Holliston Governance Committee – Select Board Size – Update #3

Town Population and Select Board Size

The Holliston Governance Committee is in the process of studying whether Holliston should continue with its current Select Board of three elected members or change to a Select Board of five elected members. 

In Massachusetts, there are 291 towns in which the towns’ policy body is the Select Board. The research phase of the Governance Committee’s exploration of this issue has involved analyzing the relationship of population size to Select Board size.

In a sample of 119 towns whose populations in 2020 ranged from 7,000 to 23,000, with Holliston in the middle at 15,000, 70% of the towns had five-member Select Boards and 30% had three-member Select Boards.  View the Table at: https://www.townofholliston.us/governance/files/select-board-table-town-7-23k

In a second sample of 77 towns with 2020 populations between 10,000 and 20,000, with Holliston in the middle at 15,000, 80% of the towns had five-member Select Boards and 20% had three-member Select Boards. View the Table at: https://www.townofholliston.us/governance/files/select-board-size-by-town-10-20k

The table below provides similar information for Holliston and 11 peer or comparable towns which are identified based on criteria recommended by the state Division of Local Services.

Population size is one metric point and not a reason alone to make a decision on the size of a Select Board.

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