2016-09-09 / Community

In the Know

Notes, quotes and news briefs of concern to Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel, compiled by staff writer Wm. Duke Harrington.

NEW BEACH HEAD — There’s a new person charting the waters for the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association, a century-old nonprofit dedicated to acting as environmental stewards of the Mother’s Beach and Lord’s Point areas, and to providing summer enrichment programs to youngsters of the region.

At the August meeting of the KBIA Board of Directors, longtime board member David Sweetser was elevated to president of the organization.

“KBIA wouldn’t and couldn’t run without the year-round efforts of its volunteer board of directors. The board works diligently behind the scenes and meets quarterly as a group to help steer the organization,” wrote KBIA Executive Director Martin Lodish, in the group’s final newsletter for the 2016 season, issued August 31.

According to Lodish, KBIA served 680 people through more than 55 individual programs this past summer.

In addition, it also hosted a MIRC sailing competition, its 25th annual 5k/1k road race, the 7th annual Reid Sacco Family Regatta, the New England Youth Laser championship, and a KBIA Olympic trial, as well as weekly sold-out movie nights, bonfires on the beach, teen and ‘tween nights, and two celebratory awards and barbecue events.

TOWN BOSS — Kennebunkport Town Manager Laurie Smith has a new role in which she’ll speak not only for the Port, but for nearly every town and city in the state of Maine. In January, Smith is slated to become president of the Maine Municipal Association, which represents 486 incorporated communities. Smith, who has served as MMA vice president since January, has been the town manager of Kennebunkport since 2014. Before that she led Wiscasset, Oxford and Boothbay Harbor, where she began her public administration career in 1988. Smith also served as assistant manager of Auburn from 1999 to 2010.

“The Maine Municipal Association has been a valuable resource for me during my 27 years of service in municipal government,” she said. “I hope our outreach, training and staff support services continue to provide the same experience for all of our members.”

Smith said one main area of concern for her in 2017 will be to find ways for MMA to help towns and cities with succession planning of staffers and key officials.

“With an aging work force, Maine municipalities need the next generation of police officers, firefighters, assessors, code officers, town clerks and town managers,” she said. “The Maine Municipal Association will be called upon to assist our members to attract and train the future public work force of our state.”

According to MMA Communications Director Eric Conrad, South Portland City Councilor Linda Cohen is due to become vice president of the organization in January. In that role she will be head of MMA’s Legislative Policy Committee and be in line to succeed Smith as president in 2018, Conrad said.

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