The clock is ticking if you want to get the early bird registration rate for the Michigan Municipal League's 2012 Convention taking place October 3-5 on Mackinac Island. By registering by the end of the business day Friday, Sept. 7, you'll save $50 off your registration.

This year's Convention is packed with sessions about tools communities can use to implement placemaking into their cities and villages as well as sessions on nuts and bolts ideas and information leaders need to run their municipalities each and every day.

Check out the full Convention agenda and more detailed list of topics to be discussed, including a discussion on some of the controversial ballot issues that may appear on the November ballot, new laws regarding cell towers, how to secure grant funding for your community, how governments can address illegal drugs in their communities, collaborative innovation by Jeff DeGraff, walkable urbanism from Chris Leinberger, how to build resilient communities by Chuck Marohn, thinking global for local issues by Clarence Anthony, using art and creativity to drive our state forward by Jennifer Goulet, local finance issues and strategies, and community design and sustainability.

Also returning to Convention is the annual silent auction and boat cruise with proceeds going to the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. We continue to seek contributions to the silent auction by bidding or donating an item.

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