MMA membership includes subscriptions to The Beacon and the Massachusetts Municipal Directory. Content from The Beacon is integrated throughout this website, particularly in the News area. The MMA has ceased publication of the Municipal Advocate magazine, but articles from past issues are still available (see below).

For subscriptions, please use the convenient online ordering system below. Online ordering will redirect through Paypal, but a Paypal account is not required to place an order. You may use any major credit card for the transaction on the Paypal site.


The Beacon
The Beacon is the MMA’s monthly news publication, covering the latest legislative and other developments that affect cities and towns. The Beacon includes a calendar of events and classified advertising, among other features. A subscription is for one year (11 issues). Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the MMA has been publishing The Beacon as a PDF, available online for free. At this time, please do not order a paid subscription.
Massachusetts Municipal Directory
The MMA’s Massachusetts Municipal Directory is a comprehensive resource for and about local government in Massachusetts. The Directory provides the latest information on each of the state’s 351 cities and towns, as well as extensive state and federal government and school listings. The 208-page Directory is published each year in early fall. Since the 2020-2021 edition, the Directory is published as a PDF. The electronic edition is available to members and advertisers via the MMA website at www.mma.org/about-mma/publications/2021-22-massachusetts-municipal-directory . When the Directory is published, members and advertisers receive emails with login information to access the online publication. The PDF features live links in ads, so users can click directly to the advertiser’s website.
Handbook for Massachusetts Selectmen
The 250-page handbook presents a comprehensive view of the roles and responsibilities of select board members in Massachusetts. The handbook is divided into 11 chapters, on topics such as administrative and regulatory responsibilities; financial management; human resources, personnel and labor relations; and land use and community development. The handbook covers topics such as complying with the open meeting and ethics laws, making appointments, holding public meetings and hearings, town meeting, Proposition 2½, insurance, tax rates, collective bargaining, legal representation, public safety, public works, and the role of a town manager or administrator. The handbook is available in hard copy or as a searchable PDF. The cost for MMA member communities to purchase the handbook is $25; for nonmembers it is $49. To order a hard copy of the handbook, please use the order buttons below (includes an additional $5 for postage). To order a searchable PDF of the handbook, please email Jessica Obasohan at the MMA at jobasohan@mma.org. All selectmen/select board members may receive a digital copy of the handbook for free.
Postage and handling: $5
MMA Best Practices Series
The MMA released its first municipal “best practices” report at its Annual Meeting in January 2016, and Volume 2 was released in January 2017. The reports describe a wide range of strategies for improving efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of municipal services and the administration of municipal government. Topics range from municipal finance and human resources to standards for public works, economic development and environmental practices. For more information and to download the reports, visit www.mma.org/bestpractices.
Municipal Advocate
The Municipal Advocate magazine presented in-depth articles about important and timely municipal issues, with an emphasis on innovative solutions and problem-solving strategies. The MMA ceased publication of the magazine in spring 2021, but back issues remain available.
An Obligation to Lead: Report of the MMA’s Municipal Opioid Addiction and Overdose Prevention Task Force
In January 2016, the MMA’s Municipal Opioid Addiction and Overdose Prevention Task Force released a 16-page report intended to help local officials take action on the escalating opioid abuse epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives in recent years and is affecting virtually every community in Massachusetts. The report outlines 10 specific opportunities for local officials to lead the fight against the public health epidemic surrounding the abuse of prescription drugs and opioids.
10 Partnership Policies to Build a Stronger Commonwealth
On behalf of the cities and towns of Massachusetts, the MMA has issued 10 Partnership Policies and is asking all of the candidates for governor and the Legislature to publicly embrace this powerful agenda. These policies cover a wide range of vital issues, reflecting the extraordinary breadth of shared responsibilities that are held by state and local leaders.

The Association of Town Finance Committees and the Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources association publish publications as well. For information, click on their Web links above.

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