Municipal Light Board

Background

Belmont Light is established as Belmont’s municipal light plant (MLP) under Mass. General Laws, Chapter 164.  Since 1938, the Belmont Select Board has served as the Municipal Light Board, with guidance from the Light Board Advisory Committee (previously the Municipal Light Advisory Board) since 2005.  With the Town Meeting vote in approval of Article 2 on May 3, 2021, a new elected, 5-member Municipal Light Board, separate from the Select Board, was chosen during the April 5, 2022 Town Election in accordance with M.G.L., Ch. 164, sec. 55

In Massachusetts, light boards are typically comprised of individuals who may or may not have extensive technical experience in power supply, transmission, distribution, and other matters.  This is because the Legislature has created a system in which light boards establish policy that is then executed by a general manager, who typically possesses the technical ability to run the daily operations of the light plant.

Members

Stephen Klionsky
Chair
Term ends 2024

David Beavers
Vice Chair
Term ends 2025

Travis Franck
Member
Term ends 2025

Andrew Machado
Member
Term ends 2023

Michael Macrae
Member
Term ends 2024


How is the Municipal Light Board Elected?

The makeup of the initial Municipal Light Board (MLB) election is as follows: 

  • Two members have been elected for three-year terms
  • Two members have been elected for two-year terms
  • One member has been elected for one-year term

This initial makeup is set up to create a cycling of members, so that there are not more than two MLB elections per year following the initial year.  Following the initial election, each MLB election will be for 3-year terms.

What are the duties of the Municipal Light Board?

The Municipal Light Board acts as the general policy and oversight board for Belmont Light. Please see the minutes below to get an idea of the discussions that occur at Municipal Light Board meetings. Some of the major policy accomplishments of the Municipal Light Board through the years have been the Policy on Emission-Free Renewable Energy Facilities and an updated Power Supply Policy.

Under the statute, the Municipal Light Board is responsible for:

  • Hiring, firing, setting the compensation for, and providing general direction to the General Manager of Belmont Light.
  • Acting as the general policy and oversight board for Belmont Light.
  • Approving the department’s rates and terms and conditions, with the recommendation of the General Manager.
  • Reviewing the annual audited financial reports from the General Manager.
  • Approving and signing annual reports submitted to the Department of Public Utilities by Belmont Light.
  • Voting on the annual budgets submitted by the General Manager.
  • Determining when and how depreciation funds should be appropriated in accordance with state law.
  • Acting as the Chief Executive Officers for the purpose of collective bargaining with labor unions (in Belmont Light’s case, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 104).

Conversely, the General Manager is responsible for:

  • Hiring, firing, and oversight of employees, attorneys, consultants, and independent contractors.
  • Purchasing supplies, which includes the power supply.
  • Managing all aspects of the distribution system.
  • Preparing and submitting the department’s annual budget to the Board.
  • Overseeing billing and accounts.

Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Municipal Light Board Meetings




Light Board Advisory Committee Meetings





Note: Documents for Joint Municipal Light Board-Municipal Light Advisory Board meetings are included under the Municipal Light Board menus above.