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  • Hot Topics for Township Fire Departments (4-part series)

    Contains 4 Component(s)

    Four-part series offering updates on emerging issues in emergency services, plus updates from experts including the State Fire Marshall and Michigan EMS & Trauma Division staff.

    Get a handle on the hot topics facing your township's fire department and emergency services team with MTA's newest online learning series. This annual event gone virtual is designed to offer an update on emerging issues in emergency services and a chance to hear directly from the experts. We've divided this year's content into four separate hour-long webinars.

    • Insights into how the unique design and use of marijuana facilities bring considerable risk for fire.
    • The inside scoop from the state fire marshal on training and changes being proposed by the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council.
    • Statewide initiatives and emergency preparedness programs that can help you identify steps you can take to prepare your community. (Coming soon!)
    • An update on emerging issues in EMS from the director of the state's EMS & Trauma Division. (Coming soon!)

    G. Lawrence “Larry” Merrill

    Former Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

    Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry spent many years executing the policies prescribed by the MTA Board of Directors and the membership. He was responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association, where he has served since 1980. Prior to working for the Association, Larry was a county administrator and director of a county emergency medical services department.  Larry holds a master's degree in public administration, is the author of numerous books and articles on local government finances, administration and services and is a a popular presenter on topics related to townships and board governance. 

  • Emerging Issues in Planning & Zoning 2020 - On-Demand Webinar Series

    Contains 4 Component(s)

    Includes four, expert-led webinar sessions, now available on-demand, covering a variety of topics including: handling virtual PC/ZBA meetings, mining operations, short term-rentals, an intro to planning and zoning for solar and wind, and utility-scale solar arrays. Bonus: MTA Online Plus & Premium Pass subscribers now have free access! Simply click the webcast title to get started now!

    We are taking the summer’s hottest evening workshop series virtual! If you’ve attended MTA’s face-to-face series, you already know this program identifies hot topics and emerging issues in planning and zoning, and is a must for planning commissioners, township board members and zoning administrators.

    Get tips for how your planning commission and zoning board of appeals can navigate the new virtual environment we’ve all been thrust into during the pandemic. Dig into mining operations and short-term rentals and gain insights into how townships can mitigate the legal issues while addressing the concerns of its residents. Review the fundamentals of planning and zoning for both wind and solar energy and learn more about utility-scale, non-residential solar arrays. This entire series combines a how-to guide with real-life practical experiences

    Not only has it gone virtual, our ever-popular Hot Topics workshop has been divided into four separate hour-long webinars. The four segments include:

    • Taking Your PC & ZBA Meetings Virtual
    • Mining Operations & Short-Term Rentals
    • Intro. to P&Z for Wind and Solar Energy 
    • P&Z for Utility-Scale Solar Energy 

    REGISTRATION RATES

    MTA members: $94 per person
    Non-members: $136 per person

    Is your township subscribed to MTA Online at the Plus or Premium level? Then this series is FREE to you! Simply login, then click on MY WEBCASTS then search for this title to start watching now.

    Continue the learning with our discounted book package! 
    MTA has packaged two of our most popular publications, revised in 2019, and is making them available to you at discounted rates. Get both of these helpful tools for just $72 when registering for our Emerging Issues in Planning & Zoning  webinar. The Township Guide to Planning & Zoning provides a detailed look at the planning process and outlines elements of a successful planning program. Planning & Zoning Decision-making aims to help planning and zoning officials reach defensible, effective decisions and build a strong community based on sound planning principles and procedures. Contact MTA directly at (517) 321-6467 to order your package today!

    Catherine P. Kaufman

    Attorney & Partner

    Catherine P. Kaufman is an attorney and partner at Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber & Kaufman, PC. Her practice includes all facets of municipal representation, with a concentration on land use, zoning and planning matters. She has served as advisor to municipal planning commissions and zoning boards of appeal, as well as to private citizen and environmental groups. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, she has also worked as a land use planner and is active in statewide planning organizations. An honors graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, she received a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Wayne State University.

    Continue the learning

    MTA’s Planning & Zoning Book Package, available at a discounted rate for registrants of this webcast, includes 2019 editions of the Township Guide to Planning & Zoning and Planning & Zoning Decision-making. The Township Guide to Planning & Zoning provides a detailed look at the planning process and outlines elements of a successful planning program, while Planning & Zoning Decision-making aims to help planning and zoning officials reach defensible, effective decisions, and build a strong community based on sound planning principles and procedures.

    Package rate for both books: $72* (member rate)

    Township Guide to Planning & Zoning: $49.50* member ($79.50* non-member)
    Planning & Zoning Decision-making: $35* member ($51* non-member)

    *rates do not include shipping.

    How To Order? 

    Online: Order online at MTA’s new bookstore
    Fax: Print the downloadable order form and fax to (517) 321-8908. 
    Mail: Print the downloadable order form and mail to Michigan Townships Association, P.O. Box 80078, Lansing, MI, 48908-0078.

  • Now You Know - In the Transition (on demand webinar)

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Hear MTA’s Member Information Services team share what you need to know about the transition of incoming (and outgoing!) officials between now and the launch of the new township term of office. "In the Transition" will review the “ins and outs” of how townships handle resignations, appointments, compensation, and the oath of office, as well as required meetings and dates. We’ll explain what “the transition” actually is, what’s happening, how you handle “elects,” when those running unopposed can assume duties… and so much more.

    Hear MTA’s Member Information Services team share what you need to know about the transition of incoming (and outgoing!) officials between now and the launch of the new township term of office. "In the Transition" will review the “ins and outs” of how townships handle resignations, appointments, compensation, and the oath of office, as well as required meetings and dates. We’ll explain what “the transition” actually is, what’s happening, how you handle “elects,” when those running unopposed can assume duties… and so much more. 

    Webcast will be available through Nov. 30, 2020.

    Michael Selden

    Director of Member Information Services

    Michael Selden is MTA's director of Member Information Services. As director, he supervises the development and delivery of Association member information programs and services.

    Before joining MTA in November 2015, Selden served as the city manager of Wayland, Mich., for three years. In that role, he prepared and managed the city budget, supervised 22 employees, oversaw multiple city departments and served as liaison to numerous boards and commissions. Selden also served as the city manager of Bangor, Mich., from 2007-2012. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Michigan—Flint, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

    Catherine provides township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. She writes for the "Hello, MTA...?" and Legal Briefs columns, and other articles in the Michigan Township Focus, develops MIS Department resource materials and webpages, authors MTA publications, and presents workshop and conference sessions, as well as live and recorded online courses.

    She joined MTA in 1991, spending her first nine years in MTA's Education Department writing and editing articles for the Township Focus and MTA publications. She coordinated educational workshops and the annual MTA trade show, and assisted in coordinating the annual MTA educational conference. 

    She was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2006 and is currently the MTA Staff Attorney.

    Cindy Dodge

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    MTA Member Information Liaison Cindy Dodge joined MTA in 2006 from Williamstown Township in Ingham County where she served as Clerk since 2005. She has been involved with the township since 2003 as assistant to the supervisor, planning commissioner, and assistant to the planning commission. She is currently a Michigan Certified Assessing Officer. Via phone, fax and e-mail, Cindy provides township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. She is also the Association liaison for MTA county chapters, develops MIS Department resource materials, and presents workshop and Conference sessions as well as teaching live and recorded webinar courses.

  • NEW: Elections Tips & Fundamentals Series

    Contains 5 Component(s)

    This series delves into both tried-and-true tips for preparing for an election and new procedures for handling hurdles like COVID-19, cyber attacks, absentee voter ballots, and more. Watch for a new segment coming soon on "Lessons Learned Following the Primary" and additional content coming in September on elections security.

    Election Tips & Fundamentals Series

    Townships vary dramatically in size and location, but all have elections in common. Every township runs elections, and each is challenged with doing so safely! While some logistics are tried-and-true, new procedures must be put into place for handling hurdles like COVID-19, cyber-attacks, absentee voter ballots and more. 

    MTA can help! Purchase our Elections Tips and Fundamentals webcast today to learn more about these new challenges, and get tips designed to help you organize and prioritize your elections. This prerecorded webcast series is broken into several watchable segments, allowing you to watch and learn at your own pace (and convenience!) from the safety of your home or office.

    The first segment in the series offers checklists and time management tips, and will even help you troubleshoot those nagging Election Day issues. Examine the absentee voter process, tackle ballot issues and streamline precinct setup. Publications and notices are also be addressed. We take you beyond the legal requirements for conducting elections and explore effective ways to run an election safely.

    Next up, we’ve got what you need to know about election workers. From recruiting to requirements, we hit the highlights. Take away tips on alternates to ensure you have appropriate backup to avoid any unwelcome surprises come Election Day.

    But wait, there’s more! In our third segment, get an inside look at what we've learned following the August primary, and how to best prepare for November in light of these lessons.

    Finally, we'll get an update from the Department of Elections on security. Learn how Michigan is securing the polls and managing misinformation as we prepare for the general election.

    Cindy Dodge

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    MTA Member Information Liaison Cindy Dodge joined MTA in 2006 from Williamstown Township in Ingham County where she served as Clerk since 2005. She has been involved with the township since 2003 as assistant to the supervisor, planning commissioner, and assistant to the planning commission. She is currently a Michigan Certified Assessing Officer. Via phone, fax and e-mail, Cindy provides township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. She is also the Association liaison for MTA county chapters, develops MIS Department resource materials, and presents workshop and Conference sessions as well as teaching live and recorded webinar courses.

    Lori Bourbonais

    Manager, Election Liaison Section, Michigan Dept. of State

    Jonathan Brater

    Director, Michigan Bureau of Elections

    Sally Marsh

    Director of Special Projects in the Executive Office, Michigan Dept. of State

    Sarah Reinhardt

    Analyst, Special Projects, Michigan Dept. of State

    The publications below will help you get started on the right foot! For more resources please visit our online store.

    Authorities and Responsibilities of Michigan Townships
    Member: $52.50*         Non-Member: $76*  
    This go-to guide for all things township underwent a total review and rewrite in 2020. Covering township topics from A to Z—and everything in between—this resource includes the statutory citations, court cases, attorney general opinions and best practices guiding township operations, services and duties. It truly is THE must-have resource not only for today’s elected officials, but also appointed board and committee members, employees, volunteers, attorneys, auditors, and all who play a role in helping to lead their townships.

    Clerks Guide to Township Government
    Member: $38.50*        Non-member: $56* 
    This essential reference to the authorities and statutory responsibilities of the township clerks provides practical tips and techniques for township administration. A separate manual is available for each township office—supervisor, clerk, treasurer and trustee—with common sections on township programs and services, finances, ethics, boardsmanship and meetings, with additional sections detailing office-specific duties.

    *Rates shown to do not include shipping.

    How To Order? 

    Online: Simply click here to visit MTA's bookstore. 
    Fax: Print the downloadable order form and fax to (517) 321-8908. 
    Mail: Print the downloadable order form and mail to Michigan Townships Association, P.O. Box 80078, Lansing, MI, 48908-0078.

  • Cemetery Management (3-part series)

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    This package contains all three segments of our Cemetery Management course. First, get an update on what's new and changing in cemetery management. In Part 2, learn more about writing a cemetery ordinance that promotes safety and orderliness, while also protecting the township from liability. Then, explore new types of burial services as well as proper record-keeping procedures. Watch all three segments by the end of the month, and take part in a live Q&A session with the speaker on June 30! More details will be sent to registrants in mid-June.

    This three-part series covers many of the top concerns related to township cemeteries. Part 1 kicks off with recent changes, what's new, and trends for the future. Part 2 explains why, without a cemetery ordinance, rules and regulations do not have the force of law and anyone who violates such rules or regulations cannot be prosecuted or subject to a municipal civil infraction enforcement proceeding. Learn how to develop a cemetery ordinance to promote orderliness, proper conduct, certainty, predictability, smooth procedures and minimize township liability with regard to township cemeteries. Part 3 explores all the new types of burial services and memorialization options available in the current market and how your cemetery ordinance may need to be updated to regulate these new options. Learn how to identify grave sites, ensure proper record keeping and reclaim older or abandoned burial spaces.

    Watch all three segments by the end of the month, and take part in a live Q&A session with the speaker on June 30! More details will be sent to registrants in mid-June.

    Cindy Dodge (Moderator)

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    MTA Member Information Liaison Cindy Dodge joined MTA in 2006 from Williamstown Township in Ingham County where she served as Clerk since 2005. She has been involved with the township since 2003 as assistant to the supervisor, planning commissioner, and assistant to the planning commission. She is currently a Michigan Certified Assessing Officer. Via phone, fax and e-mail, Cindy provides township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. She is also the Association liaison for MTA county chapters, develops MIS Department resource materials, and presents workshop and Conference sessions as well as teaching live and recorded webinar courses.

    Continue the learning

    From a review of statutes that govern township authority over cemeteries, to the financial aspects of this valuable service, Township Cemetery Management, revised in 2018, serves as a guide to assist local units of government carry out this important function. From the content and procedures for adopting a township cemetery ordinance, to the role of the cemetery sexton, this publication will help township officials and employees explore the inner workings of township cemetery management. Numerous sample documents and detailed information can also be found in the appendices and on the included CD.

    Township Cemetery Management: $38.50* member ($56* non-member)

    *rates do not include shipping.

    How To Order? 
    Online: Order online at MTA’s new bookstore.  
    Fax: Print the downloadable order form and fax to (517) 321-8908.  
    Mail: Print the downloadable order form and mail to Michigan Townships Association, P.O. Box 80078, Lansing, MI, 48908-0078.

  • Who Gets Paid What... and How?

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Take charge of your payroll! Gain insight into the payroll process and learn to pay your fellow officials, and employees, properly. This eye-opening session will include a review of federal and state labor, wage and hour laws.

    Take charge of your payroll! Gain insight into the payroll process and learn to pay your fellow officials, and employees, properly. This eye-opening session will include a review of federal and state labor, wage and hour laws.

    Cindy Dodge

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    MTA Member Information Liaison Cindy Dodge joined MTA in 2006 from Williamstown Township in Ingham County where she served as Clerk since 2005. She has been involved with the township since 2003 as assistant to the supervisor, planning commissioner, and assistant to the planning commission. She is currently a Michigan Certified Assessing Officer. Via phone, fax and e-mail, Cindy provides township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. She is also the Association liaison for MTA county chapters, develops MIS Department resource materials, and presents workshop and Conference sessions as well as teaching live and recorded webinar courses.

  • B-101: Board Roles & Relations (3-part series; valid for 4 credits)

    Contains 4 Component(s)

    This three-part webcast examines your role as a board member, and how each role fits into the board as a whole.

    This three-part webcast examines your role as a board member, and how each role fits into the board as a whole. Learn more about the roles of watchdog, supporter, planner, communicator and manager, as well as the relationships among board members, appointed and elected officials, and the board with the community. We'll also identify the fundamentals of leadership and the ethical standards specific to public servants.

    G. Lawrence “Larry” Merrill

    Former Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

    Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry spent many years executing the policies prescribed by the MTA Board of Directors and the membership. He was responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association, where he has served since 1980. Prior to working for the Association, Larry was a county administrator and director of a county emergency medical services department.  Larry holds a master's degree in public administration, is the author of numerous books and articles on local government finances, administration and services and is a a popular presenter on topics related to townships and board governance. 

  • F-105: Fundamentals of Assessment and Taxation (2-part series; valid for 4 credits)

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    This two-part webcast covers the processes of assessment & taxation from assessment to board of review meetings, all the way to tax collection, as well as other revenue sources townships deal with. Earn 4 TGA credits for this course.

    Property taxation and assessment administration are two cornerstones of township operations. From assessment and board of review meetings, all the way to tax collection— it's essential that board members have an understanding of how the process works. Learn more about the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A, as well as truth in taxation, assessing and equalization. Delve into a variety of revenue sources coming into the township, including millages, administrative fees and special assessments. 

    This course is divided into two webcasts segments. To receive TGA credit, candidates must view both webcasts segments, complete and pass the post-webcast quiz, and complete and return a Practical Application Commitment (PAC) form (download here) to MTA.

    Shila Kiander, MAAO

    Director, Mecosta County Equalization Department.

    Shila Kiander is a Michigan Advanced Assessing Officer with more than 20 years’ experience in the assessment administration field. She’s served as the Equalization Director for Mecosta County since 2007, and before that was the assessor for three units in northern Kent County. She also teaches assessor continuing education courses around the state, including the advanced Board of Review sessions and other courses for MTA.

  • F-103: Township Finances (6-part series; valid for 6 credits)

    Contains 7 Component(s)

    The webcast version of our popular Township Governance Academy (TGA) class, offering an in-depth look into the board's role in oversight of township finances and other assets. Valid for 6 foundations credits.

    This six part webcast explores in depth how township boards can achieve a greater degree of control over the township’s financial position and assure that resources are directed to address the township’s highest and greatest needs. Topics covered include:

    • The board’s role in establishing a powerful budgeting process.
    • What every board needs to do to protect the township’s financial assets.
    • How to determine the correct amount of township fi nancial reserves.
    • The early warning signs of potential financial problems.
    • How great township boards spend their time at meetings.

    This webcast includes six video segments, which can be viewed separately as your schedule allows. TGA candidates must view ALL segments and complete a Practical Application Committment (PAC) form as well as the course quiz (after the final video segment) to receive credit. The PAC form is available for download from the handouts tab, once the webcast is purchased.

    G. Lawrence “Larry” Merrill

    Former Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

    Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry spent many years executing the policies prescribed by the MTA Board of Directors and the membership. He was responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association, where he has served since 1980. Prior to working for the Association, Larry was a county administrator and director of a county emergency medical services department.  Larry holds a master's degree in public administration, is the author of numerous books and articles on local government finances, administration and services and is a a popular presenter on topics related to townships and board governance. 

  • Building a Better Budget - Basic (4-part series)

    Contains 4 Component(s)

    This four-part webcast on the basics of budgeting will show you how to prepare and administer the township budget. Segments one and two cover the principles of budgeting, then segments three and four offer a beginners guide to creating a budget.

    This four-part webcast on the basics of budgeting will show you how to prepare and administer the township budget. Segments one and two cover the principles of budgeting, then segments three and four offer a beginners guide to creating a budget. (For a more advanced approach to creating a budget, see Building a Better Budget -- Advanced.) Learn about the policy choices facing boards when they adopt a budget, characteristics of a great budget process and final document, estimating revenues and expenditures, scrutinizing and adopting a budget, and monitoring budget compliance.

    G. Lawrence “Larry” Merrill

    Former Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

    Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry spent many years executing the policies prescribed by the MTA Board of Directors and the membership. He was responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association, where he has served since 1980. Prior to working for the Association, Larry was a county administrator and director of a county emergency medical services department.  Larry holds a master's degree in public administration, is the author of numerous books and articles on local government finances, administration and services and is a a popular presenter on topics related to townships and board governance. 

    Michael Selden

    Director of Member Information Services

    Michael Selden is MTA's director of Member Information Services. As director, he supervises the development and delivery of Association member information programs and services.

    Before joining MTA in November 2015, Selden served as the city manager of Wayland, Mich., for three years. In that role, he prepared and managed the city budget, supervised 22 employees, oversaw multiple city departments and served as liaison to numerous boards and commissions. Selden also served as the city manager of Bangor, Mich., from 2007-2012. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Michigan—Flint, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.