Law and government
Worcester County has had no county government or county commissioners since July 1, 1998, when county functions were assumed by state agencies at local option following a change in state law. Vestiges of the former system include an elected county sheriff, county prosecutor, and court officials, administered under the state department of public safety, the state correctional system, known as the Worcester County Jail at West Boylston, and the Worcester County District courts (state administered) at Worcester, Fitchburg and other district courts within county boundaries. The office of district attorney is effectively a county-wide position even though the district includes one town from a neighboring county. In Massachusetts, Sheriffs have more limited roles than most states and are responsible for corrections, court service and bailiffs and jail release programs. County Sheriffs in Massachusetts are elected to six year terms. The Worcester County Sheriff is Lewis Evangelidis, (R), and the District Attorney is Joseph Early (D).(see the info-box at lower right for elected officials at county level).
Massachusetts law allows regional compacts, traditional counties and other governmental entities. Traditional County government persists in southeastern Massachusetts. Five traditional county governments include: Norfolk, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth Counties. Barnstable County, which is Cape Cod, functions as a modern regional government. The Massachusetts General Laws describe this r lationship of county government and the options for abolishing county governments and/or chartering regional governmental compacts in subchapter 34 B. Four other new county compacts have been created by the state legislature and these are in Hampshire, Franklin, Barnstable Counties, and a regional planning council level for Berkshire County. Thus 9 of 14 Counties have some form of county regional governments. Worcester County could exercise that option if it chooses for example, for public safety and, or preparedness due to its rather large geography, by a request to and a special act of the legislature, by local referendum or by one of three mechanisms. See the references for the state statute, and the League of Women Voters link.
Barnstable County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, consisting of Cape Cod and associated islands. (Some adjacent islands are in Dukes County and Nantucket County.) As of the 2010 census, the population was 216,902. Its county seat is Barnstable.
Barnstable County was formed as part of the Plymouth Colony on 2 June 1685, including the towns of Falmouth, Sandwich and others lying to the east and north on Cape Cod. Plymouth Colony was merged into the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691.
West Boylston is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 7,669 at the 2010 census. West Boylston includes the village of Oakdale, located on the opposite side of the Wachusett Reservoir from West Boylston center along Route 140.