Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Maine Community Development Association held their annual meeting at the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday, October 5, 2006 at approximately 12:40 p.m.  Present were:


Tony Levesque                                           Town of Fort Fairfield

Don Keiser                                                 Town of Houlton

James Gulnac                                             Town of Sanford

Thaxter Trafton                                          DECD

Orman Whitcomb                                       DECD

Peter Lyford                                               Community Outreach & Development Consulting

Ray Mersereau                                           Town of Mars Hill

Isaac Wagner                                             Washington Hancock Community Agency

Rodney Lynch                                            Town of Rockland

Jason Simcock                                            City of Gardiner

Jef Fitzgerald                                              City of Ellsworth

Michelle Begin                                            Kennebec Valley COG

Mike Baran                                                            DECD

Al Smith                                                     City of Bath

Stephen Dyer                                             Edwards & Kelcey

Keith Trefethen                                          Town of Berwick

Suzie Paradis                                              Town of Madawaska

Terry Ann Stevens                                      DECD

Darryl Sterling                                            Town of Richmond

Mary Walton                                              City of Caribou

Paul Bernier                                               Town of Frenchville/St. Agatha 

Jayne Wakefield Depres                             Town of Winthrop

Chris Shrum                                               EMDC

Mike Duguay                                              City of Augusta

Deborah Johnson                                        DECD

Sharon Thomas                                           DECD

Susan Bolduc                                              DECD

Tammy Knight                                            DECD

Bill Burney                                                 HUD

Mary Ann Hayes                                        Maine Rural Partners

Brian Bowdoin                                            Town of Hermon





I.                    WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS:

President Isaac Wagner called the MCDA Annual Meeting to order at 12:40p.m.



Moved by Tony Levesque and seconded by Jim Gulnac to approve the minutes as presented.  The vote was unanimously in favor.


III.               TREASURER’S REPORT:

Treasurer’s Report for the Nine Months Ending September 30, 2006 as follows:

                  Income This Month:      $ 77.00                   Year-To-Date Income:  $9,231.00

                  Expenses This Month    $663.00                   Year-To-Date Expense: $ 7187.00

                  Net                               ($586.00)                                                         $2,044.00

                  Fund Balance as of 09/30/06:     $7,879.00

Moved by Mike Baran and seconded by Don Keiser to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented.  The vote was unanimously in favor.



Members expressed appreciation to Tony Levesque for his work on the nomination committee and Tony presented a proposed slate of officers See Attached Election of Officers Ballot.


V.                 ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Tony Levesque moved to cast one ballot for the election of officers; seconded by Al Smith.  The vote was unanimously in favor.

      President:  Chris Spruce, Island Housing Trust

      Vice President:  James Gulnac, Town of Sanford

      Treasurer:  Ron Harriman, Ron Harriman Associates

      Secretary:  Joella R. McBreairty, Northern Maine Development Commission

      Member at Large, 2nd Year:  Mary Walton, City of Caribou

      Member at Large, 2nd Year:  Rodney Lynch, City of Rockland

      Immediate Past President:  Mathew Eddy, Town of Brunswick

      Member at Large:  Donald Keiser, Town of Houlton

      Member at Large:  Stephen Dyer, Edward & Kelsey, Inc.



Tony Levesque presented Isaac Wagner with a plaque for his services as president of MCDA.


Isaac stated that he had enjoyed his time as MCDA President and as a Board member, but would like to take a moment to inform the Board of his recent decision to resign as MCDA President as a result of a change of employment and leaving the State of Maine.  He and his family will be moving to Brattleboro, Vermont; he will be attending grad school while working at the Brattleboro Community Land Trust and hoped to do some work out of the country at a later date.  Isaac said that the Board had been wonderful to work with and that he had relied upon the experience of DECD and the Communities during his tenure.



Tony stated that Chris Spruce had recommended that the 2007 Organizational Meeting be held on December 1st at 10:00 a.m. at Eastern Maine Development Corporation (potential location).  Chris Shrum stated that he would get back to Chris Spruce as to the availability of the conference room at EMDC.  Motion to approve the time, date and location, depending upon availability was made by Mike Baran and seconded by Don Keiser; and unanimously approved. 



Orman Whitcomb introduced Thaxter Trafton, DECD Deputy Commissioner and Susan Bolduc, a new OCD staff member.


Orman stated that the 2007 Program Statement was now available on the OCD website, along with the 2007 applications; however the Economic Development applications would be a little late getting posted to the site.  He said that to date there has been no change in expected 2007 funding allocations, even though the House and Senate have sponsored legislation that would increase CDBG funding.  Orman stated that the County of Cumberland will be designated as an Entitlement County and that will change the funding formula somewhat.


Orman mentioned that the criteria for the Community Evaluation Factor was now included in the Program Statement and OCD had contracted with Frank O’Hara to compile the data.


Mr. Burney asked if the Distress Factor had been considered and Orman replied that those components had been factored in and some information had been modified as a result.


Isaac mentioned that for those interested in tracking House and Senate funding that the Housing Assistance Council website was very informative and contained Federal Budget info.



Mike Baran and Mary Walton attended the annual COSCDA Convention on September 16-20, 2006 held in San Antonio, Texas.  Mike reported that the last 7 years MCDA has sent a member to this event and that we are the only organization that attends from across the country and he felt that it was a worthwhile event.  He stated that the 2007 convention will be held in Seattle, Washington, and that MCDA should discuss a member’s attendance earlier in the year in order to book accommodations.


Mike reported that both he and Mary felt that San Antonio was a very friendly City; they were both amazed at the unending hospitality shown to visitors and it was evident that the workers had extensive hospitality training.  The Conference site was located on the Riverwalk and near the Alamo and several military bases.


Highlights of the Conference included:


1)      Open Session on Rural Community and Economic Development – talked about the problem across the country relating to illegal immigrants, especially in the border states in Texas and California; and the welfare systems (or lack of) in place to serve these populations.  As an example, in El Paso, Texas, the 23rd largest City in the US, a full 10% of the CDBG allocation is utilized for drinking water.

2)      State of the State – Senior HUD officials were there to discuss the proposed across-the-board cuts anticipated after the election vote and stated that it could be as late as April before the Federal Budget was passed.  They also talked about the new Performance Measures that have been put into place for government and other officials to report how the programs are doing.

3)      CDBG Program Reform – there are a few items that COSCDA opposed as a group, i.e., sanctions for States/Communities; reformation of program where Entitlement Communities/States get 30/70% split and the ramifications of that change.  Some states would gain. Some would lose; Maine would lose.

4)      Mobile Workshops where the group visited the City of Seguin and toured projects relating to Economic Development, Housing, Disaster Recovery and several “tourist stops” such as Pape Pecan & Nutcracker Museum.


Orman pointed out that in relation to sustainable performance measures being put in place, that one year ago, the State of Maine was 39th in expenditures; this year we were 2nd.  Mike mentioned that the State of Idaho had downloaded the forms on Maine’s OCD website and that Maine’s program was a model for the Country.


Tony stated that he would like to volunteer to be the MCDA representative to attend the 2007 COSCDA Conference in Seattle, Washington.


IX.               OTHER BUSINESS:

Tony stated that he felt that the joint retreat held between OCD and MCDA this year had been very successful and valuable and hoped that we could repeat the effort in 2007.  Mike replied that OCD had ˝ of the cost of last years’ retreat budgeted ($4,000) and that perhaps MCDA could form a committee to work with OCD on putting it together.  Isaac stated that it would be appropriate for the Professional Development Committee to work on it with OCD.  Jim Gulnac stated that he felt that MCDA should co-sponsor the event and provide financial resources to fund it.


XI.               ADJOURN:

Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Mary Walton and seconded by Steve Dyer and unanimously passed.  The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,

Mary Walton for

Joella R. McBreairty