Western Mass. state advocate appointed


Recorder Staff
Published: 2/21/2017 11:35:23 PM

CONWAY — Western Massachusetts towns have a new advocate at the state level.

According to a news statement, Conway Selectboard Chairman John P. O’Rourke has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Local Government Advisory Commission, a panel comprised of eight selectboard members selected from across the Commonwealth.

O’Rourke, who has an MBA degree in finance and economics from The Stern School of Business at New York University among other degrees, took the oath of office at the Mass. State House earlier this month, administered by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

“It is very important to be vigilant and monitor legislation and regulation affecting the towns of western Mass.,” O’Rourke said, adding, “we have a very dedicated and hard-working legislative delegation. But they are substantially out-weighed by the legislative delegations in the eastern part of the Commonwealth that exercise most of the legislative power.”

As a commissioner, the statement relates, O’Rourke will review and analyze new legislation and regulation changes, advocating on behalf of the interests of local government entities. The advisory panel also assists in obtaining state and federal resources in order to remedy problems at a local level.

To that end, the commission meets monthly and as needed with Gov. Baker and other relevant state officials.

O’Rourke continued, “serving on the Local Government Advisory Commission gives me the opportunity to speak directly to the governor, lieutenant governor and cabinet secretaries about the challenges facing the towns of western Massachusetts.”

Besides serving as chairman of the Selectboard, O’Rourke, a retired Marine Corps captain, is Conway’s veterans’ services officer. He’s also on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals; the Executive Board of the Franklin County Selectmen’s Association; the Finance Committee of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments; and on the Board of Directors of Frontier Community Access Television.

The appointment comes a few months after O’Rourke was appointed to the state Municipal Association’s Board of Directors, representing 89 District 1 towns in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.


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