Municipal Benchmarks for Massachusetts Middle Cities: A Look at Financial Management

Middle Cities in Massachusetts face a variety of financial challenges. Some of these are common to their status as local governments in New England – multiple levels of laws and regulations they must contend with, heavily unionized workforces, limited resources dedicated to addressing significant issues, and many others – or simply because they are mid-sized urban communities. Middle Cities often served as economic engines and employment hubs when our regional and national economies relied on large manufacturing facilities with little automation and limited transportation infrastructures. As our economies have moved away from this focus, some Middle Cities have become home not to large mills but large vacant buildings, stranded assets that are not producing the value – or the jobs for local residents – they once provided. This creates additional challenges for Middle Cities and their residents.

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