The event is part of Common Cause's on-going Massachusetts Campaign for Open Government, which periodically reviews the internet presence of all 351 cities and towns in the state. The six local governance documents included in the review are the municipality's governing body's agenda, the governing body's minutes, fiscal year 2008 budget information, the municipality's by-laws, code of ordinances, and if applicable, town meeting warrant and town meeting results or minutes.
Communities receiving the 2008 E-Government award were: Amherst, Andover, Arlington, Ashburnham, Barnstable, Becket, Bedford, Belmont, Bolton, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Carver, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Concord, Dedham, Dudley, Douglas, Dunstable, Duxbury, Eastham, Easton, Egermont, Everett, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Framingham, Franklin, Gloucester, Groton,Haverhill,Harwich, Hingham, Holden, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Kingston, Lakeville, Lexington, Littleton, Longmeadow, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Melrose, Metheun, Needham, Newton, Norfolk, North Andover, North Reading, Northampton, Palmer, Paxton, Peabody, Pelham, Plympton, Provincetown, Reading, Salem, Saugus, Scituate, Sharon, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Southampton, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Stow, Sudbury, Tewsksbury, Topsfield, Upton, Uxbridge, WestBoyleston, West Springfield,
Westfield, Westford, Weston, Westport, Weymouth, Wilbraham, Williamstown, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn, Worcester, Wrentham.
Twenty communities also qualified for added distinction for also posting their town/city charter or general by-laws, a document archive, school committee agendas and meeting minutes and those from at least one other board or committee, a community calendar including boards and committee meetings, and zoning by-laws.Those municipalities were: Arlington, Barnstable, Belmont, Chelmsford, Concord, Duxbury, Eastham, Franklin, Hingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Kingston, Needham, Newton, North Reading, Scituate, Sharon, West Boylston, Westford, Weston, Weymouth, Winchester, Worcester.
"It's time to bring local government into the 21st century," said Common Cause executive director Pam Wilmot. "The internet makes it easy and cost effective to facilitate public access and citizen engagement by, at a minimum, posting these six key records. More and more people rely on the internet for critical information each day. Communities that provide this information are providing an important service to their citizens. We are pleased to be able to honor so many towns this year.”
Common Cause Massachusetts is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, government watchdog, dedicated to citizen participation in an open, honest, and accountable government. An independent, member-supported organization, Common Cause has more than 200,000 members nationwide and 10,000 in Massachusetts.