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Friday, May 19, 2017

Helpful Resources for New Local Officials

Helpful Resources for New Local Officials

New to Local Government? DLS has Helpful Resources

Linda Bradley – Information Technology Unit Senior Systems Analyst

Finally, spring has arrived and with it the annual ritual of town meetings. While these gatherings focus primarily on financial matters, another critical component is selecting local officials to govern municipalities. Officials may be elected or appointed during other times of the year, but a significant number are placed in office during the town meeting season.

Whether they are elected or appointed, new this spring or just in a new position, DLS offers a wealth of policy guidance, learning opportunities, and data to local officials. Additionally, DLS requires certain updates from municipalities in order to ensure accurate records, permissions and, where appropriate, certifications for the new official.

The list below details actions to be taken by the municipality in DLS Gateway and provides a compendium of recommendations to share with new officials. It provides links to data, information, and articles pertaining to municipal finance. The list is specifically intended to be shared with new local officials but may also prove to helpful to anyone currently serving in municipal government.

What action should communities take if they have a newly elected or appointed local official?

Update the Local Officials Directory (LOD) to reflect the leadership change. This is typically completed by the town clerk.
Set up a Gateway account, if required, to provide access to position-specific forms and reports. Gateway credentials can be provided by the town clerk and/or local accounts administrators or by contacting the DLS IT team by telephone (617) 626-2350 or email at

Certify the board of assessors, an action taken by the chairman of the board of assessors and the town clerk. They certify the LOD listing and associated data for board of assessor members through DLS Gateway.

What recommendations can be made to a new official to assist them?

Subscribe to DLS Alerts. These periodic notices include our City & Town e-newsletter, Information Guideline Releases, Bulletins, Cherry Sheets and other municipal finance-related information. 

Sign up by clicking here or email us at

Register for the upcoming New Officials Finance Forum (NOFF). This forum offers new officials the opportunity to network with their peers from other communities, meet the DLS team, and obtain an overview of municipal government, the budget process, and the tax rate recapitulation process, as well as reserve and debt policies. 

This year, NOFF will be held on Wednesday, May 31st at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. Preregistration is required, and there is a $50 registration fee. Click here for the registration form.

Visit the DLS website for up-to-date information for municipal officials including training opportunities.


Visit the DLS Gateway page to access to data, forms, and processes specifically related to assessing, accounting, tax rate setting, and more. 

Visit the Bureau of Municipal Finance Law’s page for a comprehensive list of reference materials including Informational Guideline Release (IGRs) and Bulletins.

Visit the Technical Assistance Bureau’s page for best practices, policy guidance, financial tools and calculators, and more.

On behalf of DLS, congratulations to all newly elected and appointed officials. Our mission is to support you in your efforts to achieve sound and efficient fiscal management through technical assistance, training, and oversight, so please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or feedback.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure this would assist many. It does seem the town is lacking in the policies and procedure area.

    On May 15 I sent this note."Can you point me in a direction or tell me where I could find an accurate, up to date list of our active Department, Board, committee, commission members.
    It seems that the website is a hit or miss and leaves accuracy behind."

    I received this for a response on May 16:

    " Hi Robert:

    Are you looking for specific committees or a list of all of them?

    What on the website is not up to date?"

    As of today May 19, 2017 I have not received an answer or direction. This would lead me to believe that we have no "place" or "list" of active Board, Committee, Commission member to point to. If we have no listing of our town members how do we know that conflicts dont exist? How do we know "anything"?