ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk about some of the challenges faced by municipal governments and how municipalities can help implement state policy priorities, Monday, Nov. 29, from 3 – 4 p.m.
Maine has historically relied on municipal governments to provide a variety of services, including police, fire, road maintenance and recreation. Over time, state mandates have expanded the list of municipal responsibilities to include the maintenance of state-aid roads, enforcement of shoreland zoning regulations, code enforcement and the management of solid waste programs, just to name a few.
While the case can be made that municipal governments are more effective at providing services because they are closest to the people, municipalities are often required to provide more services without additional state aid. The end result is greater reliance on property taxes to fund state priorities, according to the Mitchell Center, in a news release.
In this talk, Cathy Conlow and Kate Dufour of the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) will discuss how, with the right partnerships and funding mechanisms in place, municipalities can assist the state in meeting its goals, whether they are focused on climate change, economic development or addressing the state’s housing needs.
Conlow has been the executive director of MMA since August 2021. She has served as city manager of Bangor and town manager of Orono, as well as in municipal leadership roles in Minnesota and Oregon.
Dufour has represented the interests of municipal government before the Maine State Legislature for MMA since 1995, including as director of the State and Federal Relations Department since 2017. She also is a member of the Hallowell City Council.
All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free and will be offered both remotely via Zoom and in-person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono. Registration is required to attend remotely via Zoom; to register and receive connection information, see the event webpage.
Please note that face coverings are required for all persons — students, staff, faculty, visitors and others — when indoors at a University of Maine System facility. For the latest health and safety guidance, please see umaine.edu/return.
Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth, 207.581.3196; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions:
The Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine aspires to be a leader and valued partner in understanding and solving problems related to the growing challenge of improving human well-being while protecting the environment. We collaborate with diverse stakeholders and bring together faculty and students from many different fields. By connecting knowledge with action, we seek to create a brighter environmental, social and economic future in and beyond Maine.
About the University of Maine:
The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state's land grant, sea grant and space grant university, with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is located in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As Maine's flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state's only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students, and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduates. Our students have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master's, doctoral or professional science master's degrees, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine and UMaine Machias, visit umaine.edu and machias.edu.