2017 Boston Region MPO Municipal Election Procedures
At the MAPC Fall Council Meeting, on Wednesday October 25, 2017 at the Quincy Marriot, elections will be held for four (4) of the twelve (12) elected municipal seats on the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). At that time one of the at-large City seats and at-large Town seats, as well as the North Shore Task Force (NSTF) and South West Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) seats, will be elected to the MPO by the chief elected officials of the 101 municipalities which constitute the Boston metropolitan region. Pursuant to the MPO Memorandum of Understanding, approved on July 7, 2011, MAPC and the MBTA Advisory Board (Advisory Board) administer the election of the municipal representatives to the MPO.
MPO Seats Up For Election
One (1) town from any part of the MAPC region.
One (1) city from any part of the MAPC region.
One (1) municipality from the NSTF sub-region.
One (1) municipality from the SWAP sub-region.
Terms of election on the MPO are for three years.
Nominees for the elected municipal seats shall be the chief elected official of the municipality. In cities this is the Mayor or, if the city does not have the office of Mayor, then the Chairman of the Council, with the exception of Plan E cities (Cambridge) in which case it shall be the City Manager. In towns, the chief elected official is the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. The MPO will accept the Chairman’s nomination of a candidate whether or not the full Board of Selectman has voted it.
A nominee for an open municipal seat must receive five nominations made by any chief elected official from the Boston region, regardless of which sub-region they are from. A chief elected official may nominate his or her municipality and that nomination shall count as one of the five nominations needed to place a municipality on the ballot. Each chief elected official may only sign nomination papers for one municipality per open seat.
Nominations papers are due on Friday, September 29, 2017 to MAPC by 5:00 PM and must be filed in person or by mail at MAPC, 60 Temple Place, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02111, Attn: MPO Elections. Faxes or emails will not be accepted. Nomination papers shall include a statement of candidacy (250 word limit) of the community, also due at this time.
Each of the 101 municipalities may vote for one (1) municipality for each of the four (4) open seats.
A ballot will be prepared by MAPC and the Advisory Board based on the certification of nomination papers. The ballot shall contain a list of the nominated municipalities. Candidate communities shall appear on the ballot in an order drawn by lot by designated officers of MAPC and the Advisory Board. The subregion of each of the communities shall be identified on the ballot. A candidates’ booklet shall be issued that shall contain the statement of candidacy of the communities. The list of communities shall appear in the booklet in the same order that they appear on the ballot. In a second mailing, MAPC and the Advisory Board will include an absentee ballot and instructions for how municipalities can cast their vote.
Opportunities for Discussion with Representatives of the Candidate Communities
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the MBTA Advisory Board shall provide appropriate opportunities for the electorate to meet representatives of candidate communities and discuss issues. In 2017, this may be accomplished by holding a Candidates Forum at the State Transportation Building in early October (date and time TBD).
The election will be held at MAPC’s Fall Council Meeting on October 25th at the Quincy Marriot. On that day, the designated officers of MAPC and the Advisory Board shall supervise the election to the municipal seats. Ballots shall be cast by the chief elected official of the municipality (as defined by the rules for nominees), or that person’s designee. Designees shall present a letter signed by the chief elected official to the designated officers of MAPC and of the Advisory Board 30 minutes prior to the convening of the election on election day. This letter will appoint the designee and confirm his or her authority to cast the municipality’s ballot. Such a designation shall be delivered in person or by mail. Designees may represent only one municipality in the election. The designation may require the designee to vote for specific individuals or may vest discretion in the designee.
If the chief elected official is unable to attend the election and does not designate another individual to attend, an absentee ballot may be filed. Such an absentee ballot must be filed by 5 PM the day before the election with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 60 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. No faxes will be accepted. This ballot is valid for any election (e.g. run off election in case of a tie) held on the day of the MPO election for which the candidates selected on the ballot are still eligible to receive votes.
The MPO seat is held by the municipality. The chief elected official (or their official designee) shall represent the municipality throughout the municipality’s term of office.
The designated officers of MAPC and of the Advisory Board shall certify the results of the election to the chairman of the MPO by 12 noon on the Friday following the election.
North Shore Task Force Beverly, Danvers, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Middleton, Nahant, Peabody, Rockport, Salem, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham
North Suburban Planning Burlington, Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading,
Council Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn
Minuteman Advisory Group Acton, Bedford, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle,
Interlocal Coordination Concord, Hudson, Lexington, Littleton, Lincoln,
(MAGIC) Maynard, Stow, Sudbury
MetroWest Regional Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick,
Collaborative Southborough, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston
South West Advisory Bellingham, Dover, Franklin, Hopkinton, Medway, Planning Committee (SWAP) Milford, Millis, Norfolk, Sherborn, Wrentham
Three Rivers (TRIC) Canton, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Medfield, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, Westwood
South Shore Coalition Braintree, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate, Weymouth
Inner Core Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Waltham, Watertown, Winthrop
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
101 Cities and Towns
* MAPC Legal Counsel has rendered an opinion that Franklin and Watertown are defined as cities for the purpose of the MPO Election.
Overview of MPO Member Responsibilities
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is established as a required part of the transportation planning process under federal law. It is responsible for planning and programming federal financial resources for a multi-modal transportation system for the Boston metropolitan region. The MPO was established in 1973.
The Boston Region MPO Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that details the governing structure and process of the MPO can be viewed at bostonmpo.org/mpo
The MPO must prepare and approve several plans and programs on an annual basis. These include:
· The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which programs funds for transportation planning programs in the region;
· The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which programs federal (and matching state and local) funding for surface transportation projects (highway and transit).
The MPO also prepares and approves several other plans and programs as required. These include:
· The Long-Range (or Regional) Transportation Plan (LRTP), which provides a 20- to 25-year plan for the region’s transportation infrastructure to address needs and priorities; and
· The conformity of all surface transportation plans and programs with applicable federal laws (including air quality, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VI and Environmental Justice).
Meetings are held as needed to accomplish the MPO’s business. Typically, two MPO meetings are held each month, and all but four are held in Boston at the state transportation building. Up to four MPO meetings (one per quarter) are held in a community outside of Boston. MPO meetings typically begin at 10 AM on the first and third Thursday of the month, and last approximately two to three hours.
The MPO has the authority to establish necessary committees to accomplish its responsibilities. Recent experience suggests that the municipal members of the MPO or their designees attend at least two meetings per month to accomplish the work of the MPO.