network Administrator, Planner, DPW Foreman, Tourism Marketing Manager, Assistant City Clerk, Public Space Planner, Project Engineer and Assistant Accountant. View these listings, and more, on our job board.
Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Municipal Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in on our website. Thank you.

Our mailing address is:
Massachusetts Municipal Association
3 Center Plaza
Suite 610
Boston, MA 02108

COVID extension bill to Governor

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this morning –

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Breaking News from the MMA

 

Legislature sends pandemic policy extension bill to governor

Late last night, the Legislature sent a compromise bill to the governor to extend certain special allowances that were tied to the COVID-19 state of emergency, which had expired nearly 24 hours earlier.

The Senate passed its version of the bill last Thursday, and the House approved its version yesterday afternoon. A six-member conference committee worked out differences between the two bills into the evening.

In the end, the committee decided to leave some items on the table for further discussion in order to fast-track the more time-sensitive provisions, like extending the allowance for public bodies to hold remote meetings, which ended at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday.

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You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is: Massachusetts Municipal Association 3 Center Plaza Suite 610 Boston, MA 02108


The Beacon, June 2021

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

Massachusetts Municipal Association
Hello Members! 

Here’s the June 2021 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest news about the American Rescue Plan, the state budget, bills to extend certain pandemic special allowances, the Coronavirus Relief Fund, host community agreements for marijuana businesses, Chapter 90, a mandated sick leave law, succession planning, town meetings and elections, and details about MMA member group virtual meetings and general membership webinars. 

Link to the June 2021 issue of The Beacon (no login required) 

By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.) 

Best regards, 

John Ouellette
Manager of Publications and Digital Communications 

Jennifer Kavanaugh
Associate Editor 

Meredith Gabrilska

Zoom meetings in danger

Email today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

Abrupt End of State of Emergency on June 15 Will Create Huge Challenges for Cities and Towns

 

Please Call Your Reps & Senators Today and Ask Them to Fast-Track an Extension of Remote Meetings and Hearings

 

The State of Emergency Ends at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 15. Without Enactment of an Extension BEFORE June 15, the Ability to Hold Public Meetings and Hearings Remotely Will Stop

 

June 10, 2021

Dear Osler Peterson,

Time is running short! While the Legislature is in the process of developing a broad package of provisions to extend important authority and flexibility put in place during the pandemic, it may take a while for the branches to reach agreement on all the details. The Senate is meeting today to debate S. 2467, which includes a number of very good provisions, yet that will leave lawmakers just a few days to reach final agreement on a complex package.

The abrupt end of the state of emergency at 12:01 a.m. on June 15 will create a number of major transition challenges for government and businesses. Clearly the most immediate and urgent issue that must be addressed is enactment of an extension of the ability to conduct public meetings and hearings remotely. Please call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to fast-track passage of the extension for remote meetings of public bodies before June 15. The other extensions are important, yet do not face the June 15 deadline.

Please share these key points with your legislators:

  • On March 12, 2020, the Governor used his state-of-emergency powers to issue an executive order suspending certain provisions of Section 20 of MGL Chapter 30A, allowing cities and towns to conduct meetings remotely. This was necessary because the existing state statute is woefully inadequate, does not allow remote participation in meetings unless a physical quorum is present, and reduces the ability of officials who are participating virtually to fully engage. Nearly overnight, cities and towns adopted new technology and software platforms and created a new and remarkably successful remote meeting experience for municipal leaders and the public.
  • Communities do not want to snap back to the overly confining pre-pandemic rules, and most are not in a position to do so quickly. Remote meetings have engaged more residents than ever before and have significantly increased transparency and insight into government operations and decision-making. Many localities have closed public buildings, repurposed meeting rooms to provide safer distancing for municipal staff or have longer-term ventilation concerns that have yet to be addressed. Further, with many residents yet to be vaccinated, and immunocompromised officials and members of the public unable to achieve full protection from the coronavirus, it is imperative that we continue the remote meeting option for local government for public health purposes.
  • With scores of councils, boards and commissions in place in each of our 351 cities and towns, there are nearly 10,000 municipal entities that rely on remote meetings and virtual platforms to conduct everyday business in much greater public view than ever before. If June 15 comes without an extension of the ability to continue remote meetings, there will be countless canceled meetings, delayed public hearings and widespread disruption.
  • MMA is supporting the temporary extensions in S. 2467 and other bills and is urging lawmakers to make these changes permanent, including the option for public bodies to conduct remote or virtual meetings, allowance for remote Town Meetings that is also extended to Open Town Meeting communities, election provisions such as the option to vote by mail and to move municipal election and caucus dates during emergencies, and expedited permitting for outdoor table service and take-out alcoholic beverages.
  • This is the time to act! Massachusetts can embrace the innovations and lessons learned during the past 15 months, and use them to improve government operations, transparency, and public engagement to ensure a swifter recovery for our communities.

If you or your legislators have questions, please do not hesitate to contact MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Brittney Franklin at bfranklin@mma.org or MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at jrobertson@mma.org.

PLEASE CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY

COVID restrictions ending 5/29

  Breaking News from the MMA  

State to lift remaining COVID-19 restrictions, ease mask-wearing rules by May 29

Saying that the state will likely meet a key vaccination goal by early June, Gov. Charlie Baker announced today that the state will lift most remaining COVID-19 restrictions — including allowing for full capacity for industries and removing gathering limits — and adopt new federal guidance on mask wearing on May 29.

In a press conference Monday morning, Baker said that the state is now “safer, smarter and better equipped in this fight,” and is in a position to accelerate its full reopening and to rescind its current mask order. He said that the state expects to meet its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million people by the first week of June. …

Covid voting changes extended

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

 
Breaking News from the MMA  
Gov. Baker signs law to extend pandemic-related voting changes

A law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker today provides a three-month extension for a number of changes to voting procedures that were enacted last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including early voting by mail.

The new law does the following:
• Allows a city or town with a municipal caucus or annual or special municipal election scheduled before June 30, 2021, to postpone such municipal caucus or municipal election to a date certain not later than Aug. 1, 2021

• Allows the select board, board of selectmen, town council or board of registrars to vote to eliminate a municipal caucus scheduled to occur before July 31, 2021, and, in the alternative, use nomination papers to nominate candidates …

MMA’s The Beacon for March

Massachusetts Municipal Association
Hello Members!  

Here’s the March 2021 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest COVID-related news, including federal relief updates and FEMA reimbursement changes, information about local and state pandemic response efforts, state grant opportunities, details about MMA member group virtual meetings, and general membership webinars.  

Link to the March 2021 issue of The Beacon (no login required)  

By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at database@mma.org.)  

Best wishes to all of you during this challenging time.  

John Ouellette Manager of Publications and Digital Communications  
Jennifer Kavanaugh Associate Editor  
Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator  

MMA on State’s Steps

 
Breaking News from the MMA  

Mass. to return to Step 2 of Phase 3 Monday, advance to Phase 4 on March 22

The Baker-Polito administration announced today that Massachusetts will return to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan on Monday, March 1, and will transition to Step 1 of Phase 4 three weeks later, on March 22.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the steps to further reopen the Commonwealth’s economy were being taken because public health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction, including drops in average daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, while vaccination rates continue to increase.

The administration released its reopening plan on May 18, 2020, conditioning any progress on sustained improvements in public health data. The state had advanced to Step 2 of Phase 3 last October, but returned to the previous step on Dec. 13 in response to an increase in new COVID infections and hospitalizations following the Thanksgiving holiday. The step back reduced capacities across a broad range of sectors and tightened several other workplace restrictions. …