Town meeting is one of the truest forms of democracy, where community members come together to discuss, debate, and vote on matters that impact the quality of their daily lives. As communities gather for Town Meeting to enact local laws, pass budgets, and authorize spending, it is critical to the process that they understand the implications of voting for or against one article or another.   

In today’s environment, many community members have demanding schedules, which makes it difficult for them to be actively involved in governance at any level. Also, the way in which they receive information from various outlets often poses a challenge in differentiating between factual-information or misleading jargon purposely enacted to influence a vote. It is the responsibility of each administration to actively engage community members and provide them with consumable information about each of the articles, so they have a clear understanding on what they are voting for.  

Cities and towns work throughout the year addressing operational challenges, reviewing capital plans to ensure that the information has evolved with the community’s growth and strategic goals for maximum effectiveness and equity. These stewards of taxpayer dollars, perform a great amount of research, planning, and budgeting into the articles that are put forth for Town Meeting vote, but all too often critical articles are tabled or voted down because there is little community engagement, and the articles are misunderstood.  

This does not just occur with Town Meeting; this can occur with Town Councils and Selectboards. When information is not presented in a way that it is understood or without solid factual-information – the articles can be either tabled or voted down. Recently, a pre-pandemic approved construction project in the range of $30 million dollars missed out on additional grant funding because the information submitted to the Town Council for vote had “place holders” instead of fixed costs. The Town Council was given unclear information on the actual cost of the project, thus tabling the vote until more information could be provided. The result was the municipality missing out on an opportunity for additional funding resources. 

By opening the doors to community dialogue, an administration can set priorities, manage expectations, and provide additional information when necessary. Performing community outreach amidst the avalanche of daily duties of any administration can be daunting and feel nearly impossible, but is just as important as the research, planning, and budgeting of any project, program, or service. 

CSS worked with the City of Lynn conducting community outreach to enact solutions for over $75 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act Funding the city received from the federal government. During multiple in-person forums and an online survey, community members identified areas in which the funding would allow for economic growth and development and offering a level playing field across the board for all. We worked diligently with Mayor Nicholson and the Lynn City Council to ensure that the community’s voice was heard. 


We work behind the scenes, acting as an extension of the administration, sharing information about the daily operations of a municipality. Our team highlights employees and their commitment to excellence in public service. We feature information about the projects, programs, initiatives, and services that are performed at the community’s benefit. The information that we share is in small factual, digestible bite size pieces on multiple platforms and forums, opening conversations, and increasing the flow of information through a community. We create a vibe, a sense of place, increase hometown pride inducing community members to act, not only for themselves but for their neighbors and future generations.