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"Township Talk," our podcast with host Scott Southard, discusses a wide variety of topics impacting Michigan's 1,240 townships. Don't miss an episode! Subscribe on Google Play or  iTunes

Part 2 of MTA’s roundtable discussion on township issues

Continuing the conversation … recently, MTA hosted a roundtable discussion that hit a variety of topics important to townships across Michigan. In this episode, hear from MTA’s Executive Director Neil Sheridan, and Michael Selden and Cindy Dodge from our Member Information Services Department, as they speak with David Fleet, editor of the Citizen and Supervisor Robert DePalma and Clerk Patti Back of Groveland Township (Oakland Co.). The conversation covers such topics as foster care facilities, preemption of local control, the power of townships and MTA working together and the upcoming census. This is the second in a two-part episode.
Guests: David Fleet, Robert DePalma, Patti Back, Michael Selden, Cindy Dodge, Neil Sheridan

Part 1 of MTA’s roundtable discussion on township issues

Recently, MTA hosted a roundtable discussion that hit a variety of topics important to townships across Michigan. In this episode, hear from MTA’s Executive Director Neil Sheridan, and Michael Selden and Cindy Dodge from our Member Information Services Department, as they speak with David Fleet, editor of the Citizen and Supervisor Robert DePalma and Clerk Patti Back of Groveland Township (Oakland Co.). The conversation covers such topics as the upcoming census, outreach to residents, and local government funding. This is the first in a two-part episode.
Guests: David Fleet, Robert DePalma, Patti Back, Michael Selden, Cindy Dodge, Neil Sheridan

The Importance of the 2020 Census (with Joan Gustafson of the Michigan Nonprofit Association)

On this episode of Township Talk, we are joined by Joan Gustafson of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). MNA is overseeing the Census 2020 Michigan Nonprofits Campaign, a statewide nonprofit initiative to help ensure a complete count in the next census. The census has the capability to impact Michigan for the next 10 years, from congressional representation to federal funding. Joan speaks about the impact of the census and what townships can do today to prepare and educate their citizens. Find resources and information to help your township at https://becountedmi2020.com/.
Guest: Joan Gustafson

The importance of connecting with your legislator 

With Michigan’s Legislature set to return to session next month, Township Talk speaks with MTA’s own Judy Allen, our director of government relations, about building relationships with your legislators. It is a crucial connection, especially given the number of bills that impact township government. We dive into how to contact your lawmakers and initiate a conversation, as well as do’s and don’ts to ensure your voice is heard. Judy also shares a sneak peek into issues we can expect to see from Lansing as the legislative session resumes.
Guest: MTA Director of Government Relations Judy Allen

Meet Neil Sheridan, MTA’s new executive director

In this episode of Township Talk, our new host Scott Southard talks with MTA’s new executive director, Neil Sheridan. Neil shares with the listeners his experiences that led him to leading Michigan’s largest municipal organization in the state, his perspectives on MTA, and his experiences learning more about Michigan and its townships.
Guest: Neil Sheridan, MTA’s Executive Director

How "Emily" changed your next FOIA request

Last year's "Emily" FOIA request caused headaches for townships throughout the state, but at least one positive change resulted from the chaos. Catherine Mullhaupt, MTA staff attorney, discusses what's new with the Freedom of Information Act, and what it means for your next FOIA request.
Guest: MTA's Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt

Assessing reform and how it will impact townships

It's the question on all township board members' lips--how will the assessing reform law impact us, and our assessor? Shila Kiander, Mecosta County equalization director and MTA trainer, covers this issue and more in this week's conversation.
Guiest: Shila Kiander, Mecosta County equalization director and MTA trainer

MTA says thanks, and farewell, as Larry Merrill retires

As Executive Director Larry Merrill prepares to retire, he looks back on his 39 years with MTA. Hear about how answering a want ad in the Lansing State Journal led to a career spanning nearly four decades, and how townships have evolved over the years.
Guest: MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill

Local authority and the Legislature 

Already this year, lawmakers have proposed local preemptions on short-term rentals and child foster care facilities--and the legislative term is just getting started. MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill and MTA Government Relations Director Judy Allen drill into the issue of local authority, why it's frequently at risk--and what we can do about it.
Guest: MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill and MTA Director of Government Relations Judy Allen 

Where are they now? Catching up with a Robinson Scholarship recipient

Each year, MTA gives at least one Robert R. Robinson Memorial Scholarship to a college or graduate school student who is preparing for a career serving in local government. In the latest Township Talk, host Bethany Mauger catches up with 2015 scholarship recipient Andrew Dymczyk, who discusses the value of receiving the honor, along with his life-long passion for serving Michigan municipalities which brought him to his current role as manager of DeWitt Charter Township (Clinton Co.).
Guest: Andrew Dymczyk, Manager of DeWitt Charter Township (Clinton Co.).

Cybersecurity for townships

The March/April Township Focus cover story explored why cybersecurity is a concern for every township--regardless of location or population. We continue the conversation with Michigan State Police cybersecurity experts D/Sgt. Jeff Hoffman and D/Sgt. Matt McLalin, who explain the online threats facing all municipalities--and what you can do to prevent attacks.
Guests:  D/Sgt. Jeff Hoffman and D/Sgt. Matt McLalin, Michigan State Police

Leading your community into the future

MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill has been a life-long student of—and is an expert in—leadership in the public sector. What do public leaders do well? How do they succeed? Merrill shares key characteristics of board leadership, building trust and creating a vision—and how it can benefit your township in this discussion.
Guest: 
MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill

What does it really mean for township boards to 'speak with one voice'?

MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill responds to a point raised in a previous Township Talk podcast by Lansing State Journal Advocacy Columnist Judy Putnam. We dive into why MTA teaches boards to speak with "one voice"--and why that's good public policy--in this lively conversation.
Guest: MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill

How to work with the media. 

Judy Putnam, seasoned journalist and current Lansing State Journal advocacy columnist, shares her advice for working with the media and building relationships with reporters.
Guest: Judy Putnam

Influencing others: A conversation with our 2019 MTA Conference keynoter 

What does it take to have a meaningful impact--on another person or an entire community? MTA's 2019 Annual Conference keynoter shares his insight on leading a life of influence and significance.
Guest: Erick Rheam

Looking back—and ahead—at assessing reform

How did last year's assessing reform proposal turn into a law supported by MTA? Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. James Lower look back at the process, what's in the final law and what's still to come.
Guest: Sen. Jim Stamas, Rep. James Lower, and Judy Allen MTA Gov. Relations

Do you do social media well?

Orion Charter Township Supervisor Chris Barnett shares how social media is working for his township.
Guest: Orion Charter Township Supervisor Chris Barnett

Clearing the Air: What the recreational marijuana law means for your township

Confused about what the legalization of recreational marijuana really means? You're not the only one. MTA's Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt answers your most burning questions in this podcast.
Guest: 
MTA's Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt

Interlocal ‘divorce’ doesn’t have to be cause for upset

After more than 30 years, the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department—comprised of 10 townships—parted ways. But MTA Past President Doug Mansfield, Union Township (Grand Traverse Co.) supervisor, believes that townships shouldn’t see dissolving interlocal agreements as a failure—but rather a reason to celebrate the successful run they did have. In the latest episode of Township Talk, Mansfield expands on his experience with “interlocal divorce,” as discussed in the December 2018 Township Focus cover story.
Guest: MTA Past President Doug Mansfield, Union Township (Grand Traverse Co.) supervisor

What will 'lame duck' mean for townships?

MTA Director of Government Relations Judy Allen looks into her crystal ball as the "lame duck" legislative session heats up. We discuss the much-improved assessing proposal as well as bills that impact townships, both negatively and positively.
Guest: 
MTA Director of Government Relations Judy Allen 

Becoming a ‘green’ township starts with the small decisions! 

Listen as Director of Public Services Sandra Diorka and Environmental Coordinator Allen Bryant discuss how Delhi Charter Township became a “green community,” and the small goals that make a big impact—that any size township can build on to make “going green” a smart decision for your community.
Guest: 
Director of Public Services Sandra Diorka and Environmental Coordinator Allen Bryant

Help! Our public participation policy needs work!

How do you handle public participation at township board meetings? MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill breaks down the basics and best practices..
Guest: 
MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill

Special Election Edition

The November election means a new governor and changing dynamics in the state House and Senate. Special guest Kyle Melinn of MIRS joins MTA as we dive into the details--and what they mean for townships--in this episode of Township Talk.
Guest: 
Kyle Melinn of MIRS

A dairy farm wants to locate where? What the proposed GAAMPs Changes could mean 

A new draft of the Site Selection GAAMPs would remove local zoning considerations. MTA Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt explains what this means--and what you can do about it.
Guest: 
MTA Staff Attorney Catherine Mullhaupt

Special Election Edition    

Join us for Special Election 2018 Edition of MTA's "Township Talk' podcast, as we talk with MTA Director of Government Relations Judy Allen about the three statewide proposals voters will face on the ballot—and their potential impact on townships.
Guest: 
Judy Allen, MTA Director of Government Relations

 

Decoding Michigan's new Lead & Copper Rule 

In MTA's newest "Township Talk" podcast, MTA Legislative Liaison Tom Frazier breaks down the changes to Michigan's new Lead and Copper Rule and what it means for townships with public water supplies.
Guest:
 MTA Legislative Liaison Tom Frazier

Special Election Edition 

Judy Allen, MTA Director of Government Relations, gives us a preview of the upcoming November election and how local officials will be impacted--and how they can take action.
Guest: Judy Allen, MTA Director of Government Relations

Townships: Where we came from and where we’re going

MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill explores township government’s past, and shares his thoughts on where the government closest to the people is headed.
Guest: MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill