BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito participated in the signings of the final 350th and 351st Community Compacts with the Town of Wilbraham and the City of Boston. They also kicked-off and proclaimed May as Municipal Month in the Commonwealth which will serve as a platform for underlining the relationship between state and local governments through a series of grant announcements and community events.
“As former local officials, Lt. Governor Polito and I understand the importance of supporting our cities and towns and created the Community Compact program early in our administration to ensure that our partners at the local level would always have a seat at the table in this administration,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Under the leadership of the Lt. Governor, who has crisscrossed every corner of the Commonwealth, we have served as a partner for municipalities and are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
“Travelling across Massachusetts to meet, learn and partner with officials from each of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns has been a tremendous experience and I am excited about our progress toward building stronger communities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I am thrilled to sign our final Community Compacts here today with Boston and Wilbraham and look forward to creating more opportunities, developing broader connections and bringing additional success to municipalities across the state as we kick off May as Municipal Month.”
The Community Compact Cabinet’s three grant programs – Best Practices, Efficiency and Regionalization, and IT – have served as engines for improving local services in all 351 cities and towns across Massachusetts. The 351 municipalities have chosen a total of 835 best practices, which include financial management, climate resiliency, and sustainable development and land protection. Over 50 municipalities have applied for a 2nd round Compact. The IT grant program focuses on driving innovation and transformation at the local level via investments in technology, and in the last two years, 99 grants totaling $4 million were awarded to 134 municipalities. The Efficiency and Regionalization grant program provides financial support for governmental entities interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long-term sustainability, and over the last two fiscal years, $4 million in grants have been awarded to more than 220 municipalities and school districts.
These programs have led to more than:
"Engaging with the Community Compact allows Wilbraham to partner with the state to document best financial management practices and also to explore extending broadband along our commercial corridor to enhance economic development," said Wilbraham Selectman Susan C. Bunnell.
The City of Boston adopted the Regionalization/Shared services, Climate Change Mitigation and Transportation Best Practices to support a work plan for a Regional Compact Coordinator for the Greater Boston Regional Economic Compact (GBREC), to mitigate climate change and to participate in MassDOT’s Complete Streets program. The Town of Wilbraham adopted the Technology and Financial Management Best Practices to explore options to improve and expand commercial broadband and develop sound financial policies and practices.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is to be congratulated for the Community Compact program, its signature approach to governing by engaging all cities and towns as partners,” said Littleton Town Administrator Keith Bergman, who serves also as President of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. "Littleton is proud to be part of the first regional Community Compact—along with Acton, Boxborough, Maynard, and Westford— for our CrossTown Connect Transportation Management Association. We are grateful for the efforts of MassDOT, the MBTA, MassDevelopment, and the Montachusett and Lowell regional transit authorities to help us improve reverse commute and first mile / last mile services on the Fitchburg commuter rail line to better address the transportation needs of those who live and work in our communities.”
“Representing the Gateway Hilltown Collaborative at today’s Community Compact Celebration, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for their leadership and vision to bring Commonwealth cities and towns together to discuss best practices and the sharing of resources,” said Andrew Myers of the Hilltown Collaborative. “The administration’s willingness to provide start-up funds for these activities has provided the Gateway Hilltowns the boost we needed to create achievable economic development. We have turned the corner to a brighter future!”
“The Community Compact allowed us to institute the 311 Constituent Services program which, thus far, has helped to expedite more than 30,000 constituent requests,” said Mayor James J. Fiorentini on Community Compact.
"Municipal Month is more than a celebration of the great work of cities and towns, it is a reminder that our economy and quality of life depends on a true partnership between local and state government," said MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith. "Community leaders deeply appreciate Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and the members of the Legislature, for embracing this partnership. Municipal Month will highlight the powerful message that the best way to make progress on the big issues and challenges of today is to do this work together."
As part of May as Municipal Month in the Commonwealth, Lt. Governor Polito today hosted a meeting of city mayors and town managers to discuss the Community Compact Program. She will also convene a meeting of the Community Compact Cabinet, participate in the Local Government Advisory Commission Meeting and the Government Finance Officers Association Annual Meeting. During Municipal Month, the Administration will make an announcement relative to the Housing Choice initiative and its first round of designees, an announcement regarding the Administration’s trails program, award the new round of Community Compact IT Grant, and the Lt. Governor will visit communities involved in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program.
Formed in January 2015, the Community Compact Cabinet is chaired by Lt. Governor Polito and comprised of the secretaries of Housing & Economic Development, Education, Transportation, and Energy & Environmental Affairs, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services, the Assistant Secretary of Operational Services, and the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. The Community Compact Cabinet elevates the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns, and allows the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all municipalities. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities. The creation of Community Compacts creates clear standards, expectations and accountability for both partners.