A free bi-monthly webinar series covering issues affecting local governments in Michigan.

The Current Issues Affecting Michigan Local Governments Webinar Series was designed for elected and appointed officials at all levels of local government and their staffs, as well as any Michigan resident interested in learning about the biggest issues public officials are dealing with. The webinar series is organized by MSU Extension public policy specialist Eric Walcott in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties and Michigan Townships Association and the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy

Upcoming Webinars

Check back soon for information on upcoming webinars! In the meantime, check out the MI Community Minutes podcast for even more great content!

Recent Webinars 

Rethinking Local Government Budgeting

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Rethinking Budgeting Initiative is helping local governments update budget practices to better meet the rapidly changing needs of communities. This initiative is raising new ideas and producing guidance for how local government budget systems can be adapted to changing needs. The initiative explores a wide range of topics related to the budget process including budget planning, fairness in budgeting and how behavioral science impacts budget decisions. 

In this webinar, participants have a chance to learn more about the concept of fairness in budgeting, and discuss how ideas of fairness impact their own budget process and decisions.

State Preemption of Local Authority in Michigan

In this webinar, Dr. Keith Boeckelman, from Western Illinois University, and Dr. Eric Scorsone, with the MSU, present on recently published research into trends in state preemption as well as discuss examples of preemption here in Michigan.

Sustainability Efforts in Local Government

Hear from the City of Holland on how they have embraced sustainability at the municipal level. Holland’s Sustainability Manager, Dan Broersma, shares their success stories and provide first-step suggestions on what local governments can do to recognize and move sustainability forward.

Local Government Codes of Conduct: Going Beyond the Minimum

Codes of Conduct can be a useful tool for members of elected and appointed boards. They help underscore a person's role, expected behavior, and set clear expectations for how members will conduct themselves. This webinar uses the planning commission as an example of how a code of conduct can be a valuable tool, and discusses how other bodies can use them as well.  

Other previous webinars are recorded and available by clicking on the Resources tab. 

Potential Future Topics

Topics are always subject to change based on interest and emerging issues. 

  • Assessing and Addressing Local Service Needs
  • Road and Transportation Funding
  • Tourism and short-term rentals
  • Public Engagement on “Wicked” Issues
  • Strategic Planning in Local Government
  • Fiscal Sustainability
  • Engaging the Public in the Budget Process 


Eric WalcottMSU Extension, walcott3@msu.edu; 517-353-9106



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