Michigan Townships Association


Clerks' Retreat - September 26 & 27

Join fellow clerks from around the state on September 26-27 for the Township Clerks Professional Development Retreat. Held at The Highlands in Harbor Springs, this retreat offers premier educational programming and excellent networking opportunities.

Did you miss out on the in-person retreat? Good news! You can still get the education you need, in a convenient on-demand format.  A recorded version will be available for purchase in mid-October; watch for more details coming soon!

Educational Sessions:

Who’s the Boss? 
No one individual official is the “boss.” The township board is the “owner, operator and employer.” So how does that work in practice? Who’s in charge during a board meeting? And since the board can only act in a meeting, how does a board direct day-to-day operations? Dive into all that and more, including how your board can ensure that statutory, mandated and essential functions are provided, working together with fellow board members and other members of the township team.
Presenter: Cindy Dodge, MTA Member Information Services Liaison

Insights into Internal Controls
Having the proper internal controls in place is an accounting system fundamental for minimizing risk and ensuring accuracy in your township. The Accounting Procedures Manual provides guidance for putting these critical controls in place. This session blends the best of both, infusing them and outlining simple steps and safeguards for your township’s records and reporting.
Presenter: Bethany Verble, Senior Manager, Maner Costerisan

Legislative Insights, State & Local Relationships… and Your Role
Learn the latest on legislative priorities and what you can do to shape future laws as we discuss the ins and outs of understanding the Michigan Legislature. What prompts the introduction of the legislation, what are the dynamics behind them, what impacts the positions lawmakers take and how can you keep up? Get tips on engaging and improving relations to ensure your township has the influence necessary to impact legislative policy.
Presenter: Mike Batterbee, MTA Legislative Associate

Elections Update
Proposal 2022-2 and its implementing legislation represent the largest change in elections in years. Gain insights into navigating nuances of this historic expansion of voter access to elections and the new requirements and responsibilities that come with it.
Presenter: Kristi Dougan, Elections Specialist, Michigan Bureau of Elections

Why Isn’t THAT on Your Website?
Your township’s website is one of the first places your residents look to learn more about your services and happenings. Potential visitors look there, too. For some it’s their very first impression.  Are you utilizing this powerful communication tool to its full potential? Learn what the public may be looking for get tips for making it easily accessible 
Presenter: Cindy Dodge


Practical Payroll Procedures
Whether you’re a relatively new clerk or seeking a refresher, you can’t afford to miss this session on payroll record requirements and retention. We’ll review key elements of forms and what other deductions or payments come through payroll checks. Discussion includes who must complete which forms, filing forms with other agencies (and when!), who gets access to payroll forms and retention periods for each form.
Presenter: Cindy Dodge

Inner workings of a Website

A website can actually save you time! The key is to work with a website service provider that understands the backend technology and offers an intuitive interface to update your content. Gain insights into website processes including features that can help your township provide the information your residents, businesses and visitors expect. 
Led by Julie Braun, AccuNet Inc/Civic Clarity Website Service

Under Surveillance: Township Security Cameras
Security cameras are popping up in and around
township halls across the state. Learn the ins and outs of surveillance on public property for a variety of purposes, as well as the legal limits and situations when it’s subject to the Freedom of Information Act. We’ll cover the nuances of Election Day and dig into requirements for outdoor absent voter ballot boxes.
Presenter: Seth Koches, MTA Legal Counsel,
Bauckham, Th all, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches PC

Out of Order: Managing Meeting Hot Potatoes
Controversial, emotionally charged meetings or public hearings where tensions are high and tempers flare are happening with increasing frequency. More than just a lesson in grace, conflict and controversy can make a positive contribution to your decision-making processes. Learn steps you can take before, during and after difficult meetings to lessen the stressing and make your meetings more effective.
Presenter: Seth Koches

Gotcha! Don’t Take the Bait
Has it happened to you? An angry individual in your township hall or parking lot, exclaiming complaints with profanity, acting aggressively and maybe even armed with a video camera hoping to catch you or another township official behaving badly in reaction to their accusations. Don’t get caught off guard or be the next social media star. Learn what the law allows and take away tips for addressing this troubling behavior should you get caught in a similar heated and uncomfortable situation.
Presenter: Steven Joppich, Shareholder, Rosati, Schultz, Joppich, Amtsbuechler PC



Tuesday, Sept. 26*
9 a.m. – Registration check-in

9:30 a.m. – Welcome

10 a.m. – Who’s the Boss?

11:15 a.m. – Insights into
Internal Controls

12:30 p.m. – Networking lunch

1:30 p.m. – Legislative

3 p.m. – Elections Update

4:30 p.m. – Why Isn’t THAT on
Your Website?

6 p.m. – Dinner and evening

Wednesday, Sept. 27
8 a.m. Networking breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Practical Payroll                          Procedures

10 a.m. – QVF Demonstration & Help Desk

10:25 a.m. – Inner Workings of a Website

11 a.m. – Under Surveillance

Noon – Networking lunch

1 p.m. – Parade of Stars

1:15 p.m. – Out of Order

2:30 p.m. – Vendor Showcase

3 p.m. – Gotcha! Don’t Take
the Bait

4:15 p.m. – Adjourn

Agenda subject to change; breaks will be provided but are not listed on the agenda.

Hear What Our Expert Has to Say About the Clerks Retreat!

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Thank you to our 2023 Professional Development Retreat Sponsors!

Baker Tilly






Michigan CLASS



Shumaker Technology Group