The City of Bangor will be rolling out the red carpet for the MMA membership in October. The 2002 MMA Annual Convention will be held October 16-18 at the Bangor Civic Center. MMA staff and the convention steering committee have worked to develop a high quality program. We have planned a three-day convention, attempting to design a program that offers members the opportunity to “network” with their peers and participate in workshops that provide “hands-on” learning about current issues facing municipal officials.
The focus of this year’s convention is tax reform and the convention program will provide the MMA membership with a chance to learn about the Association’s effort in undertaking property tax reform through a citizen initiative that will appear on the ballot in November 2003. An extensive overview of this initiative is scheduled for Thursday, October 17th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. We hope the membership will take time to attend these meetings, learn about this important initiative and find out what they can do to help support the proposal.
The convention kicks off Wednesday, October 16th in the morning with the opening session scheduled for 8:30 am. Our featured speaker for the opening session is Mac Fulfer, a “face reading” specialist. Fulfer, who has practiced law for 23 years in Fort Worth, Texas, will demonstrate how reading the very structure of the face and its accompanying features reveals the thinking style of the owner. The session is sponsored by MMA’s Risk Management Services.
The Wednesday program will end with a “Welcoming Reception” in the exhibit area at the conclusion of the day’s program. The City of Bangor is coordinating Wednesday evening activities, giving members the chance to meet socially and explore the Bangor area.
Affiliate Groups will be holding business meetings and training sessions at various times throughout the three days of convention.
The program for Thursday will start with registration at 7:30 am. Sessions are scheduled to start promptly at 9:00 am. MMA will offer informational sessions covering the Association’s tax reform efforts during the morning.
Some highlights of the 2002 Convention include:
• A Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on Thursday from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm. The forum will be moderated by Don Carrigan, of Maine Public Television and we have invited the four candidates to participate. Plan to attend the forum to hear the candidates discuss the key issues facing Maine.
• The MMA Annual Banquet Thursday night. The banquet is scheduled to start at 6:30 pm. The featured speaker is Dr. Marianne Jennings, a Professor of Legal and Ethical Studies at Arizona State University. A captivating speaker, Dr. Jennings’ topic will be “Ethics: The Cheap Way to Minimize Risk.” The banquet will conclude with the presentation of the Ethel Kelly Award and the passing of the gavel to the new MMA President.
• Breakfast and guest speaker Friday morning. Friday's program starts with a breakfast. Our guest speaker is the State Economist, Laurie Lachance. Ms. Lachance will provide an overview of future economic challenges facing the State of Maine. She will examine how the demographics of Maine will shape public policy.
MMA will then offer a session featuring a panel of municipal officials discussing - “Preparing Maine for the Future” - a look at what towns and cities need to do to address our state’s emerging issues. The panel will explore a wide range of issues confronting the state and municipalities including: interlocal and regional cooperation, the cost of government, the levels of government, taxation, growth and economic development issues, school/municipal issues, and Maine’s aging population, to name a few. The Convention will close at 11:00 AM.
More information is available in the Townsman. Also, information and registration materials are on MMA’s website at www.memun.org. As in the past members will be able to register online.
See you in Bangor! See you in October!