Dunford, Blackmer elected MMA leaders

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New MMA President and VPOrleans Selectman David Dunford is the new president of the MMA, and North Adams Councillor Lisa Hall Blackmer is the new vice president.
The MMA Board of Directors elected Dunford and Blackmer for one-year terms following the association’s Annual Business Meeting in Boston on Jan. 24.
Dunford has served as a selectman since 2005 and is his board’s chair.
Asked about municipal priorities in the year ahead, Dunford applauded Gov. Charlie Baker’s release of $100 million in Chapter 90 transportation funding that had previously been withheld. He noted, however, that cities and towns are still hundreds of millions of dollars short of meeting their road and bridge maintenance needs, according to an MMA analysis.
“We’ll continue to try to institutionalize that $300 million figure, on an annual basis, with a forward-looking commitment over an extended time,” he said.
Dunford also cited the need for more funding for water and sewer infrastructure.
“On Cape Cod, for example, that would help us preserve our pristine estuaries,” he said.
Dunford said he is looking forward to a “rejuvenated” Local Government Advisory Commission, which he will now chair as MMA president. The LGAC is a regular meeting among local officials and the administration, typically attended by the lieutenant governor and members of the cabinet.
“I’m sure the governor will drop in from time to time,” Dunford said. “He’s not the kind of leader to stand up on the mountain and look down.”
Dunford is a member of the executive board of the Cape Cod Selectmen and Councilors’ Association and served as the group’s president in 2010-2011. A former investment professional, Dunford founded the Bank of Cape Cod in 2006.
“The members of the MMA have a long tradition of selecting strong leaders for the association,” MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith said after the business meeting. “David and Lisa will be terrific leaders for the MMA this year, and I know we will accomplish an enormous amount together.”
Blackmer has been a North Adams councillor since 2008 and is currently council president. She also works in local government, as the town administrator in Sandisfield. She is a member of the MMA Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration.