Dear MAP members:

I hope you and your loved ones are well and making it through this incredibly difficult year.  Some days it seems like the big accomplishment is making it through the day without giving up.  Despite the circumstances, there is amazing work happening all around the state.  From the Climate Council, to local comp planning efforts that are persisting despite the difficulties, to amazing transformations of outdoor spaces into safe gathering places, and so much more.  Kudos to all of you who are keeping it going.  This issue of Front Page highlights just a few of those efforts and there is much to be proud of in the planning community.

Likewise, the MAP board has been working to adjust to our new reality, and hosting meetings online instead of our traditional gatherings.  We are coming up on the season in which we would normally hold an in-person business meeting to elect new officers and pass a budget.  Currently, our bylaws do not permit voting of the membership electronically, so we will need to make that change before we can hold a safe membership meeting.  The plan is to have a small in-person, socially distant, outdoor membership meeting just to pass a bylaw change that would allow electronic voting.  Following that, we can plan a video-based membership meeting later this year.  More details will be sent via email.

Importantly, I want to recognize that this year has been hard on many of our colleagues, both personally and professionally.  That has also been true of some board members as well.  As you consider your professional priorities for the coming year, please consider whether you can give a little time to participate on the board and give some folks that have been doing it a chance to rest a bit.  It is around 8 meetings a year, plus a little independent work in between, depending on the topics you are interested in.  The board plans events, considers policy issues, advocates for good planning in Maine, communicates with the membership, and keeps the chapter business functioning.  With our merger into NNECAPA there is substantially less administrative work than in the past, so if you are interested but not sure you want to be the one keeping a ledger – never fear!  If you would like to know more and/or would like to join our fun group, please email me (samantha.horn@TNC.ORG).

As we get closer to a vaccine, and can see the end of 2020 start to approach, I hope you are all able to hang in there and spend some time with your loved ones.  Personally, I’m going to spend as many of my weekends as possible out on a mountain somewhere, keeping the day-to-day difficulties in perspective and taking time to breathe.  My thanks to the wonderful colleagues who have reached out in caring and support.  I’ll be thinking of my planning colleagues and sending you positive thoughts from whichever summits I can find.


Samantha Horn

Samantha serves as MAP Board President and is the Director of Science at The Nature Conservancy in Maine.