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. Please note that locations may change prior to the event.

 

Thursday, September 14

8:30 – 9:45 am

 

2017 State of the Cities Addresses: Highlights and How-Tos

Location: Holland City Hall

A growing number of mayors and village board chairs are delivering annual State of the City addresses in their communities. The speeches help improve transparency; connect local leaders with their constituents; highlight accomplishments; and share information on city/village priorities, plans, and challenges. The Michigan Municipal League recently prepared a report summarizing key themes and priorities presented in 2017 State of the City addresses given by Michigan mayors and other local leaders. In this session, you will hear some of the highlights from the League’s State of the Cities report, and learn valuable tips and tricks of the trade for delivering an effective State of the City address in your community.

Speakers

Bryan Barnett, Mayor, Rochester Hills
Maureen Donker, Mayor, Midland; League Board of Trustee
Shanna Draheim, Director, Policy Development, Michigan Municipal League

 

Developing a Community Energy Strategy

Location: Haworth Inn & Conference Center

The City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works have been proactive in tackling their region’s energy future, leading a civic conversation that led to the innovative Holland Energy Fund and the Holland Community Energy Plan. They have twice been recognized by the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards. But Holland is not the only Michigan city reaping the benefits of a strategic approach to energy. Several nonprofits recently formed MI-CEP (Michigan Community Energy Partners) to share lessons and best practices among communities—small and large, urban and rural, those with municipal utilities, and those without. This session will teach attendees how to launch or revitalize their own community’s energy strategy, how to use energy projects to meet broader community goals, and how to use the Michigan Green Communities Challenge to track and share progress.

Moderator

Luke Forrest, Director, Civic Innovations, Michigan Municipal League

Speakers

Rick Bunch, Executive Director, Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office                                    Allison Harris, Director, Strategic Community Initiatives, EcoWorks
Anne Saliers, Community Energy Services Manager, Holland Board of Public Works

 

Illegal / Improper Municipal Expenditures

Location: Haworth Inn & Conference Center

If your council or residents have ever questioned whether it is OK to spend public funds on an event (such as retirement parties, funerals, birthday cakes) or to support an individual or group (e.g. the Boy Scouts, Red Cross, veterans’ organizations), then you will want to attend this session. It will cover a municipality’s power and authority to spend money, which may only be done for a valid public purpose.

Speaker

Eric D Williams, City Attorney, Big Rapids; MAMA Board of Directors

 

Keys to Successful Millage Proposals

Location: Holland Public Safety Building

In the past four years, the City of Sterling Heights has successfully passed two millage proposals: a public safety millage in 2013 branded “Safe Streets,” and a 2016 recreation millage called “Recreating Recreation.” In both cases, the City of Sterling Heights used a playbook of marketing, public information, public forums, and targeted outreach to citizens to help educate them on the proposals. In this session, Sterling Heights leaders will share how they ran both proposals and the successes and difficulties along the way.

Speakers

Melanie Davis, President & CEO, Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry      Bridget Kozlowski, Community Relations Director, Sterling Heights
Mark Vanderpool, City Manager, Sterling Heights

 

Legislative Update

Location: Boatwerks

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 our continuing efforts around municipal finance, infrastructure investments, and issues related to local control, along with how the budget proposal in D.C. could impact communities in Michigan.

Speakers

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

 

Making Strong Towns: The On-the-Ground Experience

Location: CityFlatsHotel

How are Michigan communities rethinking their infrastructure and development practices to improve their fiscal solvency, resiliency, and sense of place? Some have begun to apply the lessons of past Convention speaker Chuck Marohn, from the national organization Strong Towns. In this session, a panel of local representatives will share what they’ve learned—and what they’re doing differently as a result.

Moderator

Richard Murphy, Program Coordinator, Civic Innovations, Michigan Municipal League

Speakers

Nancy DeBoer, Mayor, Holland
Gary Howe, City Commissioner, Traverse City
Kathleen Ling, Mayor, Mount Pleasant

 


Thursday, September 14

12:30 – 4:00 pm

 

America in Bloom: Connecting the Dots

Location: Haworth Inn & Conference Center

As a follow-up to Thursday morning’s general session, hear more about America in Bloom and the involvement of some of your Michigan counterparts. During this session, you will learn how to be engaged as a local leader, and hear more details on community and citizen engagement through America in Bloom.

Speakers

Maureen Donker, Mayor, Midland, League Board of Trustees
Tony Ferrara, First Vice President, America in Bloom
Linda Hart, Community Outreach Coordinator, Holland Area Visitors Bureau

 

Emergency Vehicle Operations

Location: CityFlatsHotel

Operating a motor vehicle in response to an emergency presents unique challenges. In this session, you’ll learn about exemptions in the law and the standard of care the operator must meet. Presenters will also discuss how the operation of emergency vehicles can impact governmental immunity and how to reduce the incidents of inappropriate operation or crashes. Police and public safety administrators will explain and demonstrate how they electronically monitor employees when operating motor vehicles, and how that audit process impacts decision-making.

Moderator

Thomas Wolff, Claims Manager, Risk Management Services, The League

Speakers

Audrey Forbush, Legal Advisor, Law Enforcement Action Forum; Plunkett Cooney                            Elmer Hitt, Director of Police & Fire Services, Jackson
Gene King, Coordinator, Law Enforcement Action Forum; Loss Control Consultant, Michigan Municipal League Liability and Property Pool
Don Mawer, Chief of Police, Frankenmuth
Geoff Smith, Director, Sturgis Department of Public Safety

 


Friday, September 15

9:00 – 10:15 am

 

The Gender Balance Challenge

Location: Haworth Inn & Conference Center

While women represent over 50 percent of the state and local government workforce, they quickly drop off to less than 20 percent at the chief executive level. Why does this occur and why is it important for you, an elected official or city administrator, to address this issue?

Studies have shown that inclusive cultures with gender diversity in leadership positions achieve better overall organizational results. Still, even after more than 30 years, women are not proportionately represented in the upper ranks of city management. But, as long as cities are being run day-to-day, does the lack of women in upper management even matter? It sure does! The lack of gender diversity in organizations can have a big price tag in lost productivity and financial success. Striving for more diversity can have a huge payoff for your organization. In addition, as communities strive to deal with changing demographics and ensure that the workforce at all levels reflects the communities being served, embracing diversity of all types—including gender—is essential for the future health of our cities.

Speakers

Pamela Antil, Assistant City Administrator, Santa Barbara, CA; President, League of Women in Government
Theodore Staton, City Manager, Upper Arlington, OH; Board Member, League of Women in Government

 

Getting Redevelopment Sites Moving

Location: Holland Public Safety Building

How do you get from “Redevelopment Ready” to developers taking on projects in your community? Staff from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Municipal League will discuss the support available from those organizations to kick-start projects, and local staff will present case studies of packaging their priority sites and getting developers under contract.

Moderator

Monica Galloway, Councilmember, Flint

Speakers

Richard Murphy, Program Coordinator, Civic Innovations, MML
Joe Borgstrom, Principal, Place & Main Advisors
Ryan Kilpatrick, Senior Community Assistance Specialist, MEDC

 

machineQ by Comcast, Internet of Things and Smart City Applications

Location: Haworth Inn & Conference Center

machineQ is a cost-effective network solution enabling the Internet of Things. It’s ideal for Smart City applications such as water metering, internal and external lighting, parking, and many other Smart City applications. Using LoRaWAN (long-range) technology, the machineQ network captures and disseminates data over a footprint spanning up to 30 miles—above ground, underground, and inside dense structures—while using very little power. That data is collected in real-time and can be used to create actionable intelligence that helps a city operate smarter…and they can do it at nearly a tenth of the cost it would take to move the same data over alternative networks.

machineQ was incubated out of Comcast’s Strategic Development department in 2016. Strategic Development is tasked with ideating, incubating, and innovating for the future. After months of research and analysis on low power-wide area networks, Comcast chose to deploy LoRaWAN as their chosen connectivity form throughout the U.S. to address the need for the Internet of Things and Smart City applications. machineQ serves as Comcast’s point of entry into the growing Enterprise IoT space.

Speakers

Jacob Murphy, Business Development Manager at machineQ, Comcast

 

Practicing Ethical Public Leadership

Location: CityFlatsHotel

Building on the understandings developed in the Thursday morning session, this workshop will test our sense of an ethics of public service against real world scenarios from municipal leaders’ lives. Don’t come to learn the answers; come to learn how to find answers.

Speaker

Scott Paine, Ph.D., Director, Leadership Development & Education, FLC University, Florida League of Cities

 

Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Legalities

Location: Holland City Hall

You’ve been told that to be successful in your role you need to have a presence on social media.  You’re likely on Facebook, but are you using it right? Is there a right way? What about Twitter, should you be on that? And what are the legal ramifications of it all?  This session will explore the various social media platforms and the benefits and pitfalls.

Speakers

Matt Bach, Director of Communications, Michigan Municipal League
Steve Baker, Councilmember, Berkley
Steve Mann, Principal, Miller Canfield