The MMA’s Handbook for Massachusetts Selectmen, a 250-page comprehensive guide to the roles and responsibilities of select board members in Massachusetts, is available to all select board members for free in a digital format.

During the spring town election period, the searchable PDF is sent by email to all new select board members, along with other welcoming materials from the Massachusetts Select Board Association.

The 11-chapter handbook covers subject areas such as administrative and regulatory responsibilities; financial management; human resources, personnel and labor relations; and land use and community development. It 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 also available as a hard copy, at a cost of $25 for MMA member communities and $49 for nonmembers.

To order a hard copy of the handbook, visit the publications page of the MMA website. (There’s an additional $5 charge for postage.) To order a PDF, email Jessica Obasohan at the MMA at

Written by