Governing an Accountable Fire Department

Governance of the township’s fire department can be challenging to townships of all sizes. Township officials know that they should not “micromanage,” but what is the appropriate role for a township board to exercise proper oversight?  How do township boards hold their fire departments accountable—without appearing to be interfering or causing unnecessary strife?  

This webcast will explain the legal responsibilities of the township board regarding fire operations, how to establish an appropriate relationship with the fire chief, and practical ways for the township board to establish expectations and evaluate department results. 

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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. 


Governing an Accountable Fire Department
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. 105 minutes