Forms of Municipal Government, May 2003 (v.6, n.4)

Each year the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) publishes a directory entitled, The Massachusetts Municipal Directory. Inside the directory is a chart compiled by MMA from a survey of each city and town. This month, Public Library Facts presents these forms of government in a map.

On the reverse of this page you will find a map showing the form of government for the 351 Massachusetts municipalities. There are 262 towns that have open town meeting and 39 that have adopted representative town meeting. Massachusetts law states that no town with a population of less than 6,000 may adopt a representative town meeting form of government.

Massachusetts law also stipulates that no town with a population of less than 12,000 may adopt a city form of government. There are 49 municipalities with the city form of government.

Included on this map is the year that home rule charter was first adopted by some municipalities under the provisions of the Home Rule amendment and Massachusetts General Laws chapter 43B. In addition, certain cities use of one of the optional plans of city government. These "model city charters" are authorized by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 43 (Plan A, B, C, D, E, or F). Cities that do not have a letter designation are governed by provisions or special charters granted by the Legislature.

compiled by Dianne L. Carty, Head of State Aid and Data Coordination

Page last updated on 05/22/2015