Community Newsletter

Issue #325

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In this Issue:
Photo: Clark's Pond by Russ Lunt

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, January 3 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (hybrid)
Tuesday, January 10 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (hybrid)

See the City Calendar for all scheduled City Council and board meetings + locations/links to participate. All agendas and packet material can be found on BoardDocs. This material will be posted by 4:30 PM on Friday the week prior to the scheduled meeting. See summaries of Council meetings here.

City Holiday Schedule

City Hall and most City offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, January 2. Some City offices and services will have adjusted schedules due to the holiday. 

Storm Damage Assistance

If your home or small business incurred uninsured damages in the recent rain and windstorm Elliot, there may be relief ahead. The State is requesting those who incurred damages not covered by insurance—including loss due to flood, tree impact, vehicle damage, and refrigeration failure—to file a preliminary damage assessment. Any losses not covered by insurance may qualify.

To complete the assessment, the form must be printed, filled out, scanned, and submitted by email by January 2, 2023. The form can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/mema/sites/maine.gov.mema/files/inline-files/IA_PDA_9-29-22.pdf

The completed form, plus any pictures and other supporting documentation, should be emailed to: CCEMA-EOC@cumberlandcounty.org

This information will be forwarded to the Maine Emergency Management Agency for a request for a federal Individual Assistance (IA) declaration. While there is no guarantee of an IA declaration, every application provides evidence that Maine residents and businesses need assistance in recovering from the storm.

Contact Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency Planner Margaret Cushing with questions at: 207-892-6785 or cushing@cumberlandcounty.org.

Christmas Tree Collection

The City will be collecting discarded Christmas trees for two weeks beginning January 3 and ending January 13. Place trees curbside by 7 AM Tuesday, January 3 and leave curbside until collected. Please be sure to remove stands, tinsel, ornaments, etc.

Christmas trees may also be brought to the Transfer Facility, free of charge, during normal hours of operation (Tuesday - Saturday, 8 AM -3:30 PM).

Contact Public Works with any questions at 767-7635 or publicworks@southportland.org.

Meet Our New
Animal Control Officer!

Meet South Portland and Cape Elizabeth's new Animal Control Officer, Maggie Maxwell! Maggie is originally from Upstate NY and has been living in Vermont since college with her husband. Maggie has two hound mixes, four cats, and likes to foster mother cats with their babies. Read more about Maggie in the interview below!

How did you get into the Animal Control Officer biz?
I originally went to school for International Business and Marketing intending to work overseas rescuing animals. Right after I graduated, I had a job opportunity at my local vet. My favorite job while in college was helping at a dog rescue, so I thought I’d try the vet field for a bit while looking for a marketing job.
Growing up I was scared of euthanasia and seeing hurt animals. After working at the vet for a while, I became one of their lead technicians. I expanded and began working in veterinary surgical and dental practice, and then went into the emergency field. While there, I learned that often the owner’s financial means dictates whether a pet is euthanized, since many don’t have funds for the necessary treatments. I knew there were only few people in the world that could handle seeing animals in such poor conditions and situations. I thought that since I could, I should help those ones.
I started my Master’s in Veterinary Forensics in hopes of getting to become a cruelty investigator someday. A first step to that includes animal control. The only way we will ever change the ways that animals are treated is through education—that’s what I want to be to this community, someone that can help community members with their pets and explain the local ordinances so that they and their pets have the best lives possible, together.

What’s your wildest story about interacting with wildlife?
On my way home from an overnight shift in the ER, I saw a coyote that had been hit by a car deep in the snow. I saw his tail moving, so I pulled over to investigate. I am rabies vaccinated, so I cautiously went over to see the coyote. I pulled the body out of the snowbank to the coyote injured pretty bad—head trauma. He wasn’t aggressive, just trying to get away. I had to hold him down, preventing him from running back into the road. In the state of Vermont, our Animal Control is volunteer based, so they have full-time jobs and aren’t required to go in certain situations. I called the local police department to discover someone had called in about the coyote 3 hours earlier, stating it was a dog. I was frustrated that no one had come out to help this animal. Eventually, sitting on the side of the road for some time, people driving by offered to dispatch the coyote, putting him out of his misery. I am notorious for checking on animals hit by cars, and if domesticated, helping to find the owner.
What’s your favorite animal and why?
Cats. They all just are so different from each other and really don’t care about anyone else’s agenda. If reincarnation is a thing, I want to come back as a huge, fat orange indoor cat.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not on duty?
I love snowboarding. This past year I got my first motorcycle. I like paddleboarding a lot. I also like taking our dogs out to swim and hike. I cuddle with my cats and like day naps. I love true crime, and listen to lots of podcast and watch documentaries. I spend summers going to concerts. I am one of the lucky people who got tickets to Taylor Swift!

Meet Our New Officers!

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to our five new South Portland Police Officers! Officers Drew Meader, Akos Szekely, Rachel Lovell, Sarah Clark, and Ibrahima Camara completed 18 weeks at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy studying things like criminal law, constitutional law, motor vehicle law, use of force and de-escalation, responding to people in mental health crisis, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operation, firearms, and so much more. Here they are, at the recent swearing in ceremony. Welcome aboard!

Employment Opportunities


Start your new year with an exciting new position where you'll make a difference in your community! The City is currently conducting a search for an Assessor. Visit our website to learn more about this and many more open positions.

The application for this opportunity is NOW AVAILABLE! To view the application and apply, visit: southportland.org/departments/human-resources/job-opportunities

Youth Winter Equipment Lease

There’s fun to be had in South Portland parks all year round! Ice skates and snow shoes are available for lease from the South Portland Community Center in various youth sizes.

How it works:
  • Visit the Community Center and ask for rentals. No upfront payments needed!
  • A balance will be placed on your recreation account during your lease.
  • Use the leased equipment for up to 5 days of outdoor fun!
  • Return the equipment (in good condition) to the Community Center and the balance on your account will be removed.
Check out the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront January Newsletter for this and more winter programs.

Keeping Me Warm Fund

Want to help keep a neighbor warm this winter? The City is accepting donations to our Keeping Me Warm Fund. The fund is used to help South Portland residents in need of assistance with heating costs. To donate, make your check payable to the City of South Portland with "Keeping Me Warm Fund" in the memo line, and send to: South Portland Social Services Dept., 25 Cottage Rd, South Portland, ME 04106. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extend allowed by law.

If you are in need of heating assistance, reach out to our Social Services department at: (207) 767-7617.

Upcoming Events

Scroll down to see more library events.
Come show pride for our 2022 AA Boys Basketball State Champs at the varsity basketball game at South Portland High School on Tuesday, January 3. The game starts at 7 PM, and the banner ceremony will happen with the pregame announcements. Admission is $5 adults, $3 students/seniors.
Scroll down to see more SPSD events.

Coming Up at the Library

  • Sat., Dec. 31 at 11:30 AM: Noon Year’s Eve Party! Come for crafts, stories, a countdown to noon, and a balloon drop! All ages welcome.
  • Weds., Jan. 11 at 1 PM:  Slime Lab. Make your own slime on the half day! Open to ages 5-12. Registration required.
  • Weds., Jan. 11 at 6:30 PM: Wildlife & Ecology Series: Intro to Nature Journaling
  • Sat., Jan. 21 at 2 PM: Author Talk with James Harris. Local author James Harris will discuss his first book Tales from the Hayloft: A Maine Farm Memoir.
  • Weds., Jan. 25 at 6:30 PM: An Evening with Author Meghan Gillis. Join local author Meghan Gillis as she discusses her new novel Lungfish.
Visit the Library website for more information.
Some events are subject to change. Check spsd.org for up-to-date information.
Hello, my name is Shara Drew and I'm very happy to serve as the City of South Portland's Communications Officer!

I'd love to hear your feedback on our newsletter and other City communications, so feel free to send me a note any time at news@southportland.org.
This City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about City sponsored events, projects and special announcements from South Portland's non-profit community.
The City of South Portland Community Newsletter is published by the City of South Portland.  It is a compilation of the best available information at the time of publication.  Events may be subject to change without notice in the time between publication of this e-newsletter and the actual event.  To send information to be considered for inclusion into this newsletter, send to news@southportland.org.
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