We hope you find this issue of CPA Update
informative, and invite you to call our
technical assistance hotline if you need help
with CPA in your community: 617-367-8998.
Please note that the Coalition will be closed
for the holidays beginning Monday, December
24th, and we will reopen on January 2nd.
Happy Holidays from the Community
What constitutes a majority on CPC votes?
The Department of Revenue, which oversees the
CPA program, has changed their guidance on
the correct way for a Community Preservation
Committee (CPC) to take a vote at their
meetings, including a vote to recommend a
project to the legislative body.
First the background. Section 5(c) of the
Act states that "the Community Preservation
Committee shall approve its actions by
majority vote." Unfortunately, that wasn't
perfectly clear. Do you need a majority vote
of the entire committee membership, or just a
majority of those that are present at the
meeting the night the vote is being taken?
Many CPA communities have adopted a policy of
posting signs at CPA-funded project sites to
let members of the public know how their CPA
dollars are being spent. In some cases the
signs are funded as part of the project
expense, and in others the CPC uses
This is a great way to educate fellow
community members about the Community
Preservation Act, as well as to generate
enthusiasm for local projects made possible
through the CPA program. When residents can
see tangible results of their CPA dollars at
work, they will be more likely to be
interested in and supportive of your
community's future CPA efforts!
Local CPA websites
To date, Massachusetts communities have
completed thousands of community
preservation projects using their CPA funds.
Some Community Preservation Committees have
created their own web pages in order to share
more detailed information about CPA-related
happenings in their community. The Internet
is one of the most effective tools for
sharing information about successful CPA
projects, helping citizens learn more about
the community improvements their CPA funds
have funded, and inspiring other communities
as they plan their own projects.
CPA - A national model!
Since the passage of the Community
Preservation Act in 2000, a number of state
and local governments have loosely modeled
subsequent preservation funding initiatives
on the Massachusetts program. In addition,
this past summer, about a dozen state
legislators from around the country wanted to
learn more about CPA, so they took a bus tour
of CPA projects in Newton. The legislators
were here to take part in the National
Conference for State Legislators annual
convention which was in Boston in August.
newspaper article about the NCSL bus tour
Details on this issue's CPA project photo
The CPA project photo featured at the top of
this edition is a historic preservation
project in the town of Boxford. The photo
shows Pat Shields, Boxford's Town Clerk,
displaying some of the town's historic
documents that will bepreserved, many of them
dating back to the 1700s.
Increasing numbers of communities are
turning to their CPA funds as a source of
financial support for their document
preservation projects, especially since the
spring of 2006. That's when an amendment to
CPA (HB1680, March 2006) changed the
"Historic Resources" under the Act to
specifically allow CPA funds to be used to
preserve historic documents or artifacts.