Municipal Bulletin Board
(from the July 2006 Maine Townsman)


The University of Southern Maine (USM) Muskie School of Public Service will be offering a class on “ Managing Towns and Municipalities” this fall. The course will explore central themes involved in managing cities and towns in the United States with special emphasis on city management issues and practices in Maine and New England. Instructing the course is Phil Nadeau, deputy city administrator in Lewiston.

The course is scheduled for Wednesdays from 4:10-6:40 p.m. starting September 6 and will be held at the USM-Portland campus.

For more information, contact Susan Moore, Director of Student Affairs –780-4864 or


The Maine Town & City Clerks Association (MTCCA) will hold a “Vital Statistics Workshop” at two locations in Augusta. On August 10, the workshop will be held at the Black Bear Inn in Orono, and on August 17, it will be held at Keeley’s (Turnpike Exit 48) in Portland.

Vital Statistics is a daylong workshop that provides municipal clerks with an overview of the law, rules and regulations concerning the vital records program in Maine. It is a mandatory course for MTCCA certification.

Registration is $50 for MTCCA members and $60 for non-members. For more information, contact MMA's Training & Affiliate office, 1-800-452-8786.


The 61 st New England Management Institute will be held August 30-September 1 at Sebasco Harbor Resort. Featured speakers and facilitators include Dr. Jack Kartez of the USM Muskie School of Public Service, Laura Moorehead with the Institute for Civic Leadership, and former Mechanic Falls Town Manager and past president of MTCMA, Dana Lee.

For more information on the Institute, go to the MTCMA website,, or contact MMA Training & Affiliate office, 1-800-452-8786.


(By Lynn Randall, State Law Librarian)

The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library offers many resources of special interest to municipal officials. The Law Library also serves citizens from the entire state, and library staff members are happy to assist users who are not able to visit in person.

Services to municipal officials. The Law Library is a legislative office and maintains the most complete collection of legislative documents in the state. If you need help with legislative research, historical or current, consider contacting the library reference desk. Skilled reference librarians will be happy to assist you in locating Maine Statutes and legislative bills. In addition, the library can assist you in finding the history of legislation, including debate on the floor of the House and Senate, and for bills since 1983, written testimony presented at the bill’s public hearing.

The library reference staff is also happy to assist you in locating municipal acts of incorporation, even those that were enacted by the Massachusetts General Court prior to Maine statehood. We can search for amendments to the original act through the current legislative session. The library also maintains a file of municipal home rule charters and amendments. These may be useful if you are looking for model language.

Our collection also includes standard legal works, some of which focus specifically on municipal legal issues. Some examples of titles on our shelves are McQuillan on Municipal Corporations, Matthews on Municipal Ordinances, and Municipal Legal Forms. All of these are multi-volume sets that are kept up-to-date. Our collection also includes works on other topics relevant to municipal government. Two examples are land use and property tax assessment. In addition, the library also has various types of codes and standards, including the International Building Code and the International Residential Code (both recently mentioned in building code legislation), the BOCA codes, and a number of the National Fire Protection Association codes.

The newspaper clippings collection can provide information about current Maine issues. Library staff clip articles from papers around the state and file the articles by subject. While we don’t clip articles that are mainly of local interest, we do select articles on hundreds of subjects. If your town is facing an issue that has been a challenge to other towns, you may find that we have relevant news articles on file.

Services to citizens. All of the above resources and services are available to citizens, but several deserve special mention with regard to citizen requests. The manuals from Maine Municipal Association are at the top of the list. MMA members have access to these as a benefit of MMA membership, but paper copies in our collection are available for loan to any resident of Maine. If citizen comes to the town office in search of information and you feel that one of the manuals might be helpful, you may refer that person to the Library.

It is important to note that library reference staff will go as far as we possibly can to help a citizen. We will make available information that is relevant to the question, being as specific as we can. However, we cannot give legal advice, suggest a course of action, or explain what legal rights a person may have in a particular situation.

Accessing the library. Accessing the library is easy, even if you aren’t able to visit in person, by phone (287-1600) and email. Our web site ( includes a form you can use for asking a question or making a request. We can respond electronically as well, either with links to web sites or by emailing court cases and law review articles. In addition, we can still mail or fax photocopies. (There may be some charges for these services.) We can also loan materials from our collection directly to any Maine resident through the mail.

We look forward to receiving your telephone and electronic requests and to greeting you when you are in Augusta, whether for a short visit or a tour of the Library.