General Sessions

Wednesday, October 6

 7:30          Registration


              Affordable Housing in Maine

                   The importance of affordable housing for a community’s well being cannot be overstated. If you are a Town Manager, Board or Council member and have wondered what all the hype around “affordable housing” was about, this is your opportunity to hear and discuss some of the most important issues surrounding this topic. This training is designed for the municipal official/officer who has very little or no background on housing and affordable housing issues. However, it also promises to provide useful information for the more experienced individual as well. Topics to be covered include: Housing Needs and Benefits; Planning, Zoning and Legislation; Programs and Resources.

              HR Practices in Municipal Government

                   The presenters will share their experiences about personnel management in the public sector.  The session will provide an update on key changes in personnel law and an overview of the components to maintain an effective human resource program in your municipality. The session will provide an overview of key human resource issues including hiring practices, performance evaluations, personnel policies, and the legal requirements of human resource management.

11:00      MMA Annual Business Meeting

11:30      Exhibit Area Opens

12:30-2:00  Welcome/MMA Luncheon

                   MMA President Jolene Lovejoy and Augusta Mayor William Dowling will welcome delegates to the 68th MMA Convention. The keynote speaker is scheduled to be an elected official from California (TBD) who will discuss the impacts of Prop 13 on California.


              Effective Meetings: A Legal and Functional View

                   The session will provide an update on Maine’s Right-to-Know Law with regard to open meetings and public records law. The session will also examine how to plan meetings and assure that you will achieve results. It will look at how to prepare, how to conduct a meeting, guidelines for conduct in meetings and ways to bring creative thinking to your meetings. Questions and audience participation will be welcomed.

              Implementing GASB 34 Reporting Requirements: The Small Town Perspective

                   This program is targeted for small municipalities who are in the process of working towards compliance with GASB 34.  The presenters will outline the basics and offer some suggestions for implementation of GASB 34. 

 4:30 – 6:00  Welcoming Reception

                   An evening of fun for convention delegates begins with the Welcoming Reception in the exhibit hall. After the reception, delegates have the evening on their own to meet informally in the Augusta area.

6:00 – 9:00          Impacts of the Palesky Proposal

                   This is an informational meeting on targeting elected and appointed officials about the impacts of the Palesky Proposal.  The program is designed to outline what the Palesky Proposal means to elected officials, managers and municipal staff and the challenges of implementing the proposal. The meeting will provide an overview of the impacts on ten communities in Maine and look in more detail at one of those towns. We will also have an expert panel to discuss economic impacts, legal and administrative issues, education impacts and the impacts of Prop 13 in California. This is a free session open to all municipal officials.  There is a separate registration for this meeting. Contact MMA for more information or fill-out “Palesky Proposal Session” registration section of the convention registration materials.


Thursday, October 7

 7:30          Registration

7:30-8:30  MMEHT Health Walk

                   Join the Wellness Works staff of the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust for a health walk on the University of Maine at Augusta trails behind the MMA office building. A great way to start the day.


              MMA Website from A to Z!

                   MMA has redesigned its web site. Come look at the new design and find out how to get the most from the web site. Members can learn how to use Internet tools and explore the diverse services and information on MMA’s site in this session that will progress from basic to advanced. Come discover the many ways you can use this resource to save time and money and learn how to navigate this important resource.

              How to Best Communicate the Impacts of the Palesky Proposal

                   This session will provide an overview of how to tell your employees, friends, family and associates about the impacts of the Palesky Proposal. What messages work best? What are the key facts and figures? How to tell the story in simple terms that will convince people to vote against the measure.  We’ll boil the issues down to “talking points” that will work with the given audience.

12:00-2:00  Lunch (no formal program scheduled)

 2:00       A Ground Level Look at the Palesky Proposal

                   This program will consider the potential ramifications of the Palesky Proposal on municipalities. It will outline the legal and technical problems of the proposal and focus on the likely impacts to municipalities. We have invited representatives of four municipalities to participate on the panel and explain the results of their analysis of the impacts to their community. They will also discuss how they have communicated the results and the response they have received from the citizens in their towns. Come learn what you can do in your community to analyze the impacts. Topic experts will focus a significant amount of time to answering questions from the audience.

 3:00       Exhibit Area Closes

4:30-6:00  Banquet Reception

6:00-9:00  MMA Annual Banquet

                   Keynote Speaker – This year’s speaker is author Bill Butterworth. His extraordinary ability to blend humor, story telling, and wisdom has made him one of the most sought after speakers in the country. Many consider him the #1 humorist/expert on life and work issues. Through his wit, warmth, insight and realism, he brings help and hope to his audiences everywhere.

                   Also on the agenda is the introduction of the 2004-2005 MMA President, the announcement and recognition of the 2004 Municipal Leadership Program participants, and the presentation of the 2004 Ethel Kelley Award.

Friday, October 8

 8:00          Closing Session (breakfast meeting)

                   Our featured speaker is Gary Crocker, a Maine humorist and educator, who knows that laughter is the key to a well-balanced life. Gary Crocker heard his first stories from his Grandfather Russell. The two of them walked the Maine woods together while Grandfather Russell told Maine tales. But the man who had the most impact on Crocker’s decision to be a Maine humorist was the legendary Marshall Dodge. "He was probably one of the finest storytellers I ever heard, says Gary,who has collected all of Dodge's tapes.

                   Today, Gary speaks several times a month and is a regular in front of the Maine State Legislature. While not speaking or cleaning out the trailer, Gary has managed to produce two CD’s with a third on the way. “It’s best to make money doing what you love- especially if you like to talk as much as Gary.” Eventually Gary plans to retire from his current position as a lobbyist for the Maine Technical College System and become a full-time humorist. Come and end the Convention with a laugh!

10:00          Adjourn