Senator Eric P. Lesser and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg hosted a roundtable with Boards of Selectmen, Town Councilors, and Town Administrators and Managers from across the First Hampden and Hampshire District on Wednesday August 17, 2016 at Longmeadow High School. Representatives from the towns of Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Granby, Longmeadow, Ludlow and Wilbraham participated in the event.
The roundtable focused on the needs and pending issues that each community faces, including infrastructure funding, unfunded mandates, and long term liabilities including pensions and health insurance.
“The discussion we had was highly informative and gives us a good basis for ways we can provide additional support and relief to our communities in the next session,” Senator Lesser said. “Supporting the communities I represent is my top priority in the Senate, and these types of conversations are essential to collect useful feedback I can bring back to the State House with me.”
“The insights we gained from these municipal leaders are invaluable. They’ve given us a priority list for next actions. We look forward to working with them to advance as many as we can,” said Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.
“Holding this event not only allowed the Senate President to directly hear the individual challenges faced by each town, but it also allowed the towns to hear their shared concerns, especially the mounting costs associated with pensions, healthcare, aging roads and buildings, as well as offer some potential solutions to some of these budgetary problems such as regionalization of services,” said Ludlow Selectman Carmina Fernandes.
“The Longmeadow Select Board is grateful for the opportunity to meet with President Rosenberg and Sen. Lesser, as well as the representatives from our neighboring communities, to discuss important municipal issues,” said Select Board Chairman Marie Angelides.
“The dialogue was productive and yielded specific ideas that the Senate can consider on issues including the new open records law, the Chapter 90 formula, and local option revenue. We look forward to working with Sen. Lesser and the rest of our legislative delegation on advancing those ideas.”
Governor Baker recently signed the Municipal Modernization Act into law, which reforms several state requirements impacting municipalities including updated procurement laws and simplifying financial reporting requirements. A recent report by the Office of the State Auditor’s Division of Local Mandates reviewed 1,560 statutes enacted between 2011 and 2015 and identified 97 statutory provisions that have had a significant impact on cities and towns.