2023 Boston Region MPO Municipal Election Procedures
At the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Fall Council meeting the elections will be announced for four (4) of the twelve (12) elected municipal seats on the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
The municipalities running for these seats will be elected to the Boston MPO by the chief executive officers of the 97 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 Boston MPO.
Boston MPO Seats Up for Election in 2023:
One (1) municipality from the South West Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) subregion.
One (1) municipality from the North Shore Task Force (North Shore) subregion.
One (1) town from any part of the Boston MPO region for the At-Large Town seat.
One (1) city from any part of the Boston MPO region for the At-Large City seat.
Terms of election on the Boston MPO are for three years.
Nominees for the elected municipal seats shall be the chief executive officer of the municipality. In cities this is the mayor or, if the city does not have the office of mayor, then the chair of the council, with the exception of Plan E cities (ex: Cambridge) in which case it shall be the city manager. In towns, the chief executive officer is the chair of the select board. The MPO will accept the chair’s nomination of a candidate whether or not the full select board or city council has voted it.
A nominee for an open subregion seat must receive three nominations made by a chief executive officer from municipalities in the subregion with the open seat. A chief executive officer may nominate their municipality and that nomination shall count as one of the three nominations needed to place a municipality on the ballot. Each chief executive officer may only nominate one municipality in their subregion.
A nomination for an At-Large city or town seat must receive three nominations made by a chief executive officer from any municipality in the Boston MPO region. A chief executive officer may nominate their municipality and that nomination shall count as one of the three nominations needed to place a municipality on the ballot. Each chief executive officer may only nominate one municipality per At-Large city or town seat.
Nominations are due on Monday, October 2nd, 2023 to MAPC by 5:00 PM and must be submitted electronically at [MAPC] 2023 MPO Election Nomination (seamlessdocs.com)
MAPC will follow-up with the nominating municipal CEOs by phone or email to confirm their nomination.
The nomination form will include space for a statement of candidacy (250 word limit) of the community, also due at this time.
Only municipalities in the subregion with the open seat may cast a ballot for that seat. Any municipality in the Boston MPO region may vote for the At-Large City and At-Large Town seats.
An electronic ballot will be prepared by MAPC and the Advisory Board based on the certification of nominations. The ballot shall contain a list of the nominated municipalities. Candidate communities shall appear on the ballot in an order drawn by lot by the designated officers of MAPC and the Advisory Board. The subregion of each of the communities shall be identified on the ballot. The ballot will be submitted electronically to MAPC by the municipal CEO.
MAPC and the Advisory Board shall provide appropriate opportunity for the electorate to meet representatives of candidate communities. In 2023, this may be accomplished by holding a virtual Candidates Forum if needed.
The election will be held through the submission of ballots electronically to MAPC. Electronic ballots will be emailed from MAPC to the chief executive officers of each municipality in the Boston MPO region. Ballots will then be filled out and signed by the chief executive officer and submitted to MAPC by the date of the MAPC Fall Council meeting, scheduled for October 26, 2023. A forthcoming correspondence will explain the ballot submittal process in more detail and provide the deadline.
The MPO seat is held by the municipality. The chief executive officer (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 Chair of the Boston Region MPO by 12 noon on the Monday 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,
Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester,
Minuteman Advisory Group
Acton, Bedford, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle,
Concord, Hudson, Lexington, Littleton, Lincoln,
Maynard, Stow, Sudbury
Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick,
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, Walpole, Westwood
South Shore Coalition
Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Rockland, Scituate, Weymouth
Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge,
Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton,
Newton, Quincy, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Waltham, Watertown, Winthrop
Boston MPO 97 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 Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization is established as a required part of the transportation planning process under federal law. It is responsible for planning and programming financial resources for a multi-modal transportation system for the Boston region. The Boston MPO was established in 1973.
The Boston 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, state, and local funding for surface transportation projects (highway and transit).
The Boston MPO also prepares and approves several other plans and programs as necessary. These include:
• The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which provides a 25-year plan for the Region’s transportation needs and priorities and;
• The conformity of all surface transportation plans and programs with applicable federal laws (including air quality, and the Americans with Disabilities Act).
Boston MPO Meetings:
Meetings are held as needed to accomplish the MPO’s business. There are approximately two MPO meetings a month. Since April 2020, most Boston MPO meetings have been held virtually. Meetings will likely continue to be held virtually depending on the status of open meeting requirements that have allowed for virtual public meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the MPO goes back to in-person meetings, they will take place during the day at the state transportation building. Up to four MPO meetings annually will be a hybrid meeting with in-person and virtual attendance opportunities. MPO meetings typically begin at 10 AM on the first and third Thursday of the month, and last approximately two and a half 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.