MMA Convention General Sessions/Events
(from Maine Townsman, August/September 2002)
By Jeff Nevins, Director of Communications & Educational Services, MMA

Wednesday, October 16

 7:30  Registration

 8:00  Exhibit Area Opens

 9:00  Opening Session

MMA President Gary Brown and Bangor Mayor Michael R. Crowley will welcome municipal officials to the 66th Annual MMA Convention. The featured speaker 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. Face reading can also identify the problem-solving preferences, stress level, degree of openness, and even the basic truthfulness of a person. His workshops help people increase their ability to communicate and gain the insight into unique personality traits. They also aid participants in identifying character strengths and the challenges and appreciating the uniqueness in themselves and others.  The session is sponsored by MMA's Risk Management Services.

10:30 An Update on Homeland Security

Major General Joseph E. Tinkham II, Maine's Adjutant General and Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, and Art Cleaves, Director, Maine Emergency Management, will give an overview of emergency planning efforts in Maine since September 11, 2001.

The 11th Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction) of the Maine National Guard will be setup at the convention from 11:00 a.m. til 1:00 p.m.  This highly trained team is one of 27 certified units across the United States established to "assist emergency response agencies during a suspected Weapons of Mass Destruction incident."

11:30-1:30  Lunch (no formal program scheduled)

                     Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust will sponsor a lunchtime health walk.    

 1:30  Affordable Housing In Maine

This session will address affordable housing issues in Maine and is sponsored by the Maine Town & City Management Association, Maine Welfare Directors Association, University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Policy, and MMA.

During the workshop, participants will identify housing issues and problems in Maine communities. The session is intended to not only be a discussion of housing issues, but to list resources available to municipalities and identify ways to utilize these resources to address housing issues in Maine.

Panelists include: Frank O'Hara of Planning Decisions, Michael Finnegan, Executive Director, Maine State Housing Authority, and Anne Rugg from the Seacoast Coalition for Affordable Housing.  Greene Town Manager Steve Eldridge will facilitate the discussion.

  3:15  Growth Ordinances and Cell Towers: An Update on Recent Litigation Activity

Mark Franco of Thompson and Bowie will join Mark Green, Town Manager in York, for a recap and Q&A on the recent litigation the Town of York has gone through on these issues. The session is sponsored by MMA's Risk Management Services.

 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 Bangor area.

 6:00  Social Events/Dinner

The City of Bangor is coordinating Wednesday evening's activities, giving municipal officials the chance to meet socially, explore the city, and join with friends and colleagues for dinner at one of Bangor's many fine restaurants.  At this time, the following activities have been planned:

                   • Exhibit/reception at Bangor Museum and Center for History

                   • Ghostlamp Tour of Downtown Bangor leaving from the Bangor Museum and Center for History at 7:00 p.m.

                   • Tour and activities at the Maine Discovery Museum

                   • The Whig and Courier Pub will have entertainment.

Thursday, October 17

 7:30   Registration

 8:00   Exhibits Open

 9:00   A Citizens Initiative for Tax Reform

This session will provide a thorough explanation of MMA's effort to spearhead a citizens initiative for tax reform.  MMA staff and local officials who have been actively involved in the development of this initiative will discuss the evolution of the initiative, provide a detailed description of the proposal, and answer questions about it.

11:00 MMA Annual Business Meeting

11:30-1:30  Lunch (no formal program scheduled)      

Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust will sponsor a lunchtime health walk.    

 1:30  Gubernatorial Candidates Forum

The forum will be moderated by Don Carrigan of Maine Public TV.  Four candidates for Maine Governor have been invited to participate: John Baldacci, the Democratic Party candidate, Jonathan Carter, the Green Party candidate, Peter Cianchette, the Republican Party candidate, and John Michael, an Independent candidate.

 3:30  Retirement Planning Today

Girard Miller, President and CEO of the ICMA Retirement Corporation will discuss retirement planning in the current economy.

 4:00       Exhibit Area Closes

4:30 - 5:30  MMA Past Presidents’ Reception

5:00 - 6:15  Banquet Reception

6:30 - 9:00  MMA Annual Banquet

The featured speaker is Dr. Marianne Jennings, a professor of Legal and Ethical Studies at Arizona University. At ASU, she teaches graduate courses in the MBA program and has authored more than 130 articles in academic, professional and trade journals; she currently has six textbooks and monographs in circulation; and she has written numerous books. Professor Jennings' work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times and Readers Digest. A captivating speaker, Dr. Jennings' topic will be "Ethics: A Cheap Way to Minimize Risk".

Friday, October 18

 8:00   A Look Into The Future (breakfast meeting)

The program will feature Laurie LaChance, the State Economist, who will provide an overview of future economic challenges facing the State of Maine.

Following the Ms. LaChance's presentation, a panel of municipal officials will discuss "Preparing Maine for the Future", looking 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.

11:00  Adjourn