12/16/2014 - Remaining ‘Electioneering’ Lawsuit Counts Dismissed
Maine Superior Court Justice M. Michaela Murphy on Monday dismissed both remaining counts from a 2010 lawsuit filed by plaintiffs represented by the Maine Heritage Policy Center against Maine Municipal Association, regarding MMA’s involvement in five citizens’ initiative referendum campaigns from 2003-09. Chief U.S. District Court Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. in 2013 dismissed the relevant federal counts in the lawsuit, providing MMA with a clear victory. Judge Woodcock remanded two state law claims to the state court. With Justice Murphy’s ruling on Monday, MMA has prevailed on all counts in summary judgment, both in Federal and State court. Justice Murphy also denied the plaintiffs’ request to restrict MMA from participating in future referendum campaigns or otherwise limiting MMA’s advocacy activities.
12/05/2014 - MMA Case Remanded to State Court
Chief U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. on Thursday issued a 33-page ruling that remands a lawsuit filed on July 10 by Maine Municipal Association, and the cities of Portland and Westbrook, to state court. The lawsuit challenges the manner in which the state Department of Health & Human Services issued guidelines last June affecting how municipalities issue General Assistance to applicants who are “aliens who are not present lawfully in the U.S.” and how they are reimbursed for the state share of that assistance, if at all. DHHS had removed the case to federal court, but MMA and its co-plaintiffs asked Judge Woodcock to remand the case back to state court, where it originally was filed, because the only issue MMA and the two cities have advanced in court is how rules should be developed and implemented under state law. We have not advanced in court the issue of providing General Assistance to non-citizens. MMA’s request was granted.
11/19/2014 - Constitution Speakers
The Liberty Day Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1996, encourages Maine municipal officials to visit 5th grade classrooms in their communities to review and discuss the U.S. Constitution. The organization also strives to get pocket-sized copies of the Constitution into Maine students’ hands.
11/10/2014 - Revenue Sharing: By the Numbers
Municipal officials are asking for up-to-date, statewide numbers on Revenue Sharing “raids” by the state over the years and actual distributions. A state law enacted in 1972 says that 5 percent of all state income and sales tax revenue should be distributed each year to towns and cities.
11/07/2014 - New Urbanism Event Held in Lewiston
Approximately 250 planners, architects, builders and municipal officials gathered in the City of Lewiston on Thursday (Nov. 6) for an event aimed at making Maine communities – especially cities—more livable and walkable. The event, “Build Maine: A Tactical Approach to Growing Maine Towns and Cities,” was co-sponsored by the Maine Municipal Association.
10/24/2014 - Wayne’s Peter Ault wins Ethel Kelley Award
Long-time Wayne resident Peter Ault – who has served his community in various positions for more than 49 years – received the Ethel Kelley Memorial Award at Maine Municipal Association’s 78th Annual Convention earlier this month. The Ethel Kelley Award recognizes distinguished community service and is considered MMA’s most prestigious annual award.
10/22/2014 - Soil Erosion Control Field Day: Overwintering
Water and Wastewater Operators, Superintendents, Public Works Employees, CEOs, LPI’s, Engineers and Contractors - join the Maine Rural Water Association November 12 in Richmond.
A range of topics will be covered including stabilizing soils for winter, erosion and sedimentation control during construction season and how to prepare for the spring.
The informative training will include a mix of classroom instruction as well as hands-on demonstrations at five concurrent field stations.
10/17/2014 - Stream-Smart Road Crossings
Many organizations in Maine are co-sponsoring training workshops on stream-smart road crossings (Phase II) in October and November. Specifically, the field training workshops will be offered Oct. 23 in Whitefield, Oct. 30 in Saco and Nov. 20 in Bangor. The idea is to build road crossings designed to serve ecological practices well.
10/14/2014 - 2nd Annual Western Maine Safety Rodeo - Oct. 31, Norway
Join the Maine Rural Water Association for their second annual Western Maine Safety Rodeo October 31 in Norway. The event offers networking and hands on safety training for water & wastewater systems, public works employees & others.
10/08/2014 - GrowSmart Maine Summit 2014
The organization GrowSmart Maine will hold its annual Summit on Oct. 21 at the Augusta Civic Center. Among the many scheduled speakers who will have municipal appeal is Tamar Kotelchuck, Director, Working Cities Initiatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who will explain an effort in Massachusetts to support leaders who reach across sectors to ensure that smaller cities are places of opportunity and prosperity for residents.