During Convention, you will have the opportunity to choose from the list of topics shown below. Each session is designed to enhance your knowledge and provide you with ideas that you can take home and apply in your own community.

 

thursday-am-848x130-mini-banners

Confessions of a Civic Engagement Luddite

There is a cornucopia of online services and mobile apps promising to engage citizens with government. We’ll investigate their functions and intentions, and explore ways they are under-utilized, misused, and sometimes used against their intended purpose. Then we’ll discuss simple, free tools that support 21st century citizenship in your community.

Speaker

Scott TenBrink, Community Project Manager, Citizen Interaction Design

 

The Little City That Could

The water crisis in Flint has focused national attention on the results of decades of local, state, and federal neglect of critical water, sewer, roads, and bridges infrastructure. Right next door, the City of Burton has been facing the same economic challenges as Flint and other cities across the state. But by challenging entrenched thinking, “the little city that could” won the approval to use Open Source Procurement, and ultimately to introduce the use of C909 PVC water mains to the Genesee County-approved design specifications. To date, PVC pipes have been used to replace over 80,000 feet of the City’s oldest, most costly to maintain, cast and ductile/cast iron water infrastructure. By aggressively seeking state and federal programs for grants, low interest loans, and principal forgiveness, the city has been able to magnify its own limited resources to update much of its water and sewer infrastructure and many of its roads, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

Speakers

Dima El-Gamal, PHD, PE, LEEP-AP, Senior Associate, Stantec
Dave Marshke, Utilities Superintendent, City of Burton
Paula Zelenko, Mayor, City of Burton

 

Self-Driving Cars are Coming: How Do We Prepare our Communities?

Self-driving cars (‘connected and autonomous vehicles’) are all over the news, and some features are already being included in new vehicles. So far, though, very little is known about the impacts on our downtowns and neighborhoods. Come join the discussion: what do we know so far, what don’t we know, and how can we prepare our communities for the widespread use of CAVs?

Speakers

Richard Murphy, Program Coordinator, Michigan Municipal League

 thursday-pm-848x130-mini-banners

Millennials as Local Government Leaders

The next generation of local government leaders—millennials—often get a bad rap. Pinned as lazy, entitled, unable to communicate and coddled by their parents, millennials are often stereotyped as unfit for leadership positions. This session is framed to help current and future local government leaders better understand millennials and how most defy these overplayed labels. Further, this session will help cities learn how to hone the different but important skills held by millennials and their more seasoned counterparts in order to produce an accepting and forward-thinking work environment.

Speakers

Bridget Doyle, Community Relations Director, Sterling Heights
Kirsten Wyatt, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Emerging Local Government Leaders

 

Reforming Michigan’s Municipal Finance System

Michigan’s municipal finance system is broken, and the League has made reforming this system our top legislative and policy concern. This session will discuss the profound deficiencies and limitations of our system, as well share our current thoughts and ideas for possible reform.

Speakers

Anthony Minghine, Associate Executive Director & COO, Michigan Municipal League
Chris Hackbarth, Director, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League

 

Municipal Hot Topics

Legislation and court rulings often impact policies and procedures in our communities. In this session, we’ll examine the implications of three recent court rulings: prevailing wage, Big Box assessments, and the “gag order.”

Speakers

 

Creative Approaches to Engaging the Community

As a follow up to the Wednesday keynote, join this session to learn about successful community engagement partnerships in Kalamazoo and Hazel Park. In Kalamazoo, the Land Bank Authority has taken a number of creative approaches to include residents, business owners and institutional leaders in the revitalization of an historic business district. Hazel Park was one of four pilot communities who embarked on a unique project with the Congress for the New Urbanism in spring 2016. Learn about low-cost, effective strategies to broaden the conversation in your community.

Speakers

Jeff Campbell, Assistant City Manager, Community Development Director, Hazel Park
Kelly Clarke, Executive Director, Kalamazoo County Land Bank
Ed Klobucher, City Manager, Hazel Park

 

Regional Transit Revs Up in Metro Detroit

The Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority released their master plan this summer, and hope to pass a millage on November 8. If funded, the RTA would create high-quality rapid transit linking metro Detroit, expanding job access, increasing independence for seniors, and supporting talent attraction efforts. Join representatives from the RTA and A Coalition for Transit (ACT) to talk about what’s planned and how your community can take advantage of the upcoming transit options.

Speakers

 

friday-848x130-mini-banners

Attracting & Retaining Volunteers

Volunteers are critical for the implementation and review of development, led by staff. By this we mean volunteers that participate on the boards and commissions of a community. It is important that communities provide the boards/commissions application online along with some desired skill sets, provide continuing education for those volunteers, and track trainings participants attend. The development process is much more difficult if there are not qualified and capable volunteers willing to serve on these boards/commissions. It is important for volunteers to have a good understanding of what they are committing to before just being placed on a board/commission.

Speakers

Riley Hollenbaugh, Executive Director, Saline Main Street
Cathleen Edgerly, Executive Director, Howell Main Street/DDA
Diane Sheridan, Executive Director, Grand Haven Main Street/DDA

 

From Out of the Shadows to Your Financial Statements: Reducing Retiree Health Care Costs

Please join attorneys Howard Shifman and Brandon Fournier as they delve into the labyrinth of public sector retiree health care. The presentation will include a discussion on the current legal landscape, developing trends and practical strategies that may be available to communities as they work to reduce their outstanding post retirement obligations.

 

Speakers

Brandon Fournier, Attorney, Howard L. Shifman, PC
Howard Shifman, President & Founder, Howard L. Shifman, PC

 

Legislative Update

The League’s State and Federal Affairs team will discuss current issues and what’s on the horizon for the Legislature this fall including hot topics like transportation, municipal finance, and federal issues and how the upcoming election and lame duck session could influence that agenda.

Speakers

Chris Hackbarth, Director, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
John LaMacchia, Assistant Director, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
Jennifer Rigterink, Legislative Associate, Michigan Municipal League

 

How to Get Your Community Involved with the Conversation!

Effective and efficient use of social media is important for all communities. You need to be a part of the conversation. Join our discussion on ways your community can improve and grow their media outreach and reap the benefits of a well thought out communication plan.

Speakers

Matt Bach, Director, Media Relations, Michigan Municipal League
Rob Ferrari, Director, Communication Strategies & Design, Michigan Municipal League