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MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC)

MAPC

Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

The MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) is the locally-run enhanced subegional organization of MAPC. It serves the MetroWest region of Greater Boston: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston.

MWRC works to coordinate our local governments to make MetroWest an even better place to live: more healthful, sustainable, equitable, safe, prosperous, and efficient. We facilitate interlocal collaboration, planning, and problem solving, and advocate for locally-initiated regional solutions to policy and planning challenges in MetroWest.

Questions?

For additional information, please contact MetroWest Regional Collaborative Coordinator, Leah Robins at lrobins@mapc.org or 617-933-0710.

Enhancing Local Democracy in MetroWest

The Enhancing Local Democracy in MetroWest project identified underlying challenges to improving local democratic participation and effectiveness in the towns and cities of MRWC. The elements of the project:

  • A review of Town Meeting operations in the subregion, a high-level review of electronic voting methods,  and ideas for innovations and improvements;
  • A review of when local elections are held across the sub-region and in other communities to determine whether elections could be conducted at times more conducive to wider participation;
  • A high-level review of democratic engagement approaches that have been incorporated into municipal government, and recommendations for ways for traditionally underrepresented groups to vote at higher rates in local elections and to become more involved in local government.

Metrowest landline Project Phase 1

Funded by MWRC's enhanced assessment, this project will begin the process of transforming MetroWest's trails into a connected, prominent, active transportation and recreation network called the MetroWest Landline.

MetroWest cities and towns boast many lovely paths and trails, but many of them don't connect. Launching in the fall of 2017, the MetroWest LandLine Phase I project, will build community support for those action plans and for further strengthening the MetroWest LandLine. Working with MAPC's transportation team, MWRC will develop and promote an action plan to close one priority gap in each participating city and town.

The plan outlines:

  1. Plan documents for each project
  2. Plan documents for each sub-project
  3. MetroWest LandLine branding materials
  4. Presentation before each participating municipality's Board of Selectman. Presentation to be given in collaboration with the municipality's MWRC representatives and representatives from neighboring municipalities, and with the cooperation of the municipality's trails advocates. Request for acceptance of the report and, ideally, increased interest in implementation.

Project Scope & Timeline

When scope and timeline are developed, they will be posted here.

Project Funding

By vote of the MWRC Board, a body composed of one member of the Board of Selectmen and one member of the Planning Board from each participating municipality, the MetroWest LandLine Phase I project will be funded by the MWRC Special Assessment, a fund reserved for projects of regional significance.

Project History

MWRC will continue to update and circulate the draft project list, including to the participants of the January 19 trails meeting, and again to planners and MWRC representatives, in advance of scoping and budgeting.

March 16, 2017 
MWRC held a Planners Roundtable at which the municipalities' planners reviewed and commented extensively on a preliminary draft project list for the LandLine project. The list had been drawn from information gathered at the January 19 trials meeting (please see below).

March 16, 2017
MWRC held a Full Board Meeting at which representives voted to take on the MetroWest LandLine Phase I project and fund it with the MWRC Special Assessment. Scoping will be developed by the MWRC Executive Board.

January 19, 2017
MWRC held a trails and greenways meeting attended by fifty-one trails committee members, enthusiasts, and advocates from accross the subregion. The group was divided into four subgroups representing geographical areas that straddle municipal borders. The subgroups shared ideas and marked up maps regarding priority gaps, then reconvened for a productive general discussion.

METROWEST GOVERNANCE PHASE II

At the request of the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC), MAPC undertook a comprehensive review of the civic participation levels and governance structures of the nine MWRC communities.

The review consisted of a research and analysis phase, followed by a forum, "Getting Governance Right(er)," held on June 10, 2016, and attended by representatives from all MWRC cities and towns. The goal of the forum was to compare civic engagement and governance levels and practices across the sub-region and identify areas for further collaboration and research on those subjects.

The review did not seek to identify, nor did it find, a preferred governance model for all MWRC communities. There are many reasons (e.g., demographic and historic reasons) why participation levels and governance structures differ across these cities and towns in both significant and subtle ways. Nevertheless, regardless of these differences, these communities face common challenges in providing and sustaining efficient, effective and democratic forms of local governance, and each can learn from their neighbors’ experiences.

Governance Report Summary

June 10 2016 Governance Forum

Funded by a DLTA grant from MAPC, MetroWest Governance Phase II will continue the research and best-practices dissemination done by the MAPC Municipal Collaboration team in MetroWest Governance Phase I in 2016. Scope and details are now being developed. 

MWRC Executive Board


  • Yolanda Greaves, MWRC Chair, Ashland Selectman
  • Preston Crow, MWRC Vice Chair, Ashland Planning Board
  • Ellen Gibbs, Wellesley Selectman
  • Jay Marsden, Holliston Selectman
  • Lewis Colten, Framingham Planning Board
  • Marc Draisen, MAPC Executive Director

Upcoming events

May MWRC Meeting

Thursday May 23, 2019
8am -10am
Holliston Town Hall
Agenda to be announced

June MWRC Meeting

Thursday June 27, 2019
8am -10am
Ashland Town Hall
Agenda to be announced

Getting Governance Right(er) Forum
Framingham Free Library - Wakelin Room
530 Washington St. Wellesley, MA 02482
Friday, June 10, 2016 7:45AM - 10:00AM
(breakfast and registration at 7:45AM, program begins at 8:00AM)

How do MetroWest municipalities get people to run for office or show up at Town Meeting? What are the pros and cons of having a charter? A room of MetroWest officials, administration, and staff gathered for a discussion about these matters and more. Many thanks to our distinguished panelists:

  • Town Moderator Dennis Berry, Town of Wayland
  • Town Administrator Robert Halpin, Town of Framingham
  • Town Clerk Kathleen Nagle, Town of Wellesley
  • Mayor Arthur Vigeant, City of Marlborough

See photos here (Facebook)

MWRC Full Board Meeting
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA)

15 Blandin Avenue. Framingham, MA 01702
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Agenda and packet
Draft minutes

MWRC Legislative Breakfast
Ashland Public Library
66 Front St. Ashland, MA 01721
Friday, May 6, 2016, 7:45AM - 9:30AM
Agenda

Executive Board Meeting
Holliston Town Hall

703 Washington St. Holliston MA 01746
Thursday, April 14, 2016 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Full board invited
Agenda
Packet


awards


2014 Spirit Award Winners

  • Massachusetts State Representative Chris Walsh
  • Framingham Selectman (ret) Dennis Giombetti

2013 Spirit Award Winners

  • Executive Director of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau Susan Nicholl
  • Executive Director of the MetroWest/495 Partnership Paul Matthews

2012 Spirit Award Winners

  • Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Frederick A. Laskey
  • Massachusetts State Representative Carolyn Dykema

2011 Spirit Award Winners

  • Mathworks
  • MetroWest Community Healthcare Foundation

2010 Spirit Award Winners

  • MAPC Assistant Director of Land Use Planning & Chief Housing Planner Jennifer Raitt
  • Town of Ashland

2009 Spirit Award Winners

  • Southborough Town Planner Vera Kolias
  • MetroWest Regional Transportation Authority

2015 events archive


Municipal Stormwater Workshop
June 10, 2015
Framingham Public Library
Sponsor: MWRC
Speaker: MAPC Senior Environmental Planner, Julie Conroy

Historic Preservation Forum
March 13, 2015
Lexington Depot in Lexington, MA
Sponsors: MWRC and MAPC
Speakers:

  • Chris Skelly, Director of Local Government Programs, Massachusetts Historical Commission
  • Gretchen Schuler, Historic Preservation Planning Consultant
  • Maureen Meister, Winchester Planning Board
  • Marilyn Fenollosa, Lexington Historical Commission
  • Janet Giele, Wellesley Denton Road Neighborhood District Commission

Fall Transportation Forum: Trails & Complete Streets 
December 5, 2015
Morse Institute Library, Natick
Sponsor: MWRC