Municipal Bulletin Board
(from the October 2007 Maine Townsman)

Incoming MMA President

Cape Elizabeth Town Councilor Anne Swift-Kayatta was sworn in as the incoming president of the Maine Municipal Association on October 3 at the annual banquet of the 2007 MMA Convention held in Augusta. Swift-Kayatta will begin her term of office as MMA President in January, 2008.

Swift-Kayatta has been a town councilor in Cape Elizabeth since 1999, during which time she has served two terms as council chair. She served on the MMA Executive Committee from 2002 to 2005 and was elected in 2006 to serve as Vice President for 2007.

Ethel Kelley Award

Mary Waterman of North Haven was the 2007 recipient of MMA’s prestigious Ethel Kelley Memorial Award, presented to her by MMA President Nick Mavodones during the MMA Annual Banquet on October 3.  This is the 22nd consecutive year that the Maine Municipal Association has named an Ethel Kelley Memorial Award recipient. The award recognizes dedication to the cause of good local government including such attributes as selfless concern for people, demonstrated capability, efficiency and willingness to hold an organization together, as well as conscientious service and longevity.

Mary Waterman has served as treasurer, tax collector, secretary to the board of selectmen since 1963.

Report Competition

For over 50 years, Maine Municipal Association has conducted an annual “Municipal Report Competition”. Winners of the 2007 Municipal Report Competition, by population category and in the order placement — Supreme, Superior and Excellence, were as follows: 0-499 – Carrabassett Valley, Arrowsic and Cranberry Isles; 500-999 – Eagle Lake, Jackman and Liberty; 1,000-2,499 – Castine, Vinalhaven and Greenville; 2,500-4,999 – Kennebunk-port, Waldoboro and Bucksport; and 5,000 and over – Augusta, Falmouth and Freeport.

The judges for this year’s competition included John Quartararo with Key Bank; Sue Bell with Bernstein Shur Government Solutions, LLC; and long-time Maine newspaper reporter Liz (Chapman) Mockler.

MMA Photo Contest

This year, Maine Municipal Association conducted its first-ever “Photo Contest – Community’s Best Shot” recognition program.

With 53 municipalities entering the Photo Contest and 211 photographs to review, the Judging Panel of three current MMA Executive Committee members — Stephan Bunker of Farmington, Clint Deschene of Hermon; and Galen Larrabee of Knox — had their job cut out for them!  The judges selected winners and honorable mentions in five categories. These photos will be displayed in the MMA office building over the next year. 

The following selections were made: Special Event – North Berwick with honorable mention to Kingfield; Downtown Project – Old Orchard Beach with honorable mention to Buxton; Signage – Van Buren with honorable mention to Buxton; Municipal Building/Local Landmark – Castine with honorable mention to South Portland; and Scenic Beauty – Pittsfield with honorable mention to Castine and Van Buren. 

MMA Supports Three Bond Proposals

On Tuesday, November 6 th, Maine’s voters will be presented five statewide ballot questions. Question 1 is an initiated question that asks if the voters want to allow a harness racing track with slot machines and high-stakes beano games in Washington County. Question 5 is a referendum question that asks if the voters want to extend legislative term limits from four, two-year terms to six.

Sandwiched between the initiated question and the referendum question are three separate bond proposals.

At its September meeting, the MMA Executive Committee reviewed the five ballot questions, voted to support the three bond issues, and voted to take no position on the initiated and referendum questions.

Question 2. The second ballot question is the proposed economic development bond. If approved by the voters, a $55 million bond would be issued. The lion’s share of the bond revenue would be dedicated to funding research and development investments issued on a competitive basis to targeted technology sectors. The $50 million in R&D money would leverage an equal amount of investment funding from other sectors.

Question 3. The third ballot question proposes a $43.5 million bond issue to support capital improvements and additions at all campuses of the state’s Community College and University systems. In addition, approximately 8% of this bond issue would be used to capitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund (which is used to renovate and upgrade public school buildings) and the “New Century Program” (which helps finance capital improvements to facilities such as museums, historical facilities and libraries). This bond issue does not anticipate leveraging other-source investment.

Question 4. The fourth question on the ballot proposes a $35.5 million bond to support outdoor recreation and natural resource infrastructure, including:

• $17 million for the Land For Maine’s Future program;

• $7.5 million for capital improvements to Maine’s state parks and historic sites;

• $5 million to revitalize the “riverfronts” in municipal downtowns;

• $3 million to support “working waterfront” initiatives;

• $1.5 million to support the Municipal Investment Trust Fund; and

• $1.5 million for agricultural grants.

The land conservation bond is expected to leverage nearly $22 million in additional public and private contributions.

By its vote, MMA’s Executive Committee is urging municipal officials across the state to advocate at the local level for passage of the three bond questions. The Secretary of State’s “Citizen Guide” to the November ballot questions is available for review at