Category archives
Labor & Employee Relations

Registration is now open for the CGMC’s 2019 Labor & Employee Relations Seminars! Please mark your calendar for the below date and location that works for you:

  • Thursday, June 6 in Brainerd
  • Thursday, June 13 in New Ulm

Please register today as space is limited!  You can register at greatermncities.org/2019seminar. More information about the seminars, including times and locations, can be found here.

 The seminars are focused on practical and legal solutions for providing services and managing employees in local government. They will provide relevant and timely advice on the following topics (and more!):

  • Police department’s unique organizational & personnel issues
  • Employee background checks
  • Drug and alcohol issues with employees
  • Administering family and medical-related leaves
  • Updates on settlements, arbitrations and the Legislature

We hope all units of government will send representatives (e.g., managers and administrators, human resources personnel and elected officials) to this valuable program. The cost is $70 for CGMC members and $130 for non-members.

For more information, contact Meghan Plotz at (651) 259-1918 or mmplotz@flaherty-hood.com.

We hope to see you in Brainerd or New Ulm!

Thank you to everyone who attended the CGMC Fall Conference last week at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center. More than 100 city leaders representing 50 cities attended the conference — setting an attendance record for the second straight year!

The conference kicked off Thursday afternoon with a presentation by Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, who shared insights into his past eight years as a member of Gov. Dayton’s administration and the ups and downs our state budget faced during that time. He also provided information on the state’s current economic outlook and what could be in store for the budget in the near future. You can read Frans’ presentation here.
 
Following Frans’ presentation, we delved into a panel discussion on the rural/urban divide and the role city leaders can play in helping to bridge the gaps between the various and diverse communities in Minnesota. Panelists included Ben Schierer, mayor of Fergus Falls; Suzanne Hilgert, mayor of Olivia; Peter Lindstrom, mayor of Falcon Heights, and Brad Tabke, former mayor of Shakopee and a newly elected state representative. The panelists shared examples of ways they have learned from leaders in other parts of the state and discussed the issues in which they wish there was better understanding between rural and urban communities. Conference attendees also participated in small group discussions where they brainstormed ideas on steps they can take within their cities to help bridge the rural/urban divide.
 
With the conference being held just a little over a week after the midterm elections, it would not have been complete with a good ‘ole CGMC election recap. CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson provided in-depth analysis of the 2018 election results — particularly the race for governor and the Minnesota House — and what they could mean for CGMC priorities and other issues in the upcoming legislative session. You can read Bradley’s presentation here.  
 
After the election analysis, we welcomed several legislators for a panel discussion on one of the most critical issues currently impacting Greater Minnesota: the child care shortage. Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, executive director of Region Nine Development Commission and president of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, moderated the discussion featuring Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks), Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) and Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne). You can watch video of the discussion here.
 
Annexation is another important topic explored at the conference. CGMC lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel informed attendees about some looming concerns, particularly the possibility that the CGMC and cities may need to play defense on legislation being proposed by township groups that could thwart cities’ ability to pursue annexations. You can read Elizabeth’s Power Point presentation here.
 
In the evening, attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner followed by an excellent presentation by Emmy-award winning reporter Tom Hauser of ABC 5 Eyewitness News. A veteran political reporter, Hauser shared his take on the national and state election results and some of the issues that could be on the horizon in the future.
 
Friday morning kicked off with a presentation/discussion led by Brandon Fitzsimmons, a labor and employment attorney with Flaherty & Hood, on how to effectively evaluate the performance of city administrators and managers. Waite Park City Administrator Shaunna Johnson and Mayor Rick Miller shared their stories on this issue and provided advice on how to help performance evaluations run smoothly. You can read Brandon’s Power Point presentation here.

In addition to speakers and presentations, the conference also included a membership meeting Friday morning during which members discussed and adopted the CGMC’s 2019 legislative policy positions. To review the adopted positions, click on the following subject areas:

Members also discussed the CGMC’s legislative priorities for 2019 and learned about our initial messaging and strategy plans for the upcoming legislative session.

Thanks again to everyone who attended our 2018 Fall Conference. We look forward to seeing you again at our next CGMC event – Legislative Action Day on Jan. 30 in St. Paul. We will send out registration information for Legislative Action Day soon!

Registration is now open for the CGMC Fall Conference! The conference will be held Nov.15-16, 2018 at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Alexandria and will feature presentations, discussions and speakers on a number of important topics. The packed agenda includes:

  • Luncheon presentation by Myron Frans, commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget
  • Keynote dinner featuring Tom Hauser, chief political reporter for ABC5 Eyewitness News
  • Legislative panel discussion on child care
  • 2018 election recap and analysis
  • A discussion featuring Greater MN and metro-area elected officials who are working to bridge the rural/urban divide
  • Presentation on annexation and why could be a significant issue in the next legislative session
  • Full membership meeting to discuss and adopt the CGMC’s policy positions and priorities for the upcoming legislative (it’s critical that your city lend its voice to this discussion!)
  • …and more!

CONFERENCE DETAILS
See this CONFERENCE AGENDA & VENUE INFORMATION for full details.

REGISTER TODAY!
Please register online at greatermncities.org/FallConf18. The deadline to register is Nov. 7. 

HOTEL INFORMATION
* Please note that attendees are responsible for their own hotel reservations.*

Arrowwood has a block of rooms reserved for CGMC Fall Conference attendees at a discounted rate of $94 (plus tax). Call Arrowwood at 320-762-1124 by Nov. 1 to book a room under the CGMC’s block.

Note: There are plenty of rooms available at Arrowwood on the night of Nov. 15, but only a limited number of rooms are available on Nov. 14 (the night before the conference). In order to accommodate those who wish to come to Alexandria on Nov. 14 (and may be unable to stay at Arrowwood), we have reserved a small block of rooms for the CGMC at Hampton Inn & Suites in Alexandria. The cost is also $94. Call Hampton Inn at 320-763-3360 by Oct. 29 to make a reservation (rooms are available both Nov. 14 and Nov. 15).

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

The 2018 CGMC Labor & Employee Relations Seminars will be held Thursday, June 7 in Albert Lea and Thursday, June 14 in Detroit Lakes. Each seminar is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. Please register today as space is limited!  You can register at greatermncities.org/2018laborseminars. More details on the agenda and venue information can be found here.

The seminars are focused on practical and legal solutions for providing services and managing employees in local government. They will provide relevant and timely advice on the following topics (and more!):

  • Understanding fire department’s unique organizational and personnel issues
  • How to organize and communicate personnel data the right way
  • Health insurance legal and marketplace update
  • Settlement, interest arbitration, and Legislative update
  • Brenda Cossette’s mock negotiations

We hope all units of government will send representatives (e.g., managers and administrators, human resources personnel and elected officials) to this valuable program. Feel free to forward this information to interested persons in your unit of government or other units of government. Both CGMC members and non-members are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact Karina Patino at (651) 259-1919 or kpatino@flaherty-hood.com.

Thank you to everyone who attended the CGMC Fall Conference last week at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center. More than 100 city leaders representing 50 cities attended the conference — a record attendance!

The conference kicked off Thursday afternoon with a presentation by Marnie Werner, acting director of the Center for Rural Policy, on their study titled “A Quiet Crisis: Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage.” You can watch video of her presentation here and read her Power Point presentation here.

After Werner’s presentation, we delved further into the issues surrounding Greater Minnesota’s child care shortage with a panel discussion featuring Nancy Jost, early childhood coordinator for West Central Initiative; Tim Penny, president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; Jessica Beyer, business development specialist for First Children’s Finance; and Amanda Benda, director of Little Huskies Daycare Center & Preschool in Jackson, Minn. The discussion was moderated by Dan Dorman, executive director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership. Each panelist provided a unique perspective on the issue and offered suggestions on ways city leaders can be more involved in developing solutions. You can watch the panel discussion here.

Broadband was also an important topic at the conference. Bill Coleman, president of Community Technology Advisors and a consultant for the Blandin Foundation, informed attendees about where broadband access stands in Greater Minnesota and outlined the economic impact of world-class broadband infrastructure. You can watch Coleman’s presentation here and read his Power Point Presentation here.
After Coleman’s presentation, CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson moderated a legislative panel discussion featuring Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-Moorhead) and Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville). The panelists discussed the impact of the 2017 legislative session and plans for 2018. The conversation touched on issues such as transportation, bonding and the ongoing lawsuit between the Legislature and Gov. Dayton.

The afternoon was capped by another panel discussion, this one on the role of elected officials in labor and employee relations. Brandon Fitzsimmons, an attorney with Flaherty & Hood, moderated a discussion featuring Waite Park City Administrator Shaunna Johnson, Alexandria City Administrator Marty Schultz and Moorhead City Manager Chris Volkers in which they talked about the “productive” and “unproductive” involvement of elected officials in dealing with unions and personnel issues.

In the evening, attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner followed by an entertaining and informative quiz show led by the award-winning Theater of Public Policy. During the show, three teams squared off against each other in a battle to see who knew the most about random Greater Minnesota trivia, the history of LGA and other various topics. To the audience’s surprise, Team Lobbyist (Flaherty & Hood lobbyists Tim Flaherty and Marty Seifert) ultimately bested Team Mayor (Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski and Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson) and Team Administrator (Slayton City Administrator Josh Malchow and Virginia City Administration Britt See-Benes) to take the quiz show crown.

In addition to speakers and presentations, the conference also included a membership meeting on Friday morning during which members discussed and adopted the CGMC’s 2018 legislative policy positions. To review the adopted positions, click on the following subject areas: Annexation & Land Use, Economic Development, Environment & Energy, LGA & Property Taxes and Transportation. You can also read more about the top priorities for the upcoming legislative in this CGMC Press Release that was sent to the media at the conclusion of the conference.

Thanks again to everyone who attended our 2017 Fall Conference! Please check out the photo gallery on our Facebook page to see pictures from the conference.

More than 50 city and county managers, administrators and elected officials attended the CGMC Labor and Employee Relations annual seminars in Fergus Falls on June 2 and Albert Lea on June 8.  The seminars focused on practical and legal solutions for managing employees and unions in local government covering unfair labor practices claims under the new PERB process; health insurance trends; total rewards for public employees; updates on settlements, arbitrations and the legislature; and a mock labor contract mediation.

Special thanks are in order to the program participants: Bemidji City Manager Nate Matthews, Brainerd Human Resources Coordinator Kris Schubert, Winona Human Resources Coordinator Myrna Olson, Slayton City Administrator Josh Malchow, NFP Benefit Consultant Andy Weitnauer, and Flaherty & Hood Shareholder Attorney Brandon Fitzsimmons and Human Resources Analyst Carol Loncar. In addition, thank you to the cities of Fergus Falls and Albert Lea for being such gracious hosts.

At the CGMC Summer Conference last week, staff lobbyists provided highlights of the legislative and other work performed over the last year and previewed some of the efforts that will be undertaken during the upcoming year.  Copies of the presentation are provided below the fold.

Annexation and Land Use

Even though it was a quiet year for annexation and land use, the CGMC helped advance legislation adopting one recommendation of the Annexation Task Force Report and started a discussion to work on reforming the detachment process.  Read more on Annexation.

Environment & Energy

This year the Legislature dedicated money to Parks and Trails in Greater Minnesota.  It also started paying attention to the impact that municipal lab regulations and water quality standards have on waste water treatment facilities.   Read more on the Environment.

Economic Development

The final budget bill contained$ 4 million for the greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure grant program.  Next year the CGMC hopes to focus even more on job growth and business development in rural Minnesota.  Read more on our Economic_development program.

Transportation

Our transportation focus this year was on minimizing cuts to greater Minnesota transit.  Read more on transportation funding.