Sean Cronin, Senior Deputy Commissioner
(617) 626-2381 or email
Welcome to the Division of Local Services (DLS), we support local officials in your community to achieve sound fiscal management through guidance, training and oversight. Its bureaus are responsible for ensuring the fairness and equity of local property taxation, the accuracy and quality of local accounting and treasury management, interpreting state laws that affect local governance, distributing local aid, and maintaining a comprehensive Databank on local finances.
Sean Cronin was appointed the Senior Deputy Commissioner for Local Services in February, 2015. Prior to joining the Baker/Polito Administration, Sean spent 17 years working in Brookline, the last 12 as Deputy Town Administrator. During his tenure, he helped develop fiscal policies and budgeting practices that allowed Brookline to retain its AAA credit rating and prepared capital improvement programs that addressed aging infrastructure and facilities. He served on the MMA’s Policy Committee on Personnel and Labor and represented the MMA on the original MSBA Advisory Board. Sean served as a Fiscal Policy Analyst in the Fiscal Affairs Division of ANF and as Deputy Budget Director for the Executive Office of Public Safety during the Weld Administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Division of Local Services Organization
Mary Jane Handy, Director Bureau of Accounts
The Bureau of Accounts (BOA) oversees the financial management of municipalities within the Commonwealth. The BOA field staff assist financial officers with state regulations and requirements, approve tax rates, certify compliance with Proposition 2 1/2, and offer instruction in sound municipal accounting practices. Certain issues of debt of cities, towns, counties, and districts are issued as "State House notes" and are certified by the Director of Accounts. The Director also certifies free cash of cities and towns that is thereafter available for appropriation. The Bureau reviews audit reports of various Massachusetts local governments submitted by independent CPA firms.
Joanne Graziano, Chief Bureau of Local Assessment
The Bureau of Local Assessment (BLA) is responsible for regulation, oversight, training and technical assistance to municipalities in the areas of real and personal property valuation and classification. Its primary responsibility is to review and re-certify each municipality's property values once every three years to ensure they are at full and fair market value.
Patricia Hunt, Chief Bureau of Municipal Finance Law
The Bureau of Municipal Finance Law (BMFL) provides legal and policy advice to (DLS) managers and staff, and other Department of Revenue divisions, on the municipal tax and finance laws within the regulatory purview of DLS. Its attorneys draft and review legislation, draft advisories, opinions, guidelines and other public written statements that interpret municipal tax and finance laws and explain DLS policy and practice to local officials, participate in training programs for local officials and perform certain statutory duties of the Commissioner of Revenue regarding municipal tax administration.
Zack Blake, Chief Technical Assistance Bureau
The Technical Assistance Bureau advises municipalities on opportunities to improve their financial management operations. Our project management team brings real-world experience and practical advice to every assignment. We also collaborate with our colleagues within the DLS and other state agencies to provide comprehensive guidance and self-service tools. Whether your community is facing a particular issue, would like to implement a best practice, or could benefit from a general assessment of its financial condition, we can assist.
Kirsten Shirer, Director Local Information Technology Unit
DLS's Information Technology Section is responsible for providing technical support to the Division's Bureaus and to local governments. DLS strives to promote, enhance and protect the flow of information between Local Services and the local governments. To accomplish that goal, DLS IT maintains and updates the Division's website, provides user support and software development services for DLS Gateway, and provides training, support, and consulting services to local government in collaboration with the Division’s other bureaus.
Lisa Krzywicki, Director Municipal Databank/Local Aid Unit
The Municipal Databank collects, analyzes and distributes financial, demographic and economic data on cities and towns. Financial data comes from a series of reports that cities and towns are required to submit annually to DLS. Demographic and economic data is collected from other state and federal agencies. The Databank develops and maintains databases used to collect data, assists users in the interpretation and use of data, and participates in research projects with other agencies and/or organizations. The Databank is also responsible for the cherry sheets and local aid distributions. Cherry sheets are the official notification of estimated state aid to be paid and charges to be assessed over the upcoming year. As the state budget process unfolds, updated local aid proposals are posted on the DLS website. Cherry sheets are issued once the state budget is enacted by the Legislature and approved by the Governor.