Maine Service Fellows Advisory Committee

The members convened at 4:00 pm using the virtual meeting technology. 

PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Tom Judge, Betsy Fitzgerald, Maggie Lynn, Jeanne Kannegieser, Jake Hurner, Maryalice Crofton

Celeste invites taskforce to the October 19th Commission retreat, requesting assistance with strategic planning setting questions we need to know for focus groups in the future.

Celeste introduced letters of interest from three towns that want to host Service Fellows. The Committee tasks are 1) to determine if the applications qualify for program; and 2) rank order the applications. The highest ranking one will be offered a placement first and the others, as funding is secured.  

The letters of interest were reviewed individually, beginning with CBEC in Norway in Oxford County. A member asked what the organization has done about their issue already. Celeste reviewed some selected accomplishments including open space protection planning, solar, ev charging. Maggie suggested if applicant wasn’t the highest ranked, they would apply again. Another member voiced concern about duplication- displacing staff but was assured this was not the case. In addition, that the applicant is prepared to provide a wonderful experience for a fellow with good supervision. Tom suggested concern about them being further along compared to the other projects and wondered about the equity of their available resources.  

Celeste suggested they rank order upon completing review of letters.

Maggie clarified that CBEC is a community resilience service provider for a year and half before running out of funding. CBEC was grant funded through GOPIF to provide services to communities that wanted to join the Resiliency partnership. 

Maryalice notes, according to the Community Resilience Partnership website, they had received $95,000 from GOPIF prior to applying. 

Celeste Introduced Northport’s application. Jake clarified it was just the town applying. The fellow would be charged with steering ecycling committee research and evaluation of current zero sort recycling program and transportation station. responsibility for the fellow to be a liaison, for town administration, select board, research evaluation and solutions for town issues.
Jeanne raised concern over supervision capacity. Betsy observed a question around equity given the town’s resources. Tom voiced concern over the possibility the Service Fellow's experience would be impacted by some controversial development in the area. 

Celeste introduced Dover-Foxcroft’s project. Jeanne observed Dover-Foxcroft displayed the largest need and readiness for the project. Jake clarified that the fellow could be placed in the community center and the site had raised funds for necessary technical equipment. Betsy suggested the Dover-Foxcroft would benefit most from a fellow given their means of other funding and resources. 

Jeanne concurred Members agreed that CEBC, oxford county offered the most vibrant support of a fellow, Northport offered the most interesting work and Dover Foxcroft offered the biggest need. However, the ranking placed Dover-Foxcroft first, CEBC in Norway second, and Northport, third.

The task force agreed Dover Foxcroft should be asked for a full workplan and the other applicants to continue along pending funding available.

NEXT MEETING: October 17, 2023 at 4:00 pm

There being no other business, the members dispersed at 4:56 pm