Governance Committee Update #7

Additional Study About Select Board Size Required

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. 

The Governance Committee started its study on the issue of Select Board size in February, 2022, but more work is required to complete our analysis and be ready to make a recommendation to Town Meeting.  We note that our review of the work undertaken by the Government Study Committees of three towns indicated that the time devoted to researching and preparing their reports averaged 15 months, ranging from six months to over two years.

The additional work by the Governance Committee before making a recommendation includes:

  • Distribute, collect and compile responses to written surveys sent to current and past Holliston Select Board members.  This information would be in addition to conversations previously held with these officials.
  • Discussions with officials in other comparable or peer towns to Holliston based on criteria identified by the state Division of Local Services, and towns which have dealt with the Select Board size issue. 
  • The Committee will seek out and analyze additional reports from other Government Study Committees that explain their study methodology, findings and recommendations. Three reports identified so far have been helpful in guiding our own study approach.
  • A central component of work to be completed is understanding the alignment of duties of the Select Board and Town Administrator in order to improve the efficiency of both.  The goal would be to appropriately allocate operational responsibilities between the Select Board and the Town Administrator and his team so the Select Board could focus more of its time on policy development and strategic planning.  
  •  Using an electronic questionnaire format, gain from Town officials and employees their opinions on the advantages or disadvantages of maintaining a Select Board of three members or increasing the Board to five members. Seek the same information from Town residents through a questionnaire and public listening sessions.

To review data and other information compiled by the Governance Committee on this topic to date, check the “Select Board Size” folder on the Governance Committee’s Town webpage -> https://www.townofholliston.us/governance/pages/select-board-size-research

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