Democracy Forum 1/20/23: Comprehensive Planning: Why Bother?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin,
Maggie Harling, Lisa Leaverton, Ann Luther, Rick Lyles, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month:
A number of towns in Hancock County are doing, have done, or are thinking of doing comprehensive planning. So, what is comprehensive planning, why do Maine towns do it?
Why should they do it and how often?
What comprises a comprehensive plan?
What difference does it make in a community, why should people care?

Susan Lessard, Bucksport Town Manager
Noel Musson, Principal/Planner with the Musson Group
Evan Richert, Former director of the State Planning Office

To learn more about this topic:
Comprehensive Plans: Municipal Planning Assistance Program: Maine DACF
Comprehensive Planning: A Manual for Maine Communities
Land Use Planning | National Working Waterfront Network
Comprehensive Plan | Town of Orland, December, 2022
Priority Strategy: Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design | CDC, December, 2022.
The Future of the Comprehensive Plan | Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy May, 2022
A New Era of Equity-Based Comprehensive Planning…Finally | GreenLaw, September, 2021

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.