2008 Convention Just Around the Corner

(from Maine Townsman, July 2008)
By
Michael Starn, Editor

Planning is progressing well and anticipation is building for the 2008 MMA Convention, October 8-9 at the Augusta Civic Center.

“Going Green: Vision to Reality” is the theme for this year’s convention.  In earlier times, environmental choices for development were sometimes viewed as too costly to seriously consider.  Today, technology changes and the oil crisis, among other things, have governmental leaders thinking “Green” as a way to be environmentally-friendly and economically prudent at the same time. “Going Green” is an approach that can be a win-win for municipalities.

The 2008 Convention will kick-off on Wednesday, October 8, with the Opening Luncheon and a keynote speech by David Broder, national political correspondent for the Washington Post and a regular TV news commentator.  A Pulitzer Prize winner in 1973 along with a number of other journalism awards, Broder has been called “the high priest of political journalism” and “one of the most respected and influential political journalists in the country”.  The Opening Luncheon begins at 12 noon.

But, you might want to come to convention a little earlier.  The exhibit hall opens up at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  There will be over 100 exhibitors displaying their products and services.  The exhibit hall is an informative and fun place to go during the MMA Convention.

Convention sessions will be held Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday.  One of the most requested sessions that will be offered is Right-to-Know law training that meets the requirements of the recently passed state law that requires this type of training for certain elected officials, including councilors, selectmen and also elected clerks, treasurers, assessors, and budget committee members.  This session will be offered twice during the convention: on Wednesday from 3:45-5:00 p.m. and on Thursday from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Several of the convention sessions are being built around the convention theme.  There will be programs about why businesses and governments are ‘Going Green’, on wind power and regulating windmills, on solid waste recycling, on the cost/benefit of “Going Green”, and much more.

Thursday’s program includes general sessions that are grouped under “Tracks”.  We will have a Finance Track, a Personnel Track, and a   ‘Going Green’ Track.  A tremendous amount of useful information that you can take back home will be offered on Thursday. 

To get details on the convention program, visit the MMA website, www.memun.org

Information pertaining to the convention is being updated regularly on the website.  We will also publish the entire convention program in the August/September issue of the Townsman.

A Registration Form is in the issue of the Townsman.  Get your convention registration in early.  A list of hotels in the Augusta area and their contact information is provided with this article for those who you need to make overnight room reservations.

Finally, don’t miss out on the 2008 MMA Convention.  It’s a great opportunity to get updated on all the things that are impacting Maine local governments.  It’s also a great opportunity to talk to and share information with municipal officials from other communities.  It’s the “once a year” meeting of Maine’s municipal family!

If you have questions or comments about the 2008 MMA Convention, contact Michael Starn, MMA Convention Coordinator, at 800-452-8786 or email mstarn@memun.org  Your ideas and comments would be appreciated.