MAP President's Letter, Fall/Winter 2021
After a nice bit of summer break, with the arrival of fall, the MAP Board worked on preparation for the annual business meeting and began looking ahead to 2022.
As you will read more below, we’re looking for another infusion of a few new volunteers for the Board, as well as looking to fill a critical officer role: Professional Development Officer (PDO) (coordinating conferences and professional development activities). We’re also hoping to try out some new staffing to support MAP’s board and committees on legislative activities and promotions/communications.
NNECAPA Conference 2022 - MAINE - October 17-19, 2022
In case you missed the announcement, in 2022 Maine will once again host the NNECAPA Conference. The MAP Board helped secure Sunday River Resort as our destination, October 17-19, 2022. Conference planning is under way - this year’s committee is a lovely group of engaged planners from ALL THREE STATES! There is still room on the conference committee, and there will definitely be opportunities to help and participate during the conference, as it takes many volunteers to put the conference on. Committee Co-Chairs are Carl Eppich and Amanda Bunker.
NNECAPA Executive Committee Activity & Updates
A few notes on what the Executive Committee (EC) has been working on
this year. For those of you new to the
Chapter structure that MAP is within, the NNECAPA EC is made up of
representatives from all three states/Sections in our Chapter (ME, NH, VT) and
is essentially the umbrella organization for all three Sections; membership,
the NNECAPA Conference, and several other things are administered by this
This year the EC has continued to work through membership administration and new member recruitment for all three states. A grant-funded membership drive in the first part of the year was fairly successful in attracting new members in all three Sections. The EC advocated strongly to APA to let us keep our Chapter-only membership option and reduced rate (an alternative to full APA membership which includes Chapter membership); however, the EC and administrative staff continue to have challenges with APA in that our Chapter-only membership system does not fit neatly into their existing system.
NNECAPA continues to fund and manage our part-time administrative support person, who assists the Chapter and Sections with membership, financials, chapter conferences, sponsorships, and other services. This position is paid for from part of the membership dues from all three states, and directly benefits all four organizations. The EC continues to work through many communications and organizational issues such as getting the new NNECAPA listserv going, trying to get set up with Google for Non-Profits, and looking to transition away from Dropbox to more Google Docs/Drive for document sharing and storing.
Finally, check the NNECAPA website for info on AICP certification maintenance updates - our Chapter Professional Development Officer (PDO) has been keeping tabs on the upcoming change in CM reporting cycles, where everyone will be on the same reporting cycles as of this January, and the anticipated changes to required credits for Law, Ethics, Equity and a “Topical” Category (looks to be a Climate related topic).
MAP Board Recruitment - Join fellow planners to help us be the best version of MAP!
MAP is in need of additional Board members for 2022, as we are now at the minimum slate of 9 board members. This leaves 6 slots still open!
What is required of a Board member, you ask? The Board typically meets via zoom once a month, and about 7 times over the year - with a smattering of email communications in between meetings to keep things going. There are both officer roles available and general board member/at large roles available! MAP is primarily a volunteer-run organization, and since most of us have jobs and lives… well, you know the drill. Many hands make light work, and overloaded volunteers burn out faster.
Why be on the MAP Board? Be “in the know”! Network with and get to know your planning colleagues! Be part of the ONLY ORGANIZATION IN MAINE dedicated to planning! Help MAP in its ambitions to expand resources for planners and better support planning in Maine!
Are you NEW TO MAINE or NEW TO PLANNING? Being on the Board is a fantastic way to make professional connections and learn quickly about planning in Maine. (Actually, even if you’re not new to planning or new to Maine.)
MAP is also specifically in need of a Professional Development Officer (PDO) on the Board to take the lead on MAP workshops and conferences (not necessarily the NNECAPA Conference though), and AICP credit/program assistance (AICP certification helpful but not required for this role).
MAP has now officially made the bylaw change to allow membership voting and elections online! Last year’s online/virtual membership meeting and votes were slipped in under a temporary Board Resolution, and awaited an actual in-person quorum to change our bylaws. It was a little unconventional, but we successfully got a MAP member quorum at the NNECAPA Conference in Burlington (October 14, 2021) and voted in the bylaw change. Thank you to all who were willing to be dragged in for the quick vote and make it happen!
In addition, some additional bylaw changes to the list and descriptions of MAP officers were approved at the Annual Meeting on November 19th, aligning our bylaws with the Chapter bylaws.
Budgeting and Staff Support
The 2022 MAP budget features some new expenditures: funding for a part-time administrative person for the MAP Legislative Policy Committee, and a part-time administrative person to assist with social media/communications and promotions. While funding these positions puts the budget slightly out of balance, MAP’s reserve account has a good amount of funds, and the MAP Board is comfortable with the revenue streams we’re seeing from dues (flowing down from NNECAPA) and shared revenues from NNECAPA conferences (that go to NNECAPA and all three states).
For the past several years, MAP has funded a part-time administrative support position for communications and our newsletter; due to a change in availability, the position is now divided among volunteers. In re-examining what administrative support was most needed, the Board saw that the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) was our most active committee, often carrying a very hefty work load for a group of volunteers. Discussions with Board and LPC members lead to early consensus that administrative support - not an advocacy role - would make a huge impact on MAP, improving our legislative and advocacy efforts as benefits to our members. This position may take a little time to fill, as we approach it with a certain flexibility on what kind of “qualifications” we hope for and what services/tasks we can afford - on top of the logistics of Maine’s 2-year legislative cycle.
The MAP Board also believed that continuing to fund a small budget for part-time social media/communications and promotions support services was worth maintaining. Our Board has been doing a great job in taking on some of the communications admin work these past couple years, but we recognize that we have much more we’d like to do with communications and promotions to better serve MAP members. A final scope of work for this position will be worked out by the Board in the coming months.
Looking Ahead to January 2022, Legislative & Advocacy Activity
In January 2022, MAP plans to hold the annual Membership Meeting & Legislative Agenda session on Friday, January 21st. Details to come. This meeting will focus on some of the active carry-over bills that will be in play early next year, as well as time for updates on other state-level planning activity, like the Climate Action Plan and GOPIF.
Amanda is a planning consultant and current President of the Maine Association of Planners.