New County Commissioner Workshop registration now open

MSU Extension and the Michigan Association of Counties co-sponsor the 2016 New County Commissioner Workshops for newly elected commissioners, experienced commissioners, elected officials, and staff interested in learning more about county government.

Online registration is now open for the 2016 New County Commissioner Workshops. A brief history of the workshops is available here in an earlier Michigan State University Extension news article.

Workshop content will include the following topics that are vital to understanding the role of a county commissioner:

  • Economic conditions impacting Michigan counties
  • Counties’ role in economic development
  • County revenue structure and the need for a long term approach to county finance
  • Best practice governance models in Michigan’s unique county structure
  • Basic board functions in county government
  • Effective meetings – board rules and parliamentary procedure
  • County administration
  • The board’s relationship with county departments, especially elected officials
  • Courts, what they do and how they are financed
  • Building the county budget

Participants will also hear about counties’ interactions with MSU Extension and the Michigan Association of Counties. The program includes a meal and many more resources with additional information selected to increase your understanding of county government in Michigan. The New County Commissioner Workshops are offered every two years (even numbered years) following the election of county commissioners.

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 enable the sharing of information and best practices between counties. This new format in the UP will still have that feature, with a group at each of the two locations.

Dates and location for 2016 workshops:

  • 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.

Participants must register online, using the MSU Extension events management system. There is a group registration process for counties registering multiple participants. The workshop fee is $125, payable by credit card or check. Subscribe to our “Government” news digest to learn about other local and tribal government programs and articles by MSU Extension.

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