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Seeing Every Event on Every Calendar
We’ll start with a guide to seeing every calendar item from all the different groups that keep calendars.
On the homepage, notice the calendar on the right. You can click Calendar or Event List to see it in different ways.*
Notice that the calendar shows which dates have events on them. You can click individual dates to see everything that’s happening that day.
You can also click individual events to see more about each one.
Or, you can see even more events by clicking View All Events.
That takes you to a page with all of this month’s calendar events on it.
This is a list of everything that’s going on this month. Use these arrows or this drop-down menu to check out other months.
We can also click these tabs on the top left to see just this week, or see it as a list of events.
Searching for Events
Now, if we’re looking for a particular event, we can use the search bar.
Just enter a keyword, then click search. You can also limit the search to particular dates by typing them the Start Date and End Date boxes to the left, or click the nearby calendar icon to select a date manually.
Notice that you can click the Show Past Events checkbox to search past events as well.
And finally before we search, you can use the Select a Calendar drop-down menu on the right to decide which calendars you want to search in.
Right now, it’s set to search every calendar, but we can change that by unchecking some boxes.
When you’re ready, click the magnifying glass button on the far right, or hit the Enter key on your keyboard to search.
Learning More About Individual Events
Let’s go back to the month-by-month view again.
We can learn more about individual events by clicking them to reveal a new window with new information.
To learn even more, click More Details. This takes you to a new page with all the details in one place.
*If you’re not on the homepage, you can always get to this page with all the calendar events by hovering over the Government tab at the top, then clicking Calendar.
**Some dates have too many events at once. Click Show More to see them all.
Seeing Just One Committee’s Calendar
If you’re just looking for events from a single board, committee or other group, it’s usually best to find their page on the website. Most committees and departments have their calendars posted in a prominent place.
Here’s what that looks like on the Housing Advisory Board’s page, for example:
You can click an event to see more about it, or click View All Events to see all upcoming events.
If there is not a calendar visible, that usually means that there are no upcoming events for that group. You can see past events by going to the Government Tab at the top and clicking Calendar just like we did before…
…then check the box that says Show Past Events…
…Use the Select a Calendar drop-down on the right to check the boxes for the committee you want to see…
…and click the magnifying glass to search.
There are a few ways to see agendas. We’ll look at each in turn.
Find Agendas, Starting from Any Page
From any page, hover the mouse over the Government tab at the top and click Agendas and Minutes.
This gives us a full list of all the groups that have agendas on our website. Just scroll down and find the group and the meeting you want.
Notice that this little green box appears on the right when a group has uploaded minutes for a particular meeting. Just click that box to download a copy. You can also click Download and then Agenda to download a copy of the agenda…..or you can click on the name of the agenda to see it in your web browser.
Notice also that the Select Board uses a different system to store their agendas and minutes. You can see that system by clicking this link near the top of the screen.
Searching for an Agenda
If you want to search for an agenda, you can write a word or phrase to search for in this box.
Then use the Time Period drop-down menu to decide the time period to search.
You can also click the Start Date and End Date boxes to select a more specific period to search.
Finally, click Select a Category to check off which groups’ agendas you want to search, and click the magnifying glass to start the search.
Seeing a Particular Committee’s Agendas
We can also see an individual committee’s agendas by visiting that committee’s page. Hover over the Government tab at the top then click Boards and Commissions.
On this page, we can see a list of every board, commission and committee in the town.
Let’s check out agendas for the Board of Assessors by clicking on their name.
Now we see there’s a link for their agendas on their individual page.
And you can see, this agenda page works just like the full list of agendas before: we have the search bar on top and the minutes and agenda downloads on the right. But since we came here from the Board of Assessors page, we only see their agendas instead of the agendas for every group.
Checking Agendas from the Calendar
Finally, there’s one last way to see agendas: going through the calendar.
Let’s start at the homepage. If we wanted to see the agenda for a particular event on the calendar, we just click on the meeting.
Usually there’s an agenda right here inside the calendar. If not, you can also download a copy by clicking this Download Agenda button on the top-right.
We’ve covered seeing calendar events and seeing agenda items in separate guides. Now we’ll go over how to automatically receive emails and texts when a new event is coming up.
Getting Notifications over Email
Starting from most pages on the site, hover your mouse over the Government tab on the top of the page, then click Notifications from Boards, Commissions & Departments.
You’ll arrive on this page titled Notify Me.
Before we do anything else, we’ll tell the website who we are, and how we want to get notifications. I’ll type in my email address in the Email Address box, then click Sign In to let the website know who I am.
Now we’ll click one of these two checkboxes to select if we want to get notifications on my email or phone. Let’s try email for now. We’ll cover the process for phone notifications below.
Now we can go down the list and find whichever board or commission we want notifications from. '
Let’s say we want to subscribe to the Brookline Housing Authority. You can see there’s a button to get notifications in your email or over texts on your phone. I’ll click the email icon on the left.
Just one more step. I need to confirm that I’m the real owner of the email account I signed into. The website sent an email to my account to check. It should be from [email protected]. I’ll click the link to confirm that I really want to subscribe to this list.
And it brings me back to this page, where you can see a notification that I’ve successfully subscribed.
Getting Notifications by Phone (Text Message)
What if we want to get messages by a text over the phone instead of email? Let's backtrack to the first time we went to the Notify Me page.
We’ll still enter our email address and click Sign In.
But then we can check the box that says I would like to be able to receive text messages on my mobile phone, enter a phone number, and click Save.
We scroll down to find the committee we want notifications from, then click the phone button on the right instead of the email button.
Now the website is sending me a confirmation text to my phone. It says to reply YES to confirm that I’m really the one who asked for these messages.
Unsubscribing from Notifications
Back on the website, You can see the subscription is marked with a little green check now to show we’re subscribed. You can click that to unsubscribe again.
There’s also a link to unsubscribe in every message you receive from each board. And if you want to unsubscribe from every notification, there’s a button right at the top of the list.
Register for Accela Account (online permit portal)
PDF guide to registering Accela Account
Registering an account on Accela, our Online Permit Portal
Accela usually opens at this 'login' screen. Click "Create an Account" to register for a new account.
That opens up the "Login Information" page, where we set a password for Accela and an email address to use as our user-name. Fill out the forms with your own information.
It also wants a security question. This is the question Accela will ask if you lose your password, to prove it's really you.
Click the "Terms of Service" link to make sure you understand Accela's terms of service. Click the checkbox when you're done, and click "Continue".
Now it will ask you who you're applying for. It's safe to just click "applicant."
That opens up a new set of fields to fill out. It's helpful to do this now, but you don't actually need to fill out anything except your name and email at this stage.
Once you see this green window, you're all set! Now you can navigate to your permit or log out. Just make sure you remember your email and password next time so you can log in.