April 5, 2011
309 Cumberland Avenue
Portland, ME 04101
CONTACT: Kimberly Ballard
Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
speaking neither for nor against LD 599,
“An Act To Move the Land for Maine's Future Board
to the Department of Conservation”
April 5, 2011
Senator Sherman, Representative Edgecomb and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation. My name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. As many of you know from our previous interactions with the committee, GrowSmart Maine is a statewide non-profit membership-based organization working to grow Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character, and enhance our state's quality places. I regret that previously scheduled commitments prevent me or other GrowSmart Maine representatives to present this testimony at today’s Public Hearing.
I understand from conversations with the sponsor that this bill is being presented with the understanding that the State Planning Office is at risk. Given that the elimination of this office is in the Governor's budget, there is value in seeking appropriate locations for programs currently overseen by this office. We are speaking neither for nor against this legislation because we acknowledge the challenge being addressed, but we believe there is a better way.
Representative Moulton has submitted LD 769 to create a mechanism to evaluate the role of the SPO and propose changes next year. We believe that effort has value, as there are concerns of “mission drift” that warrant a closer look. We believe review of the location for the Land for Maine's Future program would most appropriately be a component of this effort, rather than as a separate bill.
Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding GrowSmart Maine’s position on LD 599.
* * *