I’ve been researching data on town governance, both here in Arlington and in nearby or comparable towns. When thinking about budgets or bylaws, while you need to focus local, understanding how comparable communities do things can help with ideas of what to do - or what wouldn’t fit here at home.
Trying to see what other towns do actually gave me more appreciation for Arlington’s own website and town employees. For any difficulties you might have finding information on the current town website, there is more information available about Arlington governance than many of our surrounding neighbor towns! I was surprised what some towns made easy - or not easy - to find on their websites.
I’ve collected links website pages on all local towns for a variety of key pages: budgets, annual reports, schools, police, and more. If you’re interested in seeing how neighboring towns do things, check out the list of comparable town information!
The towns I’ve researched include all of Arlington’s immediate neighbors, plus “comparable” towns. Here, I’m using the same list of towns/cities that the Town Manager uses in Annual Reports: Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Natick, Needham, North Andover, Reading, Stoneham, Watertown, Winchester. I’ve also included our immediate neighbors: Lexington, Cambridge, and Somerville, since they may be of interest. Whether this is the right list of towns to compare Arlington to is a different question, but I had to start somewhere. All are towns (or cities)