MAP President's Letter, Summer 2022
Halfway through 2022 already! MAP has had an eventful start to the year, with an unexpectedly busy legislative session, the decision to hold our first in-person event in a few years, and preparations for this fall’s NNECAPA conference in Maine. Much appreciation to all the board members and members who are making all this happen!
Current Board Members – New Officers, Openings
Our MAP Board meets every month, or sometimes every other month, keeping each other up to speed on what our various committees are engaged in, updates from the NNECAPA Executive Committee, general MAP business, and professional planning activity in the state. Currently, we have 12 Board members and three vacancies – we’re keen to get a few new Board members by the end of the year, as we have both vacancies and some potential turnover coming up. This is a great opportunity to participate in supporting the planning profession in Maine and getting/staying active with members of the planning community! If you’re interested, we’d love to have you - send me an email.
A few recent Board updates – Erin Zwirko is our new PDO (Professional Development Officer), and Catherine (Cat) Ingraham is our new NNECAPA Conference Representative. Thanks to both of our newest officers on the Board! View our full board leadership.
MAP Spring Event
We did it! We held an in person event! Our Spring Event, in Bangor on June 3rd, had great attendance, and was a great success in finally getting some face-to-face time with fellow planners. A combination networking luncheon, awards presentation, workshop session and walking tour, we opted not to do this one online/hybrid, but instead hoped that people would make the time to come in person. This year’s MAP award winners are posted on the website, some excellent and well deserved recipients this year!
The Board will continue to evaluate whether events will be held in person, online, or hybrid, understanding that it’s important to encourage live participation but also recognizing the benefits of offering remote access to increase overall participation.
Legislative Policy Committee
Being the Second Regular Session for the legislature and a short session, we usually expect little activity for our LPC. But this year takes the cake. Our LPC was busy, busy, busy, keeping up with the housing legislation and land bank legislation. Our workshop session at the Spring Event covered some of where things came out with these two bills, and it’s definitely something MAP and Maine planners will want to keep track of, with some exiting new tools coming online soon. I can’t say enough good things about MAP’s LPC right now, they’ve done a kick-a** job this year, and as President I’ve heard very positive feedback from outside our planning circles. We hope to continue this good work by staying active in the policy discussions for the most important planning issues in the legislature, and cultivating our partnerships with allied organizations. The LPC is open to any current MAP member who is interested in participating in following legislative activity pertaining to planning.
More great news, the LPC and MAP Board have just brought on our new LPC Administrator! This new, part-time, paid position will hopefully significantly reduce the work load for the LPC, enabling MAP to focus on the policy discussion. The position is not a lobbyist position, but strictly keeping to administrative assistance, which should result in our LPC becoming more efficient and effective.
NNECAPA Conference 2022
Registration is now open for this year’s NNECAPA Conference, held at the Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine. A great program has come together, with a great mix of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont planners working to plan the conference. Don’t miss it! As the host state, we hope to see many Maine planners there. This will be an in-person only event, with lots of professional development content, fun activities, and networking. We’re really looking forward to it!
Our sponsors mean so much to our success! A big thank you to our sponsors for the Spring Event: Eaton Peabody, lead sponsor, and The Musson Group. Sponsors like these mean we can keep registration rates low and still host events in lovely spaces like the Bangor Arts Exchange – and allow us to provide free lunch to our MAP award winners.
NNECAPA sponsorship information will be circulating soon! This will be the next great opportunity to support planning in Maine and Northern New England. Though it’s a NNECAPA event, conference proceeds are shared among all three NNECAPA states, so yes, MAP does benefit! Please consider being a sponsor or asking someone/a business you know who might be able to sponsor, we’d love to get a good number of Maine sponsors for this year at Sunday River.
Amanda is a planning consultant and current President of the Maine Association of Planners.