For Immediate Release - February 13, 2007

Patrick/Murray Pledge True Partnership with Local Officials

Patrick/Murray Pledge True Partnership with Local Officials

BOSTON-Tuesday, February 13, 2007-Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray met today with local officials from across the Commonwealth, pledging to build strong relationships that re-engage communities in state government and reinvigorate cities and towns.

Meeting for the first time with the Local Government Advisory Commission (LGAC), Governor Patrick said, "Vibrant cities and towns nourish a high quality of life and strong sense of community. When they partner with state leadership, they become engines for economic growth and prosperity. The Lieutenant Governor and I are committed to ensuring we keep the lines of communication open with each of our local leaders to mend and rebuild relationships that are vital to improving Massachusetts."

The LGAC will serve as a "municipal cabinet" of officials from cities and towns across Massachusetts, and will have the ear of the administration. Lieutenant Governor Murray will attend the monthly meetings of the LGAC. He will be the administration's point person for cities and towns and will serve as an ombudsman for cities and towns that find themselves having difficulties with state agencies or bureaucracy.

"As the former mayor of Worcester, I understand acutely the challenges our cities and towns face," Lieutenant Governor Murray said. "Local officials can feel confident that their voices will be heard in our administration and I look forward to the conversations and successes we will share going forward."

Governor Patrick will attend LGAC meetings on quarterly basis.

Last month, Governor Patrick highlighted several plans for strengthening local communities, including reducing health care costs by allowing municipal employees to join the state health insurance program; supporting legislation to allow communities to levy local options taxes; and publication of Municipal Impact Statements on all major legislation and executive actions to better communicate the local impact of actions made at the state level.

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