Michigan Townships Association


Join fellow supervisors from around the state on Oct. 5-6 for the Township Supervisors’ Professional Development Retreat. Held at The Highlands in Harbor Springs, this retreat offers premier educational programming and excellent networking opportunities. Online registration is now closed; please contact MTA at 517-321-6467 to inquire if space is still available.

Not able to attend in-person? 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- to late-October; watch for more details coming soon!

Education 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: Michael Selden, MTA Member Information Services Director

Gotcha! When Free Speech Crosses the Line
Has it happened to you? An angry individual in the 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 member 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

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: Judy Allen, MTA Director of Government Relations

How the Heck Do We Enforce Our Ordinances?
An ordinance won’t work if you don’t enforce it. There is no advantage—and plenty of disadvantages—to having ordinances or provisions that you don’t want, need or use. Learn how to enforce many ordinance violations without involving the township attorney and walk away with complaint forms and notice of violation letters to streamline your enforcement efforts.
Presenter: Seth Koches, MTA Legal Counsel, Bauckham, Thall, 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

Ground Rules for Great Meetings
Do your fellow board members leave your meetings feeling like they had their say? That their opinions were respected? That the work got done? It’s hard to run fair, efficient and effective meetings if you don’t have (and use!) ground rules. Learn how time-tested parliamentary procedure methods can be adapted to fit the needs of your township’s meetings.
Presenter: Michael Homier, Shareholder, Foster Swift

Boost Board Engagement
How does a board make the right call when there is no clear right answer to a tough decision? How do you know when it’s time to wind discussion down and bring it to a vote? What happens when it becomes clear that the board isn’t ready to make a decision on an item? Your board is making choices that shape your township and your future. Decisions this important deserve well-researched and analyzed decisions. Deliberation on a motion is just as important as the vote. Explore techniques that encourage participation, negotiation and compromise.
Presenter: Michael Homier

Assessing Insights
As the township’s “chief assessing officer” the supervisor plays a key role in ensuring your assessing is handled accurately and professionally. Gain insights into timelines, deadlines and reasonable expectations for your assessor. You’ll walk away with critical insights into managing your township’s assessing.
Presenter: Cindy Dodge, MTA Member Information Services Liaison

Financial Deep Dive
What’s your township’s financial condition? How can you be certain you’re measuring financial wellness correctly? And what are the benefits of doing so? Gain a better understanding of municipal finances to ensure you’re managing township funds appropriately. You’ll take away tools to assess whether your township can continue meeting current and future financial needs or whether it’s time to change your approach.
Presenter: Rod Taylor, Maner Costerisan


Thursday, Oct. 5

9 a.m. – Registration check-in

10 a.m. – Welcome

10:30 a.m. – Who’s the Boss?

11:45 a.m. Gotcha! When Free Speech Crosses the Line

1 p.m.- Networking lunch

1:45 p.m. – Parade of Stars

2 p.m. – Legislative Insights

3:15 p.m. – Vendor Showcase

3:45 p.m. – How the Heck Do We Enforce Our Ordinances?

6 p.m. – Dinner and
               evening activity

Friday, Oct 6

7:30 a.m. – Networking                                breakfast

8 a.m. –  Out of Order

9:30 a.m. – Ground Rules                       for Great Meetings

11 a.m. – Boost Board                               Engagement

Noon – Networking lunch

1 p.m. – Assessing Insights

2:30 p.m. – Financial Deep                           Dive

4 p.m.- Adjourn

*Agenda subject to change;
doesn’t show breaks

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

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Thank you to our 2023 Professional Development Retreat Sponsors!

Baker Tilly






Michigan CLASS



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