Category archives

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 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 or 651-259-1917. We hope to see you there!

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: 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

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 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 or 651-259-1917. We hope to see you there!

A variety of important issues including Local Government Aid, employment and labor issues, workforce housing, population trends and environmental regulations were explored at the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ annual summer conference, which was held July 22-24, 2016 in Duluth. Throughout the three-day conference, the more than 100 participants were also treated to tours of local facilities and attractions, a dinner party at Greysolon followed by a local pub crawl, and an awards dinner that honored 22 legislators and city leaders for their work on behalf of Greater Minnesota during the 2015 Legislative Session. A full conference re-cap with photos can be found here.

Below are links to some of the presentations that were held during the conference:

The CGMC is excited to welcome Star Tribune columnist Lori Sturdevant as the luncheon keynote speaker at the CGMC Summer Conference on July 23. One of the most knowledgeable and respected political journalists in the state, Sturdevant has covered state government and politics for the Star Tribune for more than 30 years and has been a part of the paper’s editorial staff since 1992. Her speech at the conference will provide a historical perspective on the actions and decisions that have made Minnesota such a great state, as well as insights into our current divided state government and where Minnesota stands today.

The CGMC Summer Conference will be held July 22-24, 2015, at the Duluth Entertain Convention Center. Check out the agenda to see what we have in store for the conference. To register, please fill out this registration form and email it to or mail it to:

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

We hope to see you there!

At the CGMC Summer Conference, which was held July 25-27 in Owatonna, lobbyists updated members on the results of the 2012 Legislative Session.  Click here to learn about the CGMC’s efforts in the areas of annexation/land use, environment/energy, economic development, budget-tax constitutional amendments, and property taxes/LGA.

Growing businesses and jobs is essential to keep Greater Minnesota healthy in the future.   The CGMC dedicated an afternoon to the topic of economic development at our summer conference in Grand Rapids. 

Kathy Tunheim, Governor Dayton’s Senior Adviser for Job Creation, talked about the  “Get Minnesota Working” plan and emphasized the five key initiatives of the governor in her presentation.

Mark Lofthus, with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), provided an overview of business development in Minnesota.  He described current and future initiatives in his presentation, which can be found here.

Jeff Nelson, with DEED, spoke about how the angel investor tax credit works and how it could spur development.  His presentation can be found here.

Todd Leonard spoke about the Minnesota Angel Network, a newly formed group dedicated to accelerating business growth in the state. It aims to educate , connect and catalyze entrepreneurs.  It may be looking to partner with a few Minnesota cities.  Read his presentation here.

Rob West explained how APEX supports business development in Greater Minnesota.  Read about it here.

Commissioner Tony Sertich outlined the work of the Iron Range Resources Board in his presentation.

The redistricting process  and the effect it will have on greater Minnesota was another topic that stirred great interest at the CGMC summer conference.  Population decreases and slow growth likely means that greater Minnesota will have fewer legislative representatives at the state and federal level.  City officials and citizens need to step up and ensure their voices are heard on redistricting.

You can learn more about getting involved by reviewing the redistricting presentation from the conference.

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.


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

Last week, the CGMC held another successful summer conference with attendees from across the state. We hosted legislators from both parties as well as members of the Governor’s cabinet. Over the next few days we’ll post some of the presentations along with summaries of the events and pictures.

To kick things off, you can find the presentation that Tim Flaherty and Steve Peterson gave on LGA and the final state budget here.