We often receive questions centering on the operation and organization of local governments. These questions can range from researching city zoning laws to how does my town elect school committee members? A good place to start is with the Massachusetts General Laws and locating any relevant governing statues. It is also helpful to understand what type of charter or municipal constitution your local government employs (see previous blog posting on municipal constitutions). You can find your town charter, regulations, and more on your town or city’s local site.
|2010 Act, c. 52 - Example of Bridgewater updating|
its town charter through Legislation
Another helpful, secondary resource to understanding municipal law is West’s Massachusetts Practice Series, Municipal Law and Practice volumes. This treatise covers a wide range of local government practice within Massachusetts including topics such as elections, schools, and highways and streets. The State Library offers access to this series through Westlaw (in-library use only). In addition, the State Library’s digital collection of city and town annual reports are also helpful when researching town committees, meetings, budgets, etc.
Town sites usually end in ‘.gov’ or ‘.org.’ Note the Town Code in lower, right corner.
- Boston’s Municipal Code
- Ordinances & Regulations of Worcester
- Attorney General - Municipal Law Review
- Massachusetts Municipal Association
- Massachusetts City and Town Ordinances and Bylaws (Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries)