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  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Get tried-and-true strategies for dealing with blight in your township in this one-hour webinar.

    Now You Know: Blight Buster

    Many communities are plagued by blight. It impacts every township regardless of size or geographic location. Like any problem left unaddressed, it will grow and spread. Wondering where to begin? Start by spending your lunch hour on June 5 with MTA Legal Counsel Seth Koches from Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, P.C. You’ll learn blight busting strategies that can work for any size township!

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Seth Koches

    Attorney/Partner

    Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC

    Seth Koches is an attorney and Partner at Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, P.C. Prior to joining the firm, Seth worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney for 7 years in the Oakland County and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s office prosecuting cases from simple retail fraud to criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to murder. Seth’s primary practice encompasses nearly every aspect of municipal law including annexation, ordinance enforcement, planning and zoning, and amicus writing. 

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Learn more about ways your township can offer updated burial services and incorporate your cemetery into your overall park plan.

    Now You Know: Cemetery Services

    Cemeteries were originally considered memorial parks. That changed over time and cemeteries evolved to just being a place of burial. In today’s world, families seek different options for memorializing their loved ones. They also look to cemeteries to provide other community services or interests, like historical walks, running and walking, tours, and other events. Join us as we review ways your township can offer updated burial services and learn how to incorporate your cemetery into your overall park plan.

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Cindy Dodge

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    Michigan Townships Association

    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
    Contains 10 Component(s)

    This package includes 10 recorded classes covering timely township topics, all taught by municipal experts from around the state. Hear the latest from the bureau of elections, get updates on renewable energy, learn tips for fighting blight in your community and much more!

    Laura Genovich

    Attorney

    Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC

    Laura Genovich practices commercial law, bankruptcy law, and municipal law at the Grand Rapids office of Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC. She works closely with municipal clients on issues related to many aspects of township law, including zoning, real estate transactions, public finance, and much more. She handles complex property tax appeals and has special expertise in property tax exemptions and special assessments. Laura also works with both public entities and private clients (including developers) on land use matters, including development agreements, annexations, Act 425 agreements, and zoning approvals, and is a regular presenter for MTA and other organizations around the state.

    Michael Berger

    Attorney

    Rosati, Schultz, Joppich & Amtsbuechler, PC

    Michael Berger is an attorney at Rosati Schultz Joppich Amtsbuechler, PC who has been practicing law since 2013 and has been representing municipalities since 2015. He is an experienced litigation and appellate lawyer who is here today to help prevent you from saying "Geeez... I wish I hadn't said that!" and help discuss what to do if you do say that.

    Hayley Bierkle Burns

    Partner

    River Strategies

    Hayley Bierkle Burns is a communication, public affairs, and marketing expert with a record of helping clients achieve aggressive business goals and navigate through challenging times, often turning crisis and unexpected obstacles into opportunity. A former journalist and now a partner with River Strategies, Hayley's expertise includes an understanding of leveraging the broad-spectrum of earned media opportunities to drive an organization’s credibility and reach.

    Seth Koches

    Attorney/Partner

    Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC

    Seth Koches is an attorney and Partner at Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, P.C. Prior to joining the firm, Seth worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney for 7 years in the Oakland County and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s office prosecuting cases from simple retail fraud to criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to murder. Seth’s primary practice encompasses nearly every aspect of municipal law including annexation, ordinance enforcement, planning and zoning, and amicus writing. 

    Rob Thall

    Attorney & MTA Legal Counsel

    Bauckham Sparks Thall Seeber & Kaufman P.C.

    After receiving his law degree from Cooley Law School, Robert Thall joined the law firm of Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC, in which he is now partner. With extensive experience in municipal law, Rob serves as general or special counsel to many general townships, charter townships, as well as sewer and water authorities throughout the state. Rob is also lead counsel for MTA and is a frequent author and speaker for MTA and other municipal groups around the state. 

    Catherine P. Kaufman

    Attorney & Partner

    Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber & Kaufman, PC

    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.

    Michael Bila

    MTA Legal Counsel

    Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC

    Michael Bila is also an attorney at Bauckham Thall. His focus areas include appellate and supreme court case analysis for MTA's Legal Defense Fund, Michigan Election Law, the Freedom of Information Act, and legal research and appellate brief writing.

    Cindy Dodge

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    Michigan Townships Association

    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.

    Judy Bigney

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    Michigan Townships Association

    Judy Bigney joined MTA’s Member Information Services in August of 2023, bringing with her more than two decades of experience as a local official to share with township leaders across the state. Bigney, who served as Algoma Township (Kent Co.) clerk for 22+ years, has joined the Association as a new Member Information Services liaison. Bigney was first elected clerk in November 2000, and earned her master municipal clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) in August 2007. In addition to her service on the township board, she was also a member of the Kent County MTA Chapter, Kent County Clerks Association, Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and IIMC. Bigney and her husband of 31 years own and operate one of the few remaining dairy farms in Algoma Township, with more than 100 cows total. Their youngest son hopes to continue with the family farm in the future.

    Heather Sumner

    Attorney

    Rosati, Schultz, Joppich & Amtsbuechler, PC

    Heather Sumner is an associate attorney whose practice focuses on municipal liability, civil rights defense, employment law, and appellate work. She is also well versed in providing general counsel to municipalities around the State.  Heather was the first female Deputy City Attorney for the City of Lansing, as well as the Director of Litigation. She has presented around the state on topics including municipal regulation of marijuana, ethics, and the ongoing opioid litigation.

    Marilynn Semonick

    Chief Exploration Officer

    The Success Studio

    With a passion for individual and organizational improvement, our presenter, Marilynn Semonick (Se-mon-ik), has spent over four decades assisting communities of people around the world in their initiatives to create intentional, results-oriented change. She brings a wide range of diverse experiences that include work in numerous industries across 5 continents. Receiving requests from municipalities expressing a need to finds ways to work together with civility and respect to best serve their communities, she came out of retirement to assist in facilitating the creation and sustainability of high-functioning city leadership teams, with the ability to work together to productively achieve results.

    This package includes 10 recorded classes covering timely township topics, all taught by municipal experts from around the state. Purchase now and you can watch each session whenever (and wherever!) it works best for you. Each session is approx. 75 minutes and you'll also get access to downloadable versions of all the handouts/materials. Sessions include: 

    Geez! I Wish I Hadn't Said That
    We’ve all said something at a meeting, in an email or on Facebook that we wish we had said differently. Gain insights from an experienced municipal litigator on how such communications can negatively impact you and your township in litigation. Learn what you can do to reduce the risk of it coming back to bite you in court, how to handle the records, and some suggestions on how to avoid getting yourself into this situation in the first place.
    Speaker: Michael Berger, Attorney, Rosati, Schultz, Joppich & Amtsbuechler, PC
    Blight Fight: Going Another Round
    Blight affects all townships, big and small, rural and urban. From overgrown weeds to dangerous structures, we’ll discuss ways your township can be proactive in the blight fight. Take away tools for your enforcement toolbox, including penalties for violations and tips for clean-up. Ensure that your township continues to be a beautiful place to live, work and play.
    Speaker: Seth Koches, MTA Legal Counsel, Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC 
    Crisis Communication & Message Management
    Emergencies are unpredictable. They can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Advanced prep and planning for how you’ll respond to the media frenzy is a must. And what you say is just critical as how you say it. We’ll offer insights into the realities of crises based on real life experience and preparedness tips that help ensure you’re messaging the situation appropriately.
    Speaker: Hayley Bierkle Burns, Partner, River Strategies
    Managing Public Meetings & Policies
    Are you looking for ways to turn down the heat in your township meetings or public hearings? Are controversial, emotionally charged meetings keeping you from holding productive discussions? Learn steps you can take and policies you can make to better manage rising tempers and temperatures so you can get your township team back on track during meetings.
    Speaker: Seth Koches, MTA Legal Counsel, Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC
    Elections Update
    Hear directly from the Secretary of State’s office and state Bureau of Elections on the hot issues in Michigan elections. We’ll share guidance and updates on the changes and new requirements brought about by Proposal 2022-2 and its implementation statutes, early voting lessons learned from the presidential primary, and more.
    Speaker: Kristi Dougan, Manager, Training and Elections Assistance, Michigan Bureau of Elections, Michigan Department of State
    Renewable Energy Update
    You won’t want to miss this review of the renewable energy legislation, update on where we are now and what’s on the horizon. Learn how this new legislation sets statewide land use standards for wind, solar and battery storage facilities and what’s next with local siting. We’ll offer insights into the various options available to your township, the impact on your township’s ordinances as well as the ability to address public safety and infrastructure considerations.
    Speakers: Rob Thall and Catherine Kaufman, MTA Legal Counsel, Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC
    Campaign Finance Act: What Can We Say?
    When there’s a hot topic on the ballot— perhaps a millage increase or a marijuana ordinance—townships and their elected officials can find themselves unsure of what they can lawfully say or do. Can the township respond to incorrect campaign statements? Can township board members advocate for a certain vote during public meetings? This session is a deep dive into the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, specifically Section 57. We will address how public resources can (and cannot) be used in connection with campaigns, what policymaking officials can say, and how townships can minimize the risk of campaign finance complaints.
    Speaker: Laura Genovich, Attorney, Foster Swift
    What the Board Needs to Know about the Clerk & Treasurer Dynamic
    Do you know what the roles and responsibilities of the clerk or treasurer are? How about what reports each office is responsible for? What’s important about the way the clerk and treasurer interact on a regular basis? This session will provide a fun, interactive format where laws, best practices and myths will be discussed. Come test your knowledge!
    Speakers: Cindy Dodge and Judy Bigney, MTA Member Information Services Liaisons
    Subpoenas, Depositions and Discovery, Oh My!
    Lawsuits can be intimidating, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the procedures. Join this session for a comprehensive introduction to the litigation process, from understanding the fundamental terminology to navigating the path toward case resolution. Don’t miss the opportunity to gain essential knowledge as a municipal officer, enabling you to confront legal challenges with confidence. 
    Speaker: Heather Sumner, Attorney, Rosati, Schultz, Joppich & Amtsbuechler, PC
    Civil & Collaborative Leadership
    Typical township leadership teams are made up of hard-working, honorable, conscientious people with a genuine intent to serve. However, municipal leaders across the nation are reporting a growing need to figure out how to work together in respectful and productive ways to achieve results for the communities they serve. Identify team development strategies, detours to avoid dysfunction pitfalls, and techniques for working together to avoid and/or manage “that guy” who appears to have a need to intentionally disrupt, usually for self-serving reasons. Understand the stages of development all teams experience and actions that need to be taken in each to stay focused on collaborative results.
    Speaker: Marilynn Semonick, Chief Exploration Officer, The Success Studio
  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Learn more about the complicated topic of public use of township property and facilities in this one hour webinar.

    Public Use of Township Property and Facilities

    Because a township is “the government,” the relationship status for a township and its property is complicated. Who “owns” township property? Does “publicly owned” mean “open to the public?” Who decides how a township’s property will or will not be used or accessed?

    In this one-hour webinar, MTA Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt walks us through the ins and outs of Public Use of Township Property and Facilities. Explore the legal issues regarding township real estate, facilities and equipment and get a better understanding of the board’s role and responsibilities, including when to involve the township’s attorney or other consultants.

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

    MTA

    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.

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Get the latest on today’s political landscape and its impact on township authority. Hear from MTA’s Government Relations team on the governor’s budget proposal, MTA’s legislative priorities, the impact of an election year and more!

    2024 Spring Legislative Insights

    Listen in as MTA's Government Relations team shares the latest on today’s political landscape and its impact on township authority. You'll get the inside scoop on the current measures being debated, how you can make a difference and what’s on the horizon for local governments. We'll outline key measures in the governor’s executive budget proposal, MTA’s legislative priorities, the impact of an election year and much more, all in just one hour!

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Judy Allen

    Director of Government Relations

    MTA

    As director, Judy oversees MTA’s legislative efforts to advocate on legislation impacting township government. She represents the interests of MTA members before the Legislature and the administration.  

    Judy began working for MTA in 2012 and has previous experience working with state and local governments. Prior to coming to MTA, Judy served as Director of Government and Community Services of Oakland Schools, where she advocated on behalf of 28 districts in Lansing and Washington, D.C. Judy has also served as Chief of Staff to the Senate Majority Leader and was later appointed by then Gov. John Engler to serve as Chairperson of the Michigan State Liquor Control Commission.

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    This course covers the "next level" Board of Review topics for supervisors, assessors and more experienced BoR members, with a focus on management of the Board of Review. *Does NOT qualify for the required training mandated under PA 660.*

    MTA's "Advanced" Board of Review training offers a wealth of information helpful for supervisors, assessors and more experienced BoR members. In this class, you'll learn more about: 

    •  Procedural changes
    •  Best practices for minutes and agendas
    •  Administration of paperwork and forms
    •  The impact of the Open Meetings Act
    •  How to respond and when to punt to your assessor
    •  2024 trouble-spots and hot topics
    •  Key points of the P.A. 660 audit

    PLEASE NOTE: This course does NOT qualify to meet the STC training requirement. You must attend an in-person or live online "Board of Review Training" (or PA 660 Required Training) course to receive your certificate of attendance to meet the mandate.

    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 MTA Board of Review Training sessions and other courses for MTA.

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Get be basics on the role of the FOIA coordinator and how others at the township can assist in responding to FOIA requests.

    Role of the FOIA Coordinator

    All townships must comply with the Freedom of Information Act regarding access to township records. But who does what when a FOIA request comes in? STOP—Don’t just hand this off to the clerk! Nobody is “off the hook” even in the smallest township. (Spoiler alert: It’s not automatically the clerk’s job to handle FOIA requests.) Listen in as MTA Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt discusses what can only be done by the FOIA Coordinator, and how everyone else should assist the FOIA Coordinator in responding to requests.

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

    MTA

    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.

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Get an overview of the recent renewable energy siting laws and how they impact your township.

    Renewable Energy Siting: What's Next?

    The new laws impacting solar, wind, and battery storage utility-scale renewable energy siting left a great number of questions and uncertainty among townships and their residents. What is the new process for state siting approval? When does a developer still need to go through the township? What is a compatible renewable energy ordinance—and what needs to be in it?

    Listen in as MTA legal counsel provides an overview of the legislation, how it impacts your township’s existing ordinances, public safety and infrastructure considerations, and more—all in just one hour!

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Rob Thall

    Attorney & MTA Legal Counsel

    Bauckham Sparks Thall Seeber & Kaufman P.C.

    After receiving his law degree from Cooley Law School, Robert Thall joined the law firm of Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC, in which he is now partner. With extensive experience in municipal law, Rob serves as general or special counsel to many general townships, charter townships, as well as sewer and water authorities throughout the state. Rob is also lead counsel for MTA and is a frequent author and speaker for MTA and other municipal groups around the state. 

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    Hear the latest from Lansing with MTA's Government Relations team in our 2023 legislative wrap-up.

    2023 Legislative Wrap-up

    Join MTA’s government relations team for a one-hour recorded webinar covering the latest on what passed and remains pending in an end-of-the-year legislative wrap up, plus insights into what’s in store for 2024. Get the inside scoop on what’s shaping the political landscape, what issues may be considered and its impact on townships--all in just one hour. 

    **MTA Online "Premium Pass" subscribers: This webcast is already part of your subscription. To access, login then click MY WEBCASTS, then click the Premium Package link to view this webcast, or to access other webcasts included in your package.**

    Judy Allen

    Director of Government Relations

    MTA

    As director, Judy oversees MTA’s legislative efforts to advocate on legislation impacting township government. She represents the interests of MTA members before the Legislature and the administration.  

    Judy began working for MTA in 2012 and has previous experience working with state and local governments. Prior to coming to MTA, Judy served as Director of Government and Community Services of Oakland Schools, where she advocated on behalf of 28 districts in Lansing and Washington, D.C. Judy has also served as Chief of Staff to the Senate Majority Leader and was later appointed by then Gov. John Engler to serve as Chairperson of the Michigan State Liquor Control Commission.

  • Contains 1 Component(s)

    This half-day class offers insights into financial policies and procedures, from avoiding fraud and embezzlement to top tips for ensuring the clerk and treasurer are on the same page.

    Oversight of your township’s financial affairs is a critical function that protects you from serious pitfalls, including fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds and more. Don’t miss this review of effective solutions for outlining (and communicating) your township’s approach to financial matters.

     Gain insights into effective financial policies and procedures that not only make your life easier, but that can be adapted for your township’s specific circumstances. Delve into the “do’s and don’ts” for enhancing and implementing financial policies that work for any size township, and learn best practices for how the clerk and treasurer can work together to safeguard your township’s finances.

    Cindy Dodge

    MTA Member Information Liaison

    Michigan Townships Association

    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.