Cumberland County Spring 2015 Newsletter

Cumberland County Government and GPCOG to host forum

On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, Cumberland County Government and the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) will host “Working Together to Build a Stronger Region and Economy” at USM’s Wishcamper Center, in the Lee Auditorium.

The forum, which begins at 8:00 AM, is for local and state elected officials, municipal managers, the private sector, non-profit organizations and other entities interested in promoting greater collaboration and efficiency for the Cumberland County region.

The keynote speaker will be Bob O'Neill, Executive Director of the International City/County Management Association.

“We are really excited to gather together members from our community to actively discuss ways we can all work together more efficiently,” Cumberland County Manager Peter Crichton and GPCOG Executive Director Neal Allen said.

Register today! Space is limited.

For more information, please contact GPCOG Community Outreach Director Jennifer Puser Brennan at 207-774-9891 or by email


CCRCC moves to CODERED emergency alert system

Cumberland County Regional Communication Center (CCRCC) recently introduced CODERED as the County’s emergency alert system through two system test calls. The test call messages encouraged citizens to opt-in their cell number and/or email address to receive emergency messages on their cell phone.

“On the test call, citizens saw the non-emergency calling telephone number as
1-855-969-4636,” CCRCC Director Bill Holmes said. “Emergency calls will show the calling number as 1-866-419-5000. All public safety agencies in Cumberland County will have the ability to send both emergency and non-emergency text messages to land lines, cell phones and email addresses. Future actual emergency alert notices may say or show the name of your community’s public safety agency as the agency sending the message.”

The CODERED emergency alert system is available to all 28 communities in the County and is used to send both emergency and non-emergency messages. Types of emergency messages sent by the system will include:

  • Missing person alerts
  • Sever Weather (Hurricane/Tornado) alerts
  • Dangerous/Escaped Felon alerts
  • Evacuation notice for gas leaks/wild fires/dam breaches

To receive emergency alert messages via text message or email, please sign up here and follow the easy instructions to opt-in. Opting into the CODERED system is free.

For more information, please contact Cumberland County Regional Communications Director Bill Holmes by email or at  207-893-2810.

Emergency Management Agency

EMA Nationally Recognized

Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Emergency Management, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response as the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Medical Reserve Corps Housing Organization. Cumberland County EMA was selected from nearly one thousand Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Housing Agencies for this recognition.

The 2015 Outstanding Medical Reserve Corps Housing Organization Award honors the MRC Housing Organization that has served as an exemplary host agency to their MRC and has successfully supported, advocated on behalf and helped integrate the MRC into their local community’s public health and preparedness infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (DCVMRC) strives to recognize members of the growing Medical Reserve Corps network on a regular basis, both formally and informally.

“We know that it is the MRC volunteers and leaders, as well as the housing and partner organizations, and other key stakeholders, who have helped build and sustain the MRC program as we know it,” said Jim Budway, Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency Director. “For that, they are most worthy of being recognized. Our annual recognition awards allow DCVMRC to formally acknowledge those that go above and beyond every day to further the MRC mission and we are grateful for the partnership.”

?The Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency was nominated for the award by Jared McCannell, the Volunteer Management Coordinator for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Office of the Maine CDC. 

Legislative Update

The current Legislative season is winding down. However, with a scheduled ending date of June 17, things are really gearing up.

More than 13 Legislative committees have been holding public hearings for input from the public on over 1375 bills. The public hearings are followed by work sessions to further discuss a bill, generally with no public input, unless specifically requested by the committee. Once a bill is voted out of committee, it will go to the floor of the House or Senate, depending on whether a Representative or Senator was the major bill sponsor.

Once on the floor, the reports of the committee are discussed and go “under the gavel” if a unanimous report came out of committee. In the case of a split vote from the committee level, whether in favor or opposed, the bill is further discussed in the House and Senate. It is then voted on and may be passed, defeated, or held over for the next session.

The major bill still being discussed is on jail funding, LD 186. It has gone out of the Criminal Justice Committee with a minority and majority report. At the same time, Appropriations is determining what to do with continued funding, if anything, for the next two fiscal years. There is no agreement on how to move forward, for two reasons:
1) amount of funding and 2) how to manage/ control the county jail system. If funding is not put forward for some reason, that will be disastrous to the counties. If funding should be reverted back to the taxpayers, as it was eight years ago before the Board of Corrections, that would mean huge increases to taxpayers.

This will all have to be worked out in the next four weeks and will likely be one of the last bills to be taken up by the House and Senate.

Questions? Contact Bill Whitten via email or at 871-8380.

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