March Municipal Madness debuts in Worcester

Full and original article posted on Massachusetts Municipal Association

As elite college basketball teams were vying for a national championship early this spring, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau put its own spin on March Madness: policy ideas competing against each other.

In the manner of basketball teams advancing toward a championship, proposals were grouped into four brackets: public safety, economic development, education and operations. The more than 60 people who participated in the exercise chose between competing policy proposals, such as establishing a “strong mayor” form of government versus creating a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program for the region’s major nonprofits.

Within the “Operations” bracket, the winning proposal (based on the number of people who chose it to advance to the next level or beyond) called for replacing the public pension system with a defined-contribution plan.

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