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Before you reach the classroom

In-person program

Additional on-demand courses

Before you reach the classroom

Courses open Monday, Aug. 22

Learners should complete the following five courses ahead of attending the in-person portion of the program. Note that these courses do not expire and will be accessible to participants indefinitely.

Welcome and Overview of Clerks Academy

Get to know the League and get introduced to the Clerks Academy program including the core competencies, how to access the on-demand courses in MemberLearn, and what to expect for the two-day in-person program. Seat time: 10 min.

Human Resources Essentials for City Clerks

Core Competency: Human Resources
Many city clerks are responsible for the human resources function within their city, including knowing about employment laws, recruitment, and performance management. This three-part course will set you up for success ahead of the classroom session. Note: This portion is optional and those who do not perform HR functions are not required to complete it. Seat time: 45 min.

Open Meeting Law for City Clerks

Core Competency: IntegrityCore Competency: OrganizationCore Competency: Meeting Facilitation
This course provides city clerks with an overview and appreciation for the Open Meeting Law, as well as the requirements of the law. Through video and scenario exercises you will understand how to apply exceptions and avoid violations as a clerk. Seat time: 60 min.

Financial Fundamentals for City Clerks

Core Competency: Financial Literacy
This combination 101 and 201 course will provide an introduction to city budgeting concepts and terminology. You’ll dive into fund accounting, operating budgets, revenue and expenditures, and tax levies to ensure you are equipped to prepare a city budget with confidence. Seat time: 75 min.

Data Practices for City Clerks

Core Competency: Organization
In many cities, the city clerk may be the Responsible Authority under the Data Practices Act — that is the person who is responsible for the collection, use, and dissemination of government data. Learn about the basics of classification, procedures, and penalties under the Data Practices Act in this three-part course. Seat time: 60 min.

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In-Person Program

Thursday (5 hours)

9:30 a.m.
Registration Opens

Connect with fellow clerks and League staff prior to the program kick-off at 10 a.m.

10 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions

10:15 a.m.
City Clerk: A Leadership Opportunity

Core Competency: IntegrityCore Competency: ServiceCore Competency: Teamwork & PartnershipCore Competency: Innovation
The role of clerk is an essential function in city government. Much is expected from the person filling this demanding and challenging role in regard to duties and statutory responsibilities. Learn how and why your role is important and the importance of being a leader in city hall and a bridge to the community.

After this session, you will:

  • Demonstrate insight into leadership expectations you’ll likely encounter.
  • Apply key skills that will aid your experience as a leader and help build relationships.
  • Reflect on your own personal leadership principles that you bring to your city.

11 a.m.
Open Meeting Law and Minute-Taking

Core Competency: IntegrityCore Competency: OrganizationCore Competency: Meeting Facilitation
After learning Open Meeting Law basics in MemberLearn, bring it to life! Learn about the seven exceptions to the Open Meeting Law and get answers to common questions about electronic communications, meeting management, serial meetings, and social gatherings. Plus, you’ll learn tips on minute-taking. Please note: This session builds on the Open Meeting Law for City Clerks MemberLearn course and it is recommended that you complete the online course before this in-person session.

After this session, you will:

  • Be able to identify the seven exceptions to the Open Meeting Law.
  • Understand how the Open Meeting Law applies to electronic communications, meeting management, serial meetings, and social gatherings.
  • Have practical tips for council minute-taking.
  • Know common scenarios your city may face and how to avoid breaking the Open Meeting Law.

12:15 p.m.
Lunch

1:15 p.m.
Tech Boot Camp

Core Competency: OrganizationCore Competency: Teamwork & PartnershipCore Competency: Innovation
Clerks often provide technology support. If you’re one of them, you preserve the past, represent the present, and affect the direction of the future of your city. This session will cover some technology basics and show you where to find resources for those pesky techie challenges.

After this session, you will:

  • Have resources to help troubleshoot technology challenges.
  • Know the basics about managing and storing data, replying to data requests, and cybersecurity.
  • Understand the importance of addressing data for your public works, emergency management, and land use/zoning staff.

2 p.m.
Financial Fundamentals

Core Competency: Financial Literacy
Explore the basics of municipal financial management, including budgeting and planning, ongoing fiscal activities, and financial statements and reporting. Plus, learn about required communications with the state and strategies to keep everyone informed. Please note: This session builds on the Financial Fundamentals for City Clerks MemberLearn course and it is recommended that you complete the online course before this in-person session.

After this session, you will:

  • Put basic elements of public finance to work.
  • Appreciate the importance of incorporating transparency and communication about city finances to the public.
  • Understand the city clerk’s financial responsibilities to state agencies and other institutions.

3:15 p.m.
Break

3:30 p.m.
League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) 101

Core Competency: WisdomCore Competency: Innovation
It is your duty as the clerk to accept and keep on file any claims against the city. Learn more about the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including various insurance coverage options, loss control services available to member cities, and claim-handling procedures.

After this session, you will:

  • Understand how the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust can be an asset to your work.
  • Know the insurance coverage options available to your city.
  • Be familiar with the filing procedures for workers’ compensation claims.
  • Be able to illustrate how the loss control program and a visit from your assigned consultant can benefit your city.

4:30 p.m.
Adjourn

5:30 p.m.
Dinner

Enjoy a meal with League staff and other attendees on Thursday. (Dinner is included in the registration fee.)

Friday (7 hours)

8 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.
Human Resources Issues

Core Competency: Human ResourcesCore Competency: Teamwork & Partnership
In many cities, the clerk’s responsibilities overlap with human resources issues, and there’s so much to know! Never fear, the League’s HR team is here to help! This session will walk you through the HR issues most likely to come up in your city, including leaves of absence, personnel policies, how to compute overtime, and some basics of discipline and performance. We’ll also spend a little time making sure you know what kind of help you can get from the League when HR issues arise. Please note: This session builds on the Human Resources Essentials for City Clerks MemberLearn course and it is recommended that you complete the online course before this in-person session.

After this session, you will:

  • Understand do’s and don’ts for the hiring process, including Veterans Preference and background checks.
  • Be able to identify what’s required for job and benefit-protected leave laws like FMLA, WESA, and Safety Leave.
  • Recognize legal issues connected to employment-related matters.

Please note: If you’re not responsible for HR duties in your city this session is optional.

9:45 a.m.
Q&A with Staff Attorneys

Core Competency: Wisdom
Come with your legal questions to ask our research team! We’re here to help you with any questions surrounding land use, code enforcement, licensing, conflict of interest, elections, and more!

After this session, you will:

  • Have answers to questions about complex topics.
  • Understand best practices for addressing public requests on a variety of topics.

10:30 a.m.
Break

10:45 a.m.
How to Prevent and Detect Fraud: Implementing Internal Controls

Core Competency: Financial LiteracyCore Competency: Integrity
Misusing or stealing public funds would never happen in your city, right? Learn the various types of fraud, how to spot them, and what steps you can take to prevent fraud from happening in your city.

After this session, you will:

  • Retain basic knowledge of who the Office of the State Auditor is and their responsibility to local government.
  • Be able to interpret the types of fraud, including theft, embezzlement, forgery, false claims, and misuse of public funds.
  • Know how and where to report it if you think someone in your city is exploiting funds.

11:45 a.m.
Lunch with panelists

12:30 p.m.
Building Bridges: The Multiple Roles of City Clerks

Core Competency: ServiceCore Competency: OrganizationCore Competency: Elections Administration
Learn from a panel of experienced clerks about the expectations and duties of a city clerk, including running elections, managing records, and working with the public and elected officials. Share your challenges and get tips on how to be successful in this critical city role.

After this session, you will:

  • Feel confident in the opportunities and duties of your new role.
  • Understand how other clerks manage challenges and expectations for their city.
  • Have answers relating to running elections, managing records, or working with your elected officials.

1:30 p.m.
Break

1:45 p.m.
Effective Workplace Communication

Core Competency: ServiceCore Competency: Teamwork & Partnership

Presenter: Janel Anderson, Working Conversations, LLC

Excellent interpersonal communications skills are the hallmark of a thriving career and strong community government. In this course participants will learn communication skills that will enable them to connect effectively with people at all levels of the organization, customers, and other stakeholders. This course explores interpersonal communication, listening, building rapport, and email communication. Participants will gain practical skills that will help them deliver messages of all types effectively, efficiently and in a manner that demonstrates professionalism.

Participants will learn to:

  • Express ideas in ways that get the attention and support of others,
  • Develop rapport quickly and easily,
  • Increase levels of comprehension when listening,
  • Communicate professionally in multiple contexts (email, telephone, face-to-face, etc.).

3 p.m.
Adjourn

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Additional on-demand courses

After the in-person program concludes, you’ll gain access to five MemberLearn courses on important topics. Please note: These courses do not expire and will be accessible to participants indefinitely.

Roles and Responsibilities

Core Competency: Teamwork & Partnership
This short course outlines the council’s role in city governance. Seat time: 10 min.

Elections Administration

Core Competency: Elections Administration
Review administering elections at the city level and how you can prepare for and run smooth election cycles. Seat time: 15 min.

Filling a Council Vacancy

Core Competency: Elections AdministrationCore Competency: Meeting Facilitation
Explore the procedures to call and hold special elections. Seat time: 10 min.

Code Enforcement

Core Competency: Wisdom
Review some of the different ways to enforce code. Seat time: 10 min.

Cybersecurity

Core Competency: IntegrityCore Competency: OrganizationCore Competency: Meeting Facilitation
Get tips for preventing data security breaches or other computer-related risks. Seat time: 10 min.

 

 

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