01/24/2020 - Unemployment & CareerCenter Help
The Maine Department of Labor is reaching out to municipal officials and, by extension, their citizens to help people with common unemployment questions, including resetting passwords and being locked out of unemployment insurance accounts. Winter is a time when more Mainers are unemployed due to seasonal job loss, so call volumes and wait times can be high. CareerCenters have added staff and hours in response to this at seven physical locations throughout the state.
01/21/2020 - MMA Announces 2020 Summer Intern Grant Award Program
Once again, the Maine Municipal Association will support members who plan to hire summer interns through the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center Maine Government Internship Program. In 2020, MMA will make four grants of $2,000 to municipal members that commit to hiring a summer intern (or more than one). This is part of MMA’s Hometown Careers program, which encourages people to consider municipal employment as a career.
01/15/2020 - Wage and Hour Regulations Now in Effect
The Maine Municipal Association wants to remind municipal employers that Maine’s minimum wage increased from $11/hour to $12/hour on Jan. 1, 2020. For more information, visit the Maine Department of Labor’s website at: https://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_laws/minimum_wage_faq.html. Also effective Jan. 1, 2020, are new federal regulations revising the overtime pay exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
01/15/2020 - Ecomaine Recycling Program in Scarborough
The Town of Scarborough and ecomaine will host an informational session and panel discussion about their successful efforts to educate citizens about recycling, including outreach on topics such as what items can and cannot be recycled. The recent project lowered recycling contamination rates and saved money. The session will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Scarborough Town Hall on Jan. 30, 2020. RSVPs to economaine are requested.
01/14/2020 - DEP Grant Program for Septic Systems
The state Department of Environmental Protection has up to $2 million in grant money available to assist individuals with malfunctioning septic systems. Municipalities play a pivotal role in the program, and the deadline to apply is Feb. 7, 2020.
01/08/2020 - Cyber Security Alert
Due to recent threats of cyber attacks targeted towards governments within the United States the Maine Municipal Association is providing the attached document from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. This document outlines the threat and references mitigation techniques to harden a network and hopefully lessen he likelihood of compromise. Members should forward this document to their technical staff for review and remediation. Please pay attention the mitigation steps listed on page 3 of the document. Members should also warn internal staff of the increased risk and adopt a heightened awareness during this time.
We have been notified this week that several members have had their phone systems hacked recently. If you use a VOIP phone system the attached document should also be sent to you phone system provider.
01/08/2020 - MMA’s 2020 Training Calendar
Maine Municipal Association will hold, support and organize over 100 training events throughout the state in 2020, including new offerings on TRIO software, the Risks of Inland and Coastal Flooding and Municipal Leadership, as well as perennial favorites like Verbal Judo, Personnel Practices – and so much more. The entire 2020 training calendar is available below and includes a combination of MMA events and those sponsored by professional affiliate groups with which we work. The training sites span the state, from Kennebunk to Caribou and from Machias to Rangeley.
01/02/2020 - Spirit of America Awards
Your municipal governing body is invited to pick a local person, project or group to receive the 2020 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service and to honor the recipient at your annual town meeting or during National Volunteer Month in April. There is no fee involved. More than 200 Maine municipalities chose a Spirit of America award winner this past year. For more info, visit the website www.spiroaft.com and the “Contact Us” page on that site.
12/27/2019 - MMA Year in Review
The Maine Municipal Association’s 2019 Year in Review publication is out, and this year it has a new look. Executive Director Stephen Gove points out MMA’s accomplishments in 2019, from success with property tax relief on the legislative front to promoting municipal careers to helping members protect themselves from cyber security threats, and educating them about other emerging trends.
12/18/2019 - Leadership Training via MDF
The Maine Development Foundation is announcing its 2020 plans for two municipally relevant training programs: Leadership Maine and the Institute for Civic Leadership. The engineering firm Woodard & Curran underwrites two $2,500 scholarships for municipal attendees who participate in ICL.