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  • 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

    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. 

    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.

  • Cemetery Management - Part 1

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    In part one of this series, learn how to develop a cemetery ordinance to promote orderliness, proper conduct, certainty, predictability, smooth procedures and minimize township liability with regard to township cemeteries.

    This workshops is the first part of a two part series. Part 1 explains why, without a cemetery ordinance, rules and regulations do not have the force of law and anyone who violates such rules or regulations cannot be prosecuted or subject to a municipal civil infraction enforcement proceeding. Learn how to develop a cemetery ordinance to promote orderliness, proper conduct, certainty, predictability, smooth procedures and minimize township liability with regard to township cemeteries.

    Thank you to Pontem Software for helping underwrite the cost of this program. For more information, visit www.pontem.com/movie.

    Cindy Davis (Moderator)

    ​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.

  • Cemetery Management - Part 2

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    In part two of this series, explore all the new types of burial services and memorialization options available in the current market and how your cemetery ordinance may need to be updated.

    This workshop is the second part of a two part series. Part 2 explores all the new types of burial services and memorialization options available in the current market and how your cemetery ordinance may need to be updated to regulate these new options. Learn how to identify gravesites, ensure proper record keeping and reclaim older or abandoned burial spaces.

    Thank you to Pontem Software for helping underwrite the cost of this program. For more information, visit www.pontem.com/movie.

    Cindy Davis (Moderator)

    ​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.

  • Effectively Exercising Board Authority Part I: Duties and Administration

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Learn the essential functions and authorities of a township board and individual board offices, as well as differences from the private sector. Part 1 of a 2-part series.

    Although some individual board members have administrative duties, all township board members have an important role to play as the township board exercises the authority of the township internally through township administration. Discussion includes: What are the essential functions and authorities of a township board and individual board offices? What makes public office different from the private sector (including governmental authority, safeguards on public money, lawful expenditures, transparency, and conduct)?

    This course is divided into two parts for which registration is separate. To receive full benefit of the content, MTA recommends participating in both parts.

    Catherine Mullhaupt (Moderator)

    Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Catherine joined MTA in 1991, working in the Education Department before joining Member Information Services in 2000. She was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2006 and is currently the MTA Staff Attorney.

  • Effectively Exercising Board Authority Part II: Governing and Legislating

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    This segment, part 2 of the series, will cover the basics of governing, as well as how ethics, leadership and decision-making impact your public service.

    The township board exercises the governmental authority of the township as the legislative and governing body of the township. How do you govern, make laws and regulate for the good of the community? Where should a township board focus its attention and time? How do ethics, leadership and decision-making impact your public service? The answers will help make you and our board more effective and representative.

    This course is divided into two parts for which registration is separate. To receive full benefit of the content, MTA recommends participating in both parts.

    Catherine Mullhaupt (Moderator)

    Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Catherine joined MTA in 1991, working in the Education Department before joining Member Information Services in 2000. She was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2006 and is currently the MTA Staff Attorney.

  • Exploring Township Revenue Sources

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Get an introduction to the potential revenue methods a township can use in this eye-opening webcast that can put your township on a more financially-sound path.

    Township board members are faced with increasingly difficult decisions on how to fund programs and services. Often the answer is reducing services, but sometimes the answer is taking a more effective approach to how programs are funded. 

    Do you know all the revenue sources and methods available to your township? Are they being used effectively and efficiently? What alternative revenue is available to your township that you might have overlooked?  

    Get an introduction to the potential revenue methods a township can use in this eye-opening webcast that can put your township on a more financially-sound path.  

    Thank you to Michigan Election Resources for helping underwrite the cost of this program. For more info, visit MichiganElectionResources.com

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Staff Attorney, Member Information Services

    Catherine Mullhaupt

    Catherine joined MTA in 1991, working in the Education Department before joining Member Information Services in 2000. She was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2006 and is currently the MTA Staff Attorney.

  • Fundamentals of Assessment and Taxation (F-105)

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    This two-part webcast covers the processes of assessment & taxation from assessment to board of review meetings, all the way to tax collection, as well as other revenue sources townships deal with.

    Property taxation and assessment administration are two cornerstones of township operations. From assessment and board of review meetings, all the way to tax collection— it's essential that board members have an understanding of how the process works. Learn more about the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A, as well as truth in taxation, assessing and equalization. Delve into a variety of revenue sources coming into the township, including millages, administrative fees and special assessments. Presented by Shila Kiander, MAAO, Director, Mecosta County Equalization Department.

    This course is divided into two webcasts segments. To receive TGA credit, candidates must view both webcasts segments, complete and pass the post-webcast quiz, and complete and return a Practical Application Commitment (PAC) form (found here) to MTA.

    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 advanced Board of Review sessions and other courses for MTA.

  • Governing an Accountable Fire Department

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Learn the legal responsibilities of the township board regarding fire operations, establishing an appropriate relationship with the fire chief, and practical ways to set expectations and evaluate department results.

    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. 

    Thank you to Municipal Employees' Retirement System for helping underwrite the cost of this program. For cost saving solutions, click here

    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. 

  • Guide to Tax Collection (5 part series)

    Contains 5 Component(s)

    The complete 5-part tax collection series, offering a guide to the tax collection process from start to finish.

    This 5-part webcast includes all components of the tax collection series. Start with an overview of the tax collection process (from assessment roll to settlement with the county) in Part 1, then explore deadlines, procedures and practical tips in Part 2. Delve into summer and winter taxes, bill preparation, deferments, SET and PILT in Part 3. Next, learn about accounting, disbursement and settlement in Part 4, then get an in-depth look at what you need to know about collecting delinquent personal property tax in Part 5.

    Jim Beelen

    Former MTA Member Information Services Liaison

    MTA Member Information Liaison Jim Beelen joined MTA in October 2008 from Allendale Charter Township in Ottawa County where he served on the township board for 30 years. The last 12 years Jim was the Supervisor. For 18 years prior to that, Jim served as the township treasurer.

    During his time at MTA, Jim provided township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. He also developed MIS Department resource materials, and presented workshop and Conference sessions. Jim retired in 2015 and now enjoys fishing and visiting his many grandchildren.

  • How Boards Make Decisions (B-102)

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Two-part course on using “knowledge-based” governance to help your board make informed choices with improved outcomes. Valid for 4 TGA credits.

    Maximize the effectiveness of group decisions and learn how “knowledge-based” governance will guide your board to make informed choices with improved outcomes (and less headaches)! This course challenges “old ways of thinking” and gives a refreshing look at the decision-making process that will meld various viewpoints into a consensus decision that everyone is more likely to support.

    This course is divided into two webcasts segments. To receive TGA credit, candidates must view both webcasts segments, complete and pass the post-webcast quiz, and complete and return a Practical Application Commitment (PAC) form (found here) to MTA.

    Thank you to Municipal Employees' Retirement System for helping underwrite the cost of this program. For cost saving solutions, click here.

    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.