By Beth David, Editor
On Thursday, 3/9, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito signed a Community Compact agreement with officials from the town of Fairhaven.
“The Commonwealth is thrilled to announce a new partnership between state government and the town of Fairhaven,” said Lt. Gov. Polito. “On behalf of the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration looks forward to working with town officials to implement all of their selected best practices.”
Community Compacts are one of the various tools the administration utilizes to strengthen the partnership between cities and towns and the Commonwealth. By entering a Community Compact, a community agrees to implement self-selected best practices. As part of this partnership, the Commonwealth agrees to fulfill a set of commitments and works to provide assistance for a specific community based on their chosen best practice.
Through its Compact, Fairhaven will work with the Commonwealth to implement the following best practices:
Housing & Economic Development — Preparing for Success: Fairhaven will receive $15,000 to either hire a consultant or to use as a match to engage the services of Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) to assist with the creation of a plan. Town Administrator Mark Rees said the goal is to attract businesses to town.
Human Resources: Fairhaven will received $20,000 to hire a consultant to assist in the development of formal Employee Policies. Mr. Rees said the town will use the money to draft personnel rules and regulations, create an employee handbook, and train town employees.
Information Technology — Strategic Planning: The town will receive $20,000 to hire a consultant to assist with the development of an IT Consolidation Strategy. Mr. Rees said the money will help the town review the current IT infrastructure and integrate Town Hall’s IT with the School Department’s IT.
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 a best practice they select from across a variety of areas. The Compact also articulates the commitments the Commonwealth will make on behalf of all communities, including helping the community attain their chosen best practice.
In addition to the “best practices” CC, Mr. Rees said the school department will also receive a grant through the Efficiency and Regionalization grant program to explore regionalization with Acushnet.
Mr. Rees credited Selectboard member Bob Espindola with starting the process of using the state’s Community Compact process.
“And we took it from there,” said Mr. Rees. “In my 30 years in government, this administration (Baker-Polito) has showed the greatest amount of support for local government, that I’ve seen.”
To learn more about the Community Compact Program visit http://www.mass.gov/governor/administration/groups/communitycompactcabinet/
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