The Maine Municipal Association recently appointed two central Maine officials to head its executive committee. Vassalboro town manager Mary Sabins and Gardiner City Manager Christine Landes were sworn in as president and vice president, respectively, on Dec. 3.

The MMA engages in advocacy and policy work with the state legislature and offers educational tools, legal services and group insurance programs to its 485 constituent Maine municipalities. The 12-person executive committee guides the association on its operations and budgets, among other topics.

Sabins, who was the committee’s vice president in 2018, said that she is “very much looking forward to serving as president … and fostering a relationship with (Gov. Janet Mills) and her new cabinet.”

In a news release, Sabins noted that her priorities in the role were “restoring the Municipal Revenue Sharing Program, increasing education funding from the state and improving local and state infrastructure, from roads, highways and bridges to broadband Internet capability.”

She added in a phone interview that in the next two weeks she and Landes will be meeting with state lawmakers, along with MMA Executive Director Stephen Gove and Director of State and Federal Relations Kate Dufour.

“The meetings are to establish a working relationship with legislators, discuss opportunities to work together, offer MMA as a resource on municipal issues, provide background on the association’s legislative priorities and learn about their legislative priorities,” she said.

As vice president, Landes heads the MMA’s legislative policy committee, which consists of two members from each of the state’s senate districts.

Landes noted that in the coming year, the committee is specifically looking into “restoring and protecting revenue sharing, expanding homestead exemptions, reinstating the state funding senior tax deferral program and the use of unanticipated state aid and establishing the local option sales tax authority.”

Sabins emphasized the MMA’s dedication to advocating for Maine’s municipalities.

“The committee for legislative policy represents voices from all over the state, and they’re always looking out for the benefits for the residents of Maine … and things that help keep our taxes down,” she said.

Landes will take over for Sabins as president of the executive committee in January 2020. The two women have a history of working together and noted they are looking forward to supporting each other at the helm of the MMA’s executive committee.

“I’ve known Mary for 20 years,” Landes said. “She used to be a clerk in Union, and I was a clerk in Warren.”

Sabins has been Vassalboro’s town manager for 11 years, and prior to that held a variety of municipal positions in Chelsea, Windsor, Union and Hope. She also worked with former Maine School Administrative District 40 in Warren as the food and facilities director. Landes has been the city manager in Gardiner since August and was Bethel’s town manager from 2014 to 2018. She also held various municipal positions in Brewer, Veazie, Warren and Orange Park, Florida.

The MMA is a nonprofit organization and was founded in 1936.

Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @megrobbins

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