Category archives
Summer Conference

The annual CGMC Summer Conference will be held Aug. 2-4, 2017 at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls. During the three-day conference attendees will:

  • Find out how the results of the 2017 legislative session will impact your community
  • Hear legislators’ insights about the ever-evolving relationship between state and local governments
  • See how rural communities are using art as an economic driver and learn about ways your city can take advantage of similar opportunities
  • Enjoy a panel discussion in which members of the MN Capitol Press Corps will discuss the joys and challenges of covering the “legislative circus”
  • Explore the city of Fergus Falls during a city-sponsored dinner and by taking part in one of four city-tour options
  • Learn about new services, businesses and organizations at the exhibitors’ tradeshow
  • Forge connections with other city leaders from across Greater Minnesota by sharing your ideas, concerns and hopes for the future
  • … and much more!

To register for the conference, please fill out this registration form and submit it via email (RSVP@flaherty-hood.com), fax (651-225-9088) or mail (Coalition of Greater MN Cities, c/o Dana Johnston, 525 Park St., Suite 470, St. Paul, MN 55103).You can view the conference agenda here. Please register by July 24. Please note that the CGMC has a block of rooms reserved at the Country Inn & Suites, which is adjacent to the event center, at a discounted rate of $99.99 (plus tax). The deadline to book a room under the reduced rate is July 2. Call the hotel at 218-739-2211 to make a reservation. If you have any questions about the CGMC Summer Conference, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917.

We have a great conference lined up! The annual CGMC Summer Conference will be held Aug. 2-4, 2017 at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls. During the conference you will:

  • Learn about emerging trends and challenges facing Greater Minnesota communities
  • Find out how the results of the 2017 legislative session could impact your community
  • Hear legislators’ insights about the ever-evolving relationship between state and local governments
  • Explore the city of Fergus Falls during a city-sponsored dinner and by taking part in one of four city-tour options
  • Learn about new services, businesses and organizations at the exhibitors’ tradeshow
  • Forge connections with other city leaders from across Greater Minnesota by sharing your ideas, concerns and hopes for the future

To register for the conference, please fill out this registration form and email it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to the address listed on the form. A full agenda will be available soon.

Please note that the CGMC has a block of rooms reserved at the Country Inn & Suites, which is adjacent to the event center, at a discounted rate of $99.99 (plus tax). The deadline to book a room under the reduced rate is July 2. Call the hotel at 218-739-2211 to make a reservation.

If you have any questions about the CGMC Summer Conference, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917. We hope to see you there!

The CGMC is currently accepting proposals from cities interested in hosting the 2018 CGMC Summer Conference. Since this year’s conference will be in Fergus Falls, we are seeking a southern or south-central Minnesota city (or group of cities) to host in 2018. This RFP outlines the details involved in being the host city, as well as the proposed conference dates and how to apply. For additional information, please view this sample conference agenda. Proposals are due May 15.

If you have any questions about hosting the summer conference, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com.

CGMC Executive Director Tim Flaherty and environmental attorney Daniel Marx led a webinar on Sept. 8 to provide information about the challenges Greater Minnesota cities face in regards to water quality regulations and to discuss strategies to help cities address these challenges. Those who were unable to watch the webinar during the live steam can view it here: greatermncities.org/cgmc-tools/environmental-challenges/. A PDF version of the Power Point presentation used during the webinar can also be found here.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  • A brief overview of the water quality regulatory history
  • Discussion of the current pending regulations and cost implications that cities should be prepared for
  • Information on cities’ legal rights with respect to wastewater permitting (for more detailed information on this, read this “Know Your Rights” handout)
  • Discussion of the CGMC Environmental Action Fund priorities and agenda

We encourage our members to watch the webinar and share it with other staff members and elected officials in your city. If you have any questions about the webinar, the CGMC’s Environmental Action Fund or how current or proposed water quality regulations may affect your city, please contact Daniel at dmmarx@flaherty-hood.com.

Each year the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities honors legislators, city officials and others who had a particularly strong positive impact on Greater Minnesota during the preceding legislative session or during the course of their careers. This year’s award winners were honored during our annual Legislative Awards Dinner, which was held July 21 in Austin, Minn. To see photos of the award winners, visit our Facebook page.

The 2016 CGMC Award winners are as follows:

Legislator of Distinction Award – Awarded to legislators who played key roles in the CGMC’s policy success or advancing CGMC priorities during the preceding session. Can be awarded to legislators from all parts of the state, and legislators can be awarded in more than one program area.

Legislator of Distinction- Tax Policy
– Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL- Clearbrook)
– Sen. Lyle Koenen (DFL- Clara City)
– Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL- Dilworth)
– Rep. Paul Anderson (R- Starbuck)

Legislator of Distinction- Economic Development
– Rep. Pat Garofalo (R- Farmington)
– Rep. Erik Simonson (DFL- Duluth)
– Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL- Owatonna)

Legislator of Distinction- Environment
– Rep. Paul Torkelson (R- Hanska)

Rural Leadership Award – Awarded to legislators who helped advance CGMC priorities in several program areas during the preceding session.
– Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL- Cook)
– Sen. Kent Eken (DFL- Twin Valley)

Excellence in Service (Elected Officials) – Awarded to CGMC elected officials who demonstrated knowledge, leadership and active participation in CGMC program areas over the preceding session and/or an extended period of time.
– Mayor Cliff Barth, Breckenridge
– Mayor Mike Poellinger, La Crescent
– Council Member Audrey Nelsen, Willmar

Excellence in Service (Appointed Officials) – Awarded to CGMC city managers/administrators or city staff who demonstrated knowledge, leadership and active participation in CGMC program areas over the preceding session and/or an extended period of time.
– City Clerk/Administrator Josh Malchow, Slayton
– City Manager Blaine Hill, Morris
– City Manager Chad Adams, Albert Lea
– Director of Public Services Roger Avelsgard, Breckenridge

Jack Murray Award for Distinguished Rural Leadership (retiring elected officials) – Awarded—upon their retirement from public service—to CGMC mayors and elected officials who have made special contributions to the CGMC over a multi-year career. The award is named after Jack Murray, former mayor of International Falls, who was instrumental in the CGMC’s formation.
– Council Member Sandra Means, Rochester
– Tim Strand, former mayor, St. Peter
– Council Member John Young, Hawley (posthumous award)

Friend of the CGMC – Awarded to individuals (not legislators or CGMC city officials) who were especially helpful to the CGMC during the preceding year.
– Jeff Freeman, Executive Director of the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority

Minnesota Legacy Award – Awarded—upon their retirement—to legislators who have demonstrated unfailing commitment and made extraordinary contributions to Greater Minnesota during their legislative careers.
– Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL- Plummer)
– Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL- Mankato)
– Rep. Kim Norton (DFL- Rochester)

President’s Award – Awarded to the outgoing CGMC president.
– Mayor Robert Broeder, Le Sueur

Thank you to everyone who attended the CGMC Summer Conference, which was held July 20-22, 2016 in Austin, Minn. It was a great event, filled with informative presentations, interesting city tours and plenty 0f SPAM! We want to extend a special thank-you to our exhibitors, whose continued support of the CGMC helps us put on events like this.

Apex Efficiency Solutions
Bolton & Menk, Inc.
Civic Systems
Commercial Recreation Specialists
DSGW Architects
Ehlers
Flaherty & Hood, P.A.
Landmark Environmental
Lexipol, LLC
Miller Architecture, Inc.
NFP
Nor-Son, Inc.
Northland Securities
OCHS INC.
Opus21 Management Solutions
PMA Financial Network/4M Fund
Short Elliott Hendrickson
Springsted
SwedeBro
TKDA
Widseth Smith Nolting
WSB & Associates, Inc.

Below is a CGMC press release that was sent to media outlets across the state. A PDF version is available here.

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2016
Contact: Julie Liew, jlliew@flaherty-hood.com

Greater Minnesota city leaders renew push for special session
At annual meeting, CGMC members call on Governor, legislative leaders to keep focus on rural priorities when Legislature reconvenes

AUSTIN, MINN.—At an annual gathering of city leaders from Greater Minnesota, officials from across the state renewed their push for a special legislative session this summer to address the failed tax and bonding bills.

Mayors, city council members and city staff from all over Greater Minnesota convened in Austin this week for the annual Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) Summer Conference. With news that Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders appear to be inching closer to an agreement on a special session after they resumed negotiations July 15, CGMC conference attendees were cautiously optimistic that Greater Minnesota needs could still be addressed this year.

“The regular session was a huge letdown, but there is still a chance for lawmakers to get something positive done,” said Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson, who was elected president of the CGMC for 2016-2017 at the organization’s membership meeting Friday morning. “Now that special session talks have started up again, we are hopeful that the Governor and legislative leaders can set aside their differences and pass bills that will help communities in Greater Minnesota and throughout the state.”

At Friday’s membership meeting, the CGMC adopted a resolution in support of a special session that addresses critical Greater Minnesota needs that had been included in the final versions of the failed bills. The CGMC’s top priorities for the special session include:

  • $20 million increase in funding for the Local Government Aid (LGA) program
  • $133.5 million for clean water infrastructure grant and loan programs
  • $12 million for the Greater Minnesota Business Development Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program, which helps cities pay for public infrastructure needed to encourage private business growth
  • $200 million for the Corridors of Commerce program
  • $50 million for city streets, divided between cities with populations of 5,000 and above and those with fewer than 5,000 residents

“The tax bill and bonding bill each contained several provisions that would benefit Greater Minnesota,” Carlson said. “If there is a special session, we urge Gov. Dayton and the Legislature to keep focus on top priorities like an LGA increase and funding for water treatment facilities, highways and city streets. These issues remain extremely important to rural communities. We want to make sure they aren’t overshadowed by other matters when the Legislature reconvenes.”

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School’s out and summer is in full swing, which means the CGMC Summer Conference is almost here!

This year’s conference will be held July 20-22 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin. We have been working closely with the city of Austin to put together an excellent conference. Agenda highlights include:

  • An in-depth “investigation” into who killed the bonding bill and an interactive discussion on other legislative issues
  • A panel discussion on transportation featuring legislators and other key stakeholders
  • Presentations and speakers on other important topics such as emerging trends in environmental regulations, economic disparities & inequality in Greater Minnesota, labor & employee relations and more
  • A luncheon featuring presentations by a MN House Republican member and a House DFL member, who will each make the case for why their respective party should be in the majority in 2017
  • Options to tour unique Austin sites such as the Hormel manufacturing plant, the new $18M Austin Utilities Energy Park, the recently expanded Hormel Institute, Austin Arts Center, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, and more!
  • An awards dinner honoring legislators, city officials and others who worked especially hard to advance Greater Minnesota priorities during the 2016 legislative session
  • …and of course, no stop in Austin would be complete without a visit to the brand-new SPAM Museum!

View the newly updated agenda for more information about tour options, sessions, speakers/presentations and other conference highlights. To register, fill out this registration form and send it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to the listed address.

Also, please note that the CGMC has a block of hotel rooms reserved at the Holiday Inn. To book a room under the block, use this link (note: the link does not work on a cell phone) or call the Holiday Inn at (507) 433-1000.

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917.

School’s out and summer is here … which means the CGMC Summer Conference is fast approaching! This year’s conference will be held July 20-22 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin. Highlights include:

  • A panel discussion on transportation, featuring legislators and other key stakeholders
  • Presentations and speakers on important topics such as labor relations, environmental regulations, and economic disparities & inequality in Greater Minnesota
  • A recap of the legislative session (and special session, if there is one)
  • Options to tour unique Austin sites such as the Hormel manufacturing plant, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, the new $18M Austin Utilities Energy Park, the recently expanded Hormel Institute and more!
  • An awards dinner honoring legislators, city officials and others who worked especially hard to advance Greater Minnesota priorities during the 2016 legislative session
  • …and of course, no stop in Austin would be complete without a visit to the brand-new SPAM Museum!

You can view the full agenda for more information about tour options, informative sessions, speakers and other highlights of the conference. To register, fill out this registration form and send it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to the listed address.

Also, please note that the CGMC has a block of hotel rooms reserved at a discounted rate at the Holiday Inn. The deadline to book under the block is June 20, so we encourage you to book your room ASAP! To book a room under the CGMC block and receive the discounted rate, please use this link (note: the link does not work on a cell phone) or call the Holiday Inn at (507) 433-1000.

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917.

We have a great conference lined up! The annual CGMC Summer Conference will be held July 20-22, 2016, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Austin, Minn. Some of the highlights of the conference will include:

  • A full recap of the legislative session
  • Presentations and speakers on important topics such as labor relations, environmental regulations, and economic disparities & inequality in Greater Minnesota
  • A legislative panel discussion
  • Keynote luncheon featuring Rep. Tim Walz (invited)
  • Options to tour unique Austin sites such as the Hormel manufacturing plant, the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, the new $18M Austin Utilities Energy Park, the recently expanded Hormel Institute and more!
  • An awards dinner honoring legislators, city officials and others who worked especially hard to advance Greater Minnesota priorities during the 2016 legislative session
  • And of course, no stop in Austin would be complete without a visit to the brand-new SPAM Museum!

Check out the full agenda for more information. (Please note this is just a tentative agenda, some items may change as we get closer to the date of the conference.)

The cost for the three-day conference is $275 (not including lodging). To register, please fill out this registration form (also attached) and email it to RSVP@flaherty-hood.com or mail it to:

Coalition of Greater MN Cities
c/o Dana Hogan
525 Park St., Suite 470
St. Paul, MN 55103

If you have any questions about the CGMC Summer Conference, please contact Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1917. We hope to see you there!