New County Commissioner Workshop dates and locations announced

The 2016 New County Commissioner Workshops is designed for newly elected commissioners, experienced commissioners, elected officials and staff interested in learning more about county government.

Beginning in 1968, Michigan has elected county commissioners from districts within their counties, similar to the way we have districts for state representatives and senators. Before that, counties were governed by a county board of supervisors, populated with township supervisors and city representatives. The change was in response to the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims, which required legislative districts to be reapportioned on a one-person, one-vote basis and Avery v. Midland County (Texas)  in 1968 which applied the principle to counties.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Association of Counties had previously offered educational programs for local elected officials. In 1968, the two organizations started an educational program for these new county commissioners following the November election. That program has come to be known as the New County Commissioner Workshops, and has been offered every two years since.

The workshop is offered at six locations across the state, and this year, we are adding a seventh location. The former single location in the Upper Peninsula will now be two, connected via videoconferencing technology. That will enable commissioners to reduce their travel time and cost, and will feature both live and video instruction. The workshops have always had a focus on bringing commissioners together from many counties to meet each other and hopefully build lasting relationship that enables the sharing of information and best practices between counties. This new format in the U.P. will still have that feature, with a group at each of the two locations.

2016 New County Commissioner Workshop Schedule:
  • Monday: Nov. 21; 3-8 p.m.; Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Tuesday: Nov. 22; 3-8 p.m.; Holiday Inn, Big Rapids, MI
  • Tuesday: Nov. 29; 3-8 p.m.; Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, MI
  • Wednesday: Nov. 30; 3-8 p.m.; Tollgate Center, Novi, MI
  • Wednesday: Dec. 7; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; University Center, Gaylord, MI
  • Thursday: Dec. 8; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; 2 concurrent sessions, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College - Wabanung (East) Campus & Chatham, U.P. Research and Extension Center.

Registration will be online, using the MSU Extension events management system. Watch these Michigan State University Extension news articles for more details about program content and how to register coming soon.

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