Session Descriptions

(Please check back often as this page is regularly updated as new information becomes available)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

4:15-5:30 pm

Your Infrastructure, Your Buildings — For Today and Tomorrow
How do you build infrastructure for the future while addressing the immediate needs of your citizens and businesses? Renewable energy solutions, sustainable infrastructure upgrades and green building projects can enhance property values, improve wellbeing, increase business and employee productivity and improve public relations. Learn about fiscally responsible solutions to municipal planning that will help your community thrive into the future.
Presented by Siemens

Placemaking -- Something From Nothing: Where to start when there is no "place" to be found
This presentation steps outside the confines of traditional thinking about placemaking and revitalization and focuses on how placemaking can occur in communities where there is no existing sense of place. The presentation will discuss the role public space has as an effective catalyst for redevelopment, how non-traditional public private partnerships can create opportunities, and how traditional infrastructure projects can create opportunity for placemaking. Three case studies will be examined.
Presented by Orchard Hiltz

Living with Health Care Reform and a Look into the Future of Health Care Plans
You don’t need to feel like you’re on an island in dealing with health care reform.  Join us for a light-hearted but informative conversation on the various aspects of Health Care Reform and how to easily implement them within your municipality.  We will also look at the most cost-effective PPACA compliant health and drug programs that you can consider for your employees future health care needs.
Presented by: Michigan Planners

Office 365 and the Power of the Microsoft Cloud
Find out why local governments are moving their email and collaboration workloads to the cloud, and what it is that makes Microsoft different from other cloud service providers. You’ll get a demonstration of what’s included in Office 365, along with real-world examples of how others have successfully made the move.  The Microsoft expert will also address common concerns for cloud computing such as security and compliance, cost benefits, and data migration.
Presented by: Microsoft

Placemaking: Leaving a Legacy
How can we best use our natural and cultural assets to create viable, diverse, and economically sustainable communities? Stories from Petoskey, Marquette, and Monroe illustrate the value of creating a consensus vision. Aligning public policies and initiatives helps community leaders leverage support for project implementation, and it can even establish the kind of relationship with residents that will guide development decisions into the future. By drawing on the unique voices of our citizenry, we almost can't help but create unique, comfortable places that continue to inspire every generation to leave a legacy of their own.
Presented by: Beckett & Raeder, Inc.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

General Session - Leading Local, Thinking Global
8:00-10:30 am
Speaker:              Clarence Anthony, President, Anthony Government Solutions, Inc.

The following General Session presenters will cover key aspects of the League’s Center for 21st Century Communities and making communities vibrant, sustainable places in the 21st century.

Community Design & Sustainability
Speaker:              Chuck Marohn, Executive Director, Strong Towns

Economic Impact of the Arts
Speaker:             Jennifer Goulet, President & CEO, ArtServe Michigan

Civic Engagement
Speaker:              Josh McManus, Lead Inventor, Little Things Lab

10:45 am–12:00 pm

Civic Engagement Follow-Up Session
Speaker:              Josh McManus, Lead Inventor, Little Things Labs
We’ve all heard that attracting and keeping talent is the creative lifeblood of any city seeking to grow into the 21st century and beyond.  But place-making can’t work without people—and that means connecting people quickly to the other bright people, places and work they’re passionate about. As the founder of the D:hive and CreateHere, Josh McManus will share his own real-world examples of bringing new talent together to bring new ideas, new businesses, new uses of existing infrastructure, and new tax bases to any city.

Community Design & Sustainability Follow-Up Session
Speaker:              Chuck Marohn, Executive Director, Strong Towns
An author of Curbside Chat: a candid talk about the future of America’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods, Chuck Marohn will challenge our collective beliefs on growth and development.  Chuck will share Strong Town’s Principles of Placemaking which help build resilient communities, and concepts that everyone concerned with Michigan’s cities and villages should know and understand.

Leveraging State Resources to Create Place
Speakers:             MSHDA, MDOT, MEDC, MDEQ and MDNR staff
State agencies are working together across department lines to find ways for communities to get the most out of the limited funding available for placemaking related to community improvements. Learn from the experiences of Boyne City and Portland on how it's possible to use multiple grant programs from various state departments to implement place-based initiatives. State agency staff from all the above agencies will be available to answer questions and discuss potential projects.

Natural Gas Purchasing Program
Speakers:            Tony Minghine, Associate Executive Director & COO, Michigan Municipal League
                                Bill Mathewson, General Counsel, Michigan Municipal League
Want to cut your municipality’s operating costs? Learn how the League’s new natural gas purchasing program will use combined purchasing power to net significant savings for participating members. League representatives will show you how our natural gas procurement expert will negotiate the lowest possible price while figuring out the plan that best fits the needs of your government. You’ll also receive all the information you need on how to participate in this important new program.

1:00-2:15 pm

Creative State MI: The Arts and Creativity as a Strategy for Michigan Communities
Moderator:      Jennifer H. Goulet, President & CEO, ArtServe Michigan
Panelists:       Debra Polich, Executive Director, Ann Arbor Arts Alliance and Artrain USA
                        Leslie Donaldson, CTA, Executive Director, Arts Council of Greater Lansing

The arts, culture and creative industries are a powerful asset in Michigan’s reinvention – creating vibrant places across our state that attract talent and business, contributing jobs and spending to our economy, strengthening Michigan’s tourism industry, and generating a creative “vibe” that fuels innovation, growth and promise for the future.  Learn how you can put the arts and creativity to work in your community’s future, through the experiences of local arts leaders whose organizations engaged community partners and stakeholders in shaping visions and strategies for how the arts, culture and creative industries will define a “sense of place”, fuel economic growth, and transform community life.  This session will feature two leading initiatives --  the Washtenaw County Cultural Master Plan and Art Works:  Creative Invention/Reinvention -- A Collaborative Cultural Economic Development Plan for Greater Lansing’s Urban Center.

State and Federal Affairs Update
Speakers:            Nikki Brown, Capital Office Coordinator, Michigan Municipal League
                                Samantha Harkins, Director, State Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
Jason Mancini, Legislative Associate, Michigan Municipal League
                                Summer Minnick, Director, Policy Initiatives & Federal Affairs, Michigan Municipal League
                                Arnold Weinfeld, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Michigan Municipal League
The League’s State and Federal Affairs team will discuss current issues and what’s on the horizon for the Legislature’s fall agenda.

New Drug Update & How Local Officials Can Help
Speaker:              Detective Lieutenant George Sailer, U.P. Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET)
Illegal substances are a costly problem both financially and with regard to preserving quality of life within our communities. This is an eye-opening presentation for local officials about this dynamic, adaptable and formidable force trending everywhere. Learn about highly addictive modern meth, bath salts, K-2, spice and other trending drugs available to our school-age kids. These drugs that are responsible for erratic and deadly behavior, increasing crime, hazardous contamination sites, and neglected/abused children in our neighborhoods. Learn what law enforcement needs from local officials to help reduce and prevent this activity in your town. This presentation will educate and motivate.

The MI-Place Partnership Initiative
Governor Snyder is challenging all Michigan stakeholders--state agencies, local governments, community planners, businesses, neighborhood associations and others--to focus on Placemaking as a key strategy for both economic and community development. To that end, a new initiative and website have been created: the MI-Place Partnership Initiative ( In this overview you will learn how to plug-in to MI-Place resources that can help your community grow new jobs.

2:45-5:15 pm

Both Sides of the Ballot
This November, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Public Act 4— commonly called the Emergency Manager Act of 2011. In fact, we could see several proposals on the November ballot that could have significant impacts on local governments. Is the Michigan Constitution under attack? Are your rights being threatened or preserved? With so much at stake, this important new general session will have speakers give the pros and cons of ballot proposals that could impact local government.

Click here to see the full agenda.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Vendor Breakout Sessions
8:00-9:15 am

Practical Tips to Manage the Rising Cost of Benefits
With municipalities across the country struggling with budget pressures, this presentation will give you a road map to better manage the growing costs of your benefit program. Learn what others have done to successfully deal with Section 125 compliance, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, debit cards, and changes to their benefit program as a result of health care reform.
 American Fidelity Assurance

Paperless Government
Municipalities are facing challenging times.  Fewer and fewer people are covering more and more job functions, reducing efficiency and increasing pressure on staff. BS&A Software focuses on developing feature-rich and seamlessly integrated financial management applications that help increase productivity.  This session will demonstrate how technology can be used to share information electronically, automate paper processes and eliminate repetitive tasks. 
Presented by BS&A Software

New State and Federal Cell Tower Laws: Gaining the Revenues Without Regulation Risks
The Cell Tower Industry has suggested 1-2 million new Cellular antennas will be built across the US in the next couple years due to the explosion of smart phones and smart machines. That is 20-40,000 per State.
Learn how to obtain market rates for your community-owned cell towers, buildings and water towers while protecting your community from the regulatory Pitfalls.
Presented by Miller & VanEaton and Kitch, Drutchas, Wagner, Valitutti & Sherbrook

Local Challenges and Strategies
Local governments are facing some of the most difficult financial times in memory, and  elected and appointed officials face the daunting task of managing our complex organizations during these trying times.  In addition, there is mounting pressure to look to expand consolidation and cooperative efforts as a solution to local financial pressures.  During this session, we will review and discuss some of the key operational and finance topics facing local government and review strategies, including cooperation and consolidation for dealing with those issues. 
Presented by Tony Minghine, Michigan Municipal League

Financial Reporting for Local Governments: What Elected Officials Need to Know
It is important that elected and appointed officials understand how changes to accounting rules will impact their community. This session will explain to non-finance professionals the impact of Recent Statements issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) which will have a significant impact on financial reporting when they go into effect. The key standard discussed will be GASB 67 and 68, which will change how pension obligations are presented and reported for most local units of government. We will also review other future pronouncements and exposure drafts.
Presented by Plante Moran


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