Meetings & Education

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September 6, 2017 - MCIT Building, St. Paul

By September, new commissioners have eight months of service under their belts and have encountered enough issues and circumstances that may have left them with even more questions than they had when they first took office.

Co-sponsored by the Association of Minnesota Counties and Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust, this seminar is specifically developed for newly elected commissioners to give them knowledge and skills they need to serve the public while complying with laws and managing various risks.  The seminar uses scenarios and work groups, giving participants the opportunity to practice apply- ing techniques to the real world of county government.

Seminar Details

  • Registration: 8:30 a.m.
    Training: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Fee: $45 per person, includes lunch, refreshments and materials
  • Recommended audience: Newly elected county commissioners
  • Click here to register
  • Download brochure
    • Questions about registration: Contact AMC at 651.789.4341
    • Questions about the seminar: Call AMC at 651.789.4341 or MCIT at 1.866.547.6516

About the Sessions:

Successfully Navigating Open Meetings
Presented by MCIT Staff Counsel for Risk Management
Conducting county business in the open is the foundation of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. However, for new commissioners, the reality of doing this may be worrisome, especially for those unused to having their decisions being scrutinized and open to all.  Topics include:
  • An in-depth exploration of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, highlighting areas of frequent concern and ways to navigate them.
  • Techniques for managing risks during public comment periods.
  • An explanation of how the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act intersects with open meetings, particularly relative to personnel data.
Participants have time to ask questions and apply their knowledge to various scenarios that county commissioners face frequently.

Bridging Divides: Getting from Disagreement to Done
Presented by Mariah Levison, Manager, and Dave Bartholomay, Program Coordinator, Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services, Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution
Angry constituents? Hot topics like buffer strips and law enforcement-community relations? Fellow board members who feel passionately about issues?
Participants learn what to do when emotions run high and positions are deeply held. Compromise is not the only option. In this workshop, participants learn how to de-escalate difficult situations and move from conflict and impasse to effective solutions. Participants practice identifying what other people actually need—even when they are not saying it—so they can move forward. Participants learn how to articulate their needs in ways that make difficult people responsive, manage high emotions and develop solutions that get implemented.

Panel Discussion of County Governance Models: Administrator or Coordinator?
Presented by Sharon Hanson, Pipestone County Administrator; Robert Meyer, Blue Earth County Administrator; and Roxy Traxler, Sibley County Administrator
Many newly elected commissioners ask questions about different models of county governance. During this session, a panel of county administrators and past coordinators share their years of professional experience. They provide an overview of county administrative structures and history, roles and responsibilities along with practical tips for achieving strong board-staff working relationships.