Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Community Compacts Build Partnerships

Astute observers know that people are best served by their government when legitimate needs are clearly understood and resources are judiciously applied in response. With a goal of improving municipal services, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have established an initiative, the Community Compact, which will help local governments set and achieve priorities valuable to individual communities.

Yesterday, I was pleased to join Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Representatives Brad Hill and Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and local officials from Ipswich and Gloucester to welcome Lieutenant Governor Polito to Gloucester City Hall for the signing of community compact agreements.

For Ipswich, the agreement, signed by Selectmen Chairman Nishan Mootafian, will help the town with financial planning and to review the long-term financial ramifications of policies and programs. Gloucester’s mayor pursued a compact that moves the city forward with their complete street project. The effort will enhance sidewalk accessibility, provide safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists.

These agreements are grounded in the concept of developing constructive partnerships among and between local governments and the state; an approach that I have advocated for strongly over the years in the Senate. Taxpayers will benefit from the municipalities’ access to state technical assistance, the requirements to use best practice methods, and state financial assistance. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor, having each served as selectmen, are encouraging cities and towns to leverage state resources, in turn, the administration will actively seek to remove obstacles, regulatory and otherwise, that state governments and school districts have often unfairly imposed.

The approach of the Community Compact initiative will include points of contact in each of the executive secretariats and agencies and include clear standards that will measure progress. 78 communities have now entered into a two-year agreement with the state, I look forward to the positive results that each of these cities and towns deserve.