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Foster Swift Participates at the 2020 MTA Conference

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Foster Swift Municipal Law News
February 16, 2020
Traverse City, Michigan

For nearly two decades, Foster Swift attorneys have sponsored at the annual Michigan Townships Association's (MTA) Educational Conference & Expo which focuses on providing a hands-on, practical approach to issues with Michigan townships. This year’s conference takes place April 27-30 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan. Be sure to catch one of the following sessions featuring a Foster Swift attorney:

FOIA and OMA Updates– April 27: 9:30 am-- 4:30 pm (All Legal Institute Sessions)
Speaker: Leslie A. Dickinson
Leslie Dickinson will discuss updates to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA) at the Legal Institute for Township Attorneys. Held in conjunction with MTA’s Conference & Expo, the Legal Institute is the premier educational event for attorneys who serve Michigan’s townships. These sessions help attendees stay on the cutting edge of legal news and changes that impact local governments.

Small Box Discount Retailers and Big Dollar Zoning Issues – April 28: 10:15 - 11:30 am
Speaker: Michael D. Homier
Small box discount retailers—aka “dollar stores”—are significantly impacting local economies, particularly small businesses and local grocers. Get an overview of the economic impact, industry expansion strategies, how this industry growth limits access to healthy food options for low-income families by edging out grocers, and what municipalities in other parts of the country are doing. Zoning options that townships can adopt to address discount retailer growth will be discussed.

What to Do with a Marijuana Initiative Referendum – April 28: 1:00-2:15 pm
Speaker: Laura J. Genovich
Your township has made a local decision to prohibit or restrict adult-use (recreational) marijuana businesses—but now you’ve received a petition to place a referendum on the ballot at the next election, with a proposal to allow marijuana businesses or impose fewer restrictions. What happens next? What if the ballot measure passes? And what can the township say about the ballot measure without violating the Campaign Finance Act? Explore this new legal territory and these difficult (but important!) questions.

Technology and Social Media Pitfalls for Townships – April 28: 2:45 - 4:00 pm
Speaker: Anne M. Seurynck
Public bodies and public officials are using social media to advertise and promote township events. The Open Meetings Act (OMA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were adopted in the 1970s and did not contemplate new technology and social media. Learn potential pitfalls townships face when using social media, including using private accounts for “public” purposes and addressing comments on social media. Find out how email and other technological advancements can impact record retention, public record disclosures, and increase the risk of OMA violations.

Personal Property Tax Primer – April 29: 3:15-4:30 pm
Speaker: Jack L. Van Coevering
After years of continuing legislation, personal property tax still exists in Michigan in many new and often complex forms. Learn the basics of personal property tax administration, the increased importance of boards of review, and how your board should prepare to review new filings and information.

Want a more one-on-one experience to ask questions? Stop by the Foster Swift booth (#607) at the Expo Hall and meet with some of the attorneys. The Expo Hall hours are as follows:

Tuesday, April 28: 9:45 am-2:45 pm
Wednesday, April 29: 9:45 am-1:30 pm

Attending MTA? Register for Foster Swift's Business Solution

Get answers to important questions at the Business Solutions Session at the 2020 MTA Conference on Wednesday, April 29 from 12:00-1:00 pm.

A panel of Foster Swift attorneys will be on hand to present on timely topics and answer attendee questions in an open format. Space for this event is limited and lunch will only be provided to the first 100 that RSVP.

To RSVP and reserve your seat and lunch, please contact Jake Leuvoy at (517) 371-8125 or at jleuvoy@fosterswift.com.