As Massachusetts stormed out of 2010 - drawing immediate attention to snow and ice budgets-a new year, a new decade, a second term for the Patrick-Murray Administration, and the annual murmur of state budgets has quietly began calendar year 2011.

Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez will join and me, for DLS' annual afternoon workshop at the Massachusetts Municipal Association's Meeting and Trade Show on Friday, Jan. 21. Less than a week before Gov. Deval Patrick releases his proposed budget for FY12, the Secretary will outline the state's budget picture for any of you in attendance. Speaking alongside Secretary Gonzalez, Commissioner Bal will review the state's current revenue perspective and its emerging FY12 forecast. I hope you'll join us for the workshop and visit DLS' booth on the tradeshow floor.

If there is a bright spot on the fiscal horizon, it is the growth in FY11 revenues, which as of Dec. 31, were running $755 million ahead of benchmark. In Commissioner Bal's words, "These are signs of an economic recovery that continues to grow." At DLS, we hope that you are seeing reflections of this in your own communities.

On a different note, 23 years in, City and Town has now completed its first year as an e-newsletter. The City and Town Editorial Board appreciates your patience as we have worked over the past year to make the transition from an emailed PDF to an updated e-newsletter format with an on-line base. Please let us know if there are issues you would like to see explored in City and Town, and your comments are always appreciated.