CSTCA is happy to announce that the CSTCA Winter Newsletter is now available to its members. The Newsletter is packed with helpful information for municipal practitioners, including articles on “The Top 10 Procurement Mistakes”; a recent case law update and a legislative update. We hope you enjoy the Newsletter. If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute to an upcoming Newsletter please let us know. Happy holidays!
Attorney General Martha Coakley is seeking comments on a proposed amendment to 940 CMR 29.00, the Open Meeting Law Regulations. The proposed regulation would be included in 940 CMR 29.02 and would define “knowing or knowingly” with respect to the Open Meeting Law. The proposed regulation can be found at the Attorney General’s website.
Attorney General Martha Coakley has issued regulations allowing for remote participation by members of public bodies under certain circumstances. The regulation, 940 CMR 29.10 requires a municipality’s chief executive officer to authorize or vote by a simple majority to allow for remote participation in accordance with the regulations. The regulations can be found on the Attorney General’s website.
CSTCA congratulates City of Boston’s Corporation Counsel Bill Sinnott and First Assistant Corporation Counsel Henry Luthin for prevailing in Occupy Boston v. City of Boston. On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre issued an Order rejecting Occupy Boston’s Motion for a preliminary injunction ruling that the occupation was not protected form of speech. This is a landmark decision in the nationwide occupy movement. A copy of Judge McIntyre’s decision is available by clicking on the above link.
It has been brought to CSTCA’s attention that MIAA does not consider municipal counsel ‘public officials’ for coverage purposes under the standard municipal insurance policy. MIAA has taken the position that municipalities must procure separate policy for attorneys who serve as municipal counsel in order to insure coverage if counsel is sued as a public official. CSTCA urges its members to review any municipal insurance policies to ensure that attorneys holding positions with the municipality would be covered if sued in their official capacity by a third party.
CSTCA’s Annual Meeting was held in New Bedford on October 14-16th. CSTCA members were welcomed to New Bedford by Mayor Scott Lang who also spoke on collective bargaining issues facing municipalities. Other panels addressed nuisance properties, collective bargaining of health care issues, education law and single justice practice. Our stellar speakers included Supreme Judicial Court Justice (ret) John Greaney and Attorney Dan Crean who gave the Robert Smith Constitutional Law Lecture on the issues social media presents to municipalities.
Members also enjoyed New Bedford’s sites–with many members visiting the New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford City Solicitor Irene Schall also hosted CSTCA members for an after dinner reception.
Check out photos from the Annual Meeting by clicking on the photo tab.
Please join us on December 1st at Papa Razzi in Burlington for our monthly meeting addressing effective best practices in the Wetlands Protection Act. Our panel will include DEP’s General Counsel Nancy Kaplan, attorney Nathaniel Stevens of McGregor and Associates and Chair of his Conservation Commission. In addition to their environmental law background, both panelists have a strong understanding of the challenges municipal counsel face. This promises to be a can’t miss program. To register for the program, please email Executive Director Jim Lampke at email@example.com
CSTCA has added a new panel to the Annual Meeting Schedule. On Friday afternoon there will be a panel discussion on Effective Code Enforcement Techniques, including use of liens, non-criminal dispositions, fines and A.G. Receivership programs. Code enforcement is can often be a challenging issue for municipalities–this panel will talk about best practices as well as creative techniques for enforcement and collection of fines and Housing Court presentations.