MMA seeks members for policy committees

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Local officials are invited to fill a limited number of positions available on the MMA’s five policy committees in 2017.
Among the important roles that the policy committees play in the MMA are the drafting of resolutions for the MMA Annual Business Meeting, the drafting of municipal best practices for the MMA’s Best Practices series, and the drafting of bills (biannually) for the MMA’s legislative package.
The policy committees advise the MMA Board of Directors, staff and members on legislative, regulatory and public policy issues. Each committee is assigned an MMA staff member to assist with its research, consideration of issues, and administrative functions.
Click here for the policy committee form
Each committee has a regular schedule of meetings, usually one per month, at the MMA office. Additionally, committee members may be asked to read legislative summaries, bill text, and/or position papers to prepare for meetings.
More than 100 local officials from communities across Massachusetts serve on the MMA policy committees. Each committee has 22 members as follows: three mayors (staggered three-year terms); three selectmen (staggered three-year terms); three councillors (staggered three-year terms); three city/town managers/administrators (staggered three-year terms); two finance committee members (one-year terms); four presidential appointees (one-year terms); and four technical appointees (local officials or outside experts who serve one-year terms).
The MMA president names the chair and members of the committee, subject to approval by the MMA Board of Directors.
Those with the interest and time to serve on a policy committee are encouraged to fill out the form on the MMA website by Jan. 27.
The form provides space to list areas of interest and expertise so that a good match can be made between volunteers and the work of the committees.
The committees are:
Fiscal Policy Committee: This committee considers all municipal finance issues. Legislation that has a fiscal impact is referred to this committee from other committees as well. This committee also develops a policy framework for local government financing in the future. For the upcoming legislative session, the committee plans to work on legislation pertaining to local-option excises on alcoholic beverages, meals, and motor vehicle fuel, as well as PILOT legislation.
Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment: This committee formulates policy in the following areas: energy, water quality, water supply, air quality, solid waste, hazardous waste, wetlands, coastal areas, and wastewater treatment. For the upcoming session, the committee plans to work on legislation surrounding net metering and sustainable water resource funds.
Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration: This committee considers issues that relate to the organization, structure, efficiency, and productivity of local and regional government and the relationships between the two levels of government. Issues include the processes and structure at the local and regional levels for the procurement and provision of human services, safety and health inspections, and technical assistance. For the upcoming session, the committee plans to work on legislation surrounding municipal control of liquor licenses, veterans’ benefits, economic development, zoning, and land use.
Policy Committee on Personnel and Labor Relations: This committee has responsibility for the following areas: collective bargaining, civil service, employee benefits, police and fire collective bargaining, and pension reform. This year, the committee will work on legislation related to state retiree benefits, civil service, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, and municipal unemployment insurance reform.
Policy Committee on Public Works, Transportation and Public Utilities: This committee considers issues that relate to regional and metropolitan transportation, transportation planning, the relationship between local governments and the Massachusetts Highway Department, and the question of local control in joint state-local public works programs. For the upcoming session, the committee plans to work on legislation regarding the purchase of utility poles, seat belts on school buses, and municipal authority in public rights of way.
For more information, contact Vanessa Calaban at the MMA.