2020 MMA Convention


The 2021 MMA Convention: 85th Anniversary Year - Agenda

September 30 & October 1, 2021 - Augusta Civic Center

Thursday, September 30, 2021

7:30 a.m.                   Registration Begins

7:30 – 10:30 a.m.     Continental Breakfast (grab & go)

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.        MCAPWA Business Meeting & Sessions

Maine Chapter of American Public Works (MCAPWA)

Topics to include:

  • Green Strobe Lights
  • Winter Technologies
  • Posted Roads
  • Entry Level Driver Training
  • Update from Maine DOT Commissioner

    Presenters: Brian Burne, Highway Maintenance Engineer, MaineDOT; Randy Devault, Training Coordinator, Maine Motor Transport; Bruce Van Note, Commissioner, MaineDOT
    (MCAPWA Luncheon will follow at Maine Municipal Association)

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.     WELCOME AND FEATURED SPEAKER

Can Civility Make a Comeback?
It’s hard to deny that civil discourse – in the U.S. and in Maine – has had a rough go of it in recent years. But, will this last? And is there anything local leaders can do to make “agreeing to disagree” the norm again, if it ever truly was? Civility and ethics expert Christopher Gates – a Maine resident – compares the national ethos of the U.S. and Canada in an enlightening way, as he explores the trend of polarization in governance.
Presenter: Christopher T. Gates, former President of the National Civic League and the Sunlight Foundation
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following categories: Leadership and Elected Relations.

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.   BREAK

10:45am-12:00pm   Concurrent Sessions

Biddeford: Transformation in Progress
Not long ago, it was a city under two shadows: Of Portland, located 25 minutes away, the trash-burning incinerator located literally in middle of town. Today, Biddeford is undergoing a massive rejuvenation, concentrating in the downtown mill area that it serves with Saco, but also in the area of arts, culture, restaurants and more. Two Biddeford leaders will walk attendees through the lessons they’ve learned, in a presentation relevant both to small towns and larger cities.
Presenters: James Bennett, Manager, City of Biddeford; Alan Casavant, Mayor, City of Biddeford; Marc Lessard, Councilor At Large, City of Biddeford
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following categories: Leadership and Finance/Budget.

New Faces, High Expectations
As social and technological advances like the acceptance of telecommuting enables out-of-state residents to move to small towns in Maine, local leaders find themselves explaining what services they do – and do not – offer more and more. This workshop will offer examples of the “expectation gap” between Mainers and new residents, and will offer ways to communicate about it.
Presenters: Jon Beekman, Selectperson, Town of Fayette and member, MMA Executive Committee; Jay Feyler, Manager, Town of Union and President, Maine Town, City & County Management Association; Mark Robinson, Manager, Town of Fayette; Eric Dyer, Manager, Town of Readfield
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following category: Leadership.


10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.         Connecting Resources Post-Pandemic

Maine Community Development Association
Details and presenters TBA

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.   BREAK

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.      Awards Luncheon (will be available for Members to livestream via the MMA website)

1:30 – 1:45 p.m.       BREAK

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.       MMA Annual Business Meeting (will be available for Members to livestream via the MMA website)
Please join us as MMA President James Gardner, Vice President James Bennett and Executive Director Cathy Conlow shed light on MMA’s upcoming priorities and reflect on the events and activities in 2021.
Certification: Valid for 1.00 MTCMA Certification credit in the following category: Leadership.


1:45 – 2:45 p.m.       

Managing Your Investments & Economic Outlook – Maine Municipal Tax Collectors’ & Treasurers (MMTCTA) & Maine Government Finance Officers Association (MEGFOA)
Presenter: Robert Cyr, Senior Vice President/Portfolio Manager, Bangor Wealth Management

General Assistance 101 – Maine Welfare Directors’ Association (MWDA)
This session will provide an overview of General Assistance and the responsibility of municipalities to administer the program according to State guidelines.  This will be a basic presentation with ample time for questions and is ideal for those new to General Assistance.
Presenters: Rindy Fogler, GA Administrator, City of Bangor; Stacey Parra, Town Clerk/ Deputy GA Administrator, Town of Union; KaTina Howes, GA Administrator, City of Ellsworth

Fire Chief: More Than a Title – Maine Fire Chiefs’ Association (MFCA)
This session will provide an overview of the current issues encountered by fire chiefs, the liability issues incurred by communities, and the Maine Fire Chiefs’ training programs and certification process.
Presenters: Retired Chief William St. Michel, Town of Durham; MFCA President Chief Darrell White, City of Presque Isle; MFCA 1st VP Chief Thomas Higgins, City of Bangor; MFCA Past President Chief John Duross, City of Saco

2:45 – 3:00 p.m.       BREAK

3:00 - 4:15 p.m.        KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Where Do We Go from Here? Canada & the U.S.
Canada and the United States are sibling nations that, along with Mexico, have been involved in NAFTA since 1994. The three form a symbiotic economic and social relationship that is frayed and uncertain. What does the short-term future look like for Canada, the U.S. and the State of Maine, whose socio-economic interdependence is among the most intense in the world? What is the future based on who controls the Presidency and Congress? Moreover, what is the impact of technology, harmful global trade, illicit financial flows, real estate bubbles, employment, educational systems, deflation, the EU's challenges, China's slowdown and the pushback toward global trade in general? As the saying goes, “Can’t we all just get along?”
Presenter: Diane Francis. Ms. Francis draws upon her experience as a renowned Canadian journalist, author and professor to present the scenarios, warnings, trends and solutions that are critically important to Maine-Canada trade and our border communities.
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following category: Leadership.


4:20 – 6:00 p.m.       Member Appreciation Reception – with Motor Booty Affair
Make sure to bring your boogie shoes for this “70’s extravaganza” with Motor Booty Affair, Maine’s “Ultimate Disco Party Band”!



Friday, October 1, 2021

7:30 a.m.                   Registration

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.       Continental Breakfast (grab & go)

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.     Broadband, Growth and the Future of Maine
As we emerge from the COVID shadow, and with better funding potential than we’ve seen in years, Maine municipalities can look ahead to broadband expansion, renewable energy and new approaches to growth and development in ways that were hard to envision just a few years ago. Please join Heather Johnson, Maine’s Commissioner for Economic and Community Development, as she examines the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Presenter: Heather Johnson, Maine Commissioner of Economic and Community Development
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following categories: Leadership and Finance/Budget.


10:15 – 10:45 a.m.   BREAK

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.      Concurrent Sessions

Is the Maine Economy Hot – or What?
From a white-hot housing market to a summer tourism bounce that exceeded many expectations, the economy in many parts of our state is bustling. What is the outlook for 2022 and beyond? Will a tight labor market and aging population be our undoing? How will the state’s geographic disparities play out? If you want to position your community’s economic future in the best way possible, this address is a can’t-miss event.
Presenter: Amanda Rector, Maine State Economist
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following category: Finance/Budget.


Police Engagement Under COVID
This presentation will review the function and outcomes of Virtual Municipal Police Town Hall public engagement sessions held this spring, explore future opportunities for community engagement, and discuss how municipalities can support increased police story sharing, sensible reform and transparency. Updates and impacts of criminal justice and police reform legislation passed in the 1st Session of the 130th Legislature will also be explored. Participants will also be provided a sneak peek at known and proposed legislation for the 2nd Session.
Presenters: Rebecca Graham, Legislative Advocate, Maine Municipal Association; Noel C. March, Director, Maine Community Policing Institute, UMA; Chief Jared Mills, President, Maine Chiefs of Police Association/ Augusta Police Department; Chief Jason Warlick, District 6 Maine Chiefs of Police Rep./ Damariscotta Police Department
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following categories: Leadership, Ethics, Elected Relations.


12:00 – 1:00 p.m.     Networking Luncheon


1:00 – 2:15 p.m.       Concluding Session

Update on the American Rescue Program Act
The federal ARPA program provides new funding streams for many municipalities but it also raises many questions about what qualifies, what doesn’t and what deadlines are important to remember. Now’s the time to listen, and ask questions, as key Maine Municipal Association staff brief attendees about ARPA with the best current information available.
Presenters: Rebecca McMahon and Richard Flewelling, MMA Legal Services Department; Kate Dufour and Neal Goldberg, MMA State & Federal Relations Department
Certification: Valid for 1.25 MTCMA Certification credits in the following category: Leadership, Finance/Budget and Legal.


2:20 p.m.                   Convention Adjourns


**This agenda will be updated as additional Affiliate Group-sponsored sessions are added**

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