Michigan Townships Association


Join fellow trustees from around the state on October 3-4 for the Trustees’ Professional Development Retreat.  Held at The Highlands in Harbor Springs, this retreat offers premier educational programing 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!

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: Catherine Mullhaupt, MTA Staff Attorney

Inside a Financial Report
Do your township’s financial reports seem to be a confusing set of numbers and narratives? Or perhaps you know enough to be dangerous but could use some extra guidance on what you should be paying attention to? Whatever the case, this session is for you. Walk away with insights into what matters most and why!
Presenter: Representative from Maner Costerisan

Planning & Zoning Policies and Processes
Your township’s planning and zoning functions are a powerful tool for shaping your community. It’s like having a crystal ball to help you direct what your township will look like in the future. With great power comes great responsibility! It’s critical you understand who’s responsible for what, when, how and in what order. By understanding the process, you can make better contributions to the policies.

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, MTA Legal Counsel,
Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches PC

How the Heck Do We Enforce Our Ordinances?
An ordinance won’t work if you don’t enforce it. There’s 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

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

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, Oct. 3
9:30 a.m. – Registration check-in

10 a.m. – Welcome

10:30 a.m. – Who’s the Boss?

Noon – Networking lunch

1 p.m. – Inside a Financial Report

2:30 p.m. – Planning & Zoning
Policies and Processes

4:45 p.m. – Adjourn

6 p.m. – Dinner and evening activity

Wednesday, Oct. 4

8 a.m. – Networking breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Parade of Stars

8:45 a.m. – Out of Order

10 a.m. – Vendor Showcase

11 a.m. – How the Heck Do We
Enforce Our Ordinances?

12:15 p.m. – Networking luncheon

1:15 p.m. – Legislative Insights

2:45 p.m. – Gotcha! Don’t
                    Take the Bait

4 p.m. – Adjourn

*Agenda subject to change;
doesn’t show breaks

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

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Thank you to our 2023 Professional Development Retreat Sponsors!

Baker Tilly






Michigan CLASS



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