Mel Kleckner, Rob Dolan to lead MMA

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2017 MMA President Kleckner and Vice President Dolan​The MMA Board of Directors elected Brookline Town Administrator Mel Kleckner as president at the association’s Annual Business Meeting in Boston on Jan. 21.
 
Melrose Mayor Rob Dolan was elected vice president.
 
A lifelong New Englander, born in Vermont and raised in Connecticut, Kleckner has more than 30 years of experience in local government, previously serving as town manager in Winchester, town administrator in Belmont and Wilbraham, and assistant town manager in Arlington.
 
He served as the MMA vice president last year and will also represent District 4 on the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association’s Executive Committee for the coming year.
 
“It is a big year. Obviously there are big potential changes at the federal level, but also the state level,” Kleckner said. “There are many important issues that could affect local government, and I’m excited to be at the front of that along with [MMA Executive Director] Geoff Beckwith and the rest of the MMA staff.”
 
Dolan, a former Melrose alderman at-large and School Committee member, won his first mayoral election in 2001 and has held the office ever since. He has been serving as chair of the MMA’s Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration and this year will serve as the District 4 representative on the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association Board.
 
“The cities and towns of Massachusetts are each unique and special, but the challenges we face are very similar,” Dolan said in a statement. “Meeting our collective goal of improving the quality of life of the citizens we serve has never been harder. It is my goal, to work collectively with all [local officials] to advocate for our communities, our citizens and to educate the public and our partners on Beacon Hill and in Washington regarding the importance of strong local government.”
 
Beyond the ongoing fight for financial resources needed to provide Massachusetts residents the local services they need, Kleckner said land use issues in particular will be in focus for the MMA Board in 2017.
 
“There’s a major land use amendment, basically a recodification of Chapter 40A, the state’s zoning act, under consideration,” he said. “That is something that we’ll be dealing with. The legalization of marijuana is another one I would expect the board to be dealing with quite a bit.”
 
MMA Executive Director and CEO Geoff Beckwith expressed excitement and gratitude about Kleckner and Dolan offering their time, experience and expertise to the association.
 
“Mel and Rob have been terrific leaders and mentors to the MMA, and we’re very fortunate to have them lead us this coming year,” Beckwith said. “Our staff is energized and excited to work with these two outstanding and highly respected local officials on behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”