News Release For immediate release: Aug. 30, 2016 For more information contact Eric Conrad at: 207-623-8428
New President, Vice President at MMA AUGUSTA – Kennebunkport Town Manager Laurie Smith will become the next President of Maine Municipal Association’s Executive Committee and Linda Cohen, City Councilor in South Portland, was recently elected Vice President. Smith, who began her career in municipal government as manager of the Town of Boothbay in 1988, assumed the Vice Presidency last January and will serve in that role through December. She will succeed Stephan Bunker, Selectman in the Town of Farmington, as President of MMA in January 2017. Bunker will serve as Immediate Past President in 2017. Smith said her top goal is to reach out to MMA members and ensure that their needs are being met during the 21st Century. “Maine Municipal Association has been a valuable resource for me during my 27 years of service in municipal government,” she said. “I hope that our outreach, training and staff support services continue to provide the same experience for our 486 members.” Smith has served as Town Manager in Kennebunkport since 2014. She previously was Town Manager in Wiscasset (2010-2014), Assistant City Manager, Interim Finance Director and Community Relations Manager in Auburn (1999-2010). Prior to that, she served as manager in Boothbay Harbor and Oxford. Smith has been a member of the MMA Executive Committee since 2011, she is a board member with the Maine Energy Investment Corp. and she is a former President of the Maine Town, City & County Management Association. Smith is a graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in Public Administration. One specific area of focus for MMA and municipalities in general will be succession planning, particularly in regard to municipal staffs and key officials, Smith said. “With an aging work force, Maine municipalities need the next generation of police officers, firefighters, assessors, code officers, town clerks and town managers,” said Smith. “Maine Municipal Association will be called upon to assist our members to attract and train the future public work force of our state.”
Linda Cohen has served as a council member in South Portland since December 2012, and she was Mayor of Maine’s fourth-largest municipality in 2014-15. She has experience in the banking and real estate industries and served as municipal clerk for the City of Portland from 2001 to 2011 and in South Portland from 1989 to 2001. She previously held code enforcement, assessing and police positions. Cohen is a University of Southern Maine graduate with a degree in Business Administration. She also holds a degree in Law Enforcement from Southern Maine Community College. Cohen will become MMA Vice President in January 2017. In that role, she will lead MMA’s 70-member Legislative Policy Committee, which steers the organization on legislative issues and priorities. As a matter of succession, Cohen is scheduled to become MMA’s president in January 2018. Two new faces will join MMA’s 12-member Executive Committee next January as well: James Gardner Jr., Town Manager in Easton; and, Christine Landes, Town Manager in Bethel. Vassalboro Town Manager Mary Sabins also was re-elected to a three-year term on the MMA board. Sabins also chairs MMA’s Strategic & Finance Committee. ### About the Maine Municipal Association: Founded in 1936, the MMA is a voluntary, non-partisan, member-service organization to which 486 municipalities in Maine belong. It has a core belief that local government is a fundamental component of a democratic system of government. MMA’s services include advocacy, education and information, professional legal and personnel advisory services and self-funded group insurance programs.