|Last mayoral election:||2013|
|Next mayoral election:||2017|
|Last city council election:||2013|
|Next city council election:||2015|
|City council seats:||13|
|2014 FY Budget:||$2.6 billion|
|Population in 2013:||645,966|
African American 24.4%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 0.4%
Two or More 3.9%
|Ethnicity:||Hispanic or Latino 17.5%|
|Median household income:||$53,136|
|High school graduation rate:||84.5%|
|College graduation rate:||43.4%|
|Related Boston offices|
|Massachusetts Congressional Delegation|
Massachusetts State Legislature
Massachusetts state executive offices
- 1 City government
- 2 Elections
- 3 Budget
- 4 Contact information
- 5 Ballot measures
- 6 Lobbying
- 7 Public pensions
- 8 Website evaluation
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
- See also: Mayor-council government
The city of Boston utilizes a "strong mayor" and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city's chief executive.
The mayor serves as the city's chief executive, and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and overseeing the city's day-to-day operations. Martin Walsh is the current Mayor of Boston.
The Boston City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.
The Boston City Council features fifteen standing committees, which focus on individual policy and legislative issues. Generally, the drafting of city legislation begins with the committees.
For a list of Boston's committees and committee agendas, see here.
Boards and commissions
A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Boston City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.
For a full list of Boston's city boards and commissions, see here.
The city of Boston, Massachusetts will hold elections for city council on November 3, 2015. A primary election will take place on September 22, 2015. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is May 19, 2015. All 13 city council seats are up for election.
Boston's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2014 was $2.6 billion.
Office of the Mayor
1 City Hall Square, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02201-2013
Phone: (617) 635-4500
City and County Building
1 City Hall Square, Suite 550
Boston, MA 02201-2043
Phone: (617) 635-3040
To contact individual council members, see here.
Boston has no initiative process.
In 2013, Boston's federal lobbying related expenses amounted to approximately $136,711. The issues for which the city filed in 2013, as well as the number of reports, can be seen in the box below. The issues column lists the generic issues that lobbyists working for local governments are required by law to disclose on quarterly federal disclosure forms. The reports column gives the number of reports lobbyists filed in regards to each generic issue. To learn more about the details of the specific issues for which Boston filed reports, read the federal disclosure forms by clicking the "Issues" links in the box below.
|Federal Lobbying Issues, 2013|
|4||Environment & Superfund|
|3||Disaster & Emergency Planning|
|3||Law Enforcement & Crime|
|2||Fed Budget & Appropriations|
|2||Firearms, Guns & Ammunition|
- See also: Massachusetts public pensions
According to a 2010 report published at Northwestern University, Boston is one of the ten municipalities with the largest amount of unfunded pension liabilities. Nationwide there is $574 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for local pension plans, and this is in addition to the $3 trillion in debt facing state-sponsored pension plans. The report states that the pension plans could be out of money as early at 2025.
(number of plans)
|Liabilities, Stated Basis, June ’09 ($B)||Liabilities (ABO), Treasury Rate||Net Pension Assets ($B)||Unfunded Liability ($B)||Unfunded Liability / Revenue||Unfunded Liability per Household ($)|
|Transparency grading process|
- Agendas and minutes are available for City Council Meetings.
- The budget is posted for fiscal years 2006 to 2011, with a proposed budget for 2012.
- Building permit forms are available on the website, and zoning information
- The mayor and city council officials contact information are available via a quick search on the contact page.
- Provides information on City of Boston property taxes. More tax information is detailed in that year's budget.
- The site features a simple, effective search bar that made finding most information easy and quick.
- Contract bigs and vendor letters are posted.
- The most recent audit and past audits are disclosed online.
- Some information on public employee salaries is disclosed, and so are the collective bargaining agreements.
- Campaign finance reports are disclosed by the city council.
- Information is not available for who to contact and how to obtain public records.
- Lobbying information and ethics is not noted, nor is membership to a government sector lobbying association.
- There is no checkbook register available.
- Information on approved vendor contracts over $10,000 is not posted online.
- Cities in Massachusetts
- Suffolk County, Massachusetts
- Largest 100 U.S. cities by population
- Ten cities facing the worst of the pension crisis
- U.S. Census, "State and County Quick Facts," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Government," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Office of the Mayor," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "City Council," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Boston City Council Committees, 2013-14," accessed on August 29, 2014
- City of Boston, "Boards and Commissions," accessed on August 18, 2014
- City of Boston, "2015 Election Calendar," accessed January 12, 2015
- City of Boston, "2014 Budget Summary," accessed on September 15, 2014
- Open Secrets, "City of Boston, MA," accessed on November 11, 2014
- U.S. House of Representatives: Office of the Clerk, "Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance," accessed on November 11, 2014
- Open Secrets, "Methodology," accessed on November 11, 2014
- Kellog Business School at Northwestern University, "The Crisis in Local Government Pensions in the United States," Oct. 12, 2010
- City of Boston, "Agendas and Minutes," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Budget," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Building Permits," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "zoning information," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "City of Boston contact page," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "taxes," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "City of Boston FY 2011 Budget," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Contract bids," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Audits," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Salaries," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Collective Bargaining Agreements," accessed on September 15, 2014
- City of Boston, "Campaign Finance," accessed on September 15, 2014
State of Massachusetts
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