Resources
Experience

Portland School Budget

Jim Cohen helped establish a partnership with the Portland Public Schools to improve the school budget process.

The entries below highlight Jim's efforts to improve school budgeting:

  • Jim served as a trustee of the Maine Public Spending Research Group, and as part of his service, focused on ways that school systems could become more efficient. Jim delivered a presentation to GrowSmart on this topic.
  • He served as the primary drafts person of the Maine Plan in 2004, a citizen initiative aimed at establishing spending limits at all levels of government. Jim helped form a coalition between business leaders and municipal government officials which ultimately led the Maine Legislature in 2005 to adopt many of the elements of the plan as part of LD 1. Jim spoke about the Maine Plan at a 2005 Maine Water Utilities Association Meeting.
  • In 2006-7, Jim became the chair of the City's finance committee. During his tenure, he facilitated extensive public discussion regarding the proposed school budget, the largest in the City's history. During the process, Jim worked to improve the relationship between the City Finance Committee and the School Finance Committee to better evaluate the school budget.
    -Jim addresses school budget issues, among other topics, in an interview with The League of young Voters.
    -Upon deciding to leave the City Council, Jim's accomplishments as a member of the Finance Committee were reviewed by the Portland Press Herald.
  • In 2007, the public discovered that the School Budget was inaccurate, leading to the resignation of the Superintendent and Finance Director. Jim worked with the School Finance Committee to develop a memorandum of understanding to improve the meetings , information gathering and relationship between the City Council and School Committee. This led to a collaborative budget in 2008 that helped restore public trust in the school system.

In 2009-10, Jim served on the Portland Charter Commission, and helped draft and get passed changes to the City's charter that formalized the process established by the memorandum of understanding. These changes were approved by the voters in November 2010.

Firm Highlights

Event

Annual Update: Part 1 - 2022 Legal Year in Review (2nd Session)

News

The Boston Bar Association Adds Verrill Attorney David M. Friedman to Council

Publication/Podcast

Amending Your Retirement Plans this Year for SECURE Act and CARES Act Changes

This post was updated on September 29, 2022. On August 3, 2022, the IRS extended the deadline for retirement plan sponsors to adopt amendments necessary to comply with the Setting Every Community Up for...

Publication/Podcast

BLM-Masked Employees of Whole Foods Lose Race Bias Appeal Regarding Dress Code

Matter

Elections and Constitutional Law: Successfully Challenged Certification of Initiative Petition

In a victory for consumers and the ride-hailing public, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently barred the Secretary of State from placing on the November ballot initiative petitions proposed by companies such as Uber...

Blog

Proposed Changes to Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has proposed changes to the regulations governing the state’s paid family and medical leave program. The proposed changes are intended to clarify the requirements related to...

Event

Annual Update: Part 1 - 2022 Legal Year in Review (1st Session)

Matter

Advised Fortune 500 Company on Group Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

We were engaged by a Fortune 500 manufacturing company to provide legal and compliance services regarding its group health and welfare benefit plans. During the course of our representation, we have advised the company...

Blog

Verrill Partner Mat Todaro selected to serve on the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources 2022 Fall Conference Planning Committee

Earlier this year, Verrill Partner Mat Todaro was selected by American Bar Association leadership to serve on the 2022 Fall Conference Planning Committee for its Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources. In this role...

News

Verrill Attorney Elizabeth Connellan Smith Elected President of National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700