It may seem radical, but the idea of regional government is catching on. With politicians and citizens wanting to lower taxes, slim down beaucracy, and stream line local government, municipalities all across the country are forming regional governments.
Signs of regional government is everywhere: Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce, Nashoba Regional School District, the list goes on.
Just what is regional government?
Regional government is a body overseeing a large metropolitan area or a group of cities and towns. It has many functions including tax collection, public safety, fire protection, environmental protection and management, highway system, schools, and transportation among others.
Regional government has worked well, especially in Canada and other parts of the United States. They have effectively consolidated many local municipalities, saved tax payers' money and eliminated a lot of beaucracy that is associated with have many local governments in a small geographic area.
Regional planning would greatly benefit under one system. Planners can designate certain areas as "green belts" such as Stow and Boxborough. Other areas would be designated as center cities such as Maynard, Hudson and even Marlborough.
Public safety would be streamlined under one agency with many precincts in order to give full and uniform protection to the entire area. Money would be saved with only one chief and a central administrative office.
A regional school system is already in affect - Nashoba Regional School District. The final step would be to incorporate all of the elementary and middle schools into this system.
Instead of having many local highway and public works departments, there could be one regional department that would be in charge of maintaining all town and city parks and highways as well as all municipal cemeteries and other property.
Citizens would still have a voice in regional government. Each municipality will have an elected local board or town council to tackle local issues such as crime prevention, tax, water resources, local streets and sidewalks, building inspections and permits, etc.
Do you think Stow and the surrounding area would benefit from a regional system of government?
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