Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Association of Town Finance Committees held a webinar on April 21 focused on developing a “State of the Town” meeting and presentation.
Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross has been presenting a State of the Town at the annual Town Meeting for the past 13 years. She prepares by capturing the top issues and projects in town over the past year and issuing an update on the status and outcome of each.
In addition, in 2010 Ross implemented a town strategic planning retreat open to all residents. The event, held at Kimball Farm, is an opportunity to get resident input and to educate residents on the work of staff, boards and committees. Westford provides refreshments, and staff and town leadership work to keep it fun and interactive. It has grown over the last decade.
Ross suggests that communities start small when implementing a State of the Town or retreat event.
Lincoln holds a State of the Town Meeting each year ahead of the annual Town Meeting. This “meeting before the meeting” is an opportunity to go into more detail on the issues on the warrant and to answer questions, according to Town Administrator Tim Higgins.
Both Higgins and Ross report high attendance at their events. Due to COVID-19, Westford did not hold a retreat in 2020, but Lincoln held one remotely on Zoom and had a higher turnout than in previous years.
• Westford: State of the Town – presentation (31M PDF)
• Westford: Strategic Planning Retreat Final Report 2019 (24M PDF)
• Lincoln: State of the Town – presentation (6M PDF)