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Community Compact Best Practice Program FAQ

Answers to your frequently asked questions about the Best Practice Program

Table of Contents

What communities are eligible for FY20 Community Compact? And are these optional?

Beginning August 15, applications for Year 5 of the CCC Best Practice program can be submitted by those municipalities who did not apply in FY19. In addition, any prior Compacts or initiatives funded via other CCC grant programs must be completed per the terms of the grant agreements. While a great tool for cities and towns, Community Compacts are optional. All Compact agreements are subject to review by the Division of Local Services before they are signed.

What is a Community Compact?

The Community Compact is a voluntary, mutual agreement entered into between the Baker-Polito Administration and individual cities and towns of the Commonwealth.  In a Community Compact, a community will agree to implement at least one best practice that they select from across a variety of areas.   The community’s chosen best practice(s) will be reviewed between the Commonwealth and the municipality to ensure that the best practice(s) chosen are unique to the municipality and reflect needed areas of improvement. 

When was the Community Compact program launched?

The first Executive Order, signed by the Governor in January 2015, established Community Compacts. The Order creates a Community Compact Cabinet that will work toward mutual accountability, work to reduce red tape, promote best practices, and develop specific ‘Community Compacts’ with local governments. These Community Compacts create clear mutual standards, expectations, and accountability for both the state and municipalities as we seek to create better government for our citizens.  The Baker-Polito Administration values input from the municipal leaders of the Commonwealth and will utilize the Community Compacts as a way to continue to engage them.

How does a Community Compact work? What is the obligation of my community?

Communities will self-identify the best practice(s) from the list on the Community Compact website. The community’s chosen best practice(s) will be reviewed between the Commonwealth and the municipality to ensure that the best practice(s) chosen are unique to the municipality and reflect needed areas of improvement.  Those communities participating in the Community Compact will, over a two year period, implement the best practice(s) they selected when entering into the Compact.  Resources for technical assistance from the Commonwealth will be prioritized for those communities entered into a Compact and seeking to implement their best practice(s).  The Division of Local Services serves as the primary point of entry for communities looking for resources in best practice development and implementation.

What is the obligation of the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth’s commitments are included in the signed Compacts and are as follows:

  • Intends to be a reliable partner on local aid.
  • Pledges to work with our partners in the Legislature toward earlier local aid formula funding levels.
  • Will work to make available technical assistance opportunities for cities and towns as they work toward best practices.
  • Will not propose any new unfunded state mandates, and we will look at existing mandates with a goal toward making it easier to manage municipal governments.
  • Will give special attention, in its review of state regulations, to those that affect the ability of municipalities to govern themselves.
  • Pledges to work closely with municipal leaders to expand opportunities to add municipal voices to those state boards and commissions that impact local governments.
  • Will introduce incentives for municipalities that sign Compacts in existing and proposed state grant opportunities, including proposals for technical assistance grants available only to compact communities.
  • Will identify ways to expedite state reviews that can often slow down economic development opportunities or hinder other municipal interests.

In addition, the Commonwealth will offer incentives to communities for entering into a Community Compact, including prioritizing Commonwealth technical assistance resources to help reach your chosen best practice(s).  Extra points on certain grants, and a grant program specifically for Compact communities, are also incentives included for participation in the program.

Is there a deadline to apply for the Compact? How do I access the application?

No. A community may choose to enter into the Community Compact at any time. Each Compact agreement will run for two years. During the two year period of each compact, the Division of Local Services will periodically check in with the communities to monitor progress toward the implementation of the selected best practice(s).   The application can be found here. You will need a passcode to fill out the Community Compact application. The passcode was included in a letter sent from the Lt. Governor to municipal CEO’s on August 15, 2019.  If you do not have a passcode, please contact DLS by sending an email to Sean Cronin at croninse@dor.state.ma.us.

Can communities have a joint Community Compact?

Yes, regionalization of the Compact is an option. The Communities will individually fill out an application, choose the same best practice(s) and choose the regionalization option on the application.

Contact

Phone

Call Frank Gervasio: (617) 626-2345

Online

Email Frank Gervasio: gervasiof@dor.state.ma.us
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