Municipal Bulletin Board
(from the July 2005 Maine Townsman)

NOTICE

CORRECTION: The wrong day was given in last month's Townsman for when the MMA office would be closed for the association's annual staff appreciation event. The MMA offices will be closing at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 29 to allow the organization an opportunity to recognize and thank employees for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

MMA CONVENTION

This year's MMA Annual Convention will be held October 5-7 at the Augusta Civic Center. A complete report on the convention with a listing of all the general sessions and Affiliate Group sessions will appear in the next issue of the TOWNSMAN. Online information, including registration forms, will be made available on MMA's website starting in mid-August.

"Back to Basics: Efficient Services and Economic Vitality" is the theme for the 2005 MMA Convention. Some speakers and general sessions to look forward to include: luncheon speaker Jack Schultz, noted author of the book "Boomtown USA: 7 ½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns; opening session keynoter Tim Honey, director of Sister Cities International and former Portland city manager; and special programs on Cash Handling and Internal Controls, Violence in the Workplace, Homeland Security, Municipal Finance, LD 1 and the Impact of Military Base Closures.

Mark your calendars today and start looking for convention information as it gets posted on the MMA website, www.memun.org If you have questions about the convention, contact Michael Starn, convention coordinator, 1-800-452-8786.

INNOVATIONS AWARD

Harvard University invites you to apply for an Innovations in American Government Award.

Administered by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government, the Innovations Award is heralded as the premier public-sector award in the nation. It is given annually to programs that serve as examples of creative and effective government at its best.

All units of government – federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial – within the United States are eligible to apply.

Each of the winners of the 2006 Innovations Award will receive a $100,000 grant to support replication and dissemination activities.

Applications and more information are at: www.innovationsaward.harvard.edu

Applications are dues by September 15, 2005

LABOR POSTERS

Some Maine businesses have been receiving official looking notices soliciting employers to purchase labor posters that are otherwise available for free from state government. One such notice warns companies that in order to avoid significant fines, criminal liability, and civil penalties, they should order a new set of labor posters at a cost of $54.50.

Although the misleading notices are not illegal, Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman wants Maine employers to know that they can obtain the same labor posters for free through the Business Answers program of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

"State and federal laws do require all employers to post certain labor law notices, but employers are not required to pay for them," said Commissioner Fortman.

To request a package of free labor posters, employers are encouraged to call the Business Answers program at 1-800-872-3838 or 624-9818.

Employers may also download many of these posters from the internet. Posters obtained in this fashion will fulfill the posting requirements of the law. Further information is available on the web at: www.maine.gov/labor/bls/posters

LAND USE SUMMIT

The Maine State Planning Office is hosting a "Maine Land Use Planning Summit" on August 9-10 at the University of Maine at Orono. The summit hopes to attract public and private sector individuals interested in land use planning to help SPO develop a set of recommendations that will guide future land use policy in Maine.

John Vogt, president of the consulting firm Peoplesworth, will facilitate the meeting.

You can register for this event online at www.maine.gov/spo/landuse or by calling 287-4120. Attendance is limited to 300 persons, on a first come, first served basis, with an August 2 deadline. There is no registration fee for this conference. Attendees will be responsible for their own lodging and dinner.

GROWTH MANAGEMENT

"How Can We Improve Maine's Growth Management Act" is the title of a forum to be held at the Topsham Public Library on August 31. This all day workshop will feature Stuart Meck, senior research fellow in the Research Department of the American Planning Association. Meck has over 30 years experience in research, professional practice and teaching.

The forum is being cosponsored by the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, the Maine Association of Planners, GrowSmart Maine and the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.

Registrations are limited. For more information, contact Peg Sawyer at 324-2952 or psawyer@smrpc.org