The Massachusetts Select Board Association will host its third Western and Rural Massachusetts Municipal Conference on Saturday, April 1, in Holyoke. Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll will deliver a keynote address.
The event will bring together regional stakeholders, including municipal officials, planning agencies and legislators, from Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties to address the challenges facing the region, with a specific focus on rural issues.
Conference goals are to promote sustainable cross-governmental partnerships across western Massachusetts, to share strategies for addressing challenges facing rural communities in the region, and to improve rural advocacy efforts.
The conference will open with a legislative panel with Rep. Natalie Blais and Sen. Joanne Comerford focused on rural priorities.
State Auditor Diana DiZoglio will lead a session covering her office’s priorities for rural communities, with an opportunity for attendees to provide input and feedback.
The conference will conclude with a discussion about the Chapter 90 program and local road conditions, as well as other rural priorities, with Sen. Paul Mark.
The conference will be held at the Delaney House, located at 3 Country Club Road in Holyoke. Registration and networking will begin at 8 a.m. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Boxed lunches will be available with the option to participate in a networking lunch or take lunch to go after the conference.
More information and a detailed agenda will be made available in the coming weeks.
The registration fee is $35.
The MMA is advising in-person meeting attendees to keep up with the latest COVID vaccines for which they are eligible. We highly recommend that attendees take an at-home rapid antigen test prior to attending, and not attend if they have any COVID symptoms or if a household member has tested positive for COVID. These protocols are subject to change based on the latest public health data and guidance.
Registration and Networking
A light breakfast will be served
Opening Remarks and Overview
Rural Policy Legislative Agenda, Part 1
Representative Natalie Blais
Senator Joanne Comerford
Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll
Rural Priorities in the State Auditor’s Office
State Auditor Diana DiZolgio
Ben Tafoya, Director of the Division of Local Mandates, Office of the State Auditor
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Rural Policy Legislative Agenda, Part 2
Senator Paul Mark