Municipal Bulletin Board
(from the April 2009 Maine Townsman)

CONGRESSIONAL-CITY CONFERENCE

Maine Senator Susan Collins was one of the featured speakers at the Opening General Session of the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional-City Conference held in Washington, D.C., March 15-18. Senator Collins spoke about her role in the development of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act legislation.

Sixteen officials from eight Maine communities in attendance at the conference participated in meetings arranged by MMA with each member of the Maine Congressional Delegation. In January, MMA had sent members of the Delegation the 2009 MMA Federal Issues Paper which focused on the efforts of Congress on rebuilding the nation’s damaged economy.

With the enactment of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, participants in the meetings assured members of the Delegation that municipal officials are committed to being good stewards to use these funds to address important infrastructure and public service needs in their communities; however, they stressed the importance of receiving timely and “user friendly” information, given the ambitious timetable and complexity of this federal legislation. The members of the delegation were responsive to these concerns and pledged to work with MMA to help municipal officials better understand and navigate through this legislation.

Municipal officials are encouraged to visit the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act section of MMA’s website (www.memun.org ) for more information and links to various state and federal resources. Michael Starn, MMA Director of Communications & Educational Services, is serving as MMA’s primary contact regarding the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. He may be contacted at 1-800-452-8786; or mstarn@memun.org.

Board Picture with Senator Collins

DOWNTOWN CONFERENCE

The 9th Annual Maine Downtown Conference is June 5 in historic downtown Rockland. Downtown: Live It! Love It! is the theme featuring national and statewide experts in organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. Keynote presentation will be made by national retail marketing guru Rick Segel. Registration opens soon and sponsorships are available! Email Roxanne Eflin, Maine Downtown Center Conference Coordinator, at reflin@mdf.org.

CITIZEN EDUCATION

Five communities were selected in January to be “pilot communities” in the MMA Citizen Education Program during 2009. They are Liberty, Milford, Saco, Ellsworth and St. Albans. MMA staff has visited each of these communities over the past three months to make a presentation on the pilot community phase of the Citizen Education Program.

Work on the MMA Citizen Education Program began in early 2008. A Working Group of the MMA Executive Committee was formed to guide the development of the program. Throughout the spring and summer of 2008, the Working Group along with MMA staff and consultants from the Swardlick Marketing Group started to lay the foundation for the program. A goal and brand/logo for the program were established, and the decision to launch the first phase of the program using “pilot communities” was also made.

MMA’s objective for the “pilot community” phase of the program is to develop practical and transferable “communication tools” for citizen education. These communication tools will be used to further the goal of the program which is “to enhance citizens’ understanding of, participation in, and appreciation for, local government”. From the ideas and experiences gained from the “pilot” testing of the program, MMA intends to launch a statewide program that will give all communities interested in improving citizen education a platform to inform and involve more citizens in Maine local government.

For more information about the Citizen Education Program, contact Michael Starn or Janice Tevanian at MMA, 1-800-452-8786.

LICENSING WORKSHOP

A Licensing Workshop, sponsored by the Maine Town & City Clerks Association (MTCCA), will be held May 18 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Registration is $50 for MTCCA members and $60 for non-members.

For more information contact the MMA Affiliate Services office at 1-800-452-8786.