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Rural Policy Advisory Commission Drafting MA Rural Policy Plan

MA Rural Policy Plan Released

The MA Rural Policy Advisory Commission (RPAC) released its Rural Policy Plan for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (PDF file, 30mb). The Plan identifies, highlights and offers policy recommendations related to the unique issues and challenges faced by rural Massachusetts.  The Plan provides a socioeconomic summary of rural Massachusetts and addresses 15 Focus Areas that were identified through listening sessions held across the state in late 2018. The goal of the Plan is to provide a thorough but succinct outline of each Focus Area that identifies the issues and highlights sub-regional differences, describes current related state policies and a best practices from Massachusetts or other parts of the country or the world, and provides prioritized recommendations.  Members of the RPAC and rural Regional Planning Agencies have shared in the effort to engage and solicit input from a large swath of stakeholders throughout Massachusetts through meetings and other efforts, and in sharing in the writing of the Plan.

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Introduction

Broadband and Cell Coverage

Climate Change and Resiliency

Cross-Jurisdictional Service Sharing

Economic Development

Education

Housing

Land Use and Working Landscapes

Municipal Board and Staffing Constraints

Municipal Financial Capacity Constraints

Public Health and Healthcare

Reversing Population Trends

Transportation – Other Modes

Transportation – Roads, Bridges and Culverts

Water and Sewer Infrastructure

Workforce needs

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Help prepare for the 2020 Census

Join us on June 5th for the Franklin County Complete Count Committee Kick-off!

Next year, the U.S. Census Bureau will seek to count all residents of Franklin County as part of the 2020 Census. This decennial census is different from past years. For example, households will be asked for the first time to respond online, as opposed to filling out a paper form and mailing it. This Census data will be used to determine legislative districts and how federal resources are distributed for years to come. We need to ensure that the 2020 Census counts everyone!

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) is forming the Franklin County Complete Count Committee to develop strategies and form partnerships to best prepare Franklin County households. If you would like to be part of this effort, please join us on Wednesday, June 5 at 3:00 pm in the 1st floor meeting room of the JWO Transit Center at 12 Olive Street, Greenfield, MA or contact Jessica Atwood at jatwood@frcog.org. For additional information about the upcoming census, please check out the “Census 2020, Make Yourself Count” factsheet from the NALEO Educational Fund (www.naleo.org/census2020).

Erving Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Plan is Available for Review and Comment

The Town of Erving’s draft Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Resiliency Plan is available for public review and comment. Click here to read the MVP Plan and/or attend the Erving MVP public meeting, held in conjunction with the Erving Select Board meeting on March 25th at 6:35 pm at Erving Town Hall.  Public comments will be accepted during the meeting as well as during a public comment period from March 18th through April 1st. You may hand in your comments at the public meeting or submit them online at www.erving-ma.gov/emergency-management/pages/municipal-vulnerability-preparedness.

You may also mail comments to:

Franklin Regional Council of Governments
12 Olive Street, Suite 2
Greenfield, MA 01301
Attention: Kimberly Noake MacPhee

Rural Policy Advisory Commission Listening Sessions

Listening Sessions

A series of listening sessions has recently been scheduled to gather input from community leaders regarding the suggested focus areas to be included in the development of the Massachusetts Rural Policy Plan.  Listening sessions will be held in several regions across the Commonwealth.

A survey is available to provide input at the RPAC SURVEY –https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RPAC2018

The Western Massachusetts listening sessions are:

  • 12/6   6 PM  at Berkshire Regional Planning Commission register at info@berkshireplanning.org
  • 12/11  5PM at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission register at lgallagher@pvpc.org
  • 12/13 5PM at GCC Downtown  — register at registrations@frcog.org

Click here for Rural Policy Advisory Commission website. 

Municipal Financial Management Workshop Materials

This workshop on 11/8 featured FRCOG Municipal Financial Management Specialist Joe Markarian, who joined us after a long career of supporting towns in improving their financial management practices at the Technical Assistance Bureau of the Massachusetts Division of Local Services.

Materials from the training:
Municipal Calendar from the DOR Division of Local Services
Slides from the workshop
Finance Seminar Spreadsheets
Some cyber-security tips from Mass.Gov

Fall 2018 Local Official Workshop Series

The fall workshop series for local officials is ready for registrations!

Click here for a calendar of the entire fall. For more information on each session, visit the date of the session on the Meetings and Events tab on this website.

To register for any session, email registrations@frcog.org.

Also, stay tuned this fall for two sessions in Greenfield for planning and zoning boards, offered through the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative

FRCOG signs the Stigma Pledge

Massachusetts is in the midst of a heartbreaking crisis of addiction and overdose, and one of the most important things we can all do to prevent further deaths is reduce the stigma experienced by people with substance use disorder. Only 1 in 12 people people with this disorder seek treatment — can you imagine if numbers were similarly low for diabetes?
FRCOG’s staff have signed the Boston Medical Center Stigma Pledge and will work to make sure we use non-stigmatizing language. Join us!

To learn more about the Pledge, click here.

To review an “Addictionary” of stigmatizing and non-stigmatizing language, click here.

Cannabis Control Commission presentation slides

We were pleased to host Commissioner Kay Doyle and Director of Government Affairs David Lakeman at the FRCOG on 6/7 for a review of the final Massachusetts Adult Use Marijuana regulations.

Click here for the slides.

Other handouts at the 6/7 meeting: