1998 MMA CONVENTION: The Largest gathering of Maine local officials
(from Maine Townsman, September, 1998)
By Michael L. Starn, Editor

Recent economic crises in Russia and Asia have made the theme for the 1998 MMA Convention, "Global/Local: Economy and Technology", timely and relevant. It is a theme which suggests that even the smallest Maine town is not unaffected by world events.

The 62nd Annual MMA Convention will be held October 14-15 at the Augusta Civic Center. Over 1500 attendees are expected at this year’s convention of Maine municipal officials. Exhibitors have signed up in record numbers with 126 booths taken by September 1.

Headlining the 1998 MMA Convention is William Hudnut, former mayor of Indianapolis and congressman from Indiana. A past president of the National League of Cities, Hudnut is a dynamic and energetic speaker. During his 16-year tenure as Indianapolis’s mayor, Hudnut developed a national reputation for his entrepreneurial leadership and success in revitalizing this midwestern city. He currently serves as Senior Resident Fellow for Public Policy at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC.

Another nationally-prominent municipal leader and eloquent speaker, Mayor Clarence Anthony of South Bay, Florida, will address the Delegates Luncheon on Wednesday, October 14. Mayor Anthony is 1st Vice President of the National League of Cities.

Maine voters will elect a governor for the next four years this November and the candidates have been invited to a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on Wednesday morning. The candidates will respond to questions on issues that are most important to local government.

GENERAL SESSIONS

Three concurrent general sessions follow Wednesday’s Delegates Luncheon. These programs – Elected Officials Interchange, Year 2000 Issues, and Municipal-School Relations – run from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday’s morning general sessions include the popular Small Town Interchange, focusing on solid waste, roads and staffing the town office, which begins at 9:00 a.m., followed by an economic development workshop at 10:30 a.m. on reuse and rehabilitation of commercial and/or public buildings. "Choices In Power" is the early afternoon general session beginning at 1:30 p.m. This program will discuss the potential effects of the sale of electric generating facilities by Maine utilities and the building of two natural gas pipelines. At 3:00 p.m., a program will be presented on the development of MMA’s Legislative Platform for the 119th legislative session.

You might want to start Thursday off by joining the MMA Risk Management Services staff for breakfast at the Holiday Inn (next to the Civic Center). The breakfast is provided compliments of RMS and starts at 7:30 a.m. You will need to register for this breakfast (see Convention Registration Form in this issue).

AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

Fifteen MMA Affiliate Groups will be participating in this year’s convention. Most of the groups are offering programs only on Thursday, October 15th. A complete listing of the Affiliate Group programs begins on page 8 of this issue.

Several of the Affiliate Groups have planned luncheons for Thursday. Most of these luncheons require advance sign-up. Check the back of the Convention Registration Form in this issue to see if your affiliate group luncheon is listed.

SOCIAL EVENTS

The MMA Convention, as those who have attended in the past know, can be both a learning experience and a time to relax and have fun. This year’s convention is no different. In addition to a full slate of informational sessions, several social events are planned to make your stay in Augusta enjoyable. Social events are often your best opportunity to meet informally with other municipal officials and exhibitors.

The Welcoming Reception, from 4:30 p.m. til 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, is the convention’s first social event. It will be held in the auditorium (the exhibit area) of the Augusta Civic Center. Early sign-up indicates that this convention will have the largest number of exhibitors that MMA has ever had. Make plans to come to the reception, enjoy the find food, and meet with the exhibitors.

After the reception, all you "line dancers" can get together at the Civic Center for some practice. From 7:00-8:30 p.m., an Augusta area line dancing instructor will be on hand to teach you the latest steps and moves. All you need to do is show up at the Civic Center at 7:00 to participate.

The Annual Banquet Thursday night will conclude the convention’s activities. Pre-banquet entertainment is planned with music and hors d’ oeuvres. Entertainment starts at 4:30 p.m. and banquet begins at 6:00 p.m.

Odds & Ends

A telephone message board will be kept near the MMA Registration Desk during the convention. Make sure you check that board periodically to see if you have any messages. The Augusta Civic Center telephone number is 626-2405.

Elected officials… don’t forget that we have registration rebates for communities that send more than one selectman or councilor to the convention. See the Convention Registration Form in this issue for details.

Convention evaluators will be roaming the halls of the Augusta Civic Center interviewing attendees to get opinions on their "likes" and "dislikes" regarding this year’s convention. Evaluators will be wearing orange ribbons. This year’s convention evaluators are: Bob Brandenstein, Buxton selectman; Lloyd Coombs, Woolwich administrative assistant; John Edgecomb, Mapleton/Castle Hill/Chapman town manager; Anne Gregory, Falmouth assessor; Joanne Hammond, Freeport welfare director; Dana Lee, Mechanic Falls town manager; Kelly Lombardi, Rogue Bluffs selectman; Ruth Marden, Livermore Falls town manager; Kathy Montejo, Bath city clerk; Susan Mooney, South Portland deputy tax collector; Delaine Nye, Augusta city councilor; and Tom Stevens, Presque Isle city manager.

AFFILIATE GROUP PROGRAMS

Maine Association of Assessing Officers

Wednesday, October 14

2:00 Homestead Exemption 1999: Issues, Questions, Ideas and Answers

David Ledew, Maine Revenue Services

Bob Konscal, Assessor, Cape Elizabeth

 2:30 CMP and Utility Transfer Update

Steve Holt, Central Maine Power Co.

3:00-3:15  Break

 3:15 Tree Growth Update (for April 1, 1999)

David Ledew, Maine Revenue Services

Representative, Maine Forest Service

 4:30 Adjourn

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 Welcoming Remarks

 9:15 Mobile Home Assessment

Bob Tripp, Assessor, Town of Brunswick

10:15-10:30  Break

10:30 Plotting Deeds

John Miller, Eastern Mapping

12:00-1:30 MAAO Luncheon (at Augusta Civic Center)

To register for this luncheon, please refer to the last page of Convention Registration flyer included in this issue of the TOWNSMAN. Cost of the luncheon is $12.50. Advance registration is required.

 1:30 MAAO Annual Meeting

2:30-2:45  Break

 2:45 Dealing With The Angry Taxpayer

Judy Mathiau, Assessor, Town of Rockport

Bob Koncsal, Assessor, Town of Cape Elizabeth

 4:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Association of Planners

Thursday, October 15

 9:30 Value of Preserving Open Spaces and Farmland

(cosponsored by MWWCA)

Controlling growth and developing a good balance between commercial, residential and rural areas can reduce the need for additional services and minimize increases to the property tax. In the past, much of our communities' growth has created a sprawl in which the three types of development have been mixed together creating conflict between the various property owners. Farmland comprises a major portion of our open space but some farming practices have caused turmoil within our communities. One of these practices is the use of biosolids on farmland. While this practice is regulated by both Federal and State environmental agencies, a number of communities have developed their own ordinances to further regulate the practice. This panel discussion will demonstrate the benefits of maintaining a balanced growth, and touch on both sides of the biosolids issue.

"Costs and Benefits of Preserving Open Land", Speaker TBA

"Patterns of Development", John Delvecchio, State Planning Office

"The Working Landscape", R. Colin Therrien, State Planning Office

"Development of a Land Application Ordinance", Scott Pierz, CEO, Town of China

"Case Studies in Working With Farmers", Mac Richardson, Superintendent, LAWPCA

12:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Building Officials & Inspectors Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:30 NFPA Codes

(cosponsored with Maine Fire Chiefs Association)

This will be a roundtable discussion of current NFPA Codes used by local and state government agencies. Panelists will include representatives from the State Fire Marshal's Office, State Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, State Planning Office, MMA, Maine Fire Chiefs Association, and MBOIA.

12:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Chapter of American Public Works Association

Thursday, October 15

 8:30 MCAPWA Business Meeting

 9:00 R.O.W. Utility Ordinance

Bill Shane, Chairman, APWA Education Committee

 9:20 Locally Administered MDOT Projects

Lionel Cayer, APWA Institute for Municipal Engineers

 9:45-10:00  Break

10:00 A.V.L. - Automatic Vehicle Location

Will include product description, capabilities, benefits and cost analysis.

Representative, Basic Hydraulics, Burlington, Ontario

11:30 Roundtable Discussion/Questions

12:00 MCAPWA Luncheon (at Comfort Inn)

Advance registration required. $15.00 per person. See back page of Convention Registration flyer in this issue of TOWNSMAN.

Guest Speaker: John Melrose, Commissioner, Maine Department of Transportation

 

Maine Community Development Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 Welcoming Remarks

 9:15 CDBG 2000: Getting Organized

This program starts with a panel discussion on creating a local citizen participation process, maintaining a citizen advisory committee, meeting national objectives and the scope of the CDBG Program.

10:00 Exploring Grant Opportunities for Economic Development

Two case studies will be presented on the benefits of grant funding for economic development and business assistance.

11:00 One Town's Experience With CDBG

This program looks at the Town of Bucksport's CDBG program. Preparing a successful application, leveraging funding, and meeting national objectives will be discussed.

12:00 MCDA Luncheon (at Augusta Civic Center)

The luncheon will include a brief meeting and slide presentation.

 2:00 Working With Technical Assistance Providers

A one-on-one, informational/technical assistance session.

 3:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Conference of Chief Elected Officials

Wednesday, October 14

12:30 MMA Delegates Luncheon

 2:00 Elected Officials Interchange (General Session)

Small town or big city. Chief elected officials and others. The nuts & bolts of leadership. Everything from your relationship to the manager and department heads to running a meeting and dealing with the public.

6:30 pm Dinner Meeting (at the Holiday Inn)

Presiding: John Lacey, Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Town of Mariaville; Chairman, Maine Conference of Chief Elected Officials

Guest Speaker: Duke Albanese, Commissioner, State Department of Education

 

Maine Fire Chiefs Association

Wednesday, October 14

 9:30 MFCA Annual Meeting

12:00 Lunch 

 2:00 "Two In/Two Out" Standards

Hear from a required OSHA state, Virginia, on how they implemented, trained and prepared operating procedures to meet the OSHA Respiratory Standard to include the health program for medical evaluations and fitness testing.

Deputy Chief Stinnette, Fairfax County (VA) Fire Department

 4:30 Adjourn

 

Thursday, October 15

 9:30 NFPA Codes

(cosponsored with MBOIA)

This will be a roundtable discussion of current NFPA Codes used by local and state government agencies. Panelists will include representatives from the State Fire Marshal's Office, State Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, State Planning Office, MMA, Maine Fire Chiefs Association, and MBOIA.

12:00 Lunch

 1:30 Overview of Fire Service Accreditation

What is the Accreditation Program? How can it improve my department and why should we use it for my city or town?

William Killen, International Fire Chiefs Association

3:00-3:15  Break

 3:15 Maine's Incident Reporting System Update

The latest updates on our Fire Incident Reporting System and discussion of our total system.

Representative, SUNPRO

 4:30 Adjourn

 

Maine Government Finance Officers Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 MGFOA Annual Business Meeting

Election of officers and board members.

10:00 TBA

12:00 MMTCTA/MGFOA Luncheon (at Elks Lodge)

Reservations will be required (limit 100). For members of MMTCTA and MGFOA. Sponsored by Key Bank of Maine.

Leon Bien, Key Bank of Maine

 2:00 Change/Problem Solving

(cosponsored by MTCCA and MGFOA)

Norman Bossio, Management Consultant, Norm Bossio Enterprises

 4:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Municipal Tax Collectors and Treasurers Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 Bankruptcy

A general overview of procedural changes and updates regarding the collection of municipal taxes after a taxpayer files for bankruptcy.

Speaker TBA

10:00 Small Claims Court Collection Process

A general overview of procedures for collection of municipal taxes through the Small Claims Court.

Martha Broderick, Esq.

10:45-11:00  Break

11:00 A Halloween Horror Story: Aucella v. Town of Winslow

A court case regarding tax lien procedures. The case started as a test of the tax lien statute and Winslow's tax lien procedures and ended in a two-week civil rights jury trial and three trips to Maine's highest court. Another tax lien case, Livonia v. Town of Rome, will also be discussed.

Peter Beckerman, Esq.

12:00 MMTCTA/MFGOA Luncheon (at Elks Lodge)

Reservations will be required (limit 100). For members of MMTCTA and MGFOA. Sponsored by Key Bank of Maine.

Leon Bien, Key Bank of Maine

 2:00 Change/Problem Solving

(cosponsored by MTCCA and MGFOA)

Norman Bossio, Management Consultant, Norm Bossio Enterprises

 4:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Recreation & Park Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 Capital Improvements

This session will cover: (1) developing and justifying your CIP program, and (2) capitalizing on CIP opportunities on your home turf.

Dana Anderson, Director of Parks and Recreation, South Portland

11:00 Grants: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

The first part of the session will provide an update on TEA 21 recreational trail funding availability.

Mike Gallagher, Bureau of Parks and Recreation, Grants & Community Recreation Division

Part two of the session explores legislative options for refocusing the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Representative, NRPA

12:00 Lunch

Buffet lunch and MRPA Fall Business meeting (tentative)

 1:30 Leisure in Rural Towns

This session looks at the opportunities for leisure in small towns. The speaker is originally from Waterville.

Margaret L. Arnold, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, State University of New York at Cortland

 3:00 Simple Pleasures: Creative Incentives for Employees

Ms. Arnold continues her program by reviewing successful and innovative employee incentive programs from various recreation agencies, and discussing their implementation.

Margaret L. Arnold, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, State University of New York at Cortland

 4:30 Adjourn

 

Maine Resource Recovery Association

Wednesday, October 8

 9:00 Small Town Interchange (General Session)

Staffing the town office, roads, solid waste... As an elected official in a small town is there anything else to talk about? Join your colleagues from around the state in lively small group discussions, share experiences, pick up some printed matter and best of all some practical tips to bring back home. A fourth subject - you decide - will be determined at the outset of this two hour facilitated session.

 11:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Town & City Clerks Association

Thursday, October 15

9:00 Animal Welfare Update

Representative, Animal Welfare Board

 9:15 Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Representative, Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

 9:30 Vital Statistics Update

Representative, Office of Vital Statistics, Dept. of Human Services

 9:45 Business Licensing

10:00-10:15  Break

10:15 Election Update/Mock Election

Representative, Secretary of State's Office

10:45 Voter News Service

10:50 State Archivist Office Update

11:00 Passports: A New Role for Clerks?

11:30 Break (Visit Exhibitors)

12:00 MTCCA Luncheon (at Holiday Inn)

Advance sign up required. To register for the luncheon, see the back page of the Convention Registration flyer in this issue of the TOWNSMAN. Cost is $11.00.

 1:15 MTCCA Annual Meeting

 2:00 Change/Problem Solving

(cosponsored by MMTCTA and MGFOA)

Norman Bossio, Management Consultant, Norm Bossio Enterprises

 4:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Town & City Management Association

Wednesday, October 14

12:30 MMA Delegates Luncheon

 2:00 Elected Officials Interchange (General Session)

(cosponsored by MCCEO)

Small town or big city. Chief elected officials and others. The nuts & bolts of leadership. Everything from your relationship to the manager and department heads to running a meeting and dealing with the public.

 

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 Small Town Interchange (General Session)

Staffing the town office, roads, solid waste... As an elected official in a small town is there anything else to talk about? Join your colleagues from around the state in lively small group discussions, share experiences, pick up some printed matter and best of all some practical tips to bring back home. A fourth subject - you decide - will be determined at the outset of this two hour facilitated session.

10:30 Evaluating Your Municipal Manager/Administrator: When Performance and Direction Matter

Few tasks can be as difficult, or more important, than for a municipality to insure that a proper performance appraisal is done on a regular basis with the manager/chief administrator. This session will discuss the importance of the performance review, the rewards for properly defining performance goals and expectations, and some of the basic elements for success. Elected officials and other municipal employees are encouraged to attend.

Tina Crellin, Director of Human Resources, City of Westbrook

Jim Bennett, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor, City of Westbrook.

12:00 Lunch (on your own)

 

Maine Waste Water Control Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:30 Value of Preserving Open Spaces and Farmland

(cosponsored by MAP)

Controlling growth and developing a good balance between commercial, residential and rural areas can reduce the need for additional services and minimize increases to the property tax. In the past, much of our communities' growth has created a sprawl in which the three types of development have been mixed together creating conflict between the various property owners. Farmland comprises a major portion of our open space but some farming practices have caused turmoil within our communities. One of these practices is the use of biosolids on farmland. While this practice is regulated by both Federal and State environmental agencies, a number of communities have developed their own ordinances to further regulate the practice. This panel discussion will demonstrate the benefits of maintaining a balanced growth, and touch on both sides of the biosolids issue.

"Costs and Benefits of Preserving Open Land", Speaker TBA

"Patterns of Development", John Delvecchio, State Planning Office

"The Working Landscape", R. Colin Therrien, State Planning Office

"Development of a Land Application Ordinance", Scott Pierz, CEO, Town of China

"Case Studies in Working With Farmers", Mac Richardson, Superintendent, LAWPCA

12:00 Adjourn

 

Maine Welfare Directors Association

Thursday, October 15

 9:00 MWDA Business Meeting

 9:45 The Resistant Client

Staying one step ahead while delivering services one step at a time.

Larry Tyler, MEd, LADC

12:00 MWDA Luncheon (at the Comfort Inn)

Advance sign up required. To register for luncheon, use the Convention Registration flyer in this issue of the TOWNSMAN. Cost is $11.00.

 2:00 25 Ways to Stay Safe In An Interview

Using the S.M.A.R.T. Principles.

Kurk Laiemand, NAPPI, Inc.

 4:00 Adjourn