BOSTON — The Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) presented Sen. Pam Resor, D-Acton, a Legislator of the Year Award for her leadership on municipal zoning, water management, open space and affordable-housing reform.
“I am truly honored to receive this award,” said Resor. “I was a selectwoman before I was a legislator, and so I know how municipal leaders have an important role. I have worked very hard with my colleagues in the Legislature to make community matters a priority. The support of the Massachusetts Municipal Association has provided important leadership for improving state support for municipalities.”
Geoffrey Beckwith, executive director of the MMA, presented Resor with the award at the organization’s annual meeting and banquet in Boston. “Senator Pamela Resor has been a long-time MMA ally, championing a variety of local government priorities including education financing, zoning issues and a variety of environmental laws,” said Beckwith. “Her efforts to bring together state agencies, environmental organizations and water managers are an example of her leadership. Her goal has always been to balance the needs of communities with the ever-important need to ensure sufficient clean water supplies for generations to come.”
“Senator Resor was a strong and calm voice in bringing opposing parties to the table seeking to achieve consensus on a particular issue. Over the past 12 months, she and her staff have championed a compromise bill aimed at streamlining the Chapter 61, 61A, and 61B land conservation laws,” Beckwith continued. “The issue, which had languished for several years, was finally resolved thanks to the senator’s dedication and leadership. With over 40 acres of land lost to development every day in the commonwealth, it will go a long way to benefit landowners and communities while protecting valuable natural resources.”
The legislation closes many loopholes in Chapter 61 of the General Laws which assesses valuation of productive lands including forestry, agricultural and recreational lands. It was signed into law by then-governor Mitt Romney on Dec. 22, 2006, and becomes affective early this spring.
In this new legislative session, Resor has filed several bills relating to municipalities including the Community Planning Act (CPA-2). This is the first major updating of the commonwealth’s zoning and subdivision control statutes in decades and includes a number of key objectives to improve the local planning processes, and to foster affordable housing and smart growth. This year, Resor has also filed numerous “home rule petitions” for the towns she represents.
The MMA is the only statewide organization that brings municipal officials together to establish unified policies, to advocate these policies, and to ensure the effective delivery of services to community residents. The MMA had its beginnings as the Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns, which was formed in 1961. In 1979, the League was consolidated with the Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association and the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association and the name was changed to the Massachusetts Municipal Association. The MMA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association that provides advocacy, training, publications, research and other services to Massachusetts cities and towns.
Also named Legislators of the Year were Rep. Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, Sen. Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, Rep. Cleon Turner, D-Dennis, and retiring Rep. Anne Paulsen, D-Belmont. Late Rep. Deborah Blumer, D-Framingham, was also acknowledged and honored for her devotion to local government.