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  • Township Finances (F-103)

    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

    Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

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

  • Building a Better Budget - Basic

    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

    Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

    Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry executes the policies prescribed by the MTA Board of Directors and the membership. He is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association. Larry has served on the MTA staff since 1980, and he holds a master's degree in public administration. Prior to working for the Association, Larry was a county administrator and director of a county emergency medical services department. He is the author of numerous books and on local government finances, administration and services as well as 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.

  • Building a Better Budget - Advanced

    Contains 4 Component(s)

    This four-part webcast on building a better budget 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 an advanced approach 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 am advanced approach to creating a budget. (For a beginners guide to creating a budget, see Building a Better Budget -- Basics.) 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

    Executive Director, Michigan Townships Association

    Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry executes the policies prescribed by the MTA Board of Directors and the membership. He is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association. Larry has served on the MTA staff since 1980, and he holds a master's degree in public administration. Prior to working for the Association, Larry was a county administrator and director of a county emergency medical services department. He is the author of numerous books and on local government finances, administration and services as well as 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.

  • Utilizing Strategic Planning (B-104)

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    A two-part webcast of our popular Township Governance Academy class, offering an in-depth look into the strategic planning process for townships, from exploration and the voices that must be heard through developing the plan itself.

    Strategic planning is critical to achieving real results in your township and the larger region in which you live. Yet the creation of a strategic plan may be a delicate matter in a politically-charged environment, especially when dealing with entities outside of your jurisdiction but which can positively or negatively impact your community. Discover what strategic exploration entails as well as all the voices that must be heard in the planning process in order to develop a solid plan that aligns the township’s resources and creates favorable outcome. 

    This webcast includes two segments (part 1 and part 2), which can be viewed separately for your convenience. TGA candidates must view both segments and complete a PAC form as well as the course quiz (after part 2) to receive credit.

    Susan Radwan

    CAE

    Susan Radwan, CAE, Leading Edge Mentoring, Grand Ledge

    Susan is a governance and leadership consultant who focuses on facilitating an authentic leadership process, resulting in accountability in leadership and governance. She is a regular presenter at MTA functions and served as the primary consultant for the development of the Township Governance Academy.

  • Roles and Functions of the Zoning Board of Appeals: The Basics (Part 1)

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    As part one of a three-part series, The Basics explores the delicate balancing act between property rights and public interest along with the impact zoning relationships have on ordinances. Learn more about voting requirements, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Zoning ordinance interpretations will also be discussed.

    The zoning board of appeals was created as a “safety valve,” in recognition that the zoning ordinance is not able to anticipate how every property might be affected by zoning. With thousands of individual properties, a single zoning regulation cannot possibly be applied uniformly to every property's unique physical characteristics. Learn how the ZBA serves as a safety valve in circumstances where zoning requirements don't fit. Explore how variances approved without sufficient justification can turn the safety valve into a leak, and a leak into a flood.

    As part one of a three-part series, The Basics explores the delicate balancing act between property rights and public interest along with the impact zoning relationships have on ordinances. Learn more about voting requirements, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Zoning ordinance interpretations will also be discussed.

    NOTE: To get the most of out of this series, MTA recommends that you participate in part two Variances and part three Decision-making & Documentation to gain a full understanding of the topic. 

    Thank you to Michigan Township Participating Plan for helping to underwrite the cost of this program. For more information, visit www.theparplan.com

    Steve Langworthy

    Director of Land Use & Long Range Planning, Dublin, Ohio

    Steve Langworth received a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and spent 6 years as a planning director and zoning administrator for the city of Kentwood, Michigan (among others), and over 20 years as a consulting planner, most recently with LSL Planning in Grand Rapids.

    Steve has authored numerous Master Plans, Zoning Ordinances, and special studies for communities of all sizes and characteristics. He is a frequent MTA presenter and the principal author of MTA’s Township Guide to Planning and Zoning and Township Planning & Zoning Decision-making Handbook.

  • Roles and Functions of the Zoning Board of Appeals: Variances (Part 2)

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    In part two of this three-part series, you will discover the “ins and outs” of variances, including identifying strategies and considerations when hearing variance requests and decision standards that will hold up in court. Find out more about non-use and use variances and review the top 10 incorrect reasons variances are granted.

    The zoning board of appeals was created as a “safety valve,” in recognition that the zoning ordinance is not able to anticipate how every property might be affected by zoning. With thousands of individual properties, a single zoning regulation cannot possibly be applied uniformly to every property's unique physical characteristics. Learn how the ZBA serves as a safety valve in circumstances where zoning requirements don't fit. Explore how variances approved without sufficient justification can turn the safety valve into a leak, and a leak into a flood.

    In part two of this three-part series, you will discover the “ins and outs” of variances, including identifying strategies and considerations when hearing variance requests and decision standards that will hold up in court. Find out more about non-use and use variances and review the top 10 incorrect reasons variances are granted.

    NOTE: To get the most of out of this series, MTA recommends that you participate in part one, The Basics, before completing this session. After completing part two, continue the learning process by participating in Decision-making & Documentation—the final session in our ZBA series.

    Thank you to Michigan Township Participating Plan for helping to underwrite the cost of this program. For more information, visit www.theparplan.com

  • Board of Review Training: The Basics

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    This session will acquaint newer Board of Review members with their statutory duties and requirements.

    This session will acquaint newer Board of Review members with their statutory duties and requirements. Topics covered include:

    • Review of the assessment process
    • Overview of the Board of review's statutory authority
    • Responsibilities of the assessor and township supervisor
    • Understanding exemptions, what can be appealed and the documents used to review appeals
    • How to listen to, and act on, protests
    • What's new this year

    Cindy Davis

    ​MTA Information Specialist

    MTA Information Specialist Cindy Davis 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.

    Barbara VanGelderen

    Supervisor & Assessor

    Barbara VanGelderen has been Manlius Township Supervisor since 1988. She is a Michigan Advanced Assessing Officer (Level 3) and also works as contract Assessor in Manlius Township.

    Barbara is an instructor in MTA's Township Governance Academy and frequent MTA presenter. She has taught both the basic and advanced sessions of MTA's Board of Review Training.

  • Ordinance Basics Part I: Board Authority

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Listen in as an expert in municipal law explains statutory authority for both zoning and non-zoning ordinances.

    Properly written and enforced ordinances can boost a township's credibility, limit public complaints and assist with fair and effective enforcement. Listen in as an expert in municipal law explains statutory authority for both zoning and non-zoning ordinances in this informative session which is the first in a series of four on Writing, Adopting & Enforcing Ordinances.

    Catherine P. Kaufman

    Attorney

    Catherine P. Kaufman is an attorney at Bauckham, Sparks, Lohrstorfer, Thall and Seeber, 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.

  • Ordinance Enforcement Part II: Tips & Tricks from An Expert

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    This informative session offers tips, advice and lessons learned from a seasoned ordinance enforcement officer/zoning administrator.

    Don’t miss Part II on Enforcement which is also the fourth and final webcast in our series on Writing, Adopting & Enforcing Ordinances. This informative session offers tips, advice and lessons learned from a seasoned ordinance enforcement officer/zoning administrator.

    Douglas Kuhlman

    Douglas Kuhlman is a zoning administrator/enforcement officer for multiple townships within St. Joseph and Cass Counties in Michigan.

    He's a certified police officer, licensed private investigator, 911 telecommunicator and former fire fighter/emergency medical technician.

  • Introduction to Planning & Zoning: The Basics

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    In part one, examine the structure and function of the planning commission and zoning board of appeals, along with the role of the township board.

    Whether you’re a member of the township board, planning commission or zoning board of appeals, your knowledge of the planning and zoning process is vital to your community. As new developments and projects approach your township, it’s important to be prepared to make tough decisions. 

    Part one of a three-part series, this informative session will review the basic elements of planning and zoning, including the planning and zoning enabling acts that laid the foundation. Examine the structure and function of the planning commission and zoning board of appeals, along with the role of the township board. 

    Once you’ve mastered The Basics, you won’t want to miss part two, The Tools, and three, The Process, also offered as 60- and 75-minute sessions. Together they delve into the “ins and outs” of master plans and zoning ordinances, along with key strategies for effective decision-making.

    Thank you to Foster Swift for helping to underwrite the cost of this program. For more information, visit www.fosterswift.com.


    Steve Langworthy

    Director of Land Use & Long Range Planning, Dublin, Ohio

    Steve Langworth received a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and spent 6 years as a planning director and zoning administrator for the city of Kentwood, Michigan (among others), and over 20 years as a consulting planner, most recently with LSL Planning in Grand Rapids.

    Steve has authored numerous Master Plans, Zoning Ordinances, and special studies for communities of all sizes and characteristics. He is a frequent MTA presenter and the principal author of MTA’s Township Guide to Planning and Zoning and Township Planning & Zoning Decision-making Handbook.