Township Talk
Assessing reform and how it will impact townships

Assessing reform and how it will impact townships

June 14, 2019

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.

MTA says thanks, and farewell, as Larry Merrill retires

MTA says thanks, and farewell, as Larry Merrill retires

May 31, 2019

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.

Local authority and the Legislature

Local authority and the Legislature

May 20, 2019

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.

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

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

May 6, 2019

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.).

Cybersecurity for every township

Cybersecurity for every township

April 22, 2019

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.

Leading your community into the future

Leading your community into the future

April 8, 2019

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.

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

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

March 22, 2019

MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill discusses consensus decision-making, boards speaking with one voice—why it’s good public policy and times when it just might not apply—and how this all relates to working with the media in this lively conversation.

How to work with the media

How to work with the media

March 8, 2019

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

Influencing others: A conversation with our 2019 MTA Conference keynoter

Influencing others: A conversation with our 2019 MTA Conference keynoter

February 15, 2019

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

Looking back—and ahead—at assessing reform

February 7, 2019

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.