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

On February 8 at 11 AM Dr. Keith Boeckleman and Dr. Eric Scorsone will join for the next webinar in the series: State Preemption of Local Authority in Michigan. Join for a discussion of trends in state preemption and examples of preemption here in Michigan. Click here for more information and to register.

Recent Webinars 

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.

Democracy at the Local Level: Resident Engagement

Debra Horner, of the University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) discusses findings from their research into the functioning of democracy at the local level, in particular, local leaders views on the role their residents should play in the local decision-making process. CLOSUP’s “The Functioning of Democracy at the Local Level” report summarizes findings from the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) of local elected and appointed officials in Michigan. This webinar presents an overview of the report, with an emphasis on citizen engagement and public participation in local government decision-making.

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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