State select board handbook dedicated to Worthington’s Stephen Kulik

Longtime state Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, is shown at the Williamsburg Town Hall, Dec. 12, 2018.

Longtime state Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, is shown at the Williamsburg Town Hall, Dec. 12, 2018. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 01-29-2024 1:32 PM

BOSTON — An updated and, for the first time, online edition of the Handbook for Massachusetts Select Board Members has been dedicated to the late Stephen Kulik.

A longtime state legislator and town official from Worthington, Kulik was described in a post on the Massachusetts Municipal Association website as “a loyal champion of local government” who had served as president of the MMA and also of the Massachusetts Select Board Association.

Kulik was a member of the Worthington Planning Board and later the Select Board for 45 years. He served in the State House for 26 years until his retirement in 2019. He died in December 2022.

The Select Board Association launched the new online version of its comprehensive guide for Select Board members at the recent MMA annual meeting and trade show in Boston.

The online guide, publicly available on the MMA website, has its own navigation tools and built-in search function. The content has been fully updated to reflect changes to laws and regulations, and to include emerging issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion and climate change, both of which are covered in new chapters.

The handbook, which goes back many decades, was last updated in 2014. The online version has the advantage of being updateable on an ongoing basis.

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The handbook committee and editors sought out many municipal government experts for help with updating relevant content. Survey feedback led to the inclusion of more information and guidance on ethics, the state’s Open Meeting Law, affordable housing, codes of conduct, and maintaining decorum during public meetings.

The handbook committee also acknowledged the talent, record and contributions of Geoff Beckwith, who served as executive director of the MMA from 1992 through September 2023. Beckwith’s “leadership, mentorship and stewardship at the MMA have contributed in countless ways to every city and town in Massachusetts, and to the public service careers of thousands of local leaders.”