Michigan Townships Association

UP North Summit

MTA's Up North Summit returns in July!

Team MTA is packing up our resources, publications and municipal experts and heading north to the Island Resort in Harris (west of Escanaba) for two full days of education, networking and fun! You can join us for a session, a day or both days, based on your areas of interest.

Save the datesJuly 23 & 24and watch for more details soon!

Practical techniques & valuable resources

The program is packed with informative sessions featuring topics relevant to the entire township board, and some tailored to the duties specific to your township board position. Take advantage of this learning opportunity and connect with others who can help make your role as a township official more fulfilling. It’s an investment worth making!

Exceptional value

Officials are encouraged to register for the full program to get the most out of this educational experience. Registration fees include all meals and activities. Can only get away for one day? Single rates are also available.

Educational Sessions

Does your township audit seem to be a confusing set of numbers and narratives? Gain a better understanding of what the audit report really says about your township and what may (and may not!) be red flags! This session will help you hone in on what matters most, best practices, and other important information you may be missing. 

Speaker: Rod Taylor, Senior Manger, Government Consulting Group, Maner Costerisan

This November, townships across the state will experience the changing of the guard. We’ll share what you need to know about the transition of incoming and outgoing officials between now and the launch of the new township term of office. Learn how to handle resignations, appointment, compensation and the oath of office, as well as required meetings and dates. Learn what “the transition” actually is, what’s happening, how you handle “elects,” and when those running unopposed can assume duties. 

Speaker: Michael Selden, MTA’s Director of Member Information Services 

Every board member must be familiar with the township’s finances including required procedures and reporting. Get an overview of the revenue your township receives including what’s coming in, when it is going out and what you should be doing with it in the meantime. Review the ins and outs of how different revenues may—or may not—be used and options your board may consider for putting the money where your mouth is! 

Speaker: Rod Taylor, Senior Manger, Government Consulting Group, Maner Costerisan

Learn how to attract and retain quality volunteers and paid on-call personnel while gaining a better understanding of motivators that help keep them committed to the township. Identify incentives that work (and those that do not!), and discover how the township board can establish expectations and guidance for fire chiefs to maintain a strong and supportive firehouse. 

Speaker: Dan Hammerberg, Region 1 Training Chief Bureau of Fire Services Fire Fighter Training Division

Unproductive meetings? Uninspiring agendas? Closed session questions? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Learn how the Open Meetings Act empowers you to take control of your meetings, and other time management tools that allow you to get the most out of your meetings while keeping yourself—and your township—out of trouble! 

Speaker: Michael Selden, MTA’s Director of Member Information Services 

Do you know what the roles and responsibilities of the clerk or treasurer are? How about what reports each office is responsible for? What’s important about the way the clerk and treasurer interact on a regular basis? Learn the laws, debunk the myths and walk away with best practices for empowering your township’s dynamic duo. 

Speaker: Cindy Dodge, MTA’s Member Information Services Liaison

Controversial, emotionally charged meetings or public hearings where tensions are high and tempers flare are neither comfortable nor new. What is changing? The same high tension and flaring tempers may greet you in the parking lot (or elsewhere) and may come armed with a video camera hoping to catch you reacting badly to their profanity laced complaints and aggression. Explore steps you can take and better decisions you can make before, during and after difficult meetings and encounters to help you manage the disruptions and avoid taking the bait!

Speaker: Seth Koches, MTA Legal Counsel, Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches, PC

Outdoor recreation plays a vital role in your community’s quality of life, leisure and health. It’s also a big part of your economy. What happens when Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate? Gain insights into “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” strategies and take control of your community festivities. This session will help you recognize, evaluate and promote your local resources to elevate recreation opportunities in your township. 

Speakers: MParks

General Information

Gather as a group for four informative sessions offering insights & information for today’s townships. 

On Tuesday morning, your state legislators will join us for a panel discussion lending their legislative insights on what is happening in Lansing & how it affects your township. Later that afternoon, we’ll offer a primer on elections geared for your entire township board. From board responsibilities to resources, we’ll help you get a handle on the impact elections have on your township. 

On Wednesday, we’ll begin with an update from MTA’s own Director of Government Relations, Judy Allen on what’s at the forefront & on the horizon for the balance of this legislative session as well as tips for working with your state legislators. Our closing session will help you determine which ordinances are right for your township to address conflicts & complaints that come with hot button land use topics like short term rentals, sand & gravel mining & blight. Get real-life, practical examples, and find the right fit for regulation in your township. 

After a full day of intensive education, we know you’ll be ready to get out of the classroom & into the fun! So step right up & roll the dice at our fabulous free casino night! With every spin of the roulette wheel & flip of the cards, you’re one step closer to claiming a prize. So gather ’round, grab your lucky charm & let the games begin!

Designed to help you find providers of products & services that can help your township run more efficiently. Network with vendors & get your questions answered. 

MTA’s UP North Summit is a unique opportunity for northern Michigan township officials to gather for valuable education & networking. Your fellow officials know better than anyone the challenges you face! 

Written cancellation requests received at the MTA office by July 1 will receive a full refund. No refunds will be issues thereafter without extenuating circumstances. You may substitute another individual from your township for your registration at any time without incurring a charge; please notify MTA of the change.


*EASTERN STANDARD TIME*                     TUESDAY, JULY 23

9:30 a.m. – Registration check-in, continental breakfast & Northern Market

10 a.m. – Welcome address

10:30 a.m. – Legislative panel

11:30 a.m. – Meet the exhibitors

Noon – Northern Market

12:30 p.m. – Lunch

1:30 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions

  • What Your Audit Really Means
  • Out with the Old, in with the New

2:30 p.m. – Northern Market

3 p.m. – Concurrent sessions

  • Making Your Money Work for You
  • Finding & Keeping Fire & EMS Personnel

4:45 p.m. – General Session, What the Board Needs to Know about Elections

6 p.m. – Day One Adjourns

6:30 p.m. – Dinner & evening activity


8 a.m. – Breakfast & registration for late joiners

9 a.m. – Legislative Update

10:30 a.m. – Concurrent sessions

  • Effective Meetings Meets the Act
  • Board Insights into Working Relations Between Clerks & Treasurers

Noon – Lunch

1 p.m. – Concurrent sessions

  • Managing Meeting Disruptors
  • When Reliable Becomes Unreliable

2:45 p.m. – Putting Your Ordinances to Work

4 p.m. – Adjourn

Thank You to Our 2024 Summit Sponsors