County government is Maine's oldest form of government, predating statehood and even the Declaration of Independence. The county is the only form of regional government whose officials are directly elected by the voters. Read more about County Government and its many
functions. Click here to check out the 2014
Directory of Maine Counties, listing all officials for each county. Some very useful links are available here to find out more about individual counties, some related national organizations,
and the state government.
MCCA in NACo County News
What issues are driving state associations’ legislative agendas? What are the latest and most persistent challenges your county colleagues in other states are facing? State-to-State explores these questions and helps keep you in touch with your fellow leaders across the country. MCCA's Executive Director, Rosemary Kulow, talks to NACo about what's happening in Maine. Click here to read the article.
June 4th the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched a new webpage designed to serve as a one-stop resource for counties on
the recently proposed federal definition of "Waters of the U.S." released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on April 21. County leaders are encouraged to utilize this resource. In an update from November of 2014, NACo Urged Feds to Withdraw and Clarify "Waters of the U.S." Proposal.
Check out the website by clicking here.
On August 21st, MCCA held a strategic planning retreat in beautiful New Harbor, Maine to continue the process of determining the direction for the organization. Facilitator, Leigh Tillman, was brought in to keep the group on task and moving along in order to come to an agreement on the plan and the development of “next steps" going forward. The entire assembly discussed and voted on the order of priorities and then defined a number of realistic and quantifiable goals. From this workshop, a draft of the new plan was compiled and presented to the Strategic Planning Committee. Revisions were made and the document was reviewed by the Board of Directors. The Strategic Plan was formally adopted on December 15, 2014 by the MCCA Board of Directors.
On June 25, 2014, the Senate passed H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) with a 95-3 vote. H.R. 803 (as amended) represents a bipartisan, bicameral compromise between the SKILLS Act, (H.R. 803), which was passed by the House in March 2013, and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356), which was passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in July 2013. This bill will consolidate job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) into a single funding stream. It will also amend the Wagner-Peyser Act, reauthorize adult-education programs, and the programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The various job programs are being authorized for six years with a requirement that they record and report on how many people get new jobs through their participation in the programs.
Kennebec County Jail Program gives new hope for inmates fighting addiction. Ten jail inmates started what they hope will be new lives on Wednesday, thanks to a program that makes them confront drug and alcohol addiction. The program at the Kennebec County Jail involves almost six weeks of intense therapy, followed by continued therapy and counseling after they are released. Sheriff Randy Liberty says he started the program in 2010, because so much of the crime in Kennebec County was related to opiate addiction. "We arrest opiate addicts and traffickers," says Liberty, "we incarcerate them without programming they will return to the community and continue to offend." With the help of the Crisis and Counseling Center, they created the Criminogenic Addiction and Recovery Academy (CARA) which was designed to target both the inmates' addiction and the underlying reasons for their criminal behavior. Liberty and program counselors say it gets very deep into the lives of the inmates, and helps them explore issues many have never talked about before. The program is voluntary, and is open to inmates at all Maine jails. And Sheriff Liberty says it works. He says 43 classes have now completed the program, representing well over 400 people. Based on results in Kennebec County, the Sheriff says the recidivism rate – meaning those who return to jail – is just 12% to 14%. He says national recidivism rates are far higher, close to 50%.
Do you know? There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People behind bars than there are in State Hospitals. Click below if you'd like to read more of this article from Mother Jones.
The Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT)
program provides payments to counties
and other local governments to offset
losses in tax revenues due to the
presence of tax-exempt federal land
in their jurisdictions. GOOD NEWS!
PILT funding has been extended for
one year as a fully funded mandatory entitlement program.
Academic Programs of Interest to
County and Municipal Employees
The Division of Lifelong Learning at the University of Maine offers a wide range
of degree programs, certificates, and courses for working people including the
bachelor’s degree in University Studies, an adult degree completion program, and
the master’s degree in Interdisciplinary
Studies with concentrations in Maine
Studies and Peace and Reconciliation Studies as well as certificates and minors
in Labor Studies, Maine Studies, and Peace and Reconciliation Studies. Many of
these courses can be taken entirely on-line or with a limited number of meetings
on campus. Click below for more info.
PBS Documentary, A Matter of Duty, details Kennebec Sheriff Randy Liberty’s personal battle with PTSD and several veterans in his charge at the Kennebec County Jail. Liberty’s honesty about his own condition and his efforts to help other veterans vividly depicts the continuing impact of war on the men and women who have served our country. For more info click this link: A Matter of Duty
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has a presence in all Maine counties Each office receives county government funds for their educational programs and operations. Please click here for more information about services available in your county.